Friday, June 27, 2008

Today we visited Lancaster's slightly famous GB Antiques Centre - it got on the international news a few years ago when a bull from the abbatoir next door broke in and ran around a bit - literally a bull in a China shop.

We used to go there a lot before we moved to Bristol. In fact, my fella got most of his furniture from there in the early 1990s. However, I suspect that these days, a lot of the good stuff gets put straight to ebay. Here's a selection of some of what I saw:

This brings back memories. We had a bottle garden just like this in the 1970s. I suppose it was a good thing to have if there were small children around. You don't see them so much nowadays - I wonder why?

My grandmother had a doll like this on top of the toilet cistern. It was a fancy way of hiding your toilet rolls. I wonder if anyone ever told them though that it was probably more embarrassing to have a tacky doll on top of your toilet. Ah - the working-classes and their odd ways.

My fella was looking for Wedgewood (it's his latest thing), but bemoaned that there was just "repetitive tat" everywhere instead. I quite liked these though. I could imagine them belonging to a big happy Asian family in the 1970s - perhaps before some terrible tragedy befell them and all their furniture ended up in a job-lot.

Would you like to own a Sinclair C5? Then come to GB Antiques. This costs £700 and has been here for years. I always visit hoping that someone will have bought it - but like an old friend who nobody else likes much, it is always there to greet me.

File this under "things I would have in my house if my fella let me".

Same again. In my mind's eye I have a room which has lots of Tretchikoff pictures, lava lamps, orange chairs and possibly racist statues of "native" people. And this whicker minibar. I would serve blue cocktails from behind it and play "Mambo" on an old record player in the corner. Then everyone would dance. And talk about Foucault. Would you like to come to my party?

One word: fugly. Do they believe anyone would ever buy these? Even as a joke? I suppose if there was someone at work who you had despised for years and they were leaving, you could get them it as a present. But really! What were they thinking?

The whole visit was a rather maudlin experience. You pass stall after stall of tat - stuff from "house clearances" after some working-class nanna went into hospital and died shortly afterwards, and the relatives salvaged the nice barometer for themselves or grand-dad's war medals - anything that might fetch a "few bob". The sad thing is, that nanna would have had a lot of this stuff on display in a glass cabinet thing, or would have spent a good proportion of her life dusting it down every Sunday. And for what? To end up in a graveyard of 20th century working class rubbish... Your stuff does not complete you. It doesn't.


KAZ said...

I'm disillusioned now Lubin - I always thought you lived surrounded by 'lots of Tretchikoff pictures, lava lamps, orange chairs etc.'

Thing is - this style usually looks better in the interior mags.

I'll be putting mine on ebay soon.

Sparky said...

I would come to your party, obviously. With albums of Polynesion-themed pop covers and a tray of devilled eggs.