Dave Walker, who has run Edward & Vintage in Tissington for a decade, is ready for a new adventure at 50.
He is parting with 100 vintage items, including his shop’s original Victorian candy counter, bakelite scales, Cadbury cabinets, vintage crate, candy jars, spoons, 1940s sugar packets, bicycles vintage, old enamel plates and a Bournville chocolate bar from the 1920s.
Dave said: “I part ways with items that I started collecting at flea markets when I was around 10 years old. I hope people buy these who have enjoyed visiting the store over the years. Or maybe someone somewhere is looking to open a candy store.
The boutique, which will close on September 25 and return to being part of the Tissington estate, has fans from all over the world.
Famous personalities walked through the door, including actress Joanna Lumley, TV presenters Christine Bleakley, Anna Richardson and Anita Rani and comedian Micky Flanagan. It has been filmed for Escape to the Country, Country File, Ard TV in Germany and The Great Interior Design Challenge.
Dave’s new challenge is even bolder than his ambition to evoke sweet nostalgia worthy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory children’s author Roald Dahl.
He said: ‘In 2016 I bought a collection of abandoned small crofters’ cottages on Sanday Island, Orkney, off the coast of Scotland – out of sight.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to visit the island. I spotted them on Rightmove and kept watching them for about 18 months. I thought it was just one cottage, but it turned out to be a group of eight with over three acres of land and direct access to a beach.
“The last person to live in one of the crofts moved out in 1974. When I finally arrived their roofs were hanging for life and the area had been used as a dumping ground for cars, fridges and freezers. But below all of this was a lost village. I found out that I had bought half of what is called the “lost village of Nettle” or Ness. It was once home to 60 people. I’m so glad to to have found him because he deserves to be saved. He was very close to disappearing forever.
“For the past five years, I’ve spent three months there every winter renovating the crofts. It takes me 24 hours to drive there from the Peak District via Aberdeen and two ferries.
“I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to DIY – I learn from YouTube videos. I’ve restored gables and chimneys and replaced roofing for weather protection while working with planning. I even rebuilt the walls of a lost freshwater well – after finding it by accidentally falling. Every day is like a school day. While I wouldn’t recommend my buying approach – I did everything you shouldn’t do – I love it and feel blessed!
“I had never owned a property before. Thanks to the success of the shop, I have something of my own. It was originally a 15 year plan, but I turned 50 this year. It might be a midlife crisis, but I decided to take the plunge while I have the energy and time left to do something special.
“I plan to eventually live in one of the crofts in a 13ft by 33ft space. I also hope to transform two of them into holiday accommodation. It will be a homecoming and a chance to experience the traditional charm of these crofts – very comfortable and cozy. They will be perfect for people wishing to trade modern life for calm and tranquility.
“I’ve also turned two of the abandoned crofts into indoor/outdoor gardens – you need weather protection in Sanday, even though it’s not as cold as people think. In winter temperatures can be 10 degrees warmer than they are in Derbyshire as it is in the Gulf Stream. I worked in a T-shirt in Scotland when the Peak District was covered in snow.
“I want to protect and preserve the village and encourage tourism to these forgotten northern islands. I will live in a dented caravan at first, but I will be surrounded by birds, wildlife and incredible scenery.
“I know it will be difficult, but I’m looking forward to it. There are about 500 people on the island and they have been very welcoming. Sanday has some really enterprising people, as well as a gym, supermarket, swimming pool and even a wood-fired pizzeria. It only feels distant when you’re not around.
“My dog, Ned, loves it. I wanted him to have a nice place to live, just like Edward, my old dog. I am so delighted that he spent his years of drivel in the beautiful scenery of the Peak District. The store bears his name.
While Dave won’t need cash registers or scales in his next venture, sherbet fountains, prawns, flying saucers of anise balls might come in handy to give him energy.
Edward & Vintage content will be sold on October 8, 2022 through Hansons Auctioneers. To find out more, send an e-mail [email protected]