Monthly Archives: May 2013

Vintage Cuckfield Going Strong

CVE Logo June postcardWhen asked to say ‘what makes the perfect vintage fair’ there is, unfortunately, no simple answer. For starters you have to know who is asking the question – the visitors, the stallholders, the organiser, the venue owner, the caterer etc.

They need not all have divergent viewpoints of course and it may be possible to achieve a consensus; that can sometimes be difficult, but not impossible.  One such case was last week’s Cuckfield Vintage Emporium, held in The Queen’s Hall, which is curated by Darcy Shepherd.

Darcy is a well-known figure in the world of Sussex vintage and country fairs with a growing reputation nationally too; her Cuckfield Vintage Emporium (CVE) is still in its infancy having only got off the ground, as it were, in March this year. For the past 3 months she has been attracting around 25 vintage traders to set-up shop in The Queen’s Hall in Cuckfield High Street where she aims to establish a permanent home for her events.

“We always knew May was going to be problematic,” Darcy explained, “because of a very big fair taking place not far away in Surrey at the Nonsuch Mansion just the day before ours.” This meant that a number of regular CVE traders were tied up and inevitably some vintage devotees were ‘all shopped-out’ which, it was predicted, would impact on the CVE attendance.

Darcy Shepherd: the driving force behind Cuckfield Vintage Emporium

Darcy Shepherd: the driving force behind Cuckfield Vintage Emporium

“However we decided to press ahead,” said Darcy, “for a number of reasons, including in order to establish continuity and so as not to let down our loyal stallholders and visitors.”

In the event it proved to be exactly the right decision because, whilst visitor numbers were slightly down, the new stallholders who filled the gap proved to be exceptional, plus the whole ambience was really friendly and upbeat.

As Darcy said, “At the end of the day, it’s the stallholders who create the atmosphere through their enthusiasm, the exceptional quality of their goods and the attractiveness of their stands, and once again they have delivered, which is fantastic.”

An outstanding example came from two CVE debutants, Kate Richards and Heather Lynn,  both stallholders sharing a pitch for the first time at The Queen’s Hall.

Kate is a florist and trades as Iris & Arlo, with a shop in Lombard Street, Petworth. And Heather, having made her earlier career in catering has recently launched Courtown Crafts, selling hand-painted vintage furniture and decorative pieces from her base in Slinfold, near Horsham.

Kate Richards (left) of Iris & Arlo with Heather Lynn of Courtown Crafts at the Cuckfield Vintage Emporium on 10th May

Kate Richards (left) of Iris & Arlo with Heather Lynn of Courtown Crafts at the Cuckfield Vintage Emporium on 10th May

Heather’s interest in painted furniture grew from her own experiments at home which soon began to attract admiring comments, and the impetus to branch out on her own, and set up Courtown Crafts, came when an antiques dealer colleague gave that extra bit of encouragement.

That was about 6-months ago and like many a DIY painter (myself included) Heather started with the Farrow & Ball range of paints, attracted by their beautiful subtle colours and quality. Now she is also using the highly regarded Annie Sloan chalk paints and waxes as favoured by the cognoscenti with some stunning results.

“The Annie Sloan method is a bit of a departure and working with her paints is very different from conventional paint, but the finished product is spectacular, so it is well worth persevering” says Heather.

Kate Richards has loved flowers as long as she can remember, “For me, when it comes to flowers, the more natural the presentation the better” says Kate, who completed her training at Brinsbury college five years ago.

She says that creating a ‘vintage look’ is not always as simple as it might first appear, “Selecting the right flowers is the first step – Peonies, Sweet peas, Poppies and Lupins are amongst my favourites –  and if you can get close to an arrangement that looks like an English summer meadow, you’re pretty much there”.

But business being business Kate has her feet firmly ‘planted’ on the floor and that means in order to make her Petworth based business succeed she calls on her formal training to supply flowers for weddings, birthdays, corporate functions and all forms of celebrations.

Judging by the buzz that hummed around The Queen’s Hall, both Kate and Heather (and the many other exhibitors, too many to mention here unfortunately) proved to be a great hit with the CVE’s vintage shoppers whose support once again ensured that the event continues to go from strength to strength. See you next on 21st June!

McBlue

16th May 2013

CVE Newcomers’ Gallery 10th May

Sandy & Steph of The Giggleberry Tree

Sandy & Steph of The Giggleberry Tree

Ellice in the CVE Tearoom

Ellice in the CVE Tearoom

Annabelle with her beautiful framed prints

Annabelle with her beautiful framed prints

Paula Giuld of ... along came Polly with her lovely hats.

Paula Guild of … along came Polly with her lovely hats.

Iwona of Gift Horse Collectables

Iwona of Gift Horse Collectables

Sarah of Pocket & Pin - vintage haberdashary

Sarah of Pocket & Pin – vintage haberdashery

Annette of Annie B's Vintage

Annette of Annie B’s Vintage

Gayle of The Tea Party Style

Gayle of The Tea Party Style

Jessica Glover of By The Way Crafts

Jessica Glover of By The Way Crafts

Amy of lovebirdielove.co.uk

Amy of lovebirdielove.co.uk

Simone's table aka Ayres & Grace: horse figures and other animals

Simone’s table aka Ayres & Grace: horse figures and other animals

Ruth, Antiques and Vintage Collector

Ruth, Antiques and Vintage Collector

Maggie of Moss Vintage

Maggie of Moss Vintage

Samantha of The Tea Party Company

Samantha of The Tea Party Company

Janet Somers - collector of Kitchenalia

Janet Somers – collector of Kitchenalia

Vintage at Home by Nicky West

Vintage at Home by Nicky West

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Two unmissable dates for your diary

Hello again, hope you’re keeping well.

First Date: 10th May 2013

CVE Flyer

It is just 10 short days before the next Cuckfield Vintage Emporium (CVE) event on 10th May at The Queen’s Hall, Cuckfield High Street. Doors open at 11.00 with £1 admission charge.

All your old favourites will be there, including beautiful painted furniture, wonderful antique fabrics and old textiles, vintage homeware, the clothes rails and those lovely scented gifts. But also lookout for some fabulous new additions such as, Sarah Howe of ‘Pocket & Pin’ with her haberdashery items, the girls from ‘Giggleberrytree’ selling decorative garden-ware and potted plants plus Kate Richards of ‘Iris & Arlo’ with a marvellous array of vintage goodies.

CVE is proud to sponsor CHICKS the charity that provides respite country holidays for Britain’s disadvantaged children. The way it works is simple, for every pound our visitors give to CHICKS, CVE will match it with a pound of our own, that means doubling the donation to this great cause. So, if you can, please give generously.

CHICKS Logo

There will also be the ever popular Tea Room selling Fairtrade teas and coffees and piles of gorgeous homemade cakes, savouries and soft drinks for children. So after all the searching, tracking down and finding that special something from our brilliant stallholders, pop in and have a nice cuppa – you’ll have earned it!

We would love to see you again in Cuckfield, so hope you can make it.

Second Date: 31st May/ 1st June 2013

Village Vintage Stand

Our sister event on 31st May and 1st June is the huge 2-day Village Vintage Country Fair at Plumpton Racecourse from 10.00 in the morning; £4 on the gate. Whatever else you are doing this spring, make sure you are there if the country and vintage lifestyle is your thing – THIS IS THE BIG ONE!

But don’t take my word for it, Etc. Magazine (widely read throughout Sussex) has describe the event as the ‘Vintage Fair of the Year’ in an article on page 138 of its just published May edition.

And what about Country Homes & Interiors magazine naming Village Vintage as No. 1 in this month’s  ‘3 of the best’ vintage fairs survey!!!! (No online version available yet unfortunately.)

All this comes in addition to the praise heaped on Village Vintage by Homes & Antiques magazine (the vintage community’s bible) in April when it was placed in the top 3 in a nationwide survey of vintage fairs.

The common thread with Village Vintage is, of course, Darcy who, together with her business partner and best friend, Lucy Haywood, launched Village Vintage as a start-up 4 years ago at the King Edward Hall, Lindfield. Since then the girls have gone from strength to strength.

Don’t forget, get these dates in your diary now: 10th May, Cuckfield Vintage Emporium, The Queen’s Hall, Cuckfield and Village Vintage Country Fair, Plumpton Racecourse over 2 days, 31st May & 1st June 2013.

If you are interested in exhibiting at either event please contact Darcy direct by email on darcymaclean@yahoo.co.uk

You can follow us on Twitter @DarcyVintage or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cuckfieldvintageemporium

McBlue

1st May 2013

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