Shepton Giant Flea & Collectors Market, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

By Alice Roberton,
28th January 2014 - 15:08

Alice Roberton spends a day at one of the South West’s favourite vintiquing events

Despite the monsoon-style weather, which meant only a handful of the most daring traders set up shop outside, the inside of the aptly named Showering Pavilion was dry and open for business as usual at last Sunday’s Shepton Flea. The great mix on offer at this event draws a wonderfully diverse crowd of shoppers, stylists, dealers and collectors.

Regular visitors Alia Hamaoui and Lucy Mead braved the weather in their waterproofs in search of inspiration for an art project. ‘This beaten up old frame will be perfect and it only cost £12,’ said Lucy.

Flea organiser Katie Ede and art and antiques PR Duncan Phillips were delighted to have us at the fair. ‘We are also looking forward to welcoming Homes & Antiques back to the 25th Bath Decorative Antiques Fair on 6th-9th March, when we’ll be celebrating the fair’s silver jubilee year,’ Duncan said.

Richard Jones and son Matt, of Old Bottles & Postcards, had come up from Cornwall to trade for the day. Richard started digging for bottles when he was 12 and it is now his full-time occupation. ‘My team and I undertake some pretty big digs in our area to unearth painted stoneware, hot-water bottles, dispensary bottles and ointment pots. My vast collection, which is displayed throughout our house, has slightly taken over!’ said Richard.

Mother and daughter team Selina Isaac and Jackie Heath of Reliquairia are also passionate collectors. Many years ago they collected dolls and teddy bears but now their interest has turned to religious and iconic statues and relics. ‘We buy, collect, sell and swap with each other. In fact my mother has just decided she’s not letting this reliquary bottle go which I recently found in Belgium where I live,’ said Selina.

The ship in a bottle-style reliquary bottle (above) was charming and I was rather sorry it wasn’t available to buy!

I spotted Emma Hood buying a cosy blanket on the stand next to H&A and I had to ask her friend Tracey Sweeting what was inside her shopping bags. ‘I was given some TG Green Cornishware for Christmas and now want to build a bit of a collection so I am very pleased with my finds here today,’ she said.

Verna Kinder recently moved back to the UK from Portugal to be closer to her grandchildren and is busy homemaking. ‘I’ve moved into an old cottage and want a country theme running through so I thought some animal and bird paintings would be nice and this is a great start,’ she said.

Do come and see H&A at a fair near you for great magazine and subscription offers as well as lots of other tabletop treats. Here's where we'll be in the coming weeks...

February

Saturday 1st, 10am-5pm - Vintage & Very Nice Market Bazaar, The Assembly Rooms, North Street, Chichester, Sussex, PO19 1BY 

Saturday 8th, 10am-4pm - Birmingham Antiques & Vintage Bazaar, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA 

Saturday 15th, 9.45am-2.30pm - The Roxy Vintage & Handmade Fair, St Andrew’s Church House, Parson’s Pen, Church Road, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3RE

Sunday 16th, 11am-4pm - Antique & Collectable Fayre, Phoenix Community Centre, 66 Westow Street, Crystal Palace, SE19 3AF

Saturday 22nd, 10am-4.30pm - Tavistock Vintage & Textile Fair, Tavistock Town Hall, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 0AU

March

Saturday 1st, 10.30-3.30pm - Monica's Vintage Fair, St Johns School, Rochester Road, Gravesend, DA12 1DD

Saturday 1st (9am-7pm) & Sunday 2nd (10.30am-5pm) - MK Handmade & Vintage Extravaganza, The Centre MK (in front of John Lewis), Milton Keynes, MK9 3EP

Thursday 6th-Sunday 9th - (Thu 12-5pm, Fri, Sat & Sun 11am-5pm) - The 25th Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, The Pavilion, Bath, BA2 4EU

Saturday 8th, 9.30am-3.30pm - The Vintage Bazaar in Devizes, The Corn Exchange, Market Place, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1HS

Sunday 9th, 11am-4pm - Let's Do Vintage - In Springtime, St Mary's Art Centre, Sandwich, Kent, CT13 9HN 

Sunday 16th 11am - 4pm - Crystal Palace Antique & Collectors Fayre, Phoenix Centre, 66 Westow Street, London, SE19 3AF

Monday 24th, 10am–4pm - Vintage at the Village Hall, The Corn Exchange, Market Place, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7AD

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