Sunday, 31 July 2011

I was going to talk about walking today, but then I found a treasure trove.

Yesterday we went for a wander around Hastings Old Town, which has many delights, if you can ignore the tacky seafront circus of penny arcades and amusements – which sounds very elitist but isn’t meant that way – it’s just an odd conflation of the very old, irregular and full of history, with the very new, jangly and full of loud excitements. The day trippers love it. However, the Old Town, which is the venue for the Jack In The Green celebrations I blogged about earlier this year, is also the place to find lost treasures. It is packed with little shops stocking all manner of mysterious things, old books, old paintings, Aunt Edna’s English Village Tapestry fire screen, the scraps and leavings of others' lives. There you can find embroideries that can be picked up for pence and might be “useful” for “something”. There I found this delightful set of table linen. I was looking for old, worn pieces that I could use in a new way – once I figure out how! However, these treasures will be kept for their original use, not translated or re purposed. I couldn’t bear to do anything to mark or damage such exquisite embroidery.

Even the back is masterful!
 I’m not sure whether they are the work of a very skilled “home” embroiderer or high quality commercial work. I am sure they’ve never been used or washed, the stitching is too undisturbed and the transfer lines are still visible – I’d guess they’ve been tucked away in a drawer waiting for a special occasion that never arrived, or were, perhaps a gift that didn’t fit the decor. No idea what period they are, but there are 8 napkins and one tray cloth. They will be “tucked away in a drawer”, but used, with pleasure, if the occasion arises – if I can bear to risk them …..
How much were they? An absurd £2.80!


  1. Hi

    Could I ask you to possibly correct the link in this post? The page you link to for "Hastings Old Town" moved some time ago. The correct link should be...

    Many thanks

    Geoff Wolfe

    1. Hi Geoff, all done. Many thanks for letting me know it was broken :-)