Saturday, July 28, 2007


Just across the road from where I work in Belfast is St. George's Market, the last surviving Victorian covered market in Belfast and one of the oldest in the UK; the building opened to the public in 1890, but wasn't actually finished until 1896.

Every Friday, they still have a general market on; you can buy fresh vegetables or fish, there's all sorts of stalls for other food (the crêperie is a very strong recommendation).

They also have a good number of stalls selling various antiques, which range in quality from awesome and well-kept to crap and decrepit. There's an awful lot of old cameras, mostly from the 50's and after; but occasionally you get something really special.

When my better half and I were in this morning, we saw a fantastic old typewriter. The guy selling it said it was from the 20s and was asking £15 for it.

After umm-ing and aah-ing for a few minutes, we bit the bullet and bought it, eventually only paying £12 for it. The plan is to try to clean it up and maybe try to restore it if possible; if it proves too difficult, I have plans to cannibalize it for a steampunk keyboard - assuming the girlfriend will let me.

After some quick research on the 'net, we've discovered that the machine - a Bar Let typewriter built by the Barlock (1925) Company in Nottingham as "Model 2" - was probably built between 1930 and 1938. According to serial number records, less than 60,000 units were built in that period.

It really is a thing of beauty. Even if we can't restore it, a good cleaning will make a fantastic decoration out of it.

1 comment:

arecibo said...

From the picture it doesn't look like it needs much restoration, just a lot of cleaning, derusting, shining up and so on. It looks really class.