On our trip to Norfolk at the start of the year we headed off in a different direction than normal and headed across the county to Hingham. It’s more central Norfolk than the North Norfolk coast which we’re used to, and while it was nice and just as picturesque it didn’t really feel like Norfolk to us. To us it had more of a feeling of Suffolk, which we also like. But without the coast close by, it was strange how different it felt.
We stopped for a look around, and somehow found ourselves having a nose around an antique shop. In fact I think it was this peacock-like chair that drew us down the alley. There were a pair and I think MOH knew we were on dodgy ground. While we didn’t have his bike in the back of the car, it was in Norfolk and so getting them home would have been tricky.
That’s likely to have been the saving grace, which is a shame really as they’ve got a fantastic shape. It would have meant more cushion sewing again, and before that some fabric hunting, but it wasn’t to be. But aren’t they great?
And while we were in the courtyard, it seemed rude not to have a closer look.
Next up was the tree bench above. I’ve always wondered where you’d buy one, and now I know. None of our trees are suitable for such a beauty, as most are on the border and are snug up against the fence. But wouldn’t it be great to have a bench like this?
Heading inside, we did well to make it out without any purchases. Though I thought MOH might crack when faced with this display cabinet full of old tools.
And that’s even before we saw these brass spirit levels. I’ll admit I’m not sure I’d have put up much resistance to these. They’re stunning and show real craftsmanship, don’t they? It’s a shame that we’re so programmed to think of spirit levels as the plastic variety. While they’re functional and practical, I can’t see anyone coveting the more modern versions. Tools like these would encourage care and pride in the items they helped make, I’m sure.
Leaving the tools behind, we moved onto crockery. I was happy to dawdle and admire but MOH sensing a weak point was keen to chivvy me along as usual.
But that could have misfired, as we found ourselves poring over a table of antique tins. Recognising some and pondering others, I mean what on earth is desiccated soup? Maye, I don’t want to know…
Pretty tablecloths and crisp white linens were also worth a stop. Like the crockery, I could sort through piles and piles of these and leave with almost as many. My favourite here was the colourful, what looks to be, cross-stitched decorated tablecloth at the top of the picture. Such work, and for it to be discarded like this.
Upstairs we stumbled across a room of old machinery, of all types. An old runner bean slicer, and at least three old sewing machines. This was the most decorative one, again another world away from the modern day versions.
I’d forgotten just how much time you can easily lose in a well stocked antique shop…