We made the most of today’s glimpse of sun by getting ourselves to the Hayes Street Farm car boot fair. We weren’t expecting much seeing as it is just out of the London ‘burbs but it turned out to be one of the biggest booties we’ve ever been to.
While I was scouting out an old set of hooks, trying to work out how to get the best price out of a wheeler dealer who had CLEARLY seen me coming from a mile away, an old know-it-all piped up over my shoulder “Oh yeah, 1950’s designer hooks them.” The seller’s ears perkied and he choked out a price way beyond my humble jumble means. I slunked/slank/slinkied (??) off thinking just how typical those characters were.
We bustled about the rest of the fair, spending only about £13 but coming away with a proper arm full. (Okay, er, boot full.) As we bustled we met the whole cast of car booters, the beloved and the beholdens you inevitably find at every one. See if you know them too. . .
Senior Seen Ya
He’s got a House Clearance van full of rusty relics, old stuff that he doesn’t know much about but he knows some people appreciate. Senior isn’t fooled by my guise of “looking poor” especially for the car boot, he knows I can’t resist his languishing junk and hikes up the price accordingly.
Expect to hear: “This piece, you know, it’s a collectible, like a vintage-retro-antique, yeah? It’s £25. A good deal too, for this piece.”
These are another kind of regular car boot sellers. Often a couple, retired, they fetch an extra bob on the odd vintage treasure but also have a a whole load of Rummaging Crates with a sign sticking out; “All 20p”. Their stock flows freely, they go home unburdened, you take home a worn pack of Dominoes; everyone is happy!
Do say: “I’m just popping back to the car to get my trolley bag!”
Don’t say: “Shall we call it 15p, rather than 20p?”
60p I paid for these two sets of dominoes! I’ll keep one set and craft with the other.
Knock off Norrie
Norrie here, he’s got the Idops and the Idaps, a select handful on his muddy blue tarpaulin. But people are crowding round, and some are even buying. We saw one guy today pay £20 for a tablet off our Norrie – he never listened to his mum’s wise words- if it seems to good to be true, it probably is!
Slogan: Less Car Boot and more Boot Leg
Colleen the Collector
Her table is a mecca for tiny porcelain creatures, a swarm of dainty ballerinas, hedgehogs and cats. Either it is a life time of purposeful collecting, OR she made the mistake once of mentioning to someone how much she liked a miniature china hedgehog and every friend and family member has bought her a small ornament for every occasion since. She is finally liberating herself of her fragile army of porcelain.
Trademark:A slight discomfort at having her goods on display.
I got this rusty tin for 10p. Like I need another rusty tin.
Top Makes Dave
One of the rare sellers which will yell, market like, at the crowds “Top makes, everything a pound” as he tries too off load the giant pyramids of loo roll and new household products stacked up behind him. Dave comes from a long line of market traders and is single handedly taking on Poundland.
Try not to:Autocorrect “Makes” with “Brands”
I can’t refuse a Twinkle, especially for 50p. I got the the frame for 10p and a roll of the gorgeous old navy wallpaper behind for another 10p. (“Hey Big Spender, ba, ba, ba, baaa!”)
The Outdoor Boys
You’ll spot these tanned blokes wearing their polo shirts and cargo trousers – often with sons in tow- standing behind their rows of swanky fishing rods and associated gear. I normally whizz straight by but not before wondering if they manage to shift any of their pricey equipment in this jumble rumble.
Expect to hear: Bruce Springsteen blaring out of their stereo.
Meticulous mum with meticulous piles of well priced toys and quality kids clothes. These mums help me leave with not just frivolous rusty tins but some things I actually NEED for Ramona. And I help pay for the kids Scout Camp I ‘spect.
Do say: “I won’t take the princess costume but I’ll have these dungarees, please!”
Don’t say: “I don’t really buy plastic toys for my little one, even if it is Fisher Price.”
It is apparent a dear elderly parent has recently passed on, or a dear elderly parent is not quite passed on but is clearing out. The table is bending under the weight of not-quite-heirlooms spanning the spectrum of a lifetime. A beautiful antique dinner set next to a modern toaster, a tray full of VHS’s under a pile of retro curtains; a film of dust and sadness clings to everything.
Try not to: Shamelessly yelp with too much glee when you find the vintage crockery you are in love with.
Tool Time Terry
Nothing. But. Tools. Hundreds of them.
Expect to see: Tools.
Would you add any other characters to this cast? Would love to hear them!
Linking up with Liz and those cracking Magpies – I bet there are car boot hauls galore over there.