Monday, 22 June 2009

The First Boot

I have been asked a few times by non-UK bloggers what a Car Boot Sale is. For some reason I always thought the concept of Car Boot Sales was imported from the US, don't know where I got that idea from. According to Wikipedia the world's first Boot sale was held at Nepicar Farm, Wrotham Heath in Kent in September 1980, called a Car Boot Sale because items are sold from the boot (trunk) of your car - though most people bring trestle tables.

They are probably something of a cross between a flea market and a yard sale. Some stalls are dealers, sometimes market traders with new goods (not always allowed), but mainly just ordinary folk clearing out their junk and if you are looking for something in particular, sooner or later you will most likely find it. Children's toys and clothes are very popular, as are CDs and DVDs. I was looking through my photos to see if I could find a typical stall but all I could find was this picture of my stall (together with my Dad - that brass is not mine!). Somewhere in there is the obligatory fondue set and in the left of the pic a blue box of something which proves you can buy almost anything - and I did sell them!

I came across this huge cake once at a huge charity boot sale - it was taller than me.

This is not a typical stall, this lovely display was at a posh boot sale.

Usually Car Boot Sales take place on a Sunday morning at a hideously early time, though there are some afternoon ones, and occasional mid-week or Saturday. When Mr. Bloom and I had our break in Ludlow it was mid-week so I had no expectation of 'booting' and couldn't believe my luck when I saw a sign in a field advertising one at 4pm on a Wednesday! Of course we went - my luck ran out - there were 4 boots, I didn't buy anything!

I first discovered the joys of booting in the 80s. I had my first home, which I wanted to decorate in an 'olde'worlde' style - the term vintage wasn't really used in those days for home decor. I couldn't afford to buy in antique shops and the car boot was a real treasure trove for me, my house soon filled up with lots of vintage goodies, prices were much better those days too. I no longer have many of those early boot finds - circumstances forced me to reluctantly part with them over the years, probably just as well otherwise I'd need be living in a mansion by now!

I opted for a lie-in last weekend, so no boot finds, but I did manage a bit of thrifting elsewhere and acquired a few bits and bobs which are in all the other pics.

I didn't go to a Car Boot Sale yesterday either, but I did go to the Giant Flea which so huge it was almost too much to cope with. Needless to say I bought a few things, I'll try and post them sometime soon.

I am going to be busy with various things over the next couple of weeks so my posts may become even more sporadic than usual, but hoping to restore some normality soon!


  1. I love a good car boot sale, just wish I could be bothered to get up on Sunday more often to discover treasures. Shockingly a lie in bed always seems more attractive than leaving it in search of vintage goodies. I just read that and now I think i'm mad!

  2. I love poking around a good booty.We have one at the racecourse, every 2 or 3 weeks chance to have a wonderful browse!

  3. Hi Lucy

    It was lovely to see you and Mr Bloom yesterday. Glad you found some goodies - shall look forward to piccies in due course.

    Sue x

  4. I haven't been to a boot sale in a few weeks now, really must change that this weekend!

    Victoria xx

  5. I think the concept of the boot sale is great. There are some sales similar here where everyone sets up in a park or sometimes a parking lot.

    Your photos are so pretty, and I love the thrill of what we might find at the sale.

  6. I have a confession to make: I have never been to a car boot sale! I have to be in church on Sunday mornings. Besides, I don't know anyone who wants to leave their beds to go rummaging for stuff.
    Lovely finds though :o)

  7. I miss the car booty on a sunday morning. They are called Vide grenier here which translated means empty attic. They are not as good as the english ones but that doesn't stop me going. It is slightly different that each village has one a year and people put their stalls outside their houses and you wander round the villages being nosey.
    enjoy your booty's this summer
    love jules xx

  8. I enjoy your blog so very much. It is so pretty. You have inspired me to start my own blog. Thanks

  9. Oh, that green necklace is gorgeous!!!

  10. Hi, we love car boot sales...Noreen used to get up really early on a Sunday to go. I like those that start at a more sensible hour or one's I come across by accident.

    We've had some great bargains though. Going on hols to France soon so looking forward to finding things at brocantes (think that's what they're called).

    Margaret and Noreen

  11. I love seeing what you find...and I really enjoyed learning about a boot sale! We have similar things here too but just called different names depending on where they are located. Great stuff!

  12. I think the term Boot Sale just translates to a lot of fun treasure hunting. We have market stalls...same thing really, it is a bit like you have to kiss a lot of toads before you get a handsome have to wade through a lot of 'stuff' before you get your treasures (which are usually something someone else considers junk).
    Kiss Noises Linda

  13. I am disappearing under the boxes I have to take to a carboot sale...unfortunately they are always on a Sunday and I usually have to work on that day..exept last Sunday when I went to a giant flea too!! was your at Shepton Mallet??

  14. Hi Lucy, your coments re car booting really rang true with have bought at car boots over the last 20 yrs..reluctantly parted with some goodies...and yse bargains are harder to find now!!still go every so often tho...just in case!! best wishes sue x

  15. How do you do, Mizz Lucy Bloom? I trust all is well with your Mr. Bloom!! :O)
    Thanks so much for explaining Car Boot Sale..I didn't really know but guessed that your "boot" was our trunk. Yes, we have these kind of sales.. at flea markets, generally. Sometimes, a peddler will bring a little open trailer behind his car and put his "stuff" on the trailer to show. Then, some of the flea markets have "booths" that an individual seller can rent and set up her tables and wares.
    Does Mr. Bloom help you in your boot sales? Or, does he have a nice supper cooked when you get home? tee hee...if he does, tell him that I told YOU that you are a lucky young lady....
    xo bj

  16. Oh YUM! That little vanity tray is the cutest thing EVER! And, those sales? Why are they just too darn far away? They look like so much fun. Sales here look NOTHING like that...mostly broken plastic and old books etc.


  17. You could fund a living in the early days of car booting (and jumbles), my Mum did, with lots of hunting and hard work. There were amazing finds to be had at cheap prices at many weekend and mid-week booting rendevous, not so many now. I hardly ever visit, I really need to sell before I start buying again! x


Thank you for your comments - I am not always able to reply but they are always appreciated.
Lucy x