How did we get here?
The old joke says that nostalgia isn't what it was. But let's look back at some scatchy old photos.
In1974 we opened a shop at Nether Green called Freewheelin’ selling local hand thrown pottery, Indian bedspreads, framed art posters and waterbeds that we made from huge roofing joists salvaged from demolition yards -and not much more. Our timing was right and the idea - something beautiful and different - took off. In the mid seventies Peter went to Morocco, Kay had been there a few years earlier.
Exterior Bringing It All Back Home:
Peter: "I was immediately in my element - the dramatic desert landscape and the vibrant souks of Marrakech full of colour, sounds, smells and wonderful artisan crafts - I was hooked. Textiles were in my life even before university (I did a degree in the chemistry of textile dyeing) and in Morocco I fell in love with the natural colours and traditional patterns of berber blankets". For several years we made trips to Morocco and commissioned blankets, painted mirrors and other exotic home furnishings.
Inside Bringing It All Back Home:
Friends brought back tribal clothing and hangings from Afghanistan, knitwear from Peru. We opened a clothing shop called Another Side.
First floor at Bringing It All Back Home:
1978 was a big year: our first trip to India and we opened what's best described as an ethnic department store - Bringing It All Back Home. A huge move to a much larger building but, again, the timing was right. Walking into Bringing It All Back Home was like entering an ancient bazaar on The Silk Road. Twelve rooms over three floors, a room given over to clothes, shoes, Afghan furniture, Rajasthan embroidery, ceramics... and a wholefood cafe.
Cafe menu circa 1982:
India was a revelation. A wonderful place to travel, the sight and sounds, the sheer variety and above all the wonderful textiles. We've been over 40 times, we've explored many parts but still only scratched the surface. We've designed textiles and furniture and never lost our enthusiasm - and that's what still inspires us at the Silk Road Gallery.
This blog is about the story of how we got here so how did we look forty something years ago?
Pete around 1976:
Pete and Kay at a Bringing It All Back Home party around 1980:
Pete and Kay, early eighties:
And in Cuzo, Peru, 1979:
And to go right back to 1974, an advert for waterbeds:
What a long strange trip it's been. Come and see if we look the same! We're open at The Silk Road on Fridays & Saturdays 11.30 - 4.30.