I used to be a regular “booter” (both as seller and buyer) at Apps Court Farm 15-20 years ago, back when that was on my old stomping ground. Yesterday, I was back. We’d been to a function up nearby on the Saturday night so decided to “do” Apps Court on the Sunday morning, it being only a mile or so from our overnight stop.
Apps Court has always been big, well attended and organised. It still is – but more so. Full marks for clear signage as you enter the grounds. (Be aware, though, that there are two entrances, so you may well be halted by a marshal as the other entrance is let through.) Onto the pitch and you are led to a set place by the marshal and who also marks how much space you are entitled to. As it happened, neither of my neighbours had lots of stock and they were happy for me to take up as much room as I required so I was still able to lay out my three tables lengthwise, but another time I might take issue with the fact that although I have a small car I will be paying the same amount of pitch fee as a longer vehicle so should be entitled to the same length of pitch space. (At Hayling Island, a pitch is as long as your vehicle, but then again, the fee is calculated accordingly.)
It paid to be there at around opening time (7 am) as business was brisk from the off, even as I was setting up. The GOM phoned me on his arrival around an hour later and asked me to direct him to my stall. A passer-by pointed out that the rows are numbered:
This is just so useful – other car boot organisers please take note!
Other points to other car boot organisers:
- Sellers pay their pitch fee (£12 per car) after the cars are parked. This means that the traffic flow is not held up.
- Buyers are charged a £1 parking fee, which they pay on leaving – again, so that the traffic flow is not held up. (Sellers are given a ticket which is surrendered on leaving, which means that they do not pay the £1 parking fee for buyers.) However, this does not mean that a parking fee is a good idea for other organisers – Fontwell car boot went downhill when new organisers tried to do this. Apps Court Farm offers a morning shopping experience together with a good eateries and okay loos and parking at a fraction of the cost of parking in nearby Kingston-upon-Thames whereas the south coast has plenty of places with free parking.
Going round the car boot, I noticed that there are now a lot more traders than there were when I was a regular 15-20 years ago, but this is probably the same nearly everywhere now. But there was a good mix of traders, regular booters and people having a house clear-out. There was also a good fruit and veg stall (I bought 2 bunches of asparagus for £2) and a choice of places to eat and drink, all located in one area perpendicular to the rows of car booters.
At the end of the car boot, the marshals were assiduous in picking up litter. Rubbish left by traders was initially left for others to pick over – I scavenged some novels, CDs and some “rainy day” stock.
When I totted up my takings, I was delighted with how well we’d done, which shows it really does pay to try a new area from time to time and be a “new face”.