Crockery hire firm has vintage vibe

Sara Elliott-Penswick, of Town End Out Rawcliffe, has turned her passion for collecting vintage crockery into a business, as she now hires out her tea sets and accessories for functions.'Sara with some of her collection.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'27-1-12
Sara Elliott-Penswick, of Town End Out Rawcliffe, has turned her passion for collecting vintage crockery into a business, as she now hires out her tea sets and accessories for functions.'Sara with some of her collection. PIC BY ROB LOCK'27-1-12

SARA Elliott-Penswick loves anything vintage.

So much so, that since she was a teenager, the 42-year-old has managed to collect enough items to fill her house and a lock-up.

She collects everything from tea cups, cushions and crochet blankets to plates and cake stands.

Now, the mum-of-two, from Out Rawcliffe, has turned her passion into a business, Through the Vintage Looking Glass.

She is hiring out her collection for tea parties, christenings, baby showers, birthday parties and other special occasions.

She said: “I just love Art Deco, anything vintage – even at senior school I used to look in charity shops for unusual items, bizarre lamps, vintage dresses and so on.

“I can remember watching Brideshead Revisited when I was at school, and loving it and loving the furniture and the vintage style. I just collected bits and pieces really.

“I started collecting tea sets and cake stands in earnest seven years ago for my son’s christening, as I wanted a village fete feel for it.

“Since then, I’ve done a mad hatters tea party, birthday parties and various family events.

“I decided then to expand my collection and focused on dinner plates and more teapots, along with linens and bunting made from crochet doilies and tray cloths.

“I decided to start a business hiring my treasure for parties and events.

“I heard about a lady on Dragon’s Den who did something similar, running vintage tea parties and so on for celebrities.”

Sara now has her website up and running and is offering packages and a bespoke service to local people who want to hire vintage items for their event.

Sarah, who has two boys aged seven and five, added: “I think this year, with the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee coming up, people will be feeling a great pride in being British.

“I think the recession has also brought more nostalgia among people in general, so I’m hoping this might take off.

“There’s nothing quite like having a cup of tea in an old-fashioned China cup with a saucer. Or having a slice of cake or a scone on a beautiful China plate.

“And for many people, that vintage crockery can evoke lots of memories. It can transport people to a bygone era or back to their childhood days.

“I just want to share my passion for all things vintage with other people, so they can enjoy it too.”

For more details, log onto www.vintage-crockery.com.