Friday, 17 March 2017

A day out around Wiltshire

16th-century houses in Devizes
16th-century houses in Devizes
We haven't been out much this week, having had DIY to do. However, as part of our ongoing (neverending!) work on the house, we really want a cabinet to go in the dining room to hold the plates and so on that we keep buying from charity shops. Having finally got rid of the 1950s Prestcold fridge, we decided to go to Chippenham to check out the two furniture chazzas there - one British Heart Foundation, and one Dorothy House (local hospice charity).

While both shops had some great stuff (if you're looking for a 30s-looking wardrobe or 1950s dressing table, Chippenham has what you need) neither had the sort of cabinet we were looking for. Our search is complicated by the fact that our dining room radiator doesn't leave much width, but we need the cabinet to be deep enough to hold plates. I found a lovely display cabinet that looked quite 1920s-30s to me (not deco, just of that time) in the BHF shop, but it simply didn't have the depth.

As we hadn't spent masses of time in Chippenham, we drove home via Devizes, thinking perhaps we needed to start looking in proper antique shops rather than in charity shops.

Chippenham, like Trowbridge where I live, shows signs of having once been a much more prestigious town than it now is. Both have wonderful sandstone buildings that clearly date from the 1800s-1920s, and more than their fair share of chazzas and takeaways. Honestly, you wouldn't believe Trow is the county town of Wiltshire to see it, though it has improved vastly over the past decade. But I like Trow, and the people of Chippenham no doubt love their town, even if it's not somewhere you'd take tourists to. Devizes, on the other hand, is very much somewhere you'd take tourists to. It's still got a big market square - the market was on while we were there, so I didn't bother taking any photos, as it's a proper local market selling things like cheese and pork pies and veg, not some cutesy thing to appeal to coach parties.

Bear statue on Bear hotel DevizesThere were some impressive buildings on the square - I love a good animal statue, and the funny-looking bear on top of The Bear hotel amused me no end. It looks like a Newfoundland dog was the model. We wandered through the back streets and found a little row of 16th-century buildings, and a rather good vintage shop which I thought was the one mentioned by Annotations of Jenny, but now I look at her post again I see she said the vintage clothing was on the top floor but this shop had clothing out the back, so either they've moved the clothes or there are two good vintage shops in Devizes. At any rate, it had many super things, but our quest for a cabinet will continue.

I have had a lean time in charity shops of late. I know most people prefer modern clothes, so I am in the minority for looking for older stuff, but I have found so little of any interest recently. With my liking for simple shapes and slightly later-era clothing, it shouldn't be impossible for me to find things that could be mixed in with vintage, but it really has been dire. Everything's been ruffly, embellished, or just plain poor quality. Seriously, WHERE IS ALL THE GOOD STUFF GOING? (Ronni and Vix are finding it all...) Anyway, like my cabinet quest, my charity shop haunting will continue. Sooner or later the chazza gods will smile on me again.

11 comments :

  1. such a gorgeous place it reminds me of something out of harry potter. I agree charity shops area dud lately i buy everything on line.

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  2. We've driven through Devizes on the way to the End of the Road Festival and it really is gorgeous. The Bear does look like a dog, it's fab.
    What a shame the chazzas didn't deliver the goods. It really is frustrating when you've got money in your pocket but the goods aren't forthcoming but it makes the day when you do find vintage gold all the more thrilling.
    Karma will win out in the end. Jon was gutted when he discovered a fab pair of tweed trousers and matching waistcoat in a charity shop for the ridiculous £50 and £60 apiece this week and had to walk away. Today he found a cool 1970s belted wool jacket by one for £1.
    Judy's have a Vintage Furniture Flea in Bristol this Sunday if you can tear yourself away from the decorating. I know our mates Boomerang Retro are taking some rather lovely Mid-Century furniture. xxx

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  3. dont get me on embelishments , why does everything in fat bird sizes have to be so sparkly bird on a cruise... i like to add my sparklies in the form of bad taste jewellery...lol

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  4. Hi Mim! I only had a really short time in Devizes, but the wonderful vintage/antique shop I found was on the main street (where the market is). But, it was a little way up the street, heading out of town. I know this information is probably pretty useless now though, sorry my lovely! The shop had a random assortment of clothing just laying in piles on a table on the top floor, and on the ground floor there was a cute vintage wardrobe also containing vintage clothing for sale. I have no idea what the shop was called though, I really should have taken a business card from them! It sounds like you found a different vintage shop though, so that's exciting! XxX

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  5. Have been to Devizes once, come to think of it, it was more than twenty years ago! I remember The Bear, though, and I even photographed its pub sign, but funnily enough I do not remember the bear statue ... When it comes to furniture, I have learned to be patient over the years. Eventually the perfet cabinet will turn up when you least expect it. As for the good stuff at the charity shops, at least here we know where it is going, being saved up for last week's retro event. xxx

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  6. Of course they will, Mim, just hang on in there...

    If you hadn't told me that was a bear I would have sworn it was an elongated large Scottie dog!

    Enjoy your weekend.

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  7. I haven't been to either place, I'm a bit rubbish at heading in that direction in Wiltshire!

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  8. Cheese is always photo worthy.

    Our large china cabinet gets plenty of use, but the corner cabinets seem to be the most useful as I'm not tempted to fill them to capacity.

    You're due a good vintage windfall then it is only a matter of time.

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  9. I have never been to Devizes, I think I stayed on the outskirts once in a Travelodge but it certainly wasn't as pretty as these photos! I find charity shop finds come in waves - feast or famine. I hope your thrifting mojo returns soon... c

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  10. Oooh - I live in Devizes (or, at least, just outside it). Delurking to say, have you thought of Old Sarum Furniture, just outside Salisbury - it has a mixture of secondhand stuff, old and modern , looks like a real treasure trove (I have not been there yet). They have a Facebook page, no website. Love the blog (and the "What's on in Wiltshire section". Nicola x

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  11. Wiltshire isn't a place I know very well, in fact, I have only ever been to Salisbury, Avebury, the Old Sarum and Stone Henge ... that absolutely sums up my knowledge of Wiltshire!

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