Monday, 2 May 2016

Different Worlds

This weekend saw the arrival of the May Bank Holiday.  My initial plans to head south to see friends had to be changed at short notice, so I was looking to have a quiet long weekend - especially as the weather chart looked a little too much like this...


That was until some friends from the vintage scene called me and asked if I fancied a trip to an old converted mill that sold lots of vintage paraphernalia.  It would certainly be nice to swap the rain-swept gloom of Manchester for the rain-swept gloom of Lancashire, so I readily agreed.

It turned out to be only a short trip up the thankfully-quiet and unclogged M6 to Ecclestone.  Once off the motorway, however, things became a little odd.  We passed though a little town called Hunger Hill, which sounded a little too much like Silent Hill for my liking, but at least the overcast but tranquil Lancashire countryside wasn't too eerie...

...until we passed a bizarre and rather odd scarecrow sat on a roadside bench.  Thirty yards down the road stood another three scarecrows, colourful and yet rather disturbing in their childish malevolence.  A few houses further on stood even more, and they soon began to appear with a more worring frequency.  "What the hell is this?" asked our driver.  It began to look like a bizarre May-day ritual where the locals caught and mummified any outsiders caught driving through their town.


It turned out to be the Wrightington-Heskin Scarecrow Festival, but was all a little too much like a strange other dimension built on a cross between The Wicker Man and Children Of The Corn, and I was a bit pleased to leave the strange sights behind and arrive at Bygone Times in Ecclestone.

We were a little early, and the mill hadn't opened its doors yet - but it did give an opportunity to look at the fantastic exterior of the place.  It certainly looked promising.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bygone Times, Ecclestone
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bygone Times, Ecclestone
There is a £2.50 entrance fee, but it does gain you a lifetime membership of, well, a bygone world of yesteryear.  Inside was a myriad of small independent stalls selling pretty much everything that the most picky collector/hoarder could want.  Need a full-size working deep-sea diving helmet?  £350 and it could be yours.  How about a lurid green Orville (minus Keith Harris, of course)?  Also available, as was pretty much anything else.  How about a train set - but need one with a four-foot long locomotive?  It's here.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bygone Times, Ecclestone
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bygone Times, Ecclestone
I had a good look through most of the stalls, and appear to have reached that point in life where you look at some old piece of kitchenware or ornament and think "Bloody hell, we had those when I was a kid!"

In an adjoining hall more vintage items were for sale - once again everything for the perennial hoarder to fill their house with.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bygone Times, Ecclestone
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bygone Times, Ecclestone
My friend guided me down into the basement - she had been before - and it wasn't long before I saw what she was excited about.  In one corner of the downstairs area a stall/area dedicated to vintage lingerie was lovingly laid out.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - gorgeous lingerie, Bygone Times, Ecclestone
he displays of original vintage underwear was fantastic, even if,sadly, most of the items weren't for sale, but it was clearly a life-long passion for the gentleman that had put it together.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - gorgeous lingerie, Bygone Times, Ecclestone
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - gorgeous lingerie, Bygone Times, Ecclestone
Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - gorgeous lingerie, Bygone Times, Ecclestone
In a nearby area a small memorial was dedicated to those lost in war - specifically the First and Second World Wars.  It was a lovely but sad display, especially with readings broadcast over the speaker system that read out letters from the Front in the First World War.  One such letter thanked his family for sending extra rations, described the horrendous conditions that soldiers had to put up with in the trenches, and very poignantly told of how they were "going over the top" the next day.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bygone Times, Ecclestone
 Lastly, to improve the mood a little, I found a room full of old amusement arcade machines.  For £1 you got a handful of old pennies that you could use to play the machines.  I had a bit of nostalgia as I played a variety of the old games, once again bringing back a few memories from visits to the seaside as a child.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - Bygone Times, Ecclestone
Three hours later we were back in the car and heading back to Manchester.  I can thoroughly recommend Bygone Times if you like wandering around somewhere different and looking at old curiousities and collectables.  One word of advice though - get there early.  It was pretty busy when we left, and I was pleased that we'd had the chance to browse the stalls in relative peace.

Did I buy anything?  Yes - just one item.  An immaculate leather coat that fitted me like a glove, and immediately made me feel like a deviant fetish flasher.  Mmmm.  No doubt I'll get some photos of me in it (and perhaps not much else) soon.

And finally, some good news. Yes, after some months I am pleased to announce that All Systems Are Go, the Green Light is ON and I am back to offering a full service.

Dexi Delite Manchester and Cheshire Escort - All Systems Are GO!
I know it's been a long time coming for my regular visitors and those new gentlemen who have been quitely patient - believe me, I've been counting the days, too.  So I can now say, with some confidence, I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment