The Beagles, the Mister and I took a stroll through the North Laines today, first stop: Upper Gardner Street Market.
Upper Gardner Street Market, 1970s
One of my favourite places to pick up a real bargain in Brighton. It's been running for over 100 years now, and a real treat for those early birds out there! However, I am not much of an early riser on Saturdays after a week of getting up at 6am, so we arrived about 2pm. Although the market is advertised as being from 7am-1pm, the traders usually only start packing up when the crowds thin out.
There's one stall I always head for: a lovely gent towards the beginning, who sells pieces of fur, including whole coats, scarves, collars and scraps. Most need a bit of tlc to get them back to their former glory, but for £5 a piece, how can you say no? I've bought 2 pieces previously, and they are always clean, moth free (I hate moths, they ate my angora Japanese 40's fusia wiggle dress...Bastards!), and smell lovely and fresh! I have had bad experiences with fur previously, and so now only buy with extreme caution. One piece I picked up from Lewes, at a costly £48, a gorgeous grey/black/white, fox fur cape/collar. It was couture, and a one off, including the paws as the closing clasp at the front. I instantly fell in love, and thought it was a decent price, and only an Inch of resewing to do.
I brought it home, and thought nothing of the fact the fur had moulted onto my coat...big mistake. About 2 months later, when it had started getting pretty cold, I fetched out my favourite knitted dress EVER. It was perfect, fitted like a glove. On it pops....wait, what's this? 50p sized holes? and...and....LARVAE?!?! The little buggers were having a feast on it. Ruined. Dry cleaners wouldn't touch it. I researched online, and found nothing that could repair the dress with the extent of the damage.
Anyway, enough on that. The war is still continuing, but I am happy to report no more damage found, other than 3 scarves, and a hat also munched on 3 months ago. I think I may finally be winning! Moral of the story: I traced the moths back to the fox fur after much scrutiny. I could actually pull clumps of hair out of the stole, revealing hundreds, if not thousands of eggs on the skin. Luckily old ones. In the bin he had to go : ( I actually couldnt bring myself to part with him, so I had to get the Mister to do the deed and take him out the house. Always check furs before buying! If it moults, leave it well alone. If it feels gritty, check if you can see anything close to skin. Also not a good sign.
Back to the point: this chap's furs are very well loved and a bit worn around the edges, but very well looked after too. I picked up the new member of the family today:
Also found some Dior Stockings for £3: