To York for the Vintage Show – April 14

Alison and I went to a Vintage Fair at Victoria Baths in Manchester earlier this month and bought a few things for the house. If you live in the North West, it’s well worth a visit to look at the baths – the building won a Restoration project competition on BBC a few years ago and the interior looks spectacular.

The company who ran the Fair organise others throughout the country and we got an email reminding us that they were holding one at York Racecourse over the weekend of 26/27 April.

It seemed like a good idea to combine a trip to the Fair with a weekend away in Absinthe so, with the help of our friends Tony & Penny who live near York, we found a site in Naburn and drove over on Friday afternoon. It rained just about the whole way to York but had just about stopped as we arrived.


Millbridge Farm is a Caravan & Camping Club Certificated Site with basic facilities and an excellent location near the Trans Pennine Trail and the River Ouse.The owner, Andy, greeted us as we arrived which was just as well as I’d failed to write down the code for the lock on the gate to the site!

The site field was quite empty so we were able to pick our spot, next to the sheep and lamb field at the end of the site. We were due to meet Tony & Penny later in the local pub, the Blacksmiths Arms so we asked Andy for directions. It turns out he’s not a great fan of the pub, or more specifically, the Landlord and doesn’t drink in there at all. Instead he uses the bar at the local marina across the road. According to him, the landlord is rude and the food overpriced. Great, we thought, but as Tony had already booked we were committed to going.

Blacksmiths Arms, Naburn


This chap wasn’t in on the night we visited…

As it turned out, the pub was fine, the Landlord friendly and the food decent value, so we needn’t have worried. They also allowed dogs in the bar, so Boris was able to join us. In fact, it was like Crufts in there with so many other dogs. Unusually, Boz was on his best behaviour – no barking, no curled lip, no begging for food – despite some serious close contact with a Basset Hound and a Mastiff and their persistently over-friendly owner.

It was great to see Tony & Penny and to catch up on Brazilian Bay stuff – we’ll see them next at the Brazilian Bay Sleepover in Mollington.

Penny & Tony and their lovely Bay, Lily

Saturday started with rain and the forecast wasn’t much better for the rest of the day, so we had a lazy start, some breakfast and emerged for a walk about 11 am, by which time there was a hint of some brightness. We headed to the old railway line which is the route of the Trans Pennine Trail, and walked towards York. It was ideal for Boris as he could be off the lead and running (trotting?) free.

I hadn’t realised it when we booked but this is the partial route of the Sustrans White Rose route from Hull to Middlesbrough which I’d ridden before in 2003. In those days the path wasn’t tarmaced and by the time we got to York our bikes looked like they’d been covered in cement.

Pluto in 2003
The way to Pluto
Bent spokes as a result of the limestone path in 2003

The route is marked by the planets of our solar system showing their relative size and the distance between them. There’s a website showing the construction of the path in 1999 here: Cycle the Solar System

Saturn – 2014

We stopped at the Brunswick Organic Nursery for a coffee and a cake – fortunately, by then, it was warm enough to sit outside.

Coffee and cake at the garden centre – not sure what that expression is all about!
Brunswick Organic Nursery
The rail path crosses the River Ouse over Naburn bridge which has some great sculpture work on it by Pete Rogers. The Fisher of Dreams depicts an angler fishing in the Ouse whilst beside him (or her) a dog cocks its leg against his or her bike. A metaphor for life apparently…
Boris and the bridge



The Fisher of Dreams by Pete Rogers


Mrs B on Naburn bridge – not exactly Banksy is she?
The weather gradually cleared during the afternoon and we were able to sit outside in the sun when we got back to Absinthe.




Absinthe, Herdy and some of his Yorkshire cousins…
Any guesses what Boz is waiting for?
Hungry Schnauzer


Classic Schnauzer position – head in his bowl!
There were quite a few sheep and lambs in the next field – how do lambs, so full of energy, turn into sheep in later life?

Later on, we walked over to the York Marina which is just across the road. They stock food basics and have a boat chandlery, plus a decent cafe/restaurant.
York Marina
View from the Marina cafe

They also have a small Caravan Club site beside the river which is worth remembering if we come back to Naburn.

Saturday night was spent drinking wine and watching the first two episodes of Breaking Bad in the van. I’d bought the boxed set off Ebay so the plan is to watch the whole series over the summer.

Sunday was our day to go to the Festival of Vintage at York Racecourse. We were away from the site by 9.45 and at the Racecourse by 10.15 (having struggled to find the entrance…).

We found it at last…



There were some fantastic vehicle on display – I’ll have the Austin Healey please!


It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing…


Forward, back, forward, back, Rock Step…



Mrs B checking out the clothes


50s make overs were available





Photo courtesy of Laura Kate Bradley (Flickr)


Photo courtesy of Laura Kate Bradley (Flickr)


Photo courtesy of Laura Kate Bradley (Flickr)


Photo courtesy of Laura Kate Bradley (Flickr)


Photo courtesy of Laura Kate Bradley (Flickr)

Alison bought some clothes and I haggled over another Steamer Trunk  They wanted £75 but I wanted to pay £65! We eventually agreed on a compromise – £67. It needs a little bit of work but I know a crafty woman who’ll get involved…

New (old) Steamer Trunk

We left about 2pm and set off towards Harrogate, or so we thought – I’ve never known us have so much trouble getting out of any place as we had on Sunday and it’s not as if I’ve never been to York before! After a number of times circling back on ourselves, we eventually got on to the A59.

We stopped in Knaresborough on the way back for fish and chips and a potter round the shops but most of them were shut so we didn’t stay too long. All in all a good weekend in God’s Own County!

Things we’ve learnt:

  • It’s always further to York than we think
  • SatNavs can be a hindrance
  • Boris DOES know how to behave around other dogs
  • Maybe the sun doesn’t always shine in Yorkshire
  • One man’s fish is another man’s poison as far as pubs are concerned
  • There are still places in the UK where restaurants don’t take cards (Drakes Fish & Chips in Knaresborough for instance)
  • There’s not much that beats a meal and a few beers with friends
  • Nobody ever falls out whilst out on a walk (or is that just us?)

There’s a full set of photos here: Flickr

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