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A New Era

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Vintage trader Karen Stuckey took over the running of Wanstead Vintage fairs earlier this year. Although her first event in May was a victim of lockdown, the new Wanstead Vintage era starts now

Hasn’t lockdown been so difficult for everyone? What would have been my first Wanstead Vintage event in May, after taking over the fairs at the beginning of the year, had to be cancelled due to the current pandemic. However, I am delighted to say we will finally be open for business again this month. It is a really exciting year for us as it is our 10th anniversary as well. 

I first became interested in vintage over 10 years ago. I had just come out of the City after working as a training manager for JP Morgan for 15 years. I wanted a change of career, away from the corporate world. Whilst walking around Loughton, I came across Boningtons, the auctioneers. I went to their next viewing and auction and found it really exciting, so the following day I took my CV into their offices.  My timing was perfect and I started as office manager the following week!

I worked at Boningtons for five years and learnt so much. I will always remember doing the internet bidding on one particular lot which achieved just shy of £30,000! It was so exciting, the room erupted with applause when the hammer went down.

Working in an auction house really piqued my interest in vintage items and I started buying and selling myself. Of course, I got to the stage where I was running out of room at home as I was buying far more than I was selling, so I decided to attend vintage fairs. I now also have a space where I sell at Crews Hill Vintage Emporium in Enfield. This is rather nice because it gives me a base and has meant I have met more fellow traders.

It is now more important than ever to repair, reuse and recycle. The damage we have already inflicted on the planet is obvious to see and we can’t wait any longer to address it. Buying pre-loved is the way forward. It has all the excitement of a new purchase with the added bonus of helping the planet and knowing you’re recycling.

I was delighted to take over Wanstead Vintage this year – it was the perfect fit for me. I knew a number of the regular stallholders and my best asset is organising. We are really fortunate to hold these fairs in Wanstead United Reformed Church, a beautiful Grade II listed, recently refurbished building, which is incredibly light and airy with the sun streaming through the huge colourful stained glass windows. The church has two halls, which we fill with an array of stallholders, some of whom have been with us since 2010. They will be selling, as they always do, a huge variety of genuine vintage items: homewares, jewellery, handbags, posters, textiles, vinyl and books to name a few – everything you need for your home and wardrobe.

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