Hello, spring is in the air and the birds are getting frisky here in rural Norfolk, the pigeons have already started eyeing up their nest sites and the primroses are sprinkled liberally along the verges. This time of new beginnings has prompted me restart the blog so here we are.

This week, I have been mainly stock taking in our show room or shoffice as we call it, and crawling on my hands and knees rummaging in boxes and trays rediscovering lots of our lovely stock.This got us to reminiscing about Dead Men’s Spex. It all started back when we lived in the Midlands and Darren had a bright idea that he could sell vintage glasses. A drunken evening of brainstorming suitable names with Rod, his boss at the time, proved productive and they came up with Dead Men’s Spex. Most people love it, and we are a source of great amusement when we do shows, but there are a few who pull a face, but they rarely forget us.

Rod was very supportive of Darren, providing him with his first small consignment, a stash of old NHS frames. We are fortunate that opticians like to hang onto things, and this trait has helped provide some great stock over the years. Darren’s next consignment was a larger amount from a local glazing house in Halesowen in the Midlands. This was enough to cover the surface of a bunk bed, at the time we had Darren’s children to stay at the weekend and I remember hurriedly clearing the bed of glasses on the Thursday evening so his daughter could get a decent night’s sleep.  In 2006, we moved to Norfolk and both found work near our new home in Foulsham. We were juggling work with childcare, so Darren decided to put his ambition of owning his own business into practice. He started selling glasses on eBay and looking for shows to sell his stock. Our first show was a vintage fair at Birmingham University called Blind Lemon. We travelled the long journey west back to Darren’s home city with a two year old and a car full of stock and stayed with his dad. We spent a very quiet day at the university hall whilst Dead Man junior amused himself by climbing up and down the steps in the hall all day, as two year olds do.

We sold one pair, but undeterred, set about researching suitable places to sell our spectacles. We discovered that there was a thriving community of reenactors and vintage enthusiasts and were pleased to find a large 1950s event in our new home county of Norfolk. So in April 2007 we headed over to the coast to Hemsby with another car full of spectacles. That event went really well and we were welcomed into the scene, there were some ladies who were rather excited to meet someone who was not only selling vintage frames but also understood all about glasses. At Hemsby we met other traders and found out about other shows and we did the circuit of shows including Twinwoods, Sheringham, The Rave and The Rhythm Riot. Darren soon bought a glazing machine which enabled him to glaze in house. In 2012 our website was launched which proved invaluable and lead to a steady trade online both with individual customers and wardrobe for films, plays and TV shows.

Taking time to reflect upon Dead Men’s Spex, we are grateful for how much Dead Men’s Spex gives us. It keeps us in the essentials of life such as pies and books, and give us opportunities to meet so many interesting people and have loads of exciting experiences. In the years we have been doing this, we have travelled across the UK either buying stock or selling it in several places including Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Wales, Staffordshire, Kent, Suffolk and Essex. It’s also taken us across the north sea to Holland. We would like to thank all of you for your continued support and encouragement. We are happy to continue to supply you all with our great spectacles and have a little bit of fun as well. Here’s to another ten years or more of Dead Men’s Spex.

Claire AKA Mrs Deadman