No. 1 Woolmarket, Berwick-upon-Tweed is celebrating its first year of successful trading with a special day for all its customers on 30th June next. There will be wine and nibbles and some retro music to help things along.
No. 1 Woolmarket, Vintage Department store is celebrating the first anniversary of its opening last year.
Owner Brenda Crowcroft puts its success in part down to the current trend for nostalgia but also to the fact that more people are looking for value for money in furniture and are turning to well-made vintage items to furnish their homes.
She says “We have a wide variety of customers from young people furnishing their first home to.older customers downsizing. They are looking for attractive pieces at a reasonable price. We sell vintage and antique furniture at prices well below those of High Street chains and specialist antique shops.
We have a changing stock of lamps, glassware. cutlery and china. We also have vintage clothing, and sell a lot to the steam punk crowd. We have a good selection of Harris Tweed jackets and these too are very popular.
We purchase stock through a variety of sources, from flea markets to auctions, and we do sometimes do the occasional house clearance. One of the most exciting sources is the people who come through the door carefully carrying parcels containing treasures they have found in their attics
We have sold a metal stand for a suit of armour, a collection of life sized hands, legs and arms, cutlery to make candlesticks and a WW1 army greatcoat. We have lent items for use as props to a film company, a copy of the building plans of the Cutty Sark to a local museum, and provided numerous wigs, hats, mob caps, cloaks etc. for school book day.
Particularly memorable sales have been a full-size ship’s figurehead of a Valkyrie like woman with pouting red lips, a 7ft cast iron, Victorian fountain, and a full-sized roll top bath converted into a bed. Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone? Waiting in the wings we have a pair of William IV library chairs, a pygmy bed , and an interesting heavily carved hall cupboard.
The staff never know what each day will bring from the chance to purchase a collection of grandmother’s jewellery, a hen party of ladies from Glasgow looking for party clothes, or a 70s buff lseeking great bands on vinyl. One quiet day ended with the sale of a full sized naked female mannequin and a flying pig. Life is never dull.
When I first mooted the idea of opening the shop people warned me of the risks of opening on the high street in the current climate, but it has proved to be a risk worth taking. It has been a lot of fun so far and I think it has brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people while stacking up financially. Long may it continue.

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