Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Cashmere Diamonds

What Ho.....
I thought I would share with you a recent purchase and also tell you a little bit of the history behind the company and therefore my lovely vintage cashmere jumper.

Ballantyne Cashmere was founded in 1921 in a small Scottish town called Innerleithen in the Borders region

A prestigious and legendary brand which has always used natural fibres of the best possible quality, selecting its cashmere yarns in far-off regions of China and Inner Mongolia. Here, where the winters are very cold, goats protect themselves using their soft and warm fleece: cashmere.
The meticulous care that goes into the selection of raw materials has remained a hallmark of Ballantyne throughout its history.

Over the years, Ballantyne knitwear has been admired and worn by many famous celebrities. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, used to purchase an array of Ballantyne double-yarn Twin Sets in pastel colours from Berk in Madison Avenue every spring, which she later wore during long horse rides.

I love my little jumper it is so soft and snuggerly,  just right for these chilly winter / spring days.

And yes you can be sure that I will be keeping my eyes open for more jumpers, cardigan and twin sets by Ballantyne  of Peebles Cashmere knitwear.


Tuesday, 22 February 2011

1920's Harlem.... Vintage Dance Hall.

This months Swingaroo Vintage Dance Hall comes from 1920's Harlem... ........
well Preston to be honest.... never the less it promises to be a spiffing wizard of a evening.

  Sian and Julian Whilst the very talented Sian and Julian bring their experience and enthusiasm for Lindy Hop to the Swingaroo Vintage Dance Hall this month they will also be teaching a lesson in Lindy Hop and are confident that you'll love learning to Lindy Hop just as much as they do teaching it and have  a whole lot of fun in the process.

52 Skidoo........

1920's Harlem Swing band will be providing the music to dance to....

They are a three piece Harlem swing band that turnes back the clock playing dazzling sets of vintage American music.

Classic favourites such as.....  Ain't Misbehavin.......  The Joint Is Jumpin and Your Feet's Too Big all carefully woven in between well known hits such as Jeepers Creepers......  Dark town Strutter's Ball and I Ain't Got Nobody to create an authentic 1920 / 30s Harlem gin joint atmosphere.

So all you vintage lovers now is the time to check out your favourite vintage suite or dress as and purchase your tickets Swingaroo Tickets from Lancashire Tickets





Saturday, 19 February 2011

Secret Lives of Dresses.

Hi He Hi Lovers of Vintage.....

My sister brought me the book Secret Lives of Dresses for Christmas and I have been waiting for the opportunity to start reading it.
I was not entirely sure that it was going to be my cup of tea as I have tendency to read mainly factual, fashion, Autobiographies or Biographies, so yes to be honest it was with a little bit of trepidation that I opened and read the first few pages........
In side I discovered to my utter amazement  a captivating and enchanting novel for every girl who loves vintage clothing and knows that the right vintage dress can make her feel like a million pound and......... maybe....
maybe .........just maybe even change her life.
I also found that whilst reading the secret lives of dresses I began to look at each of the vintage dresses that I own in a new way, wondering what each one of their story or stories is......

What ever the story of any of my dresses I intend a whole new chapter / history for each and everyone of them.....
Together we have lots of places to go, people to see, champagne and Pimms to be drank....
Vintage cars to be driven, steam trains to be caught and Jives and Lindy hops to be danced.......

But most important I love and cherish each and everyone of my lovely vintage dresses.



Vintage Inspired.

What Ho..... and a tickerly pom. 

I thought I would share my very first attempt at doing my hair in Victory Rolls, I am quiet please at how it turned out and must admit that I cheated by using hair rats ( a cheat supplied by the lovely Betty Bee).

I decided to attempt them as Shady Ray & I go dancing on a Thursday.  


The Lilac Jumper (under cardigan) that I am wearing is hand knitted has short sleeves and a small turned down collar.
I purchased it from Dressing 4 Impressing
 I love this colour and very time I wear it I receive lovely complements and it is just right for dancing in

We had a really good evening,  danced with some talented dance partners, and had a  few giggles.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Three Little Misses.....

As a child I had a wonderful nan (Big Nan) who was either cooking, cleaning or knitting.
I found this photograph recently of my two older sisters and I .
I am the cute one in the middle, Tee Hee....  my sisters are wearing matching cardigans knitted by Big Nan with oodles of love,  looks as if my cardigan could have been shop brought.
Not sure how old we are I would guess I am about two and mysister Pam on the right of me is about six and Janet on my left is about eight or nine.

Childhoos was great......


Thornsby Hall Mystery and Ghosts .


Thornsby Hall is steeped in Mystery and Stories of Ghosts  

Shady Ray & I  jumped in the old jalopy and set of to Nottingham and our long awaited Country House weekend, with friends the 2 J's.    

I came down the stairs already to go and  was informed by himself, that Shady Ray ....... that the car was not quiet ready......

So while I was waiting I had this photo of me and my vintage Luggage taken, I just love this vanity case and suitcase, both still have original keys. 
The coat is a original 1940's very fitted around the waist and the trousers are from Heyday Originals.

This is the view of the front of the pile that we stayed in...... sweeping gravel drive... Porters to see to ones cases...  so grand... and old..... and Tickerty Boo.....

Thoresby Hall Hotel & Spa: Beautiful old hall, but very poor hotel not worthy of 4 star rating

Once settled into our room with patio we set about the schedule for the weekend, this grand old pile has so much on offer.....
Murder Mystery.

The Thornsby players performed an interactive Murder Mystery in the Grand Hall.

Murder Mystery   I really can not remember the last time I had such fun

It really was a matter of the taking part was the best bit not the winning, although there was a bottle of bubbly up for grabs.
At one stage I was laughing so much I am sure I missed the most important clue.....      Hey Ho......
and no we did not win or guess who done it......  I was inclined to say It was The Butler......
but Shady Ray said it could not be as it was he that was killed.........
but we did have a roaring time and several pimms........  Chin Chin.  
But if you really need to know .... drum roll.... it was Kate....... The Hussy ....  


I am attempting to show off the Tiger that is printed on the lower right leg of my nylons, I know  it looks as if I am trying to tout for business,
or stop a taxi, but I really am not.                         
I love the colour of this dress, I had to have it altered to fit and this was it's first outing.                                                    

Midnight Ghost Walk.
Ghost Walks     And Hautings........
Thornsby Hall is steeping in History of Ghost's, Hautings and thing that go BUMP in the night.....

The Midnight Ghost walk was there at the top of our list of things to book and take part in.
We gathered in the Library just before Midnight wrapped up against the cold of the night, the atmosphere was electric with anticipation, we were lead  huddled in a group carrying lanterns around the ground of the Hall as we were told in hush tones the many stories of wronged house maids, suicide and blood curdling murder.
We stopped occasionally to have more in depth stories of blood stains and duels.
The hour we spent on this ghostly tour flew in a blink of an eye and before we knew it we was back in the Library ordering hot chocolate with baby marsh mellows lashing of whipped cream and sprinkles of chocolate, coffee and various night caps.

Saturday morning we all  took the short walk to the Archery site, Shady Ray was in his element hiding behind trees and offering his black market goods from inside his overcoat to the good ladies and gents in the group.
Shady Ray tells me business was good, my archery on the other hand was dismal..

I managed to hit the target ones or twice, but on the whole my arrows landed in the grass in front and behind.the target...... at least I was constant ....    my highest score was wait for it .........13.  Ho Hum....
Richard Greene as Robin As a child Richard Green was my Hero and is in my opinion the one....  the only Robin Hood.....

And Saturday Night was all and more that Shady Ray, I & The 2 J's expected it to be.......

This dress that I am wearing is an original 1940's and it is one of the backbone items of my wardrobe, when ever I wear it I feel smart and comfortable.

Dominic Helpin & The Honey Bs.

Dominic Halpin and the Honey Bs are the swing band for you. With their vast repertoire, these boys will keep you entertained. They can keep the mood mellow with the smooth sound of Dominics unique voice, or pump up the sound for the party people. Whatever you require, this band will deliver... with style... imagine,

Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, Swing Jive Band
"Two shots of Italian Dean Martin croon, a slice of
Frank Sinatra swing, blend that together with a healthy
dash of good old Elvis ... Bang! you have it “
.....Waiter make mine a double.......rank Sinatra swing.....blend that together with a healthy
 dash of good old Elvis ...... and ......... Bang! you have
....  Waiter make mine a double    ….........
Shaken AND Stirred            Highly Recommended!

This weekend appeared to fly by and was totally Tickerty Boo with lashings and lashing of champagne, before I knew it it was time to repacked my lovely luggage and drive home in the old jalopy. 
Since arriving home I have as promised learnt (with the help from my son) how to up load photographs.... Woo Hoo....



Friday, 11 February 2011

A Country House Weekend is a calling... what ho..

I have spent the last few days frantically packing for a long awaited Country House Weekend.....

We are off that is my husband Shady Ray Spiv extraordinaire
and I  
to a country pile outside Nottingham with friends the 2 J's.  
  Oh so Jeeves & Wooster...... don't you think......

See full size image                 There is a Jazz band / group playing on Saturday night
                 so along with lashings of Champagne & Pimms there will
                 be some Lindy Hop & Jiving going on..... until the early 
                 hours of the morning....... Whoo Hoo .....

I will tell all upon my return and you never know I may .........   just may....  have worked out how to put photos on my blog.... Chin  Chin ....



Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Of Sky Rockets & Shoes.

What Ho Vintage Lovers..........

I am sure you will agree with me how hard it often is to find the correct shoes to complete a much thought out vintage outfit........ well........ Problem solved..........I am about to share a secret...........

Rocket Orginal have the most amazing shoes for both ladies and gents and other lovely stuff.
I loved the pair of cream sandals I brought from them last summer so much that I brought two pairs.

                   Lana   Lena                   Kate - Blue   Kate.                             

These are just two of the wonderful shoes they sell ...... You really must take a peek I am sure you will not be disappointed......

And it gets better the lovely people at Rocket Orginal now have a Blog........ Yip Pee....


Friday, 4 February 2011

Hey What A Day

I am unfortunately at the moment off sick from work due to on going back problems, this however has given me a chance to catch up on thing like..... em....well.... Internet shopping......

I really tried hard not to.... truly I did.... I lasted all of three days..... and then I only meant to look.... not buy....honest...truly... cross my heart....
If there had not been a sale I might not have been so tempted to buy all three pairs of trousers and the site to blame is Heyday! Vintage Style Clothing 

I already own several pairs of their wonderful trousers and I could not resist buying a pair in Duck egg blue, Beige and  white.Kitten von Mew showing off her 19402 ladies swing trousers These trousers are so comfortable and every time I wear a pair I always get complimented.

Heydays sells the most wonderful reproduction cloths and can also be found at many of the events through out the year  I brought my first pair of trousers from them at Goodwood Revival Weekend and it at these that you will get the chance to not only meet the lovely ladies that work for Heydays but also the lovely owner Shona  About yours truly

I can wait for my order to be delivered and if I every get the hang of posting photos I will show you how they fit and some of the other lovely items I have brought recently.


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The sinking of The Laconia & 4711 Cologne.

I like thousand of others I am sure watched with interest the BBC  two part dramatisation of the tragic sinking of SS Laconia by a German U Boat U – 156.   
The Laconia

The Laconia sailed from Cape Town in August 1942, carrying Italian prisoners of war, serviceman returning home and civilians.
Somewhere north of Ascencion Island in the South Atlantic, she was hit by torpedoes fired from U-156 at 8pm on 12 September. By 9.11pm the ship had sank, with many still on-board. Even those who survived faced grim prospects, as sharks were numerous in the tropical waters.
 However, shortly after the Laconia sank, the U-Boat surfaced unexpectedly. Remarkably, the U-boat then attempted to rescue survivors, something that was not official German policy at the time. When Werner Hartenstein, the Commander of U-156, realised that POW’s and civilians were on-board, he broadcast over the radio requesting assistance. Several more U-Boats arrived to assist in the rescue. Unfortunately a flight of US B-24 Liberator bombers was not aware of what was going on, and attacked the U-boats. The U-boats then dived, leading to more loss of life. In total, 3,254 people died. The commander of the German Navy, Admiral Karl Donitz, gave his infamous Laconia order, that in future U-boats were not to rescue survivors. This order was part of the case against Donitz at the Nuremberg war crime trials.

Whilst watching I noticed a German sub- marina offer one of the female survivors a bottle of 4711 Cologne in the original clock face style bottle.
This intrigued me so I went looking for answers and what did I find.....
Morven Christie as Laura Ferguson with Franka Potente as Hilda Smith, holding baby Ella

That the German Navy during World War II issued vast amounts of 4711 perfume to the submariners of the U-Boat fleet. As there were limited facilities and few opportunities for bathing the perfume would be used in an attempt to improve the odour aboard the vessel.  However the sailors typically didn't use much of the perfume and would take home bottles as presents for mothers, wives, or girlfriends.
I found that most interesting and never realised that 4711 Cologne was in fact at that time a German owned company.
Records show Napoleon used a bottle a day. The emperor is said to have had special boots in which he could stash a bottle of Farina cologne for dabbing on the go. Other regular customers of yester year, included Queen Victoria, Empress Maria Theresa, Mozart, Voltaire, Louis XV and XVI.
More recently Princess Diana and an alful lot of ladies from the late 1940's on wards .........

I have a  part filled bottle with rubber stopper from the mid 1950's which I treasure and takes pride of place on my dreessing table.

I still wear 4711 Cologne , it is now also done in a shower gel, so even us vintage gals can have the convince of shower.

Hope you have enjoyed my little piece of vintage related trivia.


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Born & Bred...

What Ho... and a Tidderly Pom....

I have been looking to see if there is anything of interest on at the theatre, one of the smaller ones preferably and I found this most interesting show.

Our Bessie...                    

Showing at The Liverpool Actors Studio. 7Th - 12th February 2011.

This promise to be one hell of a show, this lady appears to be quiet a forgotten and some what unsung hero of social reform........

Elizabeth Margaret Braddock was born in Liverpool to working class parents in1899 she was known as Bessie Braddock but mainly known as “Battling Bessie”.  

Growing up Bessie was exposed to the inequality and poverty of the city (Liverpool) from an early age.
Bessie's mother Mary Bamber “Ma” was committed to social reform and helping the poor of Liverpool.
Bessie recalls in her autobiography helping her mother on the soup lines in Liverpool.

I remember the faces of the unemployed when the soup ran out. I remember their dull eyes and their thin, blue lips. I remember blank, hopeless stares, day after day, week after week, all through the hard winter of 1906-7, when I was seven years old. I saw the unemployed all over Liverpool.        

Bessie became a councillor in 1930 for St Anne's ward and in 1945 she became presendent of the Liverpool Trades Council and the Labour Party .and was an ardent and feisty campaigner, her specialist interest included maternity, child welfare and youth crime.

During WWII Bessie worked as an ambulance assistant officer and she also fought for the fashion rights of larger women, with measurements of 50”, 40”, 50” she understood their struggle to find clothes. In 1959 she took part in a London fashion show for larger than average women.

She is also famous for the following disagreement that accured between herself and Winston Churchill.

See full size imageBraddock: " Winston, you are drunk, and what's more you are disgustingly drunk."............   
Churchill:" Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly..........
But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly."[
All in all she was one hell of a LADY... That Battling Bessie.....