RETRO: Fill your boots with bargains

Car Boot Sale at Foxhouse'30th September 1985
Car Boot Sale at Foxhouse'30th September 1985

WE love a good bargain, we do.

And forget eBay or your internet selling sites, this was how second-hand wheeling and dealing was done in the days before lives were lived on computers: in a field or a car park, with human interaction, viewing and touching the things you might buy.

Car Boot Sale at Foxhouse - 30th September 1985

Car Boot Sale at Foxhouse - 30th September 1985

Today, Tuesday Retro continues our A-Z of hobbies which are loved in South Yorkshire with C for car boot sales.

At these Sunday morning staples, buyers and sellers could find goods ranging from furniture to clothing, videos, tapes, records, board games, jewellery, kitchenware, trinkets, knickknacks and, inevitably, a sandwich toaster which had been sat in the back of someone’s cupboard since it was bought for them on Christmas day.

“I remember my mum was once selling old clothes from a clothes horse when someone asked her how much for the horse,” recalls car boot lover Emma Jepson, of the city centre. “She said it wasn’t for sale. He said he’d give her 20 quid. She said ‘done’.”

Truly all legal amateur entrepreneurship was here. And sometimes the sort of entrepreneurship too where you perhaps bought and didn’t ask questions.

“Nothing beats a car boot sale on a sunny Sunday morning,” says Mark Boulby who once ran a Grenoside sale at Old Woodhead.

The first such events were held here in the Seventies. And since then have been held at places as diverse as farmers fields in Foxhouse, Emmanuel Anglican and Methodist Junior School in Waterthorpe, Victoria Quays and Hillsborough Sports Arena.

“I once saw someone buy a Rolex watch for £20 which they later found out was worth a couple of thousand,” remembers Mick. “That’s why people loved them. Because they love a bargain. It’s as simple as that really.