Last Saturday (29th November 2014) Exeter saw a rather unusual gathering of bicycles.
It wasn’t for a kind of alleycat race or skidding contest for fixed gear but… something already embedded in the Southwest outdoors activities, as this was the 6th Velo Vintage Occasion and Ride.
About 100 cyclists all smartly dressed for that day out gathered on Exeter Quay. The weather was ideal for such fun day.
There was a retro feel in the air and what a visual treat it was – especially when the penny farthing convoy reached Exeter Cathedral where all traders and buyers from Exeter Christmas Market could actually discover something from another era… A beautiful and peaceful spectacle without any high-tech gadgets…just bicycles well kept and polished for the event.
The dress code wasn’t “smart casual” but just what Velo Vintage is about: “dress with style“.
…All that we ask, is that riders dress in the period from about the 1920’s to the 1950’s. It doesn’t have to be original, far from it... Source
As the cyclists reached Exeter city centre, on a busy Christmas shopping day, all managed to find their way without any incident – which is the main thing.
It was then mince pies stop – supplied by Hidden Treasure Tea Room – in the privately owned Barnfield Crescent (https://www.facebook.com/BarnfieldCrescentExeter), courtesy of Turner Locker Barnfield. The property consultants already hosted something “vintage” back in September 2014 – TLB Revival, a real homage to Goodwood Revival.
All participants followed the movement and it was obvious that everyone had a good time… there was a natural buzz from a spectator point of view too. Pedestrians/shoppers had a smile on their faces and naturally stopped to admire the unusual procession.
Then from there it was off to the final destination: The Exeter Globe-inn located in Newtown… a few pedal rotations away.
There was live music and prizes too.
And if you missed this year’s events… no panic as there are more to come in 2015.
Exeter is not just about High Street stores and big names with limitless funds.
What makes the city what it is are the adjacent narrow lanes and streets. It is about exploring and discovering hidden treasures. No need to go that far though.
Some people like to compare Gandy Street with a “mini me” Brick Lane.
Having a retail unit away from the buzzing main artery is not that bad…in fact, it is rather pleasing.
Some Exonians suddenly discovered a new (and unique) store near Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre…Howies landed like a dollop of clotted cream on scones in the mythical and quaint cobbled street.
It is unmissable with this unique colour:
The glossy @ExeterLiving magazine (Christmas Issue) has even a double page spread about the story behind the move.
What makes the clothes so different?
…Howies is a cult religion…
In other terms, there is a quality and passion behind the name. But there is even more: environmental friendly as well as ethically produced. Surely, this is what makes this type of clothes unique.
Having myself dropped into the shop, there is something for everyone. Organic cotton t-shirts feel rather comfortable…fantastic texture and thickness of it, you know that it will last and last and last and last…etc
Nowadays, everything is made (too fast) without actually
thinking caring of what customers/buyers will think/say.
It is not just about buying an item when you visit Howies – it is about having/keeping loyal customers who will come back for more, because the reputation and the overall service is second-to-none. Howies is strongly working with such idea in mind.
Thinking about the environment is essential too. Devon is maybe ahead of some other counties with some experts on hand. Keeping the county clean and tidy is important, not just for us but for others too.
It is about time to think further than your doorstep. With the Jurassic Coast to protect and in fact, the entire coastal path, there is no excuse as there are affordable recycling services for all – whether you are shifting your shop to a new address or just moving house.
Howies supports strongly outdoors activities – Exeter is the ideal location: Dartmoor being just down the road and same goes with beautiful beaches.
There are even a handful of jerseys, bibs for the cycling community and warm long johns too for these walks or just face the chill when you are doing your Christmas shopping (bah-humbug will add some).
Anyway…now you know that there is something which will last and such products are not just for Christmas.