Places to Visit

Good Grief – It’s Charlie Brown in London

When the news broke of Charles Schulz’ retirement from cartooning in 1999, followed by his death the previous year, a little bit of my childhood died with him. Admittedly, I’d not read a Peanuts cartoon for a long time, and the ubiquitous application of the Snoopy motif to anything and everything in the late […]

Living With Buildings at the Wellcome Collection

Having indulged ourselves in the clothing of the 1930s, the next stop on our post-Xmas whistlestop tour of current exhibitions took us up to the Euston Road and the Wellcome Collection where the galleries are always guaranteed to set you thinking and where the underlying medical theme can produce a surprisingly diverse range of […]

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    Typewriters, Radios, Cameras – and they all work! Nirvana in Exeter

Typewriters, Radios, Cameras – and they all work! Nirvana in Exeter

After a week touring south Devon, from Exeter as far down as Plymouth, it would be easy to fill an article with a blow by blow account of the antiques, vintage and collectibles shops we found and the purchases we did or didn’t make in each but, frankly, you could get the former from […]

The Museum of Brands – A Collector’s Masterpiece

For those of us with an abiding love of design from the mid 20th Century, it’s a swift journey from the headline items like movie posters, classic magazine adverts and record covers to the minutiae of everyday life. But even for those less obsessive, who can honestly claim that they’ve not hung onto some […]

Under the Biggish Top, the Circus is Alive and Well!

Frankly, until very recently, if you’d talked to me about the circus, I’ve have put it firmly in that element of the vintage scene that exists only now in memories and old photos. The days of large, wild animals being carted around the country for our amusement have long gone, along with (thankfully) those […]

MidCentury Cruising at the V&A

Occasionally, one visits a ticketed exhibition and finds oneself wondering just what you’re paying for in comparison with others that are equally interesting but free – especially when it’s in a venue where most of the exhibits are free. Well, that’s definitely not the case with the Ocean Liners: Speed and Style event at […]

Rhythm & Reaction – the Age of Jazz in Britain

I thought I knew the buildings along the Embankment pretty well, but there are a few that had made me wonder what might go on inside, so it was with a double sense of intrigue that we found ourselves pointed towards an exhibition going by the title of ‘the Age of Jazz in Britain’ […]

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    Don’t Call Me Shop-a-Billy! (But there is a lot of good stuff to buy at the Rave…)

Don’t Call Me Shop-a-Billy! (But there is a lot of good stuff to buy at the Rave…)

Usually, our shopping at the Rockabilly Rave is something squeezed in between the important bits – catching up with friends, dancing and listening to great music live and on record. This year we were lucky enough to get down on the Thursday evening, giving us all of Friday to take in the stalls in […]

Aliens and Galaxies in the Barbican

In some respects, it’s hard to reconcile an interest in science fiction with a fascination with the past. Surely, the one should contradict the other? But for me the heyday of SciFi was the first half of the 20th Century, when enough had been discovered to open up the possibilities of what the future […]

Plywood, Yes Plywood – the MidCentury Material

Plywood. He’s writing about plywood. And he’s been to an exhibition about plywood. Surely this must be the point that the MidCentury Chap enters the anoraknosphere. But what a fantastic midcentury material plywood is, and what a superb collection of delectable midcentury goodies can be brought together to celebrate its role in 20th Century […]