Brian Jenkins, Concierge at The Midland in Morecambe, is always in demand for his interesting and insightful tours of the hotel.
Guests from all over the world with an interest in architecture and history visit The Midland and Brian is happy to be in a position to enhance the guest’s experience by furnishing them with details of the original design and architect, Oliver Hill, the restoration, artwork by Eric Gill, Marion Dorn and Eric Ravilious as well as anecdotes of life in the hotel past and present.
The vintage buzz can be felt in Morecambe and I’m more than a bit excited to be in the middle of it. After harping on about all things vintage and being told my living room looks like it belongs to an old lady, it’s with a hint of ‘I told you so’ that I welcome you all and wonder what took you so long?!
Vintage by the Sea is set to take place at the fabulous Midland Hotel on Saturday 14th September and we’re in full swing ready for the masses to descend on Morecambe. Being Morecambe born and bred though I feel I should let you in on a few secrets and silence the cynics that think there is nothing to do here. Morecambe is a gem of second hand and antique shops, some that have been in the town for years. Being a kind soul, I’ll let you in on a few of the places you must go when you visit the seaside.
Old Pier Bookshop
Firstly I have to mention The Old Pier Bookshop on Morecambe promenade. Many a rainy day off (and one first date) have been spent in this shop.
This shop is a maze of great books that you can spend hours looking through. You do need to have a good look but luckily the owner knows where everything is so just ask if you don’t fancy a rummage!
Enjoy an afternoon in here and see if you can spot the stuffed seagull!
Secondly (and I’m not biased at all) is my Mum’s vintage shop, Dotty’s Vintage.
Dotty’s came about from a collection gone mad and after much persuasion from me and my sister to open a shop so people could come and enjoy the many beautiful things my mum had picked up over the years.
You can feel the passion for vintage when you come in the shop, not just because some of the pieces are so loved, some are only shown to visitors over a cup of tea and never sold! This sparked the idea for ‘Tea by the Sea’ which is a vintage styled tea room which was opened alongside the shop. Now even more people visit having tea and are shown some of the many treasures in Dotty’s.
Pop in for original garments from the 20s onwards or even if you just love vintage and want a cup of tea and a chat!
Dotty’s Vintage are curating the Vintage Marketplace for Vintage by the Sea so expect quality vintage items and the loveliest of traders!
The Vintage West End
Now this isn’t necessarily one shop but rather an area of Morecambe that people might neglect.
Morecambe’s West End has many second hand shops, some of which sell retro and vintage garments but I find it is a great place to pick up second hand furniture.
For anyone in to up cycling, you can pick up furniture from around five pounds so there’s no excuse not to experiment! My tip would be to make sure you have a good wander round the side streets to find a little shop selling china and another selling military collectibles.
Northern Relics is a couple of minutes walk from The Midland and packed full of antiques.
If you’re looking to splash out on something then this holds the largest selection of antiques in Morecambe. You’ll spot this usually by the large giraffes outside!
I think that should be more than enough to keep any vintage lover busy during a day in Morecambe. That is if you manage to leave the hotel with all of the things going on at Vintage by the Sea!
Over the last few months the team at The Midland and Vintage have been working hard to bring a day of Vintage by the Sea as part of The Midland Hotel’s 80th Birthday Celebrations.
We will transform the hotel and surrounding landscape for a celebration of music, fashion, film, art, dance, food and design from those halcyon days when the Midland Hotel opened in 1933.
With so much happening on Saturday 14th September 2013, we have put together the below list to highlight some of the fantastic special events and attractions we have prepared for the special day. If you are planning on visiting the festival don’t forget to share your photos and messages on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #VintageByTheSea as we will be sharing some of the best messages throughout the event.