Saturday, 29 March 2014


As promised, here is the next installment of my SOUTHEND POSTCARDS SERIES.... and this time it's the 1950s!!

Using an original postcard from 1953, showing the seafront and the pier, you can see a lively and colourful assortment of people from the fabulous 50s.

This really was an exciting time for Southend as the post-war boom for seaside towns kicked in. I was particularly pleased to sneak in two original Southend items from the era. One of them a great What's On guide from 1952.

Check out what was happening on September 20th 1952!

Fabulous advert for Southend pier also from 1952.

I've already completed the 1910s and 1960s in this series, and I've almost finished the 1970s...
Just in case you've forgotten what they looked like, see below!!

So keep in touch for more news on this exciting new collection!

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Have been trawling through the ArtPix Photo Library and came across this little picture...

It was taken at Walton-on-the-Naze pier in Essex on a freezing winter day, with hardly a soul to be seen. Which gave the pier and its abandoned rides and amusement arcades a sinister air. I loved it!

I indulge in a bit of photography, along with my vintage themed tomfoolery, and have sold some at Art and Design fairs. 

I like to take the photo and then horse around with it a bit, I always think that taking the photo is just the start of something. I've always been fascinated by people in photography's past that thought the same. I've blogged about Camille Silvy and John Hinde before, who were pioneers in their own way.

I must update my website, as I have tonnes of unseen photos tucked away in the archives.
But if you fancy a peep at the ones already up there, including my series of Dorset pictures, check them out HERE

(Once there, just click on the Durdle Door pic to enlarge it and get a little caption, then scroll along!)

Sunday, 16 March 2014


This week I saw this stunning stage play at the Stratford East theatre in London. I've wanted to see it for absolutely ages, and at last it has been revived in time for the First World War centenary.

This landmark play was first put together by theatre legend Joan Littlewood in 1963. The basis of it is the soldier's very own songs, interwoven with a bitingly satirical look at the war and its generals. The characters appear in pierrot costumes to recreate the old end-of-the-pier shows, giving a fabulously authentic Edwardian feel.

Tragic, poignant and funny moments leap at you throughout the whole play. All the while there are photographs of the war projected onto screens in the background as well as dates and statistics of all the major battles running along a digital board. Most of the grim figures of the appalling losses were accompanied by the words GAINS: NIL.

You got a wonderful double sense of history throughout the whole night. Not only of the war but of the original play staged 50 years ago. All the amazing choreography, costumes and inventive use of the stage, coupled with the anti-war and anti-Establishment sentiments made this a hugely radical play in the Sixties. And it all still resonates strongly today, they even reprinted the original programme from 1963, which was a lovely touch.

The programme for the show, and the reprinted original from 1963.

Hearing the mostly forgotten songs of the soldiers was particularly moving. The often bawdy and humourous songs were usually reworked from well-known tunes or hymns. The humour was at its blackest in these songs, playing perfectly with the anti-war theme of the play. I felt the soldiers themselves were finally getting their voices heard again.

As the debate rages on as to how Britain should remember and teach the history of the war, this all felt very relevant. I'm already fed up with political point-scoring and celebrity historians traipsing around cemeteries peddling their opinions and flogging their books. Please, let us just remember those who actually did the fighting, NOT the generals or politicians.

As the soldiers sang....

Forward Joe Soap's army, marching without fear,
With our old commander, safely in the rear.
He boasts and skites from morn till night,
And thinks he's very brave,
But the men who really did the job are dead and in their grave.
Forward Joe Soap's army, marching without fear,
With our old commander, safely in the rear.

Dug out of the ArtPix Archives is this vinyl record from the original stage play.

And here is the record from the film of 1969.

Thursday, 6 March 2014


Listen up vintage fans, another important date for you....!
This Sunday I'll be at the CROOK LOG ANTIQUE & COLLECTORS FAIR in Bexleyheath.

This is going to be a massive event, with over 100 fantastic antique and vintage stalls for you to peruse!!

I can't wait for it!! I've got so many amazing things to display on the stall and an all new RETRO FOOTBALL collage....
Done especially for the fair, local team CHARLTON ATHLETIC!!

Brand new collage of the Valiants! I'll do a proper blog introducing it very soon!!

I'm very pleased to also announce that I'm sharing a space alongside the brilliant ARCANE PUBLISHING. An independent publisher who also sell a gorgeous selection of vintage, rare and unusual second-hand books. So we will be having a TRIPLE stall there, WOW!!!

So come along to the CROOK LOG LEISURE CENTRE on 9th March for a vintage bonanza!!

Here are all the details...

Crook Log Leisure Centre,
Brampton Road,

Kick off is at 10am until 4pm and there is FREE parking!

Saturday, 1 March 2014


I'll be at the SOUTHEND VINTAGE AND RETRO FAIR tomorrow!!!

See you there for an amazing day... There will be over 50 vintage stalls, live music, DJs, dancing, hairdresser, classic cars and a fabulous vintage café!!!

On my stall will be an extravaganza of vintage tomfoolery. All sorts of frames, fridge magnets, cards and a brilliant stash of vintage magazines and comics!

I've also got a few Southend themed items, as I'm on home turf tomorrow!

So come on down for some vintage fun!

Here are the details...

The Chase Sports & Fitness Centre,
250 Prittlewell Chase,
SS0 0PR.

Kick off:  
10-30am until 4pm.

Southend United's Roots Hall ground is just up the road, so the perfect gift for a local Blues fan!

Fabulous 1960s Southend, available as a frame or fridge magnet!

Beach babes with some iconic buildings down Southend seafront.

Classic seaside song, especially as you'll be in Southend!