Saturday 18 December 2010

Snow Update

Dairy House is closed today because of the heavy snow. Please check by phone (01747 853317)  before making your journey over the next few days.

Weather permitting, our hours of opening over the Christmas period will be as follows:

Sunday 19 December             OPEN
Monday 20 December            OPEN
Tuesday 21 December            OPEN
Wednesday 22 December       OPEN
Thursday 23 December           OPEN
Friday 24 December               CLOSED
Saturday 25 December           CLOSED
Sunday 26 December             CLOSED
Monday 27 December            CLOSED
Tuesday 28 December            OPEN
Wednesday 29 December       OPEN
Thursday 30 December           OPEN
Friday 31 December               OPEN
Saturday 1 January                 CLOSED
Sunday 2 January                   CLOSED
Monday 3 January                  CLOSED
Tuesday 4 January                  OPEN

 Best wishes to all our customers for a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Thursday 28 October 2010

Salisbury Life ...

Salisbury Life is a monthly glossy magazine which "does exactly what it says on the tin" - inasmuch as it gives an idea of what's going on in the area. We are 25 miles from Salisbury and are well within the catchment area of the magazine. As a result, Dairy House Antiques (and Hossack and Gray who display their goodies in our Cheese Room) has been advertising in the magazine over the last few months and we have been rewarded with a wonderful double-page spread: a well-written article surrounded by plenty of photographs.

I'm never sure whether certain advertising is going to work for us, but I've been thrilled with the number of new customers who have come in over the last 2 or 3 weeks and told me they came after reading the article and seeing our ads. I think this one has worked!!

If you'd like to view you can find  Salisbury Life here. Flip to pp 44 and 45 (maybe stopping off at p 26 to see the ad).

We also have an advertisement in The Lady this week (the issue with Ann Widdicombe and Anton du Bueke on the front cover! I wonder if we will gain any new customers from that one!

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Semley in Summer

Time has flown by here at Dairy House Antiques and blogposts have sadly been non-existent. Hopefully these photos will restore the balance!

These are just a few of the items we were selling in May


We have had a very busy few months and have acquired a number of new regular customers, as well as flurries of those passing through on holiday or business. Sales in May were an all-time record, much to the delight of all the dealers, and we are all keeping our fingers crossed that this trend will continue for the rest of the year.

Some pieces in the following photos are still available, some have been sold, but of course for every item sold a new piece is brought in, so stock is changing on an almost daily basis.

Needless to say, if you see anything of interest then by all means ask. It may still be available!

Of course, if you are wandering along the south of England during August, do remember that Dairy House is only 5 miles off the A303. We are open 7 days a week, although we will be closed on August Bank Holiday Monday. Approximate distances to other places are: Frome 19 miles; Shepton Mallet 30 miles; Bath 32 miles; Dorchester 34 miles; Bournemouth 35 miles; Andover 39 miles; Bristol and Ilminster 45 miles.

Enjoy the rest of summer!

Monday 12 April 2010

Textiles and Costume ... With a Little Help from My Friends ...

Well, what a day ... what an amazing day ... the weather I ordered back in November obliged, although a rather chilly wind got up in the afternoon ... but over all it was a day to remember.

This was the scene on Saturday afternoon, just prior to closing up for the day ...

... and this was the beautiful sunrise (through a rather dirty windscreen) as I set off along the A303 at 6.30 am!

Within minutes of my arrival, all the stallholders had arrived and there was a flurry of activity for the next 2 hours with trestle tables being erected, bunting tied as high as possible, and the inevitable bursts of chatter interspersed with quiet as everyone made their individual spots look as inviting as possible. (Not a difficult task considering all the fabulous items piling out of cars, bags, boxes, cases etc.)

Cars were moved, bollards put in place to avoid any nasty accidents, and people started to arrive. Soon after 9.00 am (advertised to start at 10.00!) the first customers were brandishing purses and wallets and plenty of squeals of delight were to be heard ... until I had to make the annoucement that gorgeous Guy, the man with the Silver Coffee Machine, wouldn't be coming. He phoned to say his van had died. Quite a serious death as it happened. He began to reverse out of his drive with his little van all beautifully washed and polished for the event, fully stocked with tea, coffee, chocolate and traybakes, and the engine cut out. In fact, the engine mounting collapsed and nothing can be done until a replacement has been delivered and, hopefully, he finds that there is no additional damage to the engine. Such a shame for him ... especially as he travels the local industrial estates and business parks 5 days a week.

Luckily Gillie (I think you all know of her by now) had already arrived to start preparing lunches for the stallholders, and she and Mr Washerwoman hot-footed it to Tescos for supplies so that we could still have our tea, coffee and cake. What a stalwart she is ... and before long another friend had arrived, simply to enjoy the event, but as I knew she and Gillie would get on exceedingly well (being of like-mind and quite mad), I introduced them and before I knew it Cathryn and Gillie were running the kitchen and keeping everyone supplied with drinks. About an hour later I was aware that another lady was dispensing coffees ... Cathryn had phoned one of her friends, asked her to bring plenty of trays and then, once Gill had arrived, coerced her into staying for most of the day as a 'runner'. What marvellous friends ... a real Dunkirk spirit, all mucking in together and ensuring that everyone was looked after. The day could so easily have been marred because of Guy's misfortune, but these 3 wonderful ladies were marvellous.

I took a lot of photos early on, before the crowds, and meant to take more later, hoping to give a real feel of the event.

Looking at them now I realise that I didn't take the photos I thought I had ... like the queues either side of the doorway with people trying to get both in and out; people elbowing their way through to get to other rooms within Dairy House; up to 10 people at a time looking through my drawers of fabric and Sally stuck up a stepladder fighting off customers, wondering if she would ever get out of her room alive ... Still, you get the picture, even if you can't physically see it!!

Maybe the photo of the cars parked up and down the road will give an indication of numbers. Bear in mind that these are the cars that couldn't get onto the estate to park. We shall know for another time to dress Mr Washerwoman in a hi-viz jacket for his own safety!

This is Justine, one of our regular Dairy House customers. She makes gorgeous bags, and often pops in to stock up with fabrics! Today she was in her element!

Here's Debbie! She's one of our dealers and she has the little room on the first floor where I began my Dairy House life nearly 5 years ago.

A mix of regular Dairy House customers and new faces deep in conversation on the top floor which Lizzie and I share.

Tamsyn spent the day with her buttons on the top floor, demonstrating how to make necklaces, hearts and lots of other goodies. Tamsyn has a lovely shop in Gillingham, just a few miles from Dairy House.

And finally Liz looking quite serious at this point. She did sterling work at the desk for most of the day, taking money, answering questions, being bombarded but, most of all, having a lovely time!!!

A few of us have discussed numbers, and we think that over the day we must have had between 500 and 700 visitors ... a fabulous response to all the advertising and promotion of the event. All the stallholders were busy for most of the day, with a slight breather a lunchtime to eat their ploughmans, recharge their batteries and tidy up their stalls ready for the second wave which came, without quite the frenzy of the morning rush, but with determination nevertheless.

Whilst we were planning the event I had visions of Dairy House full of customers to the extent that we could barely move, and thought how fabulous it would be if that really was the case ... and it was! It really was!! Visitors came from far and wide. I'm not sure who had the longest journey, but one travelled from Wales, one from Ramsgate, others from Totnes, Cornwall, the Midlands, Ludlow, Bournemouth, Sussex, London ... the list goes on. Many trade buyers came who hadn't been to Dairy House before and who, I'm pleased to say, are coming back when it's less crowded!! It was good to see that as well as the visiting sellers having a good day, a considerable amount of Dairy House furniture sold, too.

So here is the Oscar speech I prepared earlier to record my thanks for the rather larger than little help from My Friends ...

Thank you to everyone for making the day so successful. Thank you to the 'behind the scenes' Dairy House males who didn't feel they could cope with a shop full of ladies (I shall show them all the photos of men!) but who worked tirelessly clearing a space for Gillie to make lunch, shifting furniture, cleaning windows, fixing lights etc. Thank you to the Dairy House dealers who came on the day to sell and to assist with the normal Dairy House Sunday trade. Thank you to all the visiting dealers, all of whom I think of as friends who, despite their disappointment at not meeting Guy, were more than happy to accept mugs of tea and coffee from Gillie, Cathryn and Gill without complaint. I hope you all enjoyed the day as much as we did - judging by your comments I think you did. Thanks, too, to Mr Washerwoman, Mr Nostalgia and Mr EleganceMaison for your unstinting help on the day. Naturally a huge thank you from everyone involved to all those wonderful customers who made our day complete. And finally thanks to Mrs Washerwoman who helped me get the whole thing off the ground, and to my dear friends Gillie and Cathryn without whose help the day would have been nowhere near as relaxed and stress-free. If I've missed anyone it is simply because I'm still a wee bit tired, and I apologise. As soon as I remember you I shall edit this post!!

There WILL be another Vintage Textiles and Costume Day @ Dairy House. The provisional date is 26 September, but there will need to be a few tweaks to the arrangements for next time, so I shall put on my thinking cap, chat with the Dairy House dealers, and see what we can come up with.


Friday 26 March 2010

Vintage Textiles and Costume Day ... 11 April 2010 ...

The time has flown by since the first mention of our exciting new venture at Dairy House over 3 months ago.

Nearly all the postcards have been given out, advertisements have been placed in numerous publications, the bunting is made and  there appears to be quite a buzz in the world of vintage textiles. Customers are coming into Dairy House waving their cards, saying they'll be there on the day.
We have all fingers and toes crossed for a fine day so that all the visiting sellers will be happy under the veranda. If it rains the sellers will set up somewhere over the 3 floors of the building. Whatever the weather, several Dairy House dealers will be bringing in plenty of textiles and costume for you to browse through, which they'll be displaying within their areas. So, inside and out there will be plenty to see.

We 'kick off' at 10.00 am and will begin to flag at 4.00 pm. Normally all the other businesses on Semley Industrial Estate are closed, so there should be plenty of parking available. However, I would ask everyone to respect other business users (just in case) and park sensibly on both the Estate and Station Road - it's better to park on the opposide (railway) side of the road to avoid congestion. If the day is the success we feel it is going to be, we hope to make it a twice yearly event (provisional date for the next event is Sunday 26 September 2010), so obviously wish to keep all our neighbours happy!!

The above photos, taken from my files, are intended to give an indication of what will be available, and the items are not necessarily still available for sale.

For those in need of refreshment to aid the purchasing process, Guy and his Silver Coffee Machine will be on hand all day ... during the week he travels around the local business parks/industrial estates keeping us all amused and refreshed! He certainly sells the best cappuccino and hot chocolate ... and chocolate brownies ... and flapjacks ... and ... and ...

If lunch is required we will be happy to direct you to either The Beckford Arms or Pythouse Walled Garden. Both serve delicious food and are only a 10-15 minute drive away.

We're all getting very excited now and look forward to welcoming you all ...

Go here for details of who will be attending

If you're not sure where we are you can get directions from this Google map link, and should you need any further information please email me at I pick up my emails every evening.


Friday 12 March 2010

Mother's Day ...

I was hoping to offer plenty of Mother's Day gift ideas earlier this week, but sadly 90% of the photos were out of focus. Not my best efforts, obviously. However, I managed to salvage a few ...

There are, of course, plenty more gift ideas in the shop - I just haven't managed to show you them here!