About Gule Længe Antik
How it All Began
On a windy and rainy August day in 1968, I drove through Vildmosen in Vendsyssel on the way from Aarhus to my new place of education, Hjørring Seminarium, where I was to spend the next 4 years. It turned out to be a decision that completely changed my life.
10 months later I met one of my friends that I knew from our participation on the national athletics team. He had moved to Hjørring and was working in a clothing store, where I met him when I was looking for a pair of trousers. He asked if I was interested in taking over a store in Lønstrup, which he had rented for DKK 800 for the whole summer of 1970, since he had to move back to Randers. I accepted the offer right away and left the clothing store with a lease on the store in Lønstrup, but without the pants I had come to buy.
I immediately started to renovate the shop in Lønstrup which was connected to The Old Grocery Store: there was sand on the floor and fishing nets in the ceiling. The opening of the small shop was not with antiques, but with handicrafts, hand-dipped candles, glass and 1500 old fishing floats made of glass, which I bought from Iceland through a fisherman. These old glass fishing floats later proved to be of great importance to me personally.
After a few weeks with great trade in the store, I met my neighbor, who had settled in The Old Grocery Store in the same building. He had just started with second-hand goods that came from estates in Copenhagen. He asked if I would take over his store of goods. His fiancée would break with him if he did not return to Copenhagen. So, after 1 hour we had made a contract on a note that I took over the store’s lease and all the goods for 3500 DKK with 1500 DKK now and the rest at the end of the season. The previous owner packed his suitcase and immediately traveled back to Copenhagen. So suddenly I stood with 2 shops without having knowledge of antiques and old things.
However, I quickly found out the prices, because if people bought, the price had to be cheap enough. If they did not buy, the price must be too high. So many exciting deals were made that summer. Next summer I continued again with both stores. The shop with antiques and old things was called Gule Længe, as the building was whitewashed yellow. We have kept this name ever since.
In the summer of 1971, I sold 2 old glass fishing floats to a cute young woman named Bitten Madsen from Lønstrup. At present time, we have been together for 50 years and had our son Andreas.
The Last 50 Years
In 1973, we moved to our current address at Lønstrupvej 58 on the outskirts of Lønstrup. We quickly turned the barn into a shop with antiques and old things. I spent the weekdays working as a teacher at Vrå School, while the days off were spent in the shop, as well as on shopping trips to Sweden, England, and Finland.
In 1975, we started organizing Løkken Antique Fair in Løkken Sports Center. In the first year, approximately 14 exhibitors participated, but already the following year we went up to the current number with about 35 antique dealers from all over the country. Throughout the years, we have focused on presenting the best products in antiques, art, and design under the motto ‘quality and tradition’. With its now 45 years, Løkken Antique Fair is Denmark’s oldest antique fair.
In 1984, I choose to stop my teaching job in Vrå and my wife also decides to stop as a kindergarten teacher in Tårs. Then we can now spend all our time at the store, antique fairs and all the shopping trips that are necessary to get an exciting store. At the same time, our 6-year-old son Andreas begins to help us well both at the fairs and in the store. In the late 1980s we start looking for other countries where we can buy exciting antiques, it is mainly the countries of Central Europe, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic that we visit.
In 1989, when I am chairman of Lønstrup Chamber of Commerce, we engage in a project that we will never forget. A few days after Romania’s leader Nicolae Ceausescu was executed in December, we are the first in Denmark to drive down with emergency aid in 3 cars to an orphanage in Romania. The gratitude we met and the impressions we got still fill a lot in our thoughts.
In 2005, we find a niche for our trade in antiques and as antique fair organizer. On a shopping trip to Central Europe, I come across a factory that produces copper gutters. At that time, we are renovating our old property from 1890, so I decide to buy a consignment to bring back home to Lønstrup. The gutters are being set up and the interest in buying such gutters is proving to be big, so we start to import them for sale. In total, we are now up to having sold copper gutters to more than 1000 houses.
During the Corona epidemic, we have had to cancel Løkken Antique Fair 2 years in a row. In addition, our new initiative Market in Løkken Sports Center has been affected by cancellations, but we managed to organize the market for the first time in September 2021. We are also looking forward to getting started again with Løkken Antique Fair in August 2022, so we can celebrate the 45th anniversary that has been postponed for 2 years.
To sum up, I can say that it has been an interesting and exciting time for Gule Længe Antik. In the last 50 years, the time has changed a lot when it comes to the sale of antiques. In the beginning, it was enough to put up a sign with antiques by the road and people flocked in. Now it requires more work on social media and with a website. Our son Andreas can handle this in the best way. But one thing has not changed: good old-fashioned service and knowledge of what we sell. These are simple things that we take pride in remembering.
May 11, 2022