Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The car boot sale treasure hunt in Surrey
It was with the utmost curiosity that I agreed to join my cousin and his wife to a car boot sale in Surrey on a surprisingly sunny Saturday morning. I took the 30 minute train ride from London to Guildford and imagined a little patch just out of town with a few antiques floating around. So I was admittedly overwhelmed with the scale of what I saw when we arrived. Not that this is the biggest car boot sale in England by any chance.
As far as the eye could see, cars were parked in rows on a grassy field; car boots open, trestle tables out. Some even had their goods packed out on blankets on the grass or hanging from industrial rails. Lalie and Herman clearly know their way around these markets and headed off with a mission to look for specific items that they had in mind. I found myself wandering aimlessly between collections of mismatched silver cutlery, well loved My Little Ponies and some velvety Sense and Sensibility dresses.
My forehead must have spelled confusion when I saw an old toilet seat. Lalie explained that some of these oddities often become fashionable, such as the current trend of using old washing basins as flower pots in the English garden. It was certainly hard to believe that anyone would want to buy some of the trash at this trunk sale. Yet the variety of goods was mind blowing. From tools and bicycles to bird baths and broaches.
Once I managed to gather myself I figured I might as well hunt for a few treasures. It was easy to bargain and since it was already almost time to pack up many things was selling out for £1. Such as the tiny Finnish porcelain tea cup which was my first buy. I also found an anthology of love poems, a pair of vintage leather gloves, an Audrey Hepburn style head scarf, a silver butterfly ring, a shiny bracelet and a dress suit.
All for £14. I cannot think of anywhere in the world where I could find better value. Or have more fun discovering pretty things and the stories that make them interesting. Lalie found her bird feeder and Herman got a tool box for his garage, at a fraction of what it would cost new. Fabulous way to shop indeed. I will be back!