It was, apparently, an unusual day at Pease Pottage. People told us that usually the huge field is full, sometimes going into an overflow field, and that sellers stay around until around 2pm. Today, however, the field was half-empty and sellers started to leave from before midday. Nevertheless, we had a successful day – and we hadn’t even planned on going there!
I’d arrived at our “local”, The Roundstone, at 6.15 am only to find that the gates were closed and a notice that it was closed due to adverse weather. (Okay, Sunday had originally been forecast to be a wash-out.) Well, that stymied me.
Back at home, I checked out my spreadsheet of Sunday car boots and checked them against the relevant websites. Fontwell turned out to be closed until further notice. Ford is a second-hand only car boot and I’d packed new gear. Poynings I thought was out because the A27, which had been closed following the Shoreham air show tragedy, was not due to re-open til Monday. Ditto Brighton Marina and Brighton Racecourse. (Though actually the A27 opened later this morning.) So: Chichester, Rusper or Pease Pottage? I’d done Pease Pottage once before and done reasonably well, so I checked the Facebook page which confirmed that the car boot was on today.
The car boot is well signposted – just as well, as Ms Satnav wanted me to go onto the M23. Once in the field, again it is clearly signposted for buyers and sellers. The £10 car fee is payable as you go in, and then stewards direct you to your spot. All very organised.
It was busy from the off, even before I’d unloaded the car. This sometimes happens when you’re an unfamiliar face. You do need to keep an eye on your stock as it’s all too easy for some to go “missing” when there’s a crowd of people. Also, be prepared to stop unloading and deal with any buyers. It’s all haberdashery, I say, and those after jewellery or records melt away.
The GOM (Grumpy old man) arrives. He had to pay 50p entrance as a buyer – not that the entrance charge seems to put buyers off here. Now he was here to take charge of the stall, I “went for a wander”. There was a mix of traders and clutter-clearers plus plenty of food stalls and a large fruit and veg stall. I touched base with a couple I know from Ford. They were surprised to hear that the Roundstone was closed.
The buying frenzy stopped at around midday – remember, this is unusual! – so we ate our picnic lunch and then packed up. There’s always a fine balance between waiting for the last buyers and wasting time.
We spent the afternoon in Worthing. Unbeknown to us, festivities awaited. There were stallholders on the beach front. At these events, I’m always interested in which stalls are busy: the professional looking ones, selling food. And which are not: those promoting intangible interests with nothing to look at or buy. At Steyne Gardens, we came across a vintage car rally together with a live band, Taylor Maid. It was great to sit on the grass and just listen and be part of the audience – for once.
Altogether, it was an unusual – and enjoyable – day.