Well we did it! After a year of cloak and dagger, our theme for the 2012 Preston Guild Trades Procession was unveiled in all it’s glory this weekend! We went with an Alice in Wonderland inspired float as the perfect way to showcase our popular motto: “We Can Cover Almost Anything!” The star of the show, Alice herself, came riding along the streets of Preston in a giant armchair covered in our popular English Poppyfields fabric.
The chair measuring 4.5m high and 3m wide, was followed by a float depicting the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, with different size and shape furniture, tea cups and even the Queen of Hearts! The procession was helped along by friends and employees of Plumbs all happily clad in Union Jack colours to carry on this Summer’s Great British patriotism and celebrate Great British craft!
Love Alice’s chosen fabric? Find out more about English Poppyfields and how it could look in your home…
Last month we told you about a special event whereby installation artist Alice Francis would be attemping to cover an entire Galloway Cottage as part of the country’s premier open studios arts and crafts event – the Spring Fling. The extraordinary feat proved to be a huge success, with the specially made loose covers fitting snugly around the contours of the building, including its three large chimneys.
Alice even went to the lengths of covering herself in the same floral fabric as her cottage covers. She wore a suit made from the Plumbs’ Rose & Scroll fabric, standing out from the crowd and merging into her latest arts piece.
Helping to cover an entire building was a great challenge for us and to have achieved it with such success proves our motto to be true, that Plumbs really can cover almost anything! It has been a true delight to work with Alice on this project and we wish her every success in her future ventures.
At Plumbs we pride ourselves on our ability to cover almost anything, but this latest venture brings a whole new meaning to our motto! Installation artist Alice Francis is endeavouring to cover a complete Galloway Cottage (yes the EXTERIOR of the building!) with made-to-measure loose covers from Plumbs! The project comes as part of Scotland’s annual open studio arts and crafts event, the Spring Fling.
The aim of the temporary piece is, as Alice explains, to flout conventional expectations:
No stranger to the absurd and irregular, Alice’s artistic repertoire includes thought provoking pieces such as polishing white lines in the road in the Dumfries and Galloway countryside. Another memorable performance saw Alice in a pink rabbit costume, vacuuming local woodlands.
Alice chose Plumbs to help her with her latest piece, choosing one of our archetypal floral ‘Rose and Scroll‘ fabrics, more commonly found inside a traditional home. We’ve had great fun having Alice in our Preston factory and assisting with the cutting and sewing of the covers.
We cannot wait to see the final result, which will be erected next week on 31st May. It will remain, closely fitted around the building throughout the bank holiday weekend 2nd – 5th June. The cottage and it’s new made-to-measure cover will be highly visible on the B736, three miles south of Castle Douglas. Well worth a visit! We will indeed post the result as soon as we get our hands on some pictures!
Last Friday Plumbs managed to raise a fantastic £421.86 for Children In Need. This year’s theme was ‘Show Your Spots’ and everyone showed their support by wearing spots to work on Friday. We even managed to find a spotty sofa in the factory providing the perfect photo opportunity!
Particular congratulations must also go to all of the canteen staff who raised £184.46 through the sale of cakes, Pudsey and Blush ‘ears’ (as featured in the picture) and spotty wristbands too. What a lot of cakes they must have baked!
Congratulations to our very own Chris Plumb, on completing, what can only be descried as a gruelling and painful bike ride.
Although “bike ride” doesn’t seem to do it justice, the long slog of cycling from Lands End to John O’Groates took Chris and his cycling partner Andrew Broomby just about 10 days to complete.
Well done from everyone at Plumbs. We’ve got a very soft cushioned chair waiting for you!
If I heard it once I heard it 1000 times at the recent Country Living Spring Fair.
“Wow, Plumbs is nothing like the adverts”
After a very busy show, over 500 brochures given out and over 100 visitors to the stand asking to have a visit from a Plumbs Home Consultant, we can say we had a busy and successful show.
Leading the display was a fabulous art deco design revived recently by Sanderson. This featured on a well matched art deco chair as a beautiful piece of reupholstery. The vast majority of show visitors who passed the stand made a comment about the chair. Many people wanted to buy it there and then.
They were surprised to learn that Mick had actually reupholstered the chair right there on the first day of the show.
The other star of the show was Willow Stripe, the sumptuous cut velvet stripe from Swaffer. Mick spent hours reupholstering an old queen Anne chair in this fabric, being stopped every few minutes to answer questions from visitors.
So excited were people about this fabric they started taking off cuts from Mick’s reupholstery work. One large piece of fabric mysteriously went missing!
All in all a great visit to the Country Living Spring Fair and a lovely atmosphere in the business design centre in Islington.
We hear stories all the time from our consultants about what can be found down the back and sides of our customers furniture, everything from money to false teeth!
Here are just a few:
Having sold a customer a set of Decra covers for her Parker Knoll recliner and matching chair and sofa, I began measuring the Recliner. On completing most of the measurements, I started checking out the tucks. No gap between the arm and the seat, but £1.90 in change (passed back to the surprised customer). Turning the chair around to take a photo I noticed a lump in the fabric flap, I pushed it in thinking it was where the scatter had been sitting against it, only to find it pushed back out and was very solid. Time for another dig and poke, watch off and down the back of the seat we go to find a pink hot water bottle (cold of course). “Ho!” the lady said, “I thought the grand kids had taken that.”
About 15 years ago, and in an upstairs flat of all places, I found a tortoise in the customer’s sofa bed!!! Needless to say the customer was thrilled to bits as she had noticed that the tortoise had not gone to sleep in the box in the airing cupboard for its winter hibernation and that it had escaped but had no idea it had taken refuge in the sofabed.
Last summer I visited a top floor flat in a nice new block at the request of a local estate agent on behalf of the landlord. I met with a young man who was the current tennant. Across the whole width of the lounge was a very expensive looking glass tank for some kind of lizard I presumed. I wasn’t too phased by this as lots of people keep them as pets and I don’t really mind them. Oh no it’s not for a lizard said the nice young man it’s for my amethystine python. My brains, vocal chords and legs all stopped working simultaneously as I then realised the tank was empty. The tennant obviously noticed I had gone a whiter shade of pale and said “oh she’s out at the moment, do you want me to put her back in”. Paralysed with fear all I could was nod my head frantically. Little did I know an 11ft snake was basking behind the settee by the radiator – apparently her favourite place. He quickly put her back in the vivarium as if it were nothing.
Why not let us know what you’ve found?
I always feel writing for a blog can be quite time consuming particularly finding inspiration of what to write about. However it helps working for a company that has been going for over 45 years as there’s usually a wealth of resource to plunder.
Which is why I’ve been reading all the back-copies of the Plumbs company magazine. Not only did I find some great stories I’d like to share with you but the accompanying photos have given me a great laugh, showing early nineties hair-styles and fashions, much to the embarrassment of some of my colleagues. Here’s one photo of a young Laura Calvert, Joanna Whitworth & Sarah Page.
In particular, I came across a section called “Amusing Anecdotes, Hot Tips & Facts”. Any staff member who contributed to this section was given a box of chocolates, so as you can imagine there were plenty received.
Here is one of my favourites, which was sent in from a consultant:
“I was showing a customer fabrics when the telephone rang and she left the room leaving me with her parents, who were a quiet couple. However, I carried on talking about Plumbs Covers and fabrics trying to encourage a response. My questions and statements only drew blank looks. After about 8 minutes the lady returned and listening to my chat, smiled and informed me that her parents neither spoke or understood English!”
More to come…