Tuesday, 6 July 2010

A Vintage Holiday

We spent last week on holiday in North Somerset and based ourselves in the coastal village of Blue Anchor, which is also a station on the West Somerset Railway. This is one of my favourite steam railways, so we took a couple of trips stopping off for elevenses at some of the picturesque stations; this gave me ample opportunity to indulge in my love of enamel signs.

Remember square cornets and ice cream bricks?

 This must be the most charming setting ever for a corn plaster advertisment.

Williton station is a real step back in time with the waiting room painted in a lovely eau de nil with brown glossed woodwork, complete with ubiquitous aspidistra; even original newspapers dating from the mid 1940s were placed on the table adding to the atmosphere. It was all very Brief Encounter!

A trip to the 'Ladies' was just as interesting for the brass door lock and sign, and also for the impressive 'Simplicitas' throne.

 I don't think this collection of signs could have made the point any clearer!

As I love small quirky museums and collections of all sorts of paraphenalia, a visit to the Williton Bakelite Museum was on our list of sights. The chap who owns the museum has filled an old mill literally to the rafters with his amazing collection of all things bakelite. In fact, everything you could think of such as radios, household objects and toys to the unbelievable: i.e. a full-size coffin! The photos below show only a tiny fraction of his collection, so if you're ever in the area I would recommend paying the museum a visit.

Although on holiday, I couldn't resist popping into the odd charity shop here and there; this diligence was rewarded by the utility ware that I found in both Watchet and Minehead. I brought a dinky Beryl Ware milk jug, a Grindley's Lupin Petal tureen and ten assorted Meakin Rosa Sol plates - all I have to do now is find cupboard space.

All in all, we had a wonderful family holiday with Monkeychild having fun making new friends and playing on the beach. The weather was hot and sunny, which gave me the chance to wear my 1950s swimsuit; however I won't be posting any of those photos, so you'll have to make do with my daughter's sand-mermaid instead!


  1. Fabulous pics. Love the signs, and that museum looks brilliantly potty. Love your charity shop finds. Oh and the mermaid. That's about everything then! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Not sure what happened with my previous comment. Just wanted to say that my boys loved the West Somerset Railway when they were little! xx

  3. Looks like you had a lovely time, the ice cream sign is just gorgeous!!
    Tamzin X

  4. Thanks for your comments everyone :-)

    I had to restrain my self with the number of photos that I posted above as I spent the holiday clicking away quite merrily!

  5. Yes, lovely evocative pics. And incidentally I saw a Rupert Bear knitting pattern on Sunday.

  6. I love steam trains but even though I live in Somerset, I have not been on that line yet! I too love those old signs. The museum looks really interesting!
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  7. I have just found your lovely blog. And you visited a place not very far from me, that I recognised without reading anything. Patrick's Bakelite Museum at Williton. Did you also go to Tropicaria? There is a room there which houses vintage radios.
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  8. Mr.A, Wartime Housewife, Isabelle & Julie, thanks for all your great comments. The railway is very evocative and a real labour of love for all those who run it. I could quite happily ride up on and down on it all day clicking away with the kniting needles.

    Julie - yes we did go to Tropicaria, its the second time we've been. I love visiting it not just for the radios, but also for the chance to handle a python. I find it so relaxing holding them and am always surprised how heavy they are.


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