Left: Budleigh Salterton’s Public Hall, ideally located for the weekly flea-market
As a child in Melbourne, I remember the excitement of monthly Chuck Out Day when items too big to be taken by the bin men were placed on the nature strip at the front of each house. My Dad and I slipped out at sunset to cruise the streets and a plump, carved chair and a gilt frame became family heirlooms. Mum chose to ignore this predilection.
Right: Newton Poppleford-based Liz Sharples - “everyone knows me as busy Lizzie” - with some of her produce, made and grown by local artists and farmers http://www.busylizzies.co.uk/
Later, after regular trawls through trash and treasure markets and opportunity shops (such encouraging names), the interest travelled with me. My employment in a York psychiatric hospital soon made it apparent that meaningful occupation would be helpful to those patients about to face the world, so what better than a hospital-based charity shop?
Left: Antiquarian and secondhand bookseller Michael Welch, who with his wife Elizabeth runs Gulliver’s Books in Budleigh
The project was a success and so was the one based in Dubai to raise funds for a school for handicapped children. All those highly mobile, extravagant expatriates were a wonderful source of goodies.
Left: Sheila Hyson, from Hittesleigh, sells antique garden ornaments and tools, as well as running Hyson Fairs http://www.hysonfairsltd.co.uk/
However, it was the cheerful chat of stallholders, obviously enjoying their weekly pitch in the comfortable Town Hall, rain or shine, that convinced me. Decluttering, in line with the trend towards beige and space, seemed an obvious way to start a stall, so with some trepidation I contacted Hyson Fairs and four weeks on I am hooked.
Right: Graham Ashton comes all the way from Dawlish to sell his china at Budleigh’s flea market
It's just as well that Budleigh Salterton has charity shops, antiques and collectibles businesses, an auction house and a nearby recycling centre for those people interested in creative shopping at our Flea market.
Thank you Kirsty, my home, full of colour and interest is happier too and my certainty that one person's junk is another's gem is confirmed.
Due to Public Hall Bookings the Flea Market, usually every Thursday 10.00 am -1.00 pm, all year round, in the Town Hall is NOT in Budleigh Salterton on the following dates in 2009. 30 July, 6 August, 20 August, 27 August.
Text: © Sue Chapman