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This dry work is a long way from his vampire classic, Dracula, published in 1897, which paved the way for vampire lore in popular culture.

Originally titled The Undead, Stoker’s trail of gore is set in the North Yorkshire town of Whitby, featuring the ruined abbey, St Mary’s Churchyard and the Church Stairs which rise to the East Cliff.

From the dark side to the lighter scene that is Rose & Brown Vintage’s biannual and well-visited Great Seaside Vintage Fair held in the Victorian Whitby Pavilion overlooking the sea.

The first of the year takes place on Saturday and Sunday, July 22-23.

Organiser Caroline Brown said: “We have 50 stalls ranging from Art Deco fashion to 1980s jewellery and all the frocks, hats and handbags – and swimsuits, plus mid-century to industrial furniture, lighting and homewares.

“This year we have a vintage menswear stall from Out of the Past, run by Chris and Rosie Hall from High Bentham in Lancashire.”

The annual Bram Stoker Festival celebrates the life of the Dublin-born Victorian author in the Irish capital on Halloween, October 31, while Goth-lovers flock to Whitby’s long-running biannual Goth Weekend, a celebration of the dark arts with music, with the autumn event this year on October 27-29.


More seaside delights


A view of the monthly brocante in Whitstable.

Pictured above is a sunny day at one of Cindy Mainwaring’s monthly brocantes held inside and outside St Mary’s Hall in Whitstable, with the next on Saturday, July 15.

In this ever-more popular north Kent town you can practise your shucking techniques at the annual oyster festival which attracts thousands – see below. Mainwaring’s brocantes sell plenty of vintage pieces and sometimes oyster-related ceramics and silverware.

She can be contacted on 01227 773037.


The Landing of the Oysters in Whitstable.

The annual oyster festival in Whitstable will run for three days this year, from Saturday to Monday, July 22-24, rather than the previous years’ 10-day event.

It will also relocate from the harbour to the Tankerton Slopes, beside Whitstable Castle.

The long-held Landing of the Oysters, above, will be followed by a seafront procession, the Mud Tug tug-of-war and the infamous oyster-eating challenge as well as the traditional building of ‘grotters’ along the beach.
These small hollow mounds are decorated with thousands of oyster shells and lit by candles at night.

Space and sunshine 


1950s publicity poster of Folkestone priced £650 from Rennies Seaside Modern.

This charmingly genteel 1950s publicity poster of Folkestone comes from Karen and Paul Rennie of Rennies Seaside Modern in the same place depicted. They are specialists in 20th century design, particularly original vintage posters and graphics.

The 20 x 2ft 6in (1.6 x 2.5m) poster is priced at £650 framed. Paul Rennie said of this design: “What I like about it, quite apart from the local interest, is the way that the colour and design have been used to create a kind of exquisite seaside delirium of space, sunshine and feeling.

“That’s very important in relation to the idea, experience and representation of the seaside - especially in graphic and poster form.”

The poster is signed Harris, a name with which Paul is unfamiliar, so if you know anything about this commercial artist he would love to hear from you. Paul is the author of a number of books on design, including Modern British Poster.


Coast in the capital


1960s Butlins' Redcoats jigsaw on display at the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising.

The Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising in London is always on the button when it comes to marketing its vast collection of antique and vintage consumer products.

Examples of this ephemera scene can be picked up at fleamarkets and car boots. The museum was founded in Gloucester in 1984 by the consumer historian Robert Opie – or ‘supermarket archaeologist’ as he is sometimes dubbed. Until September 3, it is running a time tunnel trail highlighting seaside objects and advertisements through Victorian railway adventures to the opening of Butlin’s holiday camps in the 1930s.