Vervia's Attic in Houghton-le-Spring reopens to the public

connie dress

The home of late collector extraordinaire, Vervia Todd is to reopen to the public on March 8, following the success of its first event.

Vervia developed a desire for first-rate fashion following the death of her fiancé during the Second World War. She travelled the world each year to build up an outstanding wardrobe, which was kept a secret until after her death in 2012.

Similarly to the previous event, it will be a personal experience, held at Vervia’s lifelong home in Houghton-le-spring.

The initial showcase of her fashion collection, which she had hoarded over a period of 70 years, was held in December 2013 and was supposed to be a ‘once in a life time’ experience.

However due to its vast size, there was still at least two thirds of it left, resulting in second sale.

Michael Faulkner and Paula Donaldson, owners of vintage shop, Dregs of Society in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside have helped organise the clothes for the two events.

Michael stated: “It’s hard to make a living out of vintage. You go to vintage fairs and it’s what I call tea cup vintage. And it’s all the same, you know. We just wanted to do something different and unique.

“We just walked in and were like: “what? Wow. What is this?” It’s just fantastic.”

“Clothes were been pulled from everywhere. There was a designer dress up the chimney, clothes hidden all over the house.”

They have ensured that the seconds will be just as much of a unique shopping experience as the original, with the exception that some of the stock will be from their own exclusive collection – including a range of vintage bridal dresses which were not available at the first Vervia’s attic.

Michael and Paula have been in the fashion trade for about ten years and have never come across anything as outstanding as Vervia’s collection.

Sheila Ellis, 65, best friend of Vervia said: “Every room was blocked off except her room, the bathroom and the front room. They say you should de-clutter – Vervia didn’t.”


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