The Washerwoman

Sunday 21 March 2010

The Day I Nearly met Kirsty!

This weekend I have been selling at the Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair. It has been a tough one as the rain was  a major obstacle on Friday (setting up day). However after a few hours, the tent was looking cosy with yellow floral curtains lining the sides of the tent, piles of pretty textiles stacked on shelves, china and glass grouped in colourful arrangements....

It was obviously eye-catching as the people who were organising the filming of a new TV programme approached us and asked if they could film on our stand. As trade was very quiet, we agreed and waited for the arrival of Kirsty Allsopp and the crew.... I know some people do not approve of the way TV programmes abuse the Antiques Trade, but in this case Kirsty's enthusiasm for Vintage Textiles can only be a positive thing for those of us involved in this field of the business.

The long afternoon ticked by, and the rain fell harder and harder. It got to the end of the afternoon and almost time for the fair to close. I braved the elements and went in search of the film crew......

They were running behind schedule, and wouldn't get to us for quite a while, so I made my apologies and told them that we had to get home and so wouldn't be available after all.

However, I did give the lovely helpful girl with the clipboard all my details and flyers for the MANY textile fairs that are taking place over the next few weeks, so who knows, I might get my "15 minutes of fame" one day!

Hope you all had a good weekend! xx

Monday 15 March 2010

Farewell to a special person

This lovely photograph is a lady called Cynthia Wheeler MBE pictured in 1940 when she was just 15 and a volunteer for the Red Cross. It was a harrowing time for a young woman and she would tell me how she used to write letters for the injured patients. From that time she has worked tirelessly raising money for the British Red Cross. In her latter years she was forced to give up her post in the medical equipment service, but still worked from home to raise funds. She was a great knitter and in recent years has made dozens of beautiful knitted colourful berets for me (taken from a 1940's pattern that I found for her) and covered hundreds of old fashioned wooden coat hangers with knitted covers in a fantastic range of colours. These hangers have protected my delicate stock of vintage clothes. They have been admired and purchased by buyers for companies such as Cath Kidston.. and several were even used in the wardrobe on the set of Nanny Mcphee! Everything I have purchased from Cynthia has been enjoyed and passed on to my customers, and of course Cynthia donated all the money to the British Red Cross. Sadly, this wonderful person passed away this week.  I will miss my visits to her home and our little chats about the "state of the world" (and of course the nursing profession!)