This last weekend I did something that I haven’t done for ages – went up to the big car boot sale/antique market at York racecourse on Saturday morning.
The market is held most Saturdays in the summer, between the end of March and mid October, with a special one on August Bank Holiday Monday. Two big areas of the racecourse are filled with car booters, some coming to sell of their unwanted ‘stuff” but others who come regularly with vintage and antique items, ranging from a few pence to hundreds of pounds.
On a nice day its a very relaxing way to spend a Saturday and there are vans selling hot and cold drinks and hot dogs, burgers and sausage sandwiches when you get peckish. This Saturday was a gloriously sunny day and we got there about 10am – a bit late really as people get there and set up at 7-7.30am and they can start packing away from about 12 to get the site clear for the deadline of 1pm. Going early gives you the pick of what people have brought, but going later means prices are tumbling and car booters are more open to bartering. No-one likes to pack up and take home more than they need to.
I can never leave a car boot sale empty handed
On the first few stalls we saw some vintage cups that my daughter wanted to replace some of hers from uni that were worse for wear. She had decided that vintage was preferable to more cheap stuff from Matalan anyway and was amazed to get some for about 50p each. She is used to London prices for vintage stuff, so this was a great start, This folk art coffee set, which has a Swedish look about it, is garish but definitely vintage – it was £20 but we got it for £6 without trying very hard. The cups also have brown sauces, but the set looks better without them. The saucers can be cat water bowls.
My first bargain was a large serving plate – it is huge, measuring about 20 inches across. I used to have a bowl like this with a chicken design and loved it. Its great for serving up roast dinners so that everyone at the table can help themselves, or to put cakes on for high tea, or to serve up salads. This one is decorated with fruit – so would also make a good fruit dish. It was only £4.
A few stalls further on, my daughter found some old enameled tin mugs – the white ones with a blue rim and bought two. They were also only 50p each and I saw some at another stall and wish I had bought them too, I really like the style of them. At the same stall, a silver plated jewellery box caught my eye. It was similar in design to one I had seen at an antique fair about two years ago. Typically, I saw it during the first few minutes of starting to walk round the fair, but didn’t buy it. I went back for it later and couldn’t even remember which stall it was on and I still remember feeling miffed. This one was a smaller version and was a in a sorry state, but it was OK on the inside and the stall holder threw it in for another 50p.
Only half done and stalls are packing up!
At about 11.30am, we both had a few bags and some breakables so decided to head back to the car as we had finished the first enclosure. People were starting to pack up by now so we scurried there and back to the second enclosure. This looked as if it had more stalls than the first, and we still had quite a lot to look at, even thought things were disappearing into boxes by now. The first stall we stopped at was selling vintage clothes. Probably the best ones had gone but I saw some teenage girls looking at boxes with bags and scarves and when they moved on, I had a closer look.
Best bargain of the day… so far
For my rag rug projects, I need lots of brightly coloured material and I had heard the stallholder say that the scarves were £2 each. They looked quite big ones – more like pashminas or shawls. I was amazed to find that some of the ‘scarves’ in the box were actually saris. They were huge, loads of material and beautiful colours. Two were silk while the other looked like a synthetic material. I bought all three and was amazed to find that I got 50p off for buying the three!!! Three saris, each about 10 metres of material, two thirds of it silk, for £6.50.
This is how they look after a quick handwash and drip dry outside later that afternoon.
And the best buy?
We were both pleased with what we had bought and as everyone was now in full pack-up mode, we decided to go back to the car and home. We passed a stall with old pots and pans and kitchen stuff and, sitting on top of something else, was a wooden tray, a nice big one but pretty ugly. However, it screamed ‘upcycle me’ when I passed, so I bought it for £1. You can see what my pound bought me later this week 🙂