11 March 2008

Cheltenham Festival ... and a Textiles Auction

Well, this week is THE week of Cheltenham's year with the Cheltenham Festival taking place from Tuesday to Friday. Everyone remotely interested in horse racing has their eye on the sporting pages of the newspapers, and the really serious punters flock to Cheltenham on Monday, booking all the rooms in all the hotels and B&Bs until Saturday ... and all the prices are doubled.

Me? Well I decided I needed to attend a Textiles Auction in Cheltenham and tried to book overnight accommodation for Pauley and me so that I could take my time looking through all the Lots yesterday, we could have an evening away from home and treat it as a holiday, and then I could spend several happy hours in the saleroom today. Unbelievably there was a cancellation at one B&B and it was at that point (doh!) that I realised it was Cheltenham Festival Week. We were offered a room which was going to cost us 3 figures. But bless him ... Pauley said 'book it'. So I did. We rarely have holidays, so we decided we'd work on favourite uncle's maxim of one night away is equal to one week's holiday, 2 nights away equals a fortnight and so on ... So, we had a week's holiday yesterday and today, and had a great time!

Our B&B was taken over by the racing fraternity - 2 from Yorkshire, one from Blackpool, one from Darlington, one from Somerset and a few others who we didn't get to speak to. Last evening we sat in the sitting room/(honesty) bar with an amazing group of men gearing themselves up for a great week's racing. They couldn't believe we had gone to Cheltenham for anything other than the racing, but at least I was able to tell them that I once worked for the Clerk of the Course of Nottingham Racecourse. And we were able to throw in the odd comment about Arkle, Desert Orchid, and some jockeys' and trainers' names. Despite being quite inebriated after an evening 'on the town', they were charming ... and hilarious ... and we stayed up listening to their views on the going, racing form and the likely winners until nearly 1.00 am. We certainly crammed a week into last night, visiting all the above places through listening to their dialects. I became 'bonny lass' which made me smile, and Pauley was even 'bonny lad' once or twice. One of them was referred to as 'big man' and occasionally a Christian name was thrown in. I have to say that last evening was the best part of the 'holiday'.

I was successful on half a dozen Lots today, but missed out on several that I was keen on because prices went too high. There was a lot of vintage costume for sale and I saw a couple of dealers I knew. The early part of the sale consisted of the most amazing collection of WMF silver and glass art nouveau candlesticks, table centres, pin trays, inkwells, vases, coffee sets, claret jugs and so on. I have never seen so many pieces together and they were superb. I just wish I had a bottomless money pit to buy, buy, buy. Sadly, I don't, and so I just watched with envy as bids rolled in and items sold.

So, after a very blowy journey down the M5 this afternoon, we're back home and the sitting room floor is once again littered with doylies, lace, napkins and all things vintage. I'll hopefully take some photos of the sweetheart pincushion and the pincushion shell box tomorrow once I've had a good night's sleep and my energy is restored!!


LiLi M. said...

I love your story about the horse race fanatics. Good to hear that you had such a wonderful time and that you have bought nice things, not everything you wanted, but we say you always need something to wish for. I cannot wait to see the pictures!

Lucy Bloom said...

Oh gosh, I can't think of anything more wonderful, I think I'd have swooned had I been there. Glad you managed to get lots of goodies, even though some got away, how frustrating. I really think you need to show a pic of your living room floor! (tee-hee)
Lucy x

Ex-Shammickite said...

I just left a comment about your lovely ginger cat!
I hear the West Country is having some ghastly weather, hope you're not affected too much!

Nonnie said...

Sounds like a great night away. I'm longing for a night or two away myself. Now I have someone to go with better get something booked! Mum has race-goers staying with her this week although obviously they've been disappointed today with the days racing being cancelled due to the weather. Mum has sent them off Cotswold site seeing instead!

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Sue,
I'm glad that you had such a fun 'holiday'!
Just as well that the auction wasn't today - just think of all those race-goers with no races to watch due to bad weather - they may have all decided to go to a textile auction instead and then there would have been even more competition for those lots! hehe!
Enjoy your ironing!

anne bebbington said...

Cheltenham metamorphs into a whole different place during Gold Cup week - probably mainly due to the influx of so many Irish with their sociable ways - not surprised you had to pay through the nose for the accommodation - everything stops for the Festival that week

cd&m said...

I can hardly believe that anthing other than the racing would be going on in Cheltenham this week. Sounds like you had a wonderful time and you certainly got your weeks worth!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Looking forward to seeing your lovely treasure! I have dreams of treasure hunts in England... last time we visited there I passed every opporunity up (wasn't into "vintage" then - WHAT was I THINKING!!!) lol =)

Gerald said...

Hello Bonny Lass :)
Amazing how a couple of nights away can make all the difference. So glad you met up with such good company and had a lovely time. Hope you've been keeping well- haven't been visiting in ages.
bests for the now
Now wouldn't we all love 'a bottomless money pit'! :)

HORIZON said...

oops- sorry l signed in with my husbands site above- gerald is really Horizon-lol
hope l didn't scare you :)

SylvieDee.com - Women's Accessories and Vintage Home Goods said...

I believe that whatever that is vintage has a larger amount when its comes to prices. The story was wonderful although you wasn't able to buy everything.