Welcome back to this series, where I take you along with me to have an exclusive peek into the underground, niche, and secret things going on in the vivid city of Manchester.
I invite you to come along on this journey in the hopes that maybe you will discover a new passion, check out a new area, or find a new pocket of yourself that was perhaps previously unknown to you. Whatever it is, I hope you’re able to take away something positive from these virtual tours of the weird and wonderful in Manchester.
A few Saturdays ago I attended a car-boot sale, Rummage in the Range, hosted at the Carlton Club in Whalley Range. Dubbed “an old skool car boot sale in Southside Suburbia” – I had to go and see it for myself. After fumbling around with coins for a bit, I paid my £1.50 entrance fee and in I went.
I got there fairly late in the day, unlike the rest of the avid bargain-hunters who arrived at 10 a.m. Nonetheless, it was still at its peak! The atmosphere was thriving and bustling much to my surprise. It wasn’t your typical dreary-eyed ‘boot sale, heaving with niche collectors on a groggy day with the smell of cheap bacon butties and filter coffee breath lacing the oxygen.
With socially distanced stalls, live DJs spinning actual records, a massive beer garden, and an iconic Hip Hop Chip Shop food truck – this car boot sale was quite the opposite of what I’m used to.
Soundtracked by Be With Records’ Rob Butler on the decks, the small patch of vibrance was buzzing with great music. Perched just next to the DJ tent was an incredible street artist – selling his unique pieces for £7 each! Not bad for an in-the-moment custom piece of wall art!
With my bargain-hunter-cap pulled on tight, I darted off with a clear strategy for targeting all the stalls (basically go around as quick as possible frantically and try not to lose your entire wallet or dignity for that matter…).
My first purchase was a pair of 12-karat gold hoop earrings for (drum roll, please) THREE POUNDS! That initial victory set the tone for the rest of my rummaging spree. I then stumbled upon a pair of Diesel flares for a quid, a handmade tote bag for 50p, a patchwork waistcoat for a fiver, and a yellow top which simply read “live simply” on the front for next to nothing.
I found it both poetic and prophetic.
The purchase(s) I’m most proud of has to be a huge stack of books ranging topics from Greenham Common protests, Che Guevara, Maya Angelou, The Virgin Suicides, and how to culturally revolt. All vintage editions, all for £6, with all the proceeds going to charity. It’s a tripartite win-win-win!
Upon completing my tour of the field, I was pleased to be informed that the Carlton Club bar was open and, before I knew it, I was balancing all my new purchases with a bottle of craft beer which I knew nothing about except that it tasted yummy. My expertise is on deadstock fashion – not artistic beverages.
After my initial mania of being back in a car boot sale after what feels like forever wore off – I was able to fully appreciate the community and people who surrounded me.
Everywhere I cast my gaze seemed to host a friendly face, a compliment, an out-there outfit, a young creative, an interesting conversation, a whole family, a cute couple, and, of course, lots of lovely dogs.
I really enjoyed the range of people in the Range (pardon the pun – I had to do it, sorry). But seriously, it was such an effortless and raw coming-together of an entire community. From die-hard vintage lovers to people just trying to save a quid or two, environmentally-conscious consumers to people who just wanted a drink with some live music – this car boot sale was something special. It had something for everyone.
Rummage in the Range’s Facebook page states:
“The idea of these events is to provide a fun, old skool car boot sale to the wider local community and also provide an atmosphere where everyone is included and there is something for all ages and backgrounds.”
And it couldn’t be more true!