Bags of memories


Remember your first school satchel; the makeup bag that defined your teenage years; the special handbag you were given by your future husband? Our favourite bags evoke memories of watershed moments in our lives, they’re bags with ‘bags of stories’ to tell.

Here we share some of your ‘bag’ memories. Touching, funny, mysterious - these are the tales of the bags you treasure.

School bags of childhood memories

What stories will your kids’ school bags tell?
Rex London mini backpacks - all £12.9 each. 

When Jessica Griffith found a battered leather satchel in a cupboard at a school in Hertfordshire, little did she know what treasure it contained. It turned out to have belonged to a local girl called Mona Stonyer who was a pupil there during the 1920s.

Inside, untouched for over 80 years, were beautifully presented exercise books with pages of painstakingly neat notes and drawings of plants and wildlife.

Mona died in 1990 so nobody will ever know why she abandoned her satchel, but its contents are a touching insight into the school life of a young girl growing up nearly a century ago.

Now from an old school bag to modern school bags for kids - and the memories they’ll capture for the future. Toni at Clarke Couture shares her essentials for a day at college.

Her must haves include lip gloss, chewing gum, flashcards and Post-It notes which she uses to help with revision. Don’t you wonder what people might make of her school bag in 80 years time?

Makeup bag of teenage memories

Blogger Corrie’s makeup bag from her teens sparked memories of adventurous eyeshadows and whatever the white concealer was for!
Image source: dizzybrunette3

Imagine blogger Corrie’s surprise when she discovered her mum had held onto the makeup bag from her teenage years - complete with most of the original contents.

Corrie, who blogs at dizzybrunette3, says that when she opened the bag, what she discovered was a plethora of memories from those years, including eyeshadows in blue, purple and green that she bought on the strength of beauty advice in magazines.

There are even some things she’d like to forget - like the white concealer stick of which she says: ‘I think we'll just skip past this and hope to God I didn't use it as lipstick.’

Old times, old makeup bag - we loved reading about Corrie’s teenage makeup bag and the wonders within, especially her 2 in 1 mascara; one side was a glitter eyeliner and the other mascara. As she says: ‘If that isn't the perfect disco make up item, I don't know what is.’

Makeup bags from Rex London- all £6.95

Rucksack full of backpacking memories

Backpack full of memories for a family of three
Image source: Travel Mad Mum

‘Most people thought we were completely nuts!’ says travel blogger Karen Edwards. When she and her partner took their ten-month-old baby Esme on a round-the-world trip, they carried just one backpack between them.

The trip took the intrepid Travel Mad Mum, partner and baby to Ireland, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Wow - what a lot of memories banked in one rucksack.

One thing Karen will surely never forget is making the entire family’s belongings fit into such a small space. As she explains, ‘We each had a cloth drawstring bag within the backpack. That was each of our allowance and we worked on the basis of 5-6 outfits.’

Needless to say, they had a wonderful time and plan to go away again soon, packing yet more memories into that trusty backpack!

A bag to say, ‘I love you’

Blogger Claire’s special vintage Chanel bag - a gift from a very romantic engagement
Image source: Chouquette

Here’s a romantic engagement story that centers around this stunning pink vintage bag. Its owner, Claire from Chouquette says: ‘Each time I use this bag it brings back the most amazing memories and makes me feel loved and lucky.’

The holiday of a lifetime and good old-fashioned pampering made Claire’s engagement the stuff dreams are made of. But it was when she returned to the the hotel, where she and then boyfriend Paris were staying, that her dreams became reality.

Paris gave her this rare vintage Chanel bag - one that Claire had coveted for years - and when she opened it, inside was a note saying, ‘will you marry me?’

A bag kept in the family

Another vintage Chanel bag - blogger Alex couldn’t wait to ‘borrow’ this gorgeous vintage bag from her mum
Image source: Alex Loves

Here’s another touching story about a beautiful Chanel handbag. Fashion blogger, Alex from Alex Loves, treasures her vintage leather Chanel bag that was originally an anniversary gift her dad gave her mum to celebrate 15 years of marriage. Years later, Alex fell in love with the bag and just had to have it - so she pinched it! She says:

‘I had it for about a year before my mom noticed and claimed she needed it back ‘urgently’. I told her how long I’d had it, and she conceded.’

But what Alex really loves about the bag is that it’s a piece of her parents’ lives together. As she says, she’ll never part with it – even though strangers have stopped her in the street and to ask if she’ll sell it to them. That’s real bag love.

A mystery bag and a sleuth

Blogger Cate’s vintage Cordé bag sparked a real life detective story
Image source: Vintage Gal

Life mirrored art in an unexpected way for Cate who blogs at Vintage Gal. She read the novel Coco’s Secret, in which the heroine buys a 1950s Chanel handbag. Inside, she finds an old letter and it sets her on a journey to find the original owner so she can return it.

Cate says: ‘Imagine my surprise when I bought a beautiful 1940s genuine Cordé handbag from an antiques fair and found a calling card in the inside pocket from the original owner.’

Though Cate managed to trace the owner, a Diana Wright from Bristol, she couldn’t return the bag because, sadly, the lady had already died. Undeterred, Cate tracked down Diana’s wedding album to a man who’d bought it at a carboot sale from Diana herself. He shared the pictures with Cate who now says Diana has become a real, living person to her. What an amazing story.

Rex London bags

Tell your own bag tales with a beautiful bag from Rex London. Here’s just a small sample of what we offer:

Weekend bags

Weekend bags from Rex London- all £29.95

Jumbo storage bags

Jumbo storage bags from Rex London- both £4.95

Shopper bags

Shopper bags from Rex London- all £2.95

Lunch bags

Lunch bags from Rex London- all £3.95

Do you have any fascinating tales about the bags which hold your most precious memories? We’d really love to hear from you. Let us know using #RexLondon