All things vintage

In a world that is so focused on technology, trends and progression, it is sometimes nice to take a step back in time…

Reflecting on the past and paying tribute to the history we encounter everyday is something we cherish here at Retrospecced.

We take pride in the beautiful vintage pieces we sell and the story they have to tell us about days long ago.

So we took a trip to Bridgnorth station on the Severn Valley Railway Line and allowed the setting – along with our amazing glasses! – to take us on a trip down memory lane… 

ALL ABOARD!

This incredible setting was the perfect place for a little Retrospecced field trip. The station – built between 1858 and 1862 – has been maintained to look and feel just as it did in its heyday. Glossy paint and steam make it a magical homage to all things vintage. 

The line once stretched 40 miles and was used for industrial purposes in the late 1800s – as well as strategically during the Second World War. It is a place that inspires and encourages visitors to imagine the scenes that once unfolded there.

Stepping onto the platform feels like walking into another era – especially when complete with shiny black steam engine, peeping whistles and glamorous ladies who look like they just stepped out of the 40s or 50s!

‘Severn Valley railway is an incredible venue. It is a chance to physically travel in time and to show future generations the past. The passion and dedication of its many staff and volunteers is second to none and I cannot recommend a visit enough’

Annie @the_1940s_adventuress

VINTAGE IS OUR FAVOURITE

Whilst we sell a wide range of glasses from all walks of life, it is our vintage collection that bring us most joy. Knowing that some of these frames have passed down through generations and lived through major historic events is pretty cool – plus they are good for the planet and give back to charity!

Click above to buy these cateye sunnies from the 1940s-1960s

Check out some fancy 1940s frames just like these ones

These photos are just a tiny snapshot of what we have on sale at the moment. If it’s glasses with a difference that you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. Whether sharp and chic cateye frames, glamorous sunglasses, reading specs or the perfect finishing touch to a vintage look, there is something in our store for you.

Click the photo to get your hands on some shiny cateye frames

Looking for some Retro Sunspecs from the 1950s?

I absolutely love Severn Valley Railway! It’s somewhere I tend to visit at the weekend to pass the time, but it also holds one of the most popular 1940s events in the country in both June and July each year and I’d never miss it. I sing at Arley Station alongside my good friend Kevin Mac and we have such a great time. Thanks to all for such a memorable day!

Laura @misslaurabill

It was amazing to see some of our beautiful frames in a setting like Bridgnorth station. As these photos illustrate, it is a place full of character and it played the perfect host.

The station has featured in big film hits such as Goodnight Mr Tom, Chronicles of Narnia and – more recently – Netflix’s Enola Holmes. However, forget Millie Bobby Brown and Tilda Swinton! The recent stars of the station were Laura and Annie, and we had a chat with them about their day on the railway…

INTRODUCING ANNIE

What is it about the past that resonates with you?

I feel a sense of connection that I have never had with the present. The items I collect are already a thread from somebody else’s story. A huge part of a life, a memory – they represent a life lived. The war years in particular mark a period of time unlike any other – especially for women. Anything was possible. Life was short and fast paced; love was found and lost but it was lived and it mattered!

Is there a vintage item in your wardrobe you cherish most?

One of my most beloved items is a linen summer dress with strawberries on the print, a red trim and sculpted shoulder pads. When it arrived, it had a letter with it and the letter told me about the previous owner who was now an elderly lady. She had owned the dress since the war, when it had been given to her in a Red Cross parcel from America after she and her family had been bombed out of their home in London. I imagine the dress representing brightness and hope in the bleakness of war and it brings me immeasurable joy everytime I look at it!

Was there a specific point in your life that you decided you were a vintage enthusiast?

I think I have always been an enthusiast of the past. In fact, I would go as far to say that as a living historian and reenactor I consider it my responsibility to be a keeper of history! It is my job to tell stories, to share the knowledge I have and to create interest for future generations.

INTRODUCING LAURA

What is it about the past that resonates with you?

I’ve always loved old things. When you find a vintage piece – whether a dress or a piece of furniture – you wonder ‘who owned this previously?’ and I’m so intrigued of its past life. I think as vintage enthusiasts, we have a duty to take care of old things and preserve them for the generations to follow. 
I’ve also always been fascinated by how people lived in different eras in contrast to what we know today. Life was certainly much simpler and much more community-orientated which we unfortunately lack in the modern world – often due to our reliance on technology and the fast-paced nature of our day to day lives. 

Is there a vintage item in your wardrobe you cherish most?

My most cherished item is definitely my Nanny’s wedding dress from the 1950s. I never knew it had been kept in the family until my grandad mentioned it out of the blue about 8 years ago. He said that if anything happened to him, he’d love me to keep it, as he knew I had such a passion for vintage. When the time came for it to be passed on to me, I was surprised that it was still neatly packaged with its bolero, headdress and veil. My grandparents met in Derry, Northern Ireland in the early 1950s as my grandad had been stationed there in the Royal Navy.  He met my Nanny at a dance and in 1959 they tied the knot –  the rest, as they say is history. 

Was there a specific point in your life that you decided you were a vintage enthusiast?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved history and 1940s/50s vintage. There was something about the 1940s that intrigued me. I have also always been a fan of Angela Lansbury and I even remember reading her biography at the age of about 9 and admiring the photos of her dressed in glamorous Hollywood outfits during the golden age. Interestingly, I’ve never really been obsessed with boybands or staying on trend with modern looks. I’ve always swayed more towards vintage fashion, music and movies. I did question whether it was simply a ‘phase’ whilst growing up but – after nearly a decade of dressing in vintage clothes most days – I think it’s here to stay!

OLD BUT GOLD

Visiting the Severn Valley Railway Line was a fantastic opportunity for us to reimagine our wonderful glasses in their original context. The station – and the history it represents – is inspiring and it was a lovely reminder of the stories that our frames have to tell.

Thank you to Laura and Annie, and our wonderful photographer Alex Styles! We are proud to have worked with a team that – like us – are committed to that which is old but gold. We are passionate about all things vintage!

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