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Do you believe in ghosts? An April fool or is it?

Do you believe in ghosts? An April fool or is it?

‘ Do you believe in ghosts?’ An April fool or is it?

Since it is April 1st and, therefore, April Fool’s day, I thought I would regale you with my tale which poses the question Do you believe in ghosts? An April Fool or is it?

As a scientist, I considered myself a disbeliever for many years. Evidence can be tampered with, and there is usually an explanation for sightings of apparitions. That was until I visited ‘War Wheels’ at High Ercall, Shropshire (UK), in the 1990s, with my ‘other half’.

This was at an event held by the North Staffordshire Military Vehicle Trust where I even had a ride on a Alvis Stalwart. My other half managed to get a ride in the cab, however I was riding in the back, open to the air, and hanging on for dear life to the rail just behind the cab. It was an impressive ride through rough terrain and deep water. Himself was screeching with delight, me with terror, and the addition of lots of bruises on my ribs and arms where I was shaken like a stringed puppet against the rail!

 

Alvis Stalwart “Stolly”

 

High Ercall was a RAF and USAF airfield during WW2. In 1941/2, it was used by RAF fighter command 68, 254, 255 squadrons and 1456 flight. The United States Army 8th Air Force’s 309 Fighter Squadron was also stationed here. By 1943 it was used as a training base. Many of these brave souls were killed in action or in training accidents, and buried in military graves around the area.

Anyway, I digress….

I was stood near a stall in the corner of a hangar waiting for my husband to finish inspecting a Lancaster bomber radio on sale at the stall. We already had one at home, so I was getting slightly bored and started to people watch around the hangar.

Most people were dressed in 1990s clothes and were immersed in rummaging through boxes and stall table contents. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a pilot walking across the hangar perfectly dressed in WW2 uniform with a pair of military headphones around his neck.

WWII Military Unissued DLR style Bakelite Headphones/ Head Set/ Receiver
WWII Military Unissued DLR style Bakelite Headphones/ Head Set/ Receiver

 

I watched him for a few seconds stride across the hangar as if he were ready to take a flight. I noticed another lady, stood a few metres from me, looking at him too. We both smiled knowingly to one another and commented that the chap was taking it a bit far in dressing up in period costume, but perhaps he was a re-enactor.

Much later, (yawn!) I managed to drag my other half away to the NAAFI for a coffee and bacon sandwich, where I told him, bemused, about the chap the lady and I had seen. One of the event organisers overheard our conversation and told me I had seen the airfield ghost ‘Henry.’ I was flabbergasted, as the gentleman I saw, with sandy coloured hair under his cap, seemed real to me at the time!

Many years later, I found an article (02/01/2015) in the ‘Shropshire Star’ titled ‘There’s something about Henry in ghostly tale at old Telford air-base.’
 Mr Lloyd said: “Our churchyard is home to a number of military graves. At some particular time my wife, Pauline, worked at Motec restaurant and was to become manager. One day, a very scared young teenage motor apprentice went for his midday meal and revealed that he’d seen a ghost seated at the table in his room. He shouted: ‘Hey, who are you?’The apparition clad in World War Two flying garb disappeared.”

Mr Lloyd added: “Staff gave the spectre the friendly name ‘Henry’. Witnesses all said the same – that the ghostly presence had ginger hair.”

So is this an April Fool joke or do you believe I saw Henry? I think I do!

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What Is A Wall Pocket Vase?

SylvaC 320 Pottery Wall Pocket Vase With Pixies

What is a Wall Pocket Vase? An Introduction To Wall Pockets

What Is A Wall Pocket Vase?  Today, we probably think of them as a flat backed ceramic vase, which can be wall mounted and filled with flowers but they are much more versatile than this.

A wall pocket is not to be confused with a:

  • Wall sconce, which is effectively a wall light or a receptacle for holding a light e.g. candles or, these days, electrical wires.
Meissen Porcelain Wall Sconce
  • Wall plaque a thin, flat plate or tablet of metal or porcelain intended for use as ornament.
Art Deco Cope & Co Lady wall mask
Art Deco Cope & Co Lady wall mask/ plaque

Wall pockets date back many centuries to when they were made out of cloth or wood. In fact, they are an early form of storage for those things you wouldn’t want to lose if you hadn’t the luxury of a chest of drawers or cupboards!

Cloth pockets stored things like scissors, needles and thread. Prior to the 17th Century, wooden wall pockets became popular for holding pipes, spills, candles, matches and eating utensils. Even today, you will often see a mounted wooden candle box holder in a church or stately home. Some of these may be modern reproductions but there are many antiques out there too!

Wooden wall pocket for storing candles

It wasn’t until the 18th century that we first saw stylish porcelain wall pocket vases with the arrival of the potteries in UK and abroad.

Most of these early pottery wall pockets were just too expensive for many people but, during the industrial revolution, cheaper methods of making ceramics were introduced, and the popularity of these wonderful objects just exploded.

Most potteries and manufacturers produced a version of a wall pocket including:

  • UK potteries: too numerous to mention e.g. Bretby, Royal Worcester, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Grays, Crown Devon, SylvaC, Arthur Wood.

 

  • U.S.A e.g. Roseville, whom produced wall pockets in the form of art vases which are now highly prized.
Roseville ‘Foxglove’ Wall Pocket
  • Japan e.g Noritake.
  • Germany e.g. Meissen, Dresden

This lasted until about the 1960s when their popularity started to decline as fashions in homes changed. I blame the arrival of stores like Habitat with their range of more affordable, must have, home designs: only joking!

Wall pockets can be found in all sorts of shapes and sizes from people, characters from books, musical instruments, hats, clothing, shoes, household objects, animals, birds, houses, seashells, fantasy/ mythical/ biblical  creatures, flora and fauna. In fact, just about anything you can think of! Sizes can vary from small, 5-10cm (2-4 inches), to over 30cm (approx. 1 foot).

 

Manufacturers didn’t just stop at using ceramics either. Wall pockets were also made out of glass, wood, metal, cloth and plastic.

Vintage Pink Glass Wall Pocket

There are not many survivors from this era as they had a habit of falling off walls… Just look what was used to hang this Aldridge Easter Bonnet shaped Wall pocket!

Aldridge Pottery Wall Pocket Vase: hung up with electrical flex!

Prices for antique and vintage wall pockets vary from just a few pounds to 1000s of pounds for some of the rarest designs.

They had, and still have, a multitude of uses including displaying fresh and dried flowers, living plants, herbs, storing soap bars, pan scrubs, hair and tooth brushes, filing papers, and house keys. I even heard of one lady who bought a vintage mouse shaped pocket vase and kept her pet mouse in it. The mouse was able to run up and down the flocked wall paper to its house whenever he pleased…. Ugh!

Wall pockets are still made today and from all sorts of materials and called by a range of names e.g. wall planters, holders, racks but rarely pockets or even just vases. They include reproductions of vintage and antique wall pockets, sometimes using the original moulds, to glass test tubes, holding a single flower stem or herbs, with a suction cup to enable you to stick it on to a window.

In fact upcycling of old light bulbs and chemical glassware has led to a whole range of wonderful wall mounted vases and holders. Have a look on Etsy and Amazon if you need some ideas!

Love them or hate them, these versatile household items have been with us for centuries and are here to stay!

 

 

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Look Who Stole The Treats From The Dog’s Toy!

Look Who Stole The Treats From The Dog's Toy!

Look Who Stole The Treats From The Dog’s Toy!

Hi everyone! Couldn’t resist sharing the ‘Look Who Stole The Treats From The Dog’s Toy!’ video with you!

I know its not vintage and antiques related but our Devon Rex is part of Mullard Antiques and Collectibles so occasionally we have to let him show off! The main picture is him ‘helping’ in the Radio Shack…

He was actually given this Dog Toy by a good friend of ours, whose dog couldn’t work out how to use it. We showed our cat how to use it once, and the video is the result of his endeavours!

It just goes to show that a certain large UK pet store may have missed a trick in selling these just to dog owners. Cats and other animals would probably enjoy using it too!

 

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Merry Christmas

Hi Everyone!

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to you all!

I can’t believe that a year has almost been and gone. Doesn’t time fly?

Here at Mullard Antiques & Collectibles we are in the process of restocking our website with more vintage items ready for the New Year. We hope you will continue to visit us and read our blogs in 2017.

Look out for our new coupon scheme which will, periodically, give you extra discounts.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers and blog readers for their business and support this year. It has been much appreciated.

All the best for 2017!

Karen

pp. The Mullard Antiques & Collectibles team

 

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Latest Royal Mail Posting Dates for Christmas 2016

Latest Royal Mail Posting Dates For Christmas 2016

Latest Royal Mail Posting Dates for Christmas 2016!

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all keeping well?

I can’t believe how this year has flown by! Halloween and Bonfire Night have been and gone so here in the UK the next big holiday is Christmas! I know this isn’t quite the case everywhere in the World but my apologies for not listing all your special celebrations and holidays here, but I hope you all enjoy them anyway!

Since some of you are usually very well (or is it ill?) prepared for the vagaries of the postal system around the festive season, I thought I would share with you the latest Royal Mail Posting Dates For Christmas.

I have only shared with you the dates for the Royal Mail (under 2Kg weight category) International Tracked/ Signed, (as here at Mullard Antiques we don’t ship Internationally via surface mail), and UK Inland Services.

Items weighing over 2Kg, or of a larger dimension, are normally shipped via a courier. It is best to contact us prior to purchase, as the delivery times vary depending on the courier used.

Having shared this with you, I would add that some items will take longer to ship than indicated, as things can get held up in customs.

I’ll be in touch again soon!

Karen

Mullard Antiques and Collectibles

For more information on Latest Posting Dates For Christmas 2016, click on the following link http://www.royalmail.com/greetings

International Standard (formerly Airmail) and all International Tracking and Signature Services (formerly Airsure® and International Signed For®)

Saturday 3 December: Africa, Middle East
Wednesday 7 December: Cyprus, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Thursday 8 December: Caribbean, Central & South America
Saturday 10 December: Greece, Australia, New Zealand
Wednesday 14 December: Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Thursday 15 December: Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
Friday 16 December: Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
Saturday 17 December: Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

UK Inland Services
Tuesday 20 December: 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
Wednesday 21 December: 1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
Thursday 22 December: Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®
Friday 23 December: Special Delivery Saturday Guaranteed