Founded by designer Ian Thackeray, The Retro Furniture Co grew out of his specialist decorating and Interior design business, which started back in 2000. However, the origins of the idea go back much further, way back to his earliest memories of his Grandma’s kitchen.
Ian was born in 1957. The post 2nd War rationing had been over for 3 years and Britain had never had it so good. Macmillan’s famous quote reverberated around the Nation.
He actually said, on July 20th of 1957.
"Indeed let us be frank about it - most of our people have never had it so good”
Ians parents certainly epitomised that period of hope and growth. His Dad was army posted to Germany. They bought a brand new Renault Daphinne and had beach holidays in Rimini in 61 and 62 driving the 800 odd miles from Bielefeld each time. His father was the only a Sergeant in the pay corp and his mother certainly didn’t go out to work. So they weren’t rich by any stretch of imagination. But they all clearly enjoyed a great life.
“I remember flying on a Comet 4 from Heathrow to Dusseldorf fortunately not the one that crashed when the tail broke off.”
Ian flew to Singapore when his father was posted there. It took 36 hours. Can you imagine being on aeroplane for 36 hours with a 5 year old and 3 year old, himself and his younger sister?
Realistically his memories of ‘grandma’s kitchen’ must have been in the Summer of 66 after they got back from Singapore. It must have been installed well before then, as they had lived in that house since 1955. But they all clearly enjoyed a great life.
The floor was a blue and white tile effect vinyl or linoleum and heated by an electric storage heater. It certainly was cold staying there once the summer was over. Ian used to sleep with a little woolly hat on and huge quilted feather eiderdown. There was ice on the inside of the windows in the morning. Difficult to believe that’s how most people lived then.
"So in fond memory of my Grandma, who used to make him laugh with stories of my Dad losing his Smarties in air raid in Southampton. And my Grand-pa, who used to pick me up from boarding school, for an illicit Sunday lunch time pint (or 3). I have recreated their fab joyous kitchen for you!"