Posts Tagged ‘Banchory’

Scout jumble haul 2013 005

It’s the only second hand shopping experience where I go with an actual list and expect to tick it off: the now legendary Banchory Scout Jumble Sale. Alas, I forgot my camera, but Oli took a few interior shots on his phone. A rainy start to the morning made for a better place in the queue and, I felt, a better chance at the myriad bargains inside the totem-poled gates. We also had a better strategy this year of splitting up and so I swerved the outdoor displays -garden furniture and equipment, suitcases, furniture, rugs, toys- and dived straight in to the meleé that is the indoor hall: books, clothes, DVDs, textiles, electrical equipment and the 12 metre long bric-a-brac table already two deep like a pub at half time.

Scout jumble 2013

Scout jumble 2013 2

The volunteers are easily divided into two groups: the experienced and the fearful, and I’m sure you can guess who gives the better price! Sadly the linen was disappointing this year; mostly curtains and no hand knitted blankets. The hand embroidered tea tray cloths, tablecloths and napkins were also pretty thin on the ground, which isn’t surprising as they have -quite rightly, if annoyingly!- regained their status as high-value items. But there were baskets a-plenty, and I nabbed a big one for dirty washing, a smaller one for vegetables, and a wee one for… well, I don’t know yet but I do love a basket.

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I also picked up three clip-lidded glass jars and my long searched-for perfect lemon drizzle cake tin. A hand knitted jumper and some school trousers for Sol (school!) were the only fruits of a rummage through the mountain of children’s clothing, and we fought our way outside with my massive basket to make one final purchase of a battered old suitcase for the boys’ dressing up clothes. I spent £10 in total. Oli splashed the cash and spent £13 on a work bench and some ski poles to compliment last year’s skis.

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The scout leader who sold us the claw footed bath last year spotted us immediately and enquired as to its status- sadly reported back as a handy receptacle for unused carpets and bits of wood. But no longer- it may be on the move towards fulfilling its fitful purpose, so watch this space! (And watch, I predict, one or two plumbing videos on YouTube)

Last year the scouts raised in excess of £10,000 from their sale, and in terms of bargains, enjoyment and general amusement, I think every penny spent by the customers was very well spent indeed. Can’t wait for next year!


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Yes I know. In this genteel, quiet north eastern Scottish town, with chic chocolate shop and independent retailers, bristling with royal warrants (not too far from Ballater and HRH holiday retreat Balmoral) I found… a yarn bomb. I was pushing Otis on the swing in the children’s park when I noticed it attached to the swing frame.

I think it’s a crab, but perhaps a monster? I’m uncertain. My friend Elizabeth is fairly sure it isn’t the work of the local knitting group of which she is member (average age 60 and not a hotbed of textile art-based subversion)

As well as the solitary yarn bomb, I have long noticed a stencilled bomb hugger and bomb (although… could be something else) on one of those grey BT boxes by the traffic lights. Far be it from me to suggest it’s a genuine Banksy (he has set up his own organisation that certifies his work, and they are notoriously fickle), and it seems quite bizarre that Banchory might harbour such urban cool. But then perhaps Banksy, tired of the hard bitten streets of Bristol, had a wee break on Royal Deeside. Who knows.

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I’ve had this date in the calendar for ages. After last year’s bountiful haul, I was positively gleeful with anticipation at this annual event, which is in its 40th year. It runs from 10-2pm, but get there early. They made £10,000 last year. It’s hardcore bargain hunting, with beat-up trailers, shifty looking antiques dealers, excitable boy scouts selling chocolate frogs and bacon butties, Northeastern grannies with their reusable supermarket bags ready to fill to the brim, and families upgrading children’s bikes.

Last year we went with a list which we ticked off pretty smartly. This year, with our own home to buy for, we went with measurements. And a tape measure.

Oli spotted a wooden blanket box/chest thing which he started to make enquiries about while I took pictures of lovely chairs, tables, a beautiful cast iron slipper bath with clawed feet, a great pair of old deck chairs -sold, sadly- and stacks of vintage suitcases. Steering clear of sports equipment and toys, I ventured inside.

The crowd outside was bustling, but the scrum in the hall -bric-a-brac table 3 deep- was unreal. Last year I was very pregnant, this year Otis wailed at me from his sling. He will soon learn about bargain hunting. I had the same feelings of missing out on something that must drive all thrifters, trawlers of car boot sales and charity shoppers. The feeling that somewhere was something that must not get away. I just needed to find it.

Nothing is priced at this sale, either, and the volunteers are not exactly expert antique/second hand goods sellers. There are some serious bargains to be had. I saw a very large rolled up eastern rug (one of those plain ones with little animals dotted about very sparsely) and was told it was £20- but by the time I had found Oli to discuss buying it, it had vanished. Rookie.

But we still made a few purchases: two demijohns for £1, two gorgeous embroidered tablecloths and a hand knitted baby blanket for £6 (rescued by me from a woman who wanted it for her dog’s bed!) and the aforementioned wooden chest.

The boys, by this stage, had had enough, and so we retreated to our friends’ house for a lovely lunch and cups of tea. It had been the first day of sunshine in a long while, and it is set to be sunny today. It feels like a tiny taste of summer.

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