Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Foraging and foraying: exploring Bristol

Having yet to complete my first month of work, I'm in that frustrating period of working full-time and having nothing to show for it- and no disposable income to play with! But that couldn't keep me indoors on my days off and I have set out to find a chain of treasure troves where I might spend a little of my wages when I finally receive them. I'm a sucker for a well-set-out vintage shop: but only one holding homeware as well as oversized sweatshirts and angry-seeming knitted jumpers. Along Gloucester Road there are many vintage boutiques and charity shops, which I intend to explore with vigour once I have a bit of change in my pocket.

However, I couldn't resist peeking in a couple of places and one has already become a firm favourite, a place to pore over old tobacco tins, vintage lights and suitcases and let myself drift off to bygone times when telly was in black and white and wallpaper was never understated. This is RePsycho, the "retro superstore" in Bishopston. On my first visit, fresh from the Northeast and reeling from the distance to my loved ones, I thumbed through the vintage postcard rack by the shop entrance and found a postcard commemorating the West Stanley pit disaster. It seems a bit of a morbid card to affix above your bed but it feels like a tiny slice of home and now has pride of place next to a photo I took of the Tyne Bridge only a couple of months ago.

RePsycho on Gloucester Road
Tin treasures at RePsycho
A postcard of home: 50p from RePsycho's collection of vintage postcards

 My next find is right in the heart of Bristol: SHOP on Christmas Steps, the arts quarter. I'd peered in the window before but yesterday I ventured over the threshold to gasp in wonder. SHOP are a self-proclaimed "vintage lounge and arts venue" and non-profit company: all the money made in the space (because it is more than just a shop!) is channelled back into community arts. One thing that really delighted me was the little corner they have transformed into a zine library, but I'm cursing myself now for not stopping to sit and read awhile (my excuse? I wanted to get back up Gloucester Road before the greengrocer's shut - I love having access to free, fresh produce once more). On sale in the shop are men's and women's vintage clothes, scarves, jewellery and all sorts of other bits and pieces including old film and television photographs. Through  a door to your left (as you're standing, having just entered the shop) is the dedicated arts space, currently home to Robros (see poster below), although not for long. Catch it if you can, because, sadly, it looks like I won't!

SHOP on Christmas Steps

Robros @ SHOP until 16th August
Christmas Steps

It certainly looks like Bristol has a lot to offer me- or anyone! For now, I'll be prowling the streets taking note of posters and looking for things and places to attend. Watch this space!


  1. christmas steps is gorgeous! i've never been to bristol before.
    followed you x

  2. I would love to visit Bristol. It looks really lovely.