I don't often feature events like vintage weekenders on this blog, mainly because I can never seem to get to them for one reason or other, or that they're usually comprehensively covered by others (who certainly seem to have a great time at them!). With The Barrelhouse Stomp, though, I just might make an exception - for reasons that will become apparent very shortly!
First of all, I simply haven't seen it widely advertised. If anything deserves greater exposure it is vintage events like this and it occurred to me who would enjoy them more than my fellow vintage bloggers?!
I only found out about it because it is local to me - by far and away the nearest one of these things has been to my location that I can remember. So one of my usual hurdles - logistics - is practically nullified. The place where it is being held has long been one of my favourite haunts (although I don't get over there as much as I would like to these days) and I think you can see why!
Situated in the charming rural hamlet of Battlesbridge on the River Crouch, the Battlesbridge Antiques Centre consists of more than eighty - yes, you read that correctly, 80 - antiques dealers spread over five buildings. What you see in the above picture is the Old Mill, now containing five storeys of antique goodness! Beyond that and slightly further down the road (to the left) there are four more buildings/complexes full of all the odds and ends you can imagine. Overall it is, according to the website, the largest antiques centre in the whole of Essex! (British readers may have seen it featured in past episodes of Antiques Road Trip). Less than one hour from London [Liverpool Street] by train, too!
There are a couple of cafes on site, as well as two public houses including the excellent The Hawk (which I can highly recommend), so there's no wanting for refreshment either.
Events such as classic car shows, autojumbles, rockabilly concerts and boat shows are held at Battlesbridge all year round, although it would be well worth visiting even without them. The Barrelhouse Stomp, however, looks to be one of the biggest I've seen yet and I have my fingers crossed that it will be a success.
As such I am seriously considering attending at least one day to see for myself. I know I've long been a terrible one for prevaricating - saying I might go to this, or see that, or whatever and then finding some excuse as to why I didn't go - and I apologise for that. Granted more recently the excuse has been the very real one of my health (or lack of it) and that will be my overriding concern on this occasion too. But assuming I'll be up to it - and can cobble together a vaguely '40s-looking outfit - this may be the one that breaks my duck. Oh, and the fact that it's the weekend nearest my 30th birthday ought to be added incentive as well, don't you think?
I'll post a reminder/update or two of this event nearer the time and - hopefully! - one reporting back on it as well. Any readers within striking distance who might be interested in attending I would be very glad to meet up with should I make it - maybe consider this an unofficial birthday party invitation!