Thursday, 19 November 2009

Remember Jumble Sales?

Lucky and Me 1967

When I was a child I remember going to Jumble Sales with my mother. They were held at the local Church Hall and were regular events. At the head of the queue to get in were always the same people - the old women of the village - who must have been there hours before the Jumble Sale officially opened! We had to walk half a mile to the Hall so we never were at the front of the queue. Competition to be the first into the hall was always fierce as the best bargains were to be had by those who got to the tables first! Clothes were laid out neatly on trestle tables until the doors opened and everyone poured in to push and shove their way to the front, and then there was mess everywhere. I don't remember my mother buying much but we always went to the Sales and I was pulled by the arm through the crush to get to the bric-a-brac table, or more often, the cake stall.
What made me think of this now? Well I was wondering what to do with some old towels and sheets I no longer need,  and although I often donate things to charity shops, I doubted they'd be suitable for them to sell on. I then remembered that, years ago, some sheets and towels from the Jumble Sale would have been considered a wonderful find, and would be taken home, thoroughly washed, and used for many more years to come. These days such sales have been replaced by Car Boot Sales, which although they have their place, I don't think they have the same Community atmosphere, nor the same sense of social occasion. Having a cup of tea and a cake at the Jumble Sale was 'a must' for my Mum to catch up on the gossip and to pass the time away in the warmth  of the Hall on a winter's day.
Towards the end of the Jumble Sale, when the pennies were being counted (old pennies of course!)  and us kids were playing outside, the Rag-And-Bone-Man would arrive, ready to take away all the rags that no-one wanted. Whether he paid a small price for them or he took them away for free, I do not know. He and his two young sons arrived on a horse and cart, and to me at the young age of 5 or 6, that was a spectacle in itself! Yes, it was the early sixties and cars were everywhere, even in my village, so a horse and cart was a rare sight!


  1. I reckon it must be about 15 years since I last went to a Jumble Sale. I used to love them! Nothing like a good rummage through a 3 ft deep pile of clothes on a trestle table of a Saturday afternoon. And I used to be able to buy heaps and heaps of stuff for just a few pence. Happy days ... :)

  2. Goodness that brought back memories ...and I agree with everything you said about comunity spirit. You could get great bargains at them ...and I did LOL Had to add that your photo made me stop and think ...I got married the year after that was taken !!!



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