As the owner of antiques and vintage shop Je Cherche, Sue Pearson is always on the look out for items her customers may be interested in, even on holiday. While scouring an antiques market in Topsham in Devon, she was intrigued to find a wooden sign for “The Old Boathouse, Marlborough”
Sue explains, “I had no idea where The Old Boathouse was, but snapped up the sign as I knew that it would be of interest. Once we got back to Wiltshire, I made some enquiries, (partly via Facebook), and discovered that The Old Boathouse is the building that now houses Mustard Seed bookshop and café.
“Rachel Maurice from Mustard Seed saw the post and contacted me about the sign. I had intended to sell it, but hearing about Mustard Seed, and the good work they do, I thought it would be a nice gesture to donate it to them. There’s a certain romance about the sign being returned to its home,.”
Mustard Seed is a Christian Bookshop and Coffee Shop which was started in 1990 by Rachel Maurice and a group of fellow Christians. Open to all, the bookshop is run as a charity, while the coffee shop is a limited company with profits covenanted to the charity. Run by a team of paid staff and volunteers, Mustard Seed offers the opportunity to work as part of a team to people with special needs who make an invaluable contribution.
Rachel comments “It was lovely to see the sign, and such a kind gesture for Sue to donate it back to its original home. I didn’t know Je Cherche was here, but having visited I can see it has a great selection. It’s good to see somewhere that is keen to offer quirky objects like the sign, that are relevant to the local area, alongside more general antique and vintage items. I’ll probably be back to peruse the vintage clothes rail!”
Both Rachel and Sue are curious to find out more about the sign, especially to try and date when it would have been hanging outside the boathouse. Rachel says “Before it was Mustard Seed it was a Doll’s House shop, but I’m not sure what it was before that, perhaps a café? Of course originally it was a boathouse for the grand house that stood where Waitrose is now.”
Je Cherche has been open on The Parade (next to DIY Rainbows) since October last year “The shop is open Thursday to Saturday, and is doing really well – it’s not on the main High St, so people are gradually finding out that I’m here. I’m loving getting to know people and being part of the business community – that’s why I’m so pleased to be able to reunite the sign with its original home”
Rachel hasn’t decided where the sign will live at Mustard Seed “I think initially we will put it in the window, and later on move it somewhere inside for people to enjoy.”
Je Cherche is at 2 The Parade, Marlborough, and Mustard Seed is by the river in Waitrose Car Park, Marlborough. Both would be delighted to see you when you are next in the town.
If you know more about the origin of the sign email us at firstname.lastname@example.org