Sunday, 4 November 2012

A very good vintage

It was my birthday on Friday, but I've been celebrating for about a week. The fun started last weekend when Mr Q and I ventured into Manchester for the Vintage Home Show at the Victoria Baths. The building itself is truly spectacular and is currently undergoing restoration to return it to its former glory. Highlights include scores of stained glass windows...

...beautifully tiled walls and floors...

wall tiles in the 1st class male entrance hall

floor mosaic in the 1st class male entrance hall

...and plenty of original fixtures and fittings...

changing cubicles in the 1st class male pool

1st class male (or gala) pool

There are three pools (1st class males, 2nd class males, and females) each with their own entrance hallways so that the clientele would not need to mix. The most opulent is definitely the 1st class males pool and entrance hall, with my favourite decorative feature the fishy mosaic floor.

The vintage fair was held in the 2nd class male pool and there were plenty of stalls to peruse.

Mr Q's favourite was a stall offering restored old-style telephones is full working order. I was pretty restrained - we have reached the point in our house renovation where we need to change carpets and paint walls so buying extra pieces of furniture, lights, crockery and the rest will probably have to wait a little while. I contented myself with a handful of vintage buttons and a cute tin.

However, the real highlight of the day came when we visited the cafe for a warming cuppa and shared our table with a couple in their eighties. The lady told us how she had swum at the pool as a teenager, and described what Manchester had been like when she was growing up. The gentleman made us laugh with his sharp sense of humour. After about an hour of chatting, we got up to leave and the gentleman took me to one side. Nodding towards a somewhat stubbled Mr Q, he said "I know he's a foreigner, but if you get a quiet moment, tell him it is possible to buy razors here!"

As for my actual birthday, I was at work on the day itself. By mid morning, a student had been sick on my feet (nerves at having to give a talk, apparently), but thankfully the day improved after that. The students sang happy birthday in my lab class and I received a couple of fantastic presents from my sister and mum. I feel very loved.


Stitched Together said...

What an incredible place. I'm not surprised you took lots of photos. I would have been happy to wander around even without the fair being there as an extra bonus. I'm glad you had a good birthday, it's always nice when you feel loved!

Kathy Niklewicz said...

You write such interesting accounts of the neat places you visit! Wonderful photos!

Happy birthday!

Quiltification said...

That's exactly how I felt - the building was amazing, and the vintage show a little extra treat.