Middlesbrough Station Pop Up Shopping

If you go down to Middlesbrough Railway Station over the next couple of days you will see shops popping up all around you.

The next Middlesbrough Railway Station Pop Up Shops will be held this Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd April from 10am until 4pm and the following lovely Traders will be present:

Tony and Cally from Black Heart Soap Creations
Brian from Victoria Jackson Renovated Furniture
Kirsty from Bookshop on the Wall
Angie from Fancy That
Emma from Emma’s Enchanted Crafts – SATURDAY ONLY
Nicola from Nicola’s Cake Corner
Wendy from Wendy’s Cards and Gifts
Julie from Hannah’s Sweets
Sharon and Ashley from Ashley’s Craft Designs – FRIDAY ONLY
Scoobie and Drama from Twisted Wood Creations
Claire from Super Geek Stuff – FRIDAY ONLY
Ali from Independent Phoenix Trader – SATURDAY ONLY
Angie from Mrs Bow-Jangles – SATURDAY ONLY
Jackie from Dog House Designs – SATURDAY ONLY

Please come and have a stroll around the Pop Up Shops where the stalls have been carefully selected for their quality and uniqueness, chat to the friendly stallholders who offer a diverse shopping experience showcasing handcrafted gifts including alternative soap bars, luxury whipped cream soap in a tin, bath delights (bath bombs), cushions, quillows, bunting, renovated furniture, preloved gifts, artwork, superhero and super geek gifts, silver and beaded jewellery, watches, purses, key rings, children’s books, knitted baby clothes, children’s handmade ribbons, bows and headbands, cards for all occasions, quirky frames and plaques, signs and wall hangings from recycled wood, delicious homemade cakes, sweets and so much more…..…..…..

Pop Up Shops are held the 3rd Friday and Saturday of every month and the event was the idea of Dave Mitchell Middlesbrough Railway Station Team Leader.

The Pop Up Shops are made up of 12 local independent traders with the aim of having a diverse range of items for perusal. It is a fabulous opportunity for both passengers and visitors to buy from local businesses from within the Station Concourse.

The dates for the remainder of the year are as follows: Middlesbrough Railway Station Pop Up Shops 10am – 4pm Friday April 21st Saturday April 22nd Friday May 19th Saturday May 20th Friday June 16th Saturday June 17th Friday July 21st Saturday July 22nd Friday August 18th Saturday August 19th Friday September 15th Saturday September 16th Friday October 20th Saturday October 21st Friday November 17th Saturday November 18th Friday December 15th Saturday December 16th.

‘Remember when you support a small business, you’re supporting a dream.’


#ETW17: Independent eating, drinking and shopping

If there’s one thing the Love Middlesbrough lasses love (apart from cake, hot chocolate, and the Very Hungry Caterpillar), it’s eating, drinking and shopping. And Middlesbrough just happens to be full of fantastic independents for all your shopping, eating, drinking, hair and beauty (and more) needs. So many wonderful things – where to start…?
Bedford Street Coffee


Whether you want a clock, a pair of designer trainers, or a new tattoo, you can get all of them (and more) without ever leaving the comfort of Middlesbrough!

With more independent businesses than you can shake a stick at, Boro’s got you covered no matter what the occasion. Beautiful wedding dresses? Check. Last minute birthday present for the person who’s got everything? Check. Emergency pair of 90s denim dungarees? Check (yes, you definitely need them).

Independent businesses are clustered on the wonderfully fabulous Baker and Bedford Streets, as well as neighbouring Linthorpe Road, Borough Road, and Grange Road, but that’s not the end of it. From Concept on Linthorpe Road to TP Coffee House in Middlehaven, our independent offer stretches across the whole town centre, not to mention into every corner of the town too – from hairdressers in Hemlington to bouquets in Berwick Hills.


Our lovely town’s foodie offer can only be described as multicultural, and who wouldn’t want to sample dishes from around the world, from the comfort of your own town? Whether you fancy Spanish chorizo at The Curing House or Turkish lahmacun at Meze Lounge, that’s just the tip of the iceberg – add in Italian, Chinese, African, Greek, Lebanese, Mexican, Indian, and Caribbean, and you’ll start to get a picture of how much of a foodie paradise this town is! (Plus, if you add in national chains, there’s also French, Portuguese, and more Caribbean!) And if after all that you’re still not convinced, there’s always somewhere which will do you a parmo!

Speaking of food, watch out for the hotly-anticipated return of Restaurant Week on May 1 – what better excuse to eat all the food!

Oh, and Middlesbrough has cake…a lot of cake…but that would need a whole other post! (You didn’t expect us to go a whole post without mentioning cake did you?)

Drinking and nightlife

As well as a culinary world tour, Boro can also lay claim to being a micropub and bar hotspot, with no less than ten quirky drinking establishments clustered around the Baker/Bedford Street/Linthorpe/Borough Road area. The Nuthatch’s craft cocktails rub shoulders with the Chairman’s real ale, while at Sticky Fingers you can enjoy a locally-produced pie and live music with your drink.

(We don’t want to miss anyone out, so here’s the full list: The Nuthatch, The Chairman, Sticky Fingers, The Twisted Lip, The Bottled Note, The Devil’s Advocate, Dovecot Bar, The Slaters Pick, Sherlocks, The Infant Hercules).


A final word

So independents may be a little more expensive than a national chain which can afford to keep its prices low, but the money spent in an independent business might just go on a child’s dance lessons or helping a someone provide for their family.

Money spent locally stays local for much longer than a few financial drops in the ocean of the profits of a huge national corporation. No corporation will miss the price of a sandwich or a new outfit in the grand scheme of things, but to small businesses every penny matters, and Middlesbrough is lucky enough to have a whole range of independents who are talented, dedicated and care about the town.

(Many thanks to Stuart Boulton for the lovely photo of Bedford Street Coffee!)

Love Middlesbrough Lasses


Innovative Artist Dianne Needs Your Support to Exhibit in Middlesbrough and London

Middlesbrough artist Dianne Bowell is looking to raise £4,400 by Friday, Oct 7th 2016 in order to create and exhibit a series of innovative new paintings which will explore her life story, femininity, hopes, fears and fantasies.

“Sirens of My Relief” is a crowdfunding project to create a new, experimental body of work to exhibit at both The Python Gallery in Middlesbrough and then The Brick Lane Gallery in London. The exhibition will open in January 2017 in Middlesbrough giving the artist 3 months to create the work for this, selected pieces will then be transported and shown in London.

dianne sirens 1I know Dianne’s work well because as well as attending some of her previous shows in Middlesbruogh we share office space in Brentnall Business Centre now the hub for Gilkes Street Artists. I feel so privileged to be constantly passing by the distinctive and quite outstanding figurative paintings of Dianne in my corridor. It adds no end of interest to my work day. I am lucky to have such a talented neighbour and would urge everyone to support the painter in her double quest.

Dianne’s contemporary figurative and portrait paintings are both exhibited and sold on-line. They explore beauty, femininity, love, passion and the sense of self. They are extremely personal, windows onto an inner world and yet are instantly accessible. Dianne draws inspiration from memories, life experiences and dreams.

dianne siren 2 “I have a distinctive style, my work has been said to be instantly recognisable, even when exploring new techniques and materials. I tend to use an idiosyncratic colour pallet of blues, turquoises and violet hues, mixed with monochrome styles. I aim to create exciting unconventional pieces which are authentic and resonate with the viewer.” – Dianne

Dianne has set up a Kickstarter Crowdfunding campaign to help her achieve these goals, the money will help towards materials to create the paintings, including canvas and paints, framing, preview events for the exhibitions and publicity materials.

dianne siren 3Funding will also be welcome to pay for the exhibition in London and the transportation of the paintings. Dianne says, “Being invited to exhibit in a London Gallery is a hugely exciting achievement for me, and this could open up so many doors and really give me the break I need to get my work seen by other galleries and collectors. Unfortunately if the Kickstater project isn’t successful I wouldn’t be able to achieve this at this time.”

Kickstarter, whose mission is to bring creative projects to life, allows the general public to support projects like this by pledging amounts from £1 upwards with the benefit of receiving tiered rewards, such as digital downloads, cards, prints, original paintings and even commissioned paintings.

dianne siren 4Interested parties are invited to visit Dianne’s Website www.dianneartist.co.uk  to find out more and for links to the Kickstarter Project.

Kickstarter Site: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dianneartist/exhibitions-and-boundary-pushing-painting-practice

Click Kickstarter



The Last Pip of Summer

orange pip aug lukeBank Holiday weekend and everyone was out and about at the Orange Pip Market for one last summer fling in central Middlesbrough. The music from acts playing in the street stage to the sizzles of artisan burgers and the splosh of hand pumped ales were the sounds of the Orange Pip summer. A new heartbeat for Middlesbrough.

In four months the artisan street market has become really well established. The last Saturday of the month is no longer the time to head for the moors or the coast, instead all roads lead into Baker Street and for the first time in August, Bedford Street as well. This is the new focal point for happening, vibrant, down town Middlesbrough.

orange pip aug 1The sun was shining once again and this time the market had spread its tentacles of food stalls, tables and chairs into neighbouring Bedford Street.  A real badge of honour and a measure of unqualified success for the artisan market to have already outgrown its terrace street setting and overflowed into the second adjacent street of the independent quarter of Middlesbrough. It certainly meant for more breathing space but there was no diminishing of the atmosphere.

orange pip aug tallOrange Pip brings a lively, energy and optimism to Middlesbrough. In fact it brings the people back into their town centre. The two streets, Baker and Bedford with their micro pubs, independent clothing shops, restaurants, cafés are a real go to hub.

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed on BBC Stoke ahead of Boro’s first home match of the new Premier era. After answering questions about football and the reaction of the town to our top flight return I might easily have been thrown by the final query pitched my way. Where would you recommend the Stoke fans going to before the game? Away fans did not often travel to Boro in big numbers in the Championship but there were nearly 3000 tickets snapped up by Stoke followers. I didn’t hesitate in recommending Baker and Bedford Street as somewhere the visitors could grab a bite size chunk of Teesside atmosphere and refreshment. Spending money at independently run businesses is a nice boost for the local economy.

orange pip aug tall 2A couple of streets that speak of urban renewal from the grass roots up. Somewhere you will get a nice pint and pie and a good conversation.

With bigger away crowds all season and also a higher percentage of home fans than ever before residing outside the area football tourism can be more significant this season. We now have the town centre hotel space to cope and a range of restaurants and bars to cater for different needs. Baker and Bedford Streets can feed off football tourism all season long.

Orange Pip market has flagged up these two little streets to everyone in Middlesbrough and Teesside. People are making a date in their online diaries to make a beeline for the end of the month event. They will also come back in between times to use the little bars and interesting cafes and restaurants.

What a welcome success story from the summer of 2016.

orange pip aug bedford

orange pip aug bedford 1orange pip aug sold out


Orange Pip’s Boro Buzz

On Saturday it was the third Orange Pip Market and once again Baker Street, Middlesbrough was absolutely buzzing and the place to be.

orange pip july tom
Artisan food and drink, live entertainment and a fantastic atmosphere; Orange Pip Market is Middlesbrough’s biggest success story of the summer. Remember, stick a cross against the last Saturday of every month in your diary.

orange pip uly tall 3In fact even the weather has been playing ball because there is rarely a cloud in the sky when market day comes round and temperatures invariably soar. This all contributes to a market day that is packing out the Edwardian terraced Baker Street from 12 noon to early evening and giving the independent traders that feed and water us a massive and well deserved fillip.

If it is good for them then it is also so good for the town and the area. I guess the next thing to ask is where does the market go from here? When winter comes and finally the market day weather breaks how will everyone head for cover?

With such runaway popularity is there a possibility of spreading to neighbouring Bedford Street where the premises of some of the stalls are actually based? That could help produce an even bigger footfall or would that serve to dissipate the impact of an event that is now a real focal point for the whole community.

orange pip july tall 2
There were face painters, hair stylists and vintage photographers at work on entering Baker Street on Saturday.  Stalls selling cakes, crepes, teas, coffees and salad presented welcoming and fragrant aromas. Hog roasts were going down an absolute treat. And an Orange Pip twist on the Tees-tastic Parmo, an artisan Parmo was proving a major hit.

The brilliant Tom Joshua and his mighty band kicked off the live music entertainment in fine style. A young lad who is proving himself to be a singer songwriter of real skill, Tom wooed the crowds spilling out from the tables and chairs and stopped people in their tracks processing down the pavements either side. He even had us joining in his final chorus.

A marvellous Middlesbrough afternoon and once again Pip Pip hooray for the organisers of the Orange Pip Market.

orange pip 2

orange pip 1

orange pip olde youngorange pip 2