Friday 29 November 2013

Timewarp fashion treasure trove discovered in Houghton-le-Spring house

Timewarp fashion treasure trove discovered in Houghton-le-Spring house

Ladies!  Get thee to Tyne & Wear next Saturday!!

You know how I sometimes half-jestingly, half-wistfully wish - along with most of you I imagine - that there was a warehouse or boarded-up mansion somewhere complete with sealed rooms full of vintage clothing from our preferred time period?  Well, here is an example of it come true!

A bittersweet example in many ways, as the story behind this "treasure trove" is a particularly poignant one.  Although the "widowed-at-a-young-age-never-remarried-lived-alone-hoarded-things-died-in-their-nineties-nobody-knew" story is not necessarily an uncommon one (but maybe its unusual nature attracts comment and makes it appear more commonplace, if you take my meaning?) there is always something particularly touching about it and this one is no exception.   Perhaps it is the thought of the lady's routine of travelling and returning home with new suitcases to be filled with the best dresses - stashed away and destined never to be worn - over a period spanning 70 years.  Yet if she was happy (although I do wonder about that - was this the sign of a life that felt unfulfilled from the early death of a husband?), taking annual holidays and living to a grand old age, then fair do's to her say I.


Now her collection can be someone else's gain (yours, perhaps?) as this immeasurable amount of vintage clothing - valued collectively at £100,000 - is set to be sold off next month by the lady's friends with the help of a local vintage shop owner.  If you want to make a note of the date, girls, it's the 7th December and the sale will be held, suitably - and no doubt interestingly - enough at the lady's house in Houghton-le-Spring (no address given, but doubtless contacting the shop - the oddly-named "Dregs of Society"(!) - would provide it).  Some of the really valuable pieces like the Victorian and Edwardian wedding gowns of the lady's mother and grandmother are earmarked for the local Beamish Museum, however, which seems only fair.

A remarkable discovery, then, of a life's legacy - a fantastic fashion timeline.  I'm sure you'll join me in echoing the thoughts of the best friend and her hope that all these items will find new owners to use and appreciate them - a positive aspect of wearing vintage that many of us have commented on in the past.  It all makes you wonder what else might be out there...


  1. Oh, I saw this in the paper. I would love to be able to go and have a rummage. I'm glad that some of it is going to the museum. Another place I want to go to someday, it looks fabulous and I'd want to move in!

  2. Wow, I wish they'd put more photos of the collection online before it gets broken up as it must be wonderful, and would be a really nice way to see what the lady's personal style had been.

  3. Wish I didn't already have plans for Saturday... So sad really, but I'm sure she's been reunited with her lost love now. Have to agree with your comment on the "oddly named" shop... Maybe we're just not "getting" it?

  4. I saw this too and thought it was very poignant. I hope the lady's dresses will be brought by people who will enjoy wearing them,


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