Treasure trove at vintage marketBy Caroline Cook
June 14, 2012
Shoppers who popped into Reading last weekend may have spotted a secret neatly drawn on a chalk board in curly writing.
The chalk board, propped up against an open door in Market Place, invited people to step inside and discover the secret of Aunt Elsie’s Vintage Market.
Making their way upstairs, either through a rather tiny-looking lift or via a tall staircase, shoppers found themselves arriving at an Aladdin’s cave of vintage trinkets tucked inside the home of arts group Jelly.
“It was amazing,” said Suzanne Stallard, director of Jelly. “We had such a lovely day and there was a really great atmosphere.”
Inside the airy loft space, stalls were set up with handmade paper cards, paintings, vintage maps and magazines, and beautiful fabric buttons.
A rail full of vintage jackets, dresses, waistcoats and trousers was propped at one end of the room next to a stall where a woman was perched, her hair being curled as she was given a retro makeover.
“We had a lot of people coming in, much more than we expected,” said Suzanne, showing you don’t need huge billboards to draw in the crowds.
“We were really grateful,” she added. “It felt like, with Eat Reading Live going on as well, there was a lot of activity in Reading at the weekend.”
The pop-up market gives small, quirky stallholders the chance to display their wares, like Le Petit Pois which sells handmade felt items such as little owls and cuddly rabbits.
Vintage tea cups were also lined up on a table, with a stream of Earl Grey flowing from a teapot into the china.
“We keep the exact details a secret until just before the event,” explained Suzanne. “But we can say when the next one is going to be. It’s going to be a mini market on Saturday, August 4, then there will be another on Saturday, September 8, which is the heritage weekend.”
Vintage fans will want to put the dates in their diary, and keep their ears to ground to find out when this fabulous market will pop up in Reading again.
Postcard from Reading
Jelly is asking people who live, work or play in Reading to put their thoughts about the town on paper for a unique piece of artwork.
The group has launched The Postcard from Reading project which aims to collect messages from more than 10,000 people around the town.
People are being asked to decorate a blank postcard, which has been printed with the support of the Earley Charity and Cream Design, and then deliver it back to Jelly to be used in an exhibition.
Jelly will be taking its postbox to a number of public events such as Aunt Elsie’s secret markets (check www.jelly.org.uk for updates – the details stay secret until just before the event) and Caversham Festival.
You can also post your postcard to 42 Market Place, Reading, RG1 2DE.