Nina Hely Hutchinson outside her antiques and vintage collective in Ludlow.

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Merchant venture

Nina Hely Hutchinson is the face of Nina & co, a collective of dealers in Ludlow, one of the most attractive towns in Shropshire.

Hely Hutchinson, a former conservator at Hampton Court, said: “Since 2021 when we moved from our premises in the town into a Grade II-listed 17th century building, originally built as a shop with the merchant’s dwelling above in the heart of old Ludlow, buyers have told us how much they love coming in.

“We have decorative antiques on the ground floor with our vintage fashion room sited in the merchant’s oak-panelled parlour on the first floor and on the beamed top floor there is a good range of brocante, books and ceramics.”

Despite the recent challenging business climate, Hely Hutchinson says trade “has steadily rebuilt and even in the current tricky times we’re doing well. Vintage fashion is seen as particularly attractive because it offers good quality at a third of high-street prices as well as being an eco-friendly way to buy rarely seen fashion items.”

A visit to Peter Hadley, antiquarian and secondhand bookseller in Ludlow since 1980 may well result in yet more purchases.

Independent thinkers


A view taken at one of the monthly events held by the Frome Independent Market.

The Frome Independent Market in the Somerset town, a place which has the most listed buildings in the county outside of Bath, is an award-winning monthly street event. The next is on Sunday, December 3.

The market, which strives to be “more than a market”, takes over the town, attracting 80,000 people each year to buy from the vintage stalls, plus independent designers and makers and, of course, local and regional food producers, especially cheeses.

The December market is the busiest of the year and will have a festive party feel with choirs, mulled wine, Christmas trees and wreaths.


These metal lifesize greyhounds/whippets on stands look far too good to use as doorstops which is how they’re described in the online shop of French General Trading based in Frome where they’re priced at £199 each. The showroom is open from Thursday to Sunday and offers a jazz café as an extra attraction.