Sunday, 22 September 2013

Thriftfest Darlington

I spotted an advert in Simply Handmade for the Festival of Thrift and knew immediately I wanted to go and it would appeal to my Mam and sister.  I've been keeping an eye on all the info on the website and signed up to the twitter feed.  Oh so exciting.  So this morning we bundled into the car and off we went.  As we pulled round the roads and into the car park Mam's face was beaming and she was pouring out happy memories from when she worked at Paton and Baldwins.

We were early but there were already loads of people there. There was so much to see and I really wish I'd booked onto some of the workshops, but even without them we spent three hours of heaven in glorious sunshine, wandering round all the stalls and displays.  Round one corner Mam went all misty eyed and told us about how, when they were courting, Dad used to meet her in his Merchant Navy uniform as she came out. She showed us the exact spot he used to stand, and I could see that she wasn't seeing it as it was today, but as it had been then. We all got a bit choked up because it was obviously such a moving thing for Mam.

As we walked round she pointed out where the gardens were and what they had looked like, and how shed been taken to the hospital wing once because she collapsed. Then we looked at some photos in the main building and she was telling the lady there which bit she had worked in and what it had been like.  It was a wonderful trip down memory lane.

Back to the festival and we visited the beehives where the bees were having a whale of a time with the amount of sugary treats on offer! There were apples being freshly pressed to make juice, garden plots that invited you to help yourself to the veggies.  I did collect some chickweed, milk thistle, and one of the maize flowers - all for the budgie's tea!  There were some great old bicycle wheels decorated with plastic flowers made from old bottles, furniture made from pallets ( which actually looked as if they'd be quite comfy with the addition of a couple of cushions). Then there were swap shops and vintage stalls, some amazing craft work, loads of activities for children, and a stage with live music.

Finally, we'd done so much walking that the munchies had started to attack.  What to choose? My sister and I decided a wrap would be nice (they looked scrummy), but Mam isn't normally into spicy food.  Surprising us both Mam decided to give it a go and loved it! So big success all round.

Well done to the organisers of Thriftfest. It was a great day. I'd love to go next year, but maybe as a stallholder next time.

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