Tuesday, 23 July 2019

We Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside - A Weekend at Bexhill-on-Sea


This weekend took us to Bexhill-on-Sea where we were trading at a pop-up vintage fair on the seafront as part of the town's annual Great Gatsby weekend. Friday's journey down south, which should have taken three-and-a-half-hours, ended up taking six-and-a-half as it seemed like the entire population of the UK had also decided to drive down to the coast. Our scheduled setting-up time was between 4 and 6pm and we managed to pull up to Bexhill's seafront with minutes to spare. Fortunately our pitch fee included an already erected trade tent so all we had to do was unpack the van and sort out our rails before darkness descended. Our fellow traders had booked into local hotels but us, being us, had opted to sleep in the back of the van. As the only campers, organisers Maxine & Elliot handed over the key to the portaloo to Jon, introduced us to the overnight security guard and bade us farewell.


Set-up complete we headed off to Bexhill-on-Sea's branch of Wetherspoons, The Picture Playhouse, a splendid former Art Deco cinema built in 1921 and boasting possibly the best carpet we've ever seen in a 'Spoons. The weather was inclement to say the least and by the time we'd reached our destination it looked like someone had chucked a bucket of water over the pair of us, although after a few pints we'd stopped caring. We walked back to the van, ate cheese and crackers in bed and fell asleep listening to the torrential rain hammering on the van roof.

Photos courtesy of Pop-Up Vintage

By 5am the rain finally stopped and I was able to dash down the promenade in my nightie to use our exclusive toilet facilities (apologies to any Bexhill residents I may have scared in the process.)  Upon investigation of our stall we discovered that a couple of bags of stock had borne the brunt of the previous night's rain - including the headscarves and cravats that I'd spent an hour ironing on Thursday afternoon - arghhh! After packing away the offending items, putting a few finishing touches to our shop, a wet wipe wash and a mug of tea it was 10am and our pop-up vintage shop opened to the public.

WEARING: Young Mayfair chiffon maxi (me); Floral shirt, tartan drainpipes, Austin Reed waistcoat (Jon)
Photo courtesy of Pop-up Vintage

Trade was brisk and the crowd were friendly but don't be deceived by our appearance in this photo,  the sea breeze was a killer, my hair resembled a raggedy tangled nest and my eyes watered perpetually. By closing time we traders had been rendered insensible by eight hours of constant wind.


Pop-Up Vintage had secured the traders free admission to the evening entertainment in the marquee situated in the grounds of the outstandingly gorgeous De La Warr Pavilion, a grade I listed seafront masterpiece built in 1935 and one of Britain's first modernist buildings and, after a delicious Indian meal at Mowgli (HERE), we headed off to the swing dance event. Neither Jon or I are into dancing but we had a beer and people watched for an hour or so before heading back to the van.




On Sunday we opened at 9am and were thrilled to note that the wind had dropped a little - although you can probably tell from my hair that it was still pretty breezy. 

WEARING: 1960s Luvisca leisure shirt, Levis' Pantella shorts (Jon); Massive sleeved maxi and Sheffield steel pendant (me)
Photo courtesy of Pop-Up Vintage

I was excited to meet beautiful blogging pal, Betty, for the first time and we sat and chatted in the sunshine like we'd known each other for years. After bidding one another goodbye, I got back to work, chatting to visitors and making sales until closing time rolled (or blew) in at 6pm.


After we'd packed up the stock, loaded the van and bade goodbye to our fellow traders Jon tearfully handed the portaloo key back to Maxine - being the loo key holder meant we'd got to know our fellow traders really well as they'd all had to speak to us if they needed to pay a visit. We'd decided to treat ourselves to a night in a local bed and breakfast so we could explore the town's legendary chazzas the following morning. On arrival to our chosen accommodation we were thrilled to be told by Tony, the owner, that he'd upgraded us to a studio apartment - absolute luxury after two nights in a van! After a quick shower we headed back to 'Spoons (where else?) for a bite to eat and the obligatory pint or two. Well and truly knackered we were fast asleep in our wonderfully comfy cloud-like bed by 10.30 pm.


 The following morning after a slap-up vegetarian cooked breakfast at our B&B we had a stroll along Bexhill's wonderfully tranquil beach - a world away from neighbouring Brighton.












WEARING: Young Innocent by Arpeja maxi


And what of the legendary charity shops? Considering the amount of people who retire to Bexhill-on-Sea I'd hoped that the chazzas would be packed with cool old stuff but sadly the clothes on offer were of the modern variety with a large amount being the labels favoured by ladies of a certain age, Per Una and Bon Marche to name just a couple. Still, if there's vintage to be had, Jon and I will find it...and we did!

Clockwise from top left: 1950s Jantzen swimsuit; Vintage cream wool trilby; Christy Panama hat (currently retailing at £119); 1970s Peter Robinson quilted maxi skirt; Vintage brocade waistcoat; 1980s Adini Indian cotton midi dress; Also purchased (but not pictured as it's still on the washing line) was a 1980s Phool sundress.
Our journey back up to the Midlands again took us the best part of six hours and back at home we hit the ground running, doing two loads of washing (our gear, Friday's rain-sodden stock and the morning's chazza shop finds), watering the parched garden and hosing down the van. Today, we're unpacking the van and sorting out the stock in readiness for this weekend's Indietracks festival.


No rest for the wicked!!


58 comments:

  1. That's a very neat looking bit of seaside Vix with some very nice buildings.
    Oh it's so long since I have been to the seaside. Hopefully next year we'll get our act together and spend a week somewhere.
    Have a great weekend at Indietracks.
    Hugs-x-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very rare that we visit the English seaside, too. We went to Lytham St Anne's a couple of years ago and had the same trouble with the wind. It is lovely, though! xxx

      Delete
  2. Six hours on the road doesn't sound like much fun, but I can understand why the general public decided to head over to seaside...that's the thing to do in the summer ( I hope to visit British seaside some day, I imagine it's a lot of different from Mediterranean one). It is always fun to read about the fairs you trade in. I imagine that ironing, packing and repacking all those vintage clothes takes some serious effort, but at least you can't say that job is monotonous. There must be excitement in selling and trading in different places. Bexhill fair seems to have went well! How lovely that the Great Gatsby was the theme of the weekend. That art deco space is gorgeous and that carpet is a thing of beauty. I love things from art deco period, they are such a great mix of traditional and modern beauty and aesthetics. All in all, Bexhill on the sea seems like a lovely place to trade in:).

    Your and Jon's outfits are fabulous. I like the tartan shorts he wore in the first photo, they are so stylish...and the shorts combo is fun too. You look divine in your maxi dresses. They suit you so well. That photo of you in Young Innocent maxi dress taken by the sea is so perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ivana! We Brits do like the seaside and I think with all the Brexit uncertainty more people that ever opted to stay in the UK for the main holiday fortnight - hence the particularly bad traffic! xxx

      Delete
  3. It must've been so lovely to be by the seaside, even with that wind - and hurrah for getting an upgrade at the B&B afterwards.

    The De La Warr Pavilion appears in loads of things on telly, it's deffo been in Poirot. Such a gorgeous building.

    Are you doing a Vintage Car Boot in London over the summer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was lovely to be beside the seaside, high winds aside.
      Still waiting for a date from the Hemingway crew, it's possibly going to be October - we'll be there if they'll have us! xxx

      Delete
  4. Oh my goodness, I'm absolutely exhausted reading all you've done. And looking gorgeous all the while. I don't know how you guys can do it, but you do it so well. Here's to even greater success at Indietracks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those sunglasses hide a lot - honest! xxx

      Delete
  5. I've never made it to Bexhill, which is just silly given that one of my sisters lives near Brighton. I'm pleased you got to go the pavilion, I have admired it through Poirot (The David Suchet ABC Murders episode, in case anyone reading this likes their Poirot trivia...). I have to say, portaloos and sleeping in the back of vans and rescuing soggy stock confirms to me that I would never be cut out for the life you lead. You do go to such lengths to set up your stall, it is so impressive! Wishing you both a restful week to recover... xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bexhill is well worth a visit - we met a few hip Londoners who'd moved down there - it's an undiscovered gem...at the moment!
      I think The De La Warr was also in the newer ABC Murders with John Malkovich. It's a gorgeous building - and so's the Spoons! xxx

      Delete
  6. That event looks right up my alley! And the art deco building is stunning. I love the photo of you on the beach. Looks right out of an editorial shoot in a vintage Vogue Magazine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought of you and your wonderful Roaring Twenties weekenders! x

      Delete
  7. I love the art deco setting - what a gorgeous-looking place that is! Sorry to hear you were soaked, blown and otherwise mistreated by the weather gods, but you and Jon both look awesome. I hope you did fabulous business! How nice that B&B must have felt! Good luck in the next show!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's ace, isn't it? No wonder it got a mention in Agatha Christie's ABC Murders! xxx

      Delete
  8. Well, that was an action packed weekend! Such a shame about the awful journeys but once the sun shows signs of staying out; off go the great British public to the seaside!

    I've never been to Bexhill and it's been years since I went to Brighton...Bexhill does look like a great seaside town and I'm so pleased you treated yourselves to B&B. Shame about the chazzas but didn't you do well!

    You and Jon both look so stylish and I just love the maxi you wore in the beach photo.

    Hope you've had time to chill since you got back and that the rest of the week goes well.
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was certainly action packed! We had a fab time despite the challenge of the wind. I'm glad we treated ourselves to a B&B for Sunday night though! xxx

      Delete
  9. I definitely love the sound of Bexhill on Sea and how gorgeous are those pictures you took. I cannot believe that we've never been there, even though we holidayed in East Sussex. Must definitely rectify this mistake. I'd love to see the De La Warr Pavilion, for one. Love that picture of you wearing that gorgeous Young Innocent frock, looking so carefree and summery. That massive sleeved orange maxi is pretty fabulous too! And weren't you lucky to get upgraded in that B&B? Here's to lots of trading success (and gorgeous weather) at Indietracks! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely need to visit Bexhill-on-Sea - chazzas, Spoons and an Art Deco pavilion, it's right up your alley! xxx

      Delete
  10. So glad you were able to take a little breather after all your hard work. Have never actually been to Bexhill on Sea despite being a Sussex girl!
    Arilx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to get yourself down to Bexhill! x

      Delete
  11. I'm always amazed by you guys managing to look so chill after such long trips, fast set-ups and then sleeping in the van.

    The area looks lovely. I remember when I lived in Brighton that it was often windy. That was ages ago but those seaside towns are known for cold winds.

    LOVED your pink maxi dress!

    Hope Indietracks is awesome sales for you guys.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vintage clothes and sunglasses cover up a multitude of sins!
      Apparently Bexhill is known for how windy it was - it really was draining - but at least it wasn't cold (unlike this weekend!) xxx

      Delete
  12. No one would guess what an exhausting time of it you had; the pair of you look really laid back!

    The one time I visited Bexhill it absolutely chucked it down all day. It was (allegedly) summer and, while Hastings had been heaving, Bexhill was like a ghost town. However, it has approximately eleventy million chazzas and there's an authentic Italian café where they make their own ice cream and OMG the parma violet flavour is worth getting rained on and blown up and down the seafront for a week! (It's not far from the De La Warr Pavillion either).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, darling!! Bexhill is ace, I couldn't believe how empty the beach was and the amount of chazzas - they were dead cheap, too!
      That ice cream would have Jon going back right away. I saw that cafe! xxx

      Delete
  13. Well done for getting through all that! You must be seriously knackered! I hope you did well at the event. Glad you managed to have a night in the B&B but what a shame the chazzers yielded less than expected! There was ALOT of rain!xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That epic journey was a right royal pain - I could have flown to Greece and back and back again in the time it took us! xxx

      Delete
  14. I'm one of those annoying people that like the seaside in cold, windy weather-I probably would have had a blast. That said, I'm glad you were able to get through it with only a bit of damage to your merchandise. You both looked great!

    You'll have the other weather extreme now, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to move to the UK! Bexhill is lovely - despite the wind. The property prices are amazingly good considering it's proximity to London! xxx

      Delete
  15. I am so impress with all you do.
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wonderful photos of the seaside , pity about the inclement weather. Despite the conditions you two both look a treat. Hopefully your next event will be clear and sunny and traffic will be kinder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jill - Bexhill is certainly photogenic! xxx

      Delete
  17. Yay, you met Betty! And she was wearing that lovely secondhand skirt!
    Sounds like a great, if busy and windswept, weekend.
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betty's lovely - you and her need a get together! xxx

      Delete
  18. Great post, Thanks for sharing,
    I'm following you! X.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Beside the seaside is the best place to be! ;) Especially with such a gorgeous Art Deco Pavilion, as well as the interior of the upper photos! I love your orange and blue/red outfits - you look so summery and seaside-perfection!!
    <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew you'd love the De La Warr - it's got your name written all over it! x

      Delete
  20. WOWW, you look as fabulous as usual, your stall keeps amazing me and the Great Gatsby weekend's atmosphere looks really appealing!. Lovely to see you enjoying some seaside views and lovely architecture, even if wind was not a gentle breeze!.
    I do love your maxi dresses, the chiffon one, the orange one, and the fab Young Innocent!. You look gorgeous! and Jon totally rocks in tartan but also in his summery shirt! dapper!
    besos
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much!! Bexhill's only a couple of hours on the train from London - you'd love the cheap chazzas! xxx

      Delete
  21. Sorry for that rain!
    But very glad that trading at the seaside was a success. Well done to pamper you with an B&B. You look gorgeous in your colorful dresses- despite heavy winds and hard work..... Thanx for the pics of the pretty Location! Happy trading by the railroad!!
    xxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know - that blessed rain's been following us lately! xxx

      Delete
  22. It's good to read about your fab travels but I like it even better when you write in your wonderfully positive way when things go a bit sideways, no moaning about flitting along the promenade to a portaloo in your nighty, or complaints about the wind and rain. Just looking for the best bits. I love it xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thanks Sally! My positivity does drive people a bit daft at times but when you trade outside in the UK you just have to see the funny side or you'd go mad! xxx

      Delete
  23. I had similar hair issues in Cornwall. I'd love to see the De La Warr and that 'Spoons carpet is epic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God, it drives you to distraction, doesn't it? Bexhill is absolutely gorgeous, a quiet and more gentile Brighton. x

      Delete
  24. Oh how fabulous that you were able to be part of this. I'd jump at such an opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh, how I love the beach, just looking at these seaside pictures makes me happy!

    You and Jon are an adventureous lot camping out in your van. Lovely to hear you had a great time, between the selling, 'Spoons, bed and breakfast and the wonderful ocean.
    Have fun at Indietracks! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The beach is gorgeous, even if the English weather doesn't always play nice! x

      Delete
  26. Sandy in the USASaturday, July 27, 2019

    I think you guys are absolutely living the dream :) LOVE your style x

    ReplyDelete
  27. Glad you were able to have a good time, and some sales, despite the long drive, rain and wind - you and Jon are such troopers! The seaside looks lovely and at least you got to spend the night in a nice B&B and found a bit of stock to add to the rails for IndieTracks.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Vi por aqui lindas imagens. Boa semana.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Holy wind, I can't imagine it was that fun trading in it. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to you at Indietracks.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix