Best of British - vintage gifts

If you're already struggling to find pressies for those hard-to-buy-for brothers, sister, aunties and uncles in the run-up to Christmas, it's worth considering going retro. From classic nostalgia to the downright silly (but nonetheless fabulous) a vintage gift will either make a charming surprise or, at the very least, a welcome change from socks!

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Here are some of the best we've found.

Something special
If you're looking for something special, rather than an amusing memory from days gone by, vintage jewellery could turn out to be a lifesaver. Past Times do a particularly good range of fabulous art deco-inspired jewellery (and a gorgeous little sequinned clutch bag) at very reasonable prices or, for your mum, there's always the Union Jack enamel brooch featuring the important message "Where there is tea, there is hope". Never a truer word!

Wartime memories
There are host of nostalgic items harking back to the Second World War - perfect for parents or grandparents.

Past Times sell charming collections of replica wartime printed memorabilia that'll bring back a few memories - for just £6 choose from the Children's Pack, featuring the Boy's Own Magazine 1944, children's recipes, posters, cards and newspaper articles, or the Home Front Pack including ration booklets, Dig for Victory information and various household leaflets.

The vintage gifts store also sells a range of items featuring the "Dig for Victory" or "Keep Calm and Carry On" designs, while a double CD of love songs from the war years, We'll Meet Again, will have everyone together for a singalong before you know it.

And the Wartime Scrapbook (available from provides an illustrated guide to everything from fashion and food to propaganda and magazine covers from WWII.

Classic car goodies
There will no doubt be many of you who count a classic car lover amongst your relatives. And why not celebrate the best of British motoring with a die cast model. From, not only can you purchase die cast models of British classics from the Land Rover to the E-Type Jaguar, there are also plenty of build-it-yourself model kits to keep the car lover in your life entertained.

For something a little pricier, try and splash out on an Italian leather sports bag specially designed for the vintage motor racing enthusiast, featuring the most famous racing car colours and numbers from motor racing's golden age.

For the big kid
We can't get enough of retro goodies these days and toys from the 70s and 80s are guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of those who remember them.

Try for a trip down memory lane with the Etch-a-Sketch, the Space Hopper, Big Trak (yes, really!), Fuzzy Felt and the Spud Gun. We were particularly pleased to see 1970s pocket synthesiser and David Bowie favourite, the Stylophone in the mix.

For the sweet tooth
Anyone for a Bulls Eye? If so, pay a visit to and relive childhood memories with the sweets and chocolates of days gone by. You name it, they've got it - Army and Navy, candy necklaces, Victory Vs and sugar mice. Alternatively just go the whole hog with a "wooden box of nostalgia" - guaranteed to bring a beaming smile to sweetie lovers everywhere.

For everyone
If your loved one is reaching a special birthday or anniversary, can provide the perfect present - an original newspaper from the date of your choice or, better still, a This Is Your Life newspaper book, featuring a newspaper from every decade of their life.

And for the truly unusual...

If you've got a history boffin or a naval man in the family, there are a limited number of very special gifts available from - copper and oak gifts made from one of the most famous ships in naval history, the HMS Victory. Reclaimed oak from the very ship upon which Nelson was killed, as well as copper melted down from her rivets, has been used to create a select few commemorative products including pens and paper weights.

And you can take home a little piece of Trafalgar history safe in the knowledge that a proportion of the proceeds goes towards preserving the famous ship.

Happy shopping!