Have yourself a very vintage Christmas . . .
PUBLISHED: 13:09 11 November 2014 | UPDATED: 13:09 11 November 2014
Looking for bespoke gifts? Richard Ginger suggests heading to one of the county’s vintage markets
Do you hanker after hand-me-down Biba outfits, swoon over Ercol sideboards or go weak at the knees at the sight of some 1960’s Scandinavian ceramics?
You’re not alone. In recent years, Suffolk has gone gaga for everything vintage. Across the county a plethora of markets, shops and events celebrate the kitsch and quirky appeal of plunder from yesteryear with weekly regularity.
Charged with feeding this appetite is a band of keen-eyed traders, experts at spotting what’s hot in the dawn light of a car boot sale and sniffing out star lots in musty auction houses.
Tim Clover is the owner of Deben Events and organises hugely popular vintage markets that set up stall on the Market Hill in Woodbridge and Snape Maltings throughout the year. Vintage is in Tim’s blood.
“I’ve wheeled and dealed since I was a lad when my dad was an antique dealer in the ‘70s and ‘80s,” he says. “I did an apprenticeship in cabinet-making then went self-employed buying and selling furniture for restoration. I fell into making new pieces for 25 years, doing dealing part-time until I started with Deben Events in 2010.”
Another familiar face on Suffolk’s vintage scene is Andy ‘Crash’ Hussey an avuncular chap who, with partner, Victoria are the self-titled, Lady Norfolk and Lord Rust of Suffolk’s vintage scene.
“We’d both had an interest in vintage for many years and worked in jobs that didn’t excite us so decided to do something different.”
Unique pieces that make a statement are popular, according to another vintage duo Lynn Joslin and Jill Painter. “Anything quirky will get our attentions, such as a full-size taxidermy swan that sat on our stall for a while. Jill didn’t like to keep it indoors so it nested on the downstairs loo until it decided to migrate!”
Tim believes that staying ahead of the pack is about developing a good eye. “I don’t follow trends. We live in an ever-decreasing world and as soon as something seems popular then everyone is on the bandwagon until it runs out of steam. I prefer to walk, you always see more at a slower pace!”
One trend now developing is to ‘upcycle’ old things to give them a new incarnation. The lightbulb moment came for former Ipswich builder, Chris Mason, when he started making lamps in his workshop last year. Chris takes everything from old fire extinguishers to teapots and musical instruments to create striking lamps for his business Bulldog Vintage.
“My most unusual item has to be a full-size tuba which I turned into six-foot tall standard lamp.”
His sustainable approach to business is reaping rewards. “I love recycling objects that are past their useful life and offering a bespoke service to anyone wanting something personal to them made into useful lighting.”