20160328 Coleford 4With one of our regular local record hops at Smokey Joe’s in the diary, and getting ready to host some old friends from the rock’n’roll scene to join us, we stayed local this Easter, and benefited from it with some unexpected finds.

With the gang installed, we mimg589ade our usual tour of Tewkesbury’s antique and vintage outlets, including the excellent Break vintage charity shop and Tewkesbury Antiques Market. In search for a glass lemon squeezer to replace one that had recently had an accident, we at least had something specific to look for, but inevitably found lots of other things instead. Break had in a fantastic stock of complete Typhoo Tea Card albums that had obviously come from the home of an avid and very organized tea img593drinker. Amongst the familiar books was a much earlier Travel Through the Ages set dating back to the beginning of the 60s with some lovely graphics which I had to have. As ever, the Antiques Market had all sorts of tempting items tucked away in its packed corners, but we limited ourselves to a couple of additions to Mrs M’s little collection of Tom and Jerry cars from the Corgi Juniors range (I love it when she buys model cars as it lets me sneak a few of mine out on display to keep them company).

img590Come Sunday, and a night of beer, cake, and loud rock’n’roll at Smokey Joe’s in Cheltenham left us all feeling our age (even the eleven year-old amongst us!) so, having waved farewell to guests, we went in search of some period plants for the MidCentury villa’s garden (this isn’t about to turn into a gardening blog, so I’ll not bore you with detail) and on our way back through Cheltenham stopped off at the Cheltenham Market, a new vintage and antiques emporium on the outskirts of town at the top of the Bath Road which often plays host to interesting pop-up outlets img591 - Copy(details are on their website). We were about to leave empty handed when Mrs M pointed out a nice little book titled ‘Know Your Airliners’, full of colourful paintings of classic post-War airliners in the liveries of the period. That in itself was enough to tempt me, but the excitement came when I spotted the ‘Cross’ signature at the bottom of every picture – that’ll be Roy Cross, who painted the vast majority of the iconic Airfix boxtop illustrations of the 1960s and so fuelled the aircraft recognition skills of a generation of small (and not-so-small) boys. Needless to say, that little book is now in my pile of Airfix-related ephemera.

IMG00090About to head for home, a shop sign across the road caught our eye. ‘The record shop’ – some ironic reference, surely. There couldn’t be a record shop tucked away here, could there – and not one open on an Easter Sunday afternoon? Well, there is, and it was, and it’s great. Although modelled on the classic inner city record shop, this one is slightly unusual in a number of ways – for one thing, it’s clean! It’s also extremely well-stocked, well-organised and very fairly priced. While, I was pulling a stack of classic originals from boxes neatly sorted by label, mostly at a couple of quid a go, Mrs M’s unerring record collector eye spotted a nice Tune Rockers single on Pet, a minor US label, still at a very good price. A visit to the shop’s well-crafted website reveals that this is a shop run by a team of genuine vinyl addicts, sourcing stock judiciously but catering for a wide variety of tastes. I suspect we’ll be paying them a visit on a regular basis, particularly as their opening hours make it the ideal treat for a weekend afternoon.

20160328 Coleford 1And so to Easter Monday, and fortunately Storm Katie had passed through overnight which allowed us to head off to the Coleford Carnival of Transport, in the heart of the Forest of Dean. It’s a great idea for a classic vehicle rally – rather than put it in a field on the outskirts of the town, put the rally in the heart of the town. Much less weather dependent, much more variety for the less dedicated petrol heads, and allows classic vehicles to be seen in the milieu for which they were designed which, in the case of an old market town like Coleford, is particularly apt. Even with a reduced attendance thanks to the weather, there were too many noteworthy vehicles to list, but the highlight of the day was spotting a tabacconists with a very original frontage – just the place to park a 1950s Rover 90. Lots of stalls, too – both autojumble and more general – and Mrs M and I came home clutching a lovely 1930s deco Dinky racing car and a dead stock BMC Owners Club badge respectively. The Carnival of Transport is an annual Easter Monday event, and well worth a visit if you’re within reach; details of past and future events are on their website.