Horrible Histories actor and Paddington 2 writer to open new eco-friendly furniture store near Aylesbury

Look out for the tall writer and actor this weekend

By James Lowson
Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 12:50 pm

Horrible Histories star and Paddington 2 co-writer, Simon Farnaby, is officially opening a new vintage furniture shop near Aylesbury this Saturday (November 13).

A new eco-friendly homeware store called Edie + Po is opening on Buttermarket in Thame and the gangly actor is stopping by for the official launch.

The longtime television fixture has a vested interest in the success of the new shop, as it will be run by his sister, Kate Farnaby.

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Simon Farnaby

Kate like her brother, has worked in the world of television and the entertainment industry for years, but changed tack during the pandemic.

She moved her family to Haddenham a year ago, and is now chomping at the bit, to get going running her own business for the first time.

Kate said: "I wanted to open a shop doing my passion which is vintage furniture and homeware which I love.

"It's got quite a strong ethos this shop, it's got big ideas. It's called Edie and Po after my children.

Kate Farnaby outside Edie and Po

"The idea, I guess, came from thinking about their future. They are only little and we've all got to do our bit, and we've got to make huge changes to the way we live and shop.

"This shop will be a mix of vintage furniture and modern homeware, but the modern homeware has to fit the ethos of the vintage. Which is, well made, built to last stuff for our homes.

"Anything that's modern, I know where it has come from, it's eco-friendly materials wherever possible and I try to source as locally as possible, crafts people who are making their materials, as sustainably as possible, in a way that is eco-friendly."

Surprisingly, Kate's television background has given her a good grounding to transition into the world of vintage homeware. She explained to the Bucks Herald: "I worked in television all my career up to now.

A peek inside the shop

"I was a director of factual television and then a series producer once I had my children and I had to stop filming on the road.

"I cut my teeth as a director, learning my skills on antique shows. So, I must have worked about six years back-to-back, starting as a researcher, then a producer then a director on various daytime antique shows.

"Shows like Cash in the Attic, and I am absolutely not claiming to be an antiques expert, but I know enough about it to have developed a passion. I spent years writing scripts and the amount of random information I took in over the years, it has all been sitting there in my head, so I have all the information there, and I know enough to get by.

"I've still got lots of contacts in that world and you work long hours on these shows and you become tight to the people you're working with, and they're a lovely bunch the antiques world."

Kate sounds excited rather than fazed about the prospect of running a business for the first time.

She added: "I knew if I was going to leave the world of television, I needed to do something that a) I felt really strongly about. But b) I knew something about.

"You can't just open a shop and not know what on earth you are doing, although there is an element of that (laughs).

"The actual retail side of it, I haven't done before. I have a strong business background, my parents run a business. Their parents run businesses, they are here to help me and support me on the business side of things, and I bring the creativity and the love of vintage to it."

Kate and her family escaped to the country after the first lockdown and now live in Haddenham.

The former director has enjoyed her experiences in Bucks so far and is looking forward to embedding herself in the Thame community as well.

She said: "I wanted to work out what I could do locally, to really embed ourselves in the community. I am from the North, a little town in North Yorkshire where everybody knew everybody.

"And then I moved to London where nobody knew anybody, nobody spoke to anybody. And I felt really lonely. I mean, you make friends and you get used to it, I ended up in that London life and it was never really me.

"I wanted to move to a town where I get the kids to an area where they all knew each other, and we can ask for help from each other.

"To be in a job in a town like Thame is just lovely, everyone is friendly, it's a market town, it reminds me of Richmond where I'm from. I love it.

"I can't wait to get to know everybody in the town."

Kate is also looking forward to showing her brother round the shop when it is ready to go on Saturday. She said: "He's so supportive, he's a bit sad that we moved out of London.

"We've lived together, we've got children the same age, so he's really keen for us to get started out here, he can't wait to come and have a look.

"We support each other in everything we do, I was at the premiere of his film three or four weeks ago, he's got a new film coming out which he's written and stars in, and it's coming out in the new year.

"That was a great post-Covid event and now he's returning the favour, he's coming here to support me, in my big life event.

"He's said to me, 'get the word out, I don't mind kids swamping me outside the shop, on the street, that's fine', he loves it he doesn't mind."

Edie + Po opens on Saturday, look out for a tall curly haired comic actor in Thame that afternoon.