I have been asked by blog readers outside the UK what is a car boot sale? So here is my explanation. I arrive 7.00am Sunday mornings and most sellers are setting up or, on a sunny day like today, still arriving. This location is a livestock market and 'park and ride scheme' car park out of town so it is big.
Each stall holder pays for the stall, it ranges from £7 for a car up to £15 for a trader. The money is split between the council and local charities. The charities go into a draw and when it is their week they provide volunteers who organise the parking and collect the money.
If you arrive early you can find the best bargains. Straightaway I see this,
I already have a version of this but with a bigger cabinet and more drawers, otherwise I would be tempted. To be honest I was tempted with this one but I do not have the space!
Most of the stalls look like this. People sell their kid's stuff, clothes, household bits and pieces etc.
There are traders too. This is a German bakery and I get bread here most weeks. They have a great selection and regularly sell out.
There are a lot of plant sellers, some are individuals with green fingers and enough surplus of plants, fruit or veg to sell, some are traders who are there every week. I buy my plants here rather than the DIY superstore places. The sellers have lots of expertise and are willing to share it, and the prices are cheap.
This was a whole trailer of rhubarb! The seller comes every year and sells produce he has grown, runner beans, chard, apples. It is the first time I have seen him in a while.
This is where I get many of my fabric finds, the rag stall. It is a mixture of household linens- duvets, curtains etc on the floor and clothes on board tables either side. There is a big pile of house clearance boxes to rummage in too. At 7.50 am, a crowd of regulars (including me) stand around this pile and around the clothes tables until the stall holder rings the bell at 8.00 am and then it is a crazy frenzy of mad fabric obsessed women. He started early this week, I got there just in time! This is the remains after we all dived in and pulled out the good stuff!
I talked to the lady who had this stuffed cat sitting on her car. She said her husband always put it out for good luck. She told me the story of a women whom she met a couple of months ago who wanted to get pregnant and asked to touch the cat for good luck. A few weeks later she came back pregnant!
There were a lot of sewing machines today, I must have seen ten as I walked round.
The seller on this stall is a lovely lady and I always stop and chat with her. She has an incredible supply of vintage buttons and sewing notions. I bought some buttons from her today- you'll see those later.
There are other random stalls, this one sold bikes, car repair manuals and lawn mowers.
There are pretty vintage style stalls too. These are nice to look at but often expensive.
After a slow start, I did have bumper finds. A massive stack of vintage cotton sheets- some unused and all in excellent condition. They were from the rag stall.
I love these pretty tea plates, there were a little stack for 50p, they match nicely with the linens as well, should I want to eat cake in bed.
This was a cute little tin with its cocktail motif.
The buttons came from the stall you saw earlier and the cotton tape I found for 20p at another stall.
The lady showed me these buttons a couple of weeks ago and I had to buy them today- they reminded me of ducks! The effect is lost once the stitch is in to hold them on but I probably won't use them, I like them like this and they are very tactile too.
So now I hope you are better informed! This is a big boot sale and buyers and sellers drive from all around to come. I am lucky, I live 10 minutes drive from it. We thought about moving house a while back and this was seriously one of my considerations for staying! As I come so often it is nice to get to know regular stall holders. It is a friendly, quirky place- lots of families, dogs, even a ferret on a lead has been seen on some weeks. And I always find something, a great place for a bargain!