Sophia is Backstage! at the Vintage and Handmade Fair

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Words and Image by Sophia Moseley

I met a retired prison officer, a therapist who works with brain injuries and an ME sufferer.

Such was the fascinating background of the stallholders who fashioned the Marine Theatre Vintage & Handmade Fair on Sunday.

Trudi Colley lives nearby and works with brain injury clients in Honiton and Axminster, but she has a lifetime of crafting interest,

“I worked at the Milton Keynes Bowl organising craft fairs so have a pretty good idea how it all comes together”.

With a collection of leather accessories, jewellery and children’s name plaques, Trudi has been creating her range for many years and is always looking to add a new skill to her portfolio,

“I don’t go on holidays, whilst everyone else goes to sunny Spain, I go on craft courses and my next one is on bronze casting and mould making.”

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 Which is when I met her colleague and friend Gillian Beckman-Findlay from Budleigh Salterton who has been crafting for six years,

“I developed ME and was feeling pretty depressed but Trudi bullied me into going to a craft hotel where we made wood plaques. I absolutely loved it and never looked back.”

Having worked as a payroll and accounts manager, Gillian crafts part-time and encourages anyone else to take it up,

“If anyone says they don’t know what to make, I can give them a long list. It’s very therapeutic and Trudi and I are going to craft all day tomorrow!”

And talking of therapy, how about ‘Get Felt’? No, not a Freudian slip but the saucily named business set up by Barbara Stanley and Nick Gomer from Weymouth.

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Barbara and Nick are also musicians playing in the ‘Skint Imperials’ and after her retirement from the prison service, Barbara wanted to do something new,

“I teach crochet and really enjoy creating things”

With her warm waterproof felt hats and crocheted light jar covers I wondered where she gets her inspiration,

“God knows, the ideas just come. My hats evolve, this one started off as a bowler but it became a vintage hat with a brim”

With that philosophy being echoed by everyone; when it comes to vintage and crafting, there’s a passion for the profession and every piece is sold with that personal guarantee of TLC.