A guest blog from Mr SHS…
Ever wondered what to do with all of those red elastic bands that the postman/ woman drops on your doorstep. Well, why not collect them, bag them up and sell them for 10p at a boot sale? Now obviously, as far money-making schemes goes, I recognise that this one ain’t going to make anybody rich, nevertheless this didn’t seem to deter a certain woman at the Parrs Wood PTA Table Top Sale, Manchester from doing so. Why, so admiring was I of her resourcefulness and audacity that I even considered buying them (after all you never know when you’re going to need elastic bands, particularly if you’ve prohibited yourself from buying them new), were it not for the fact that I didn’t have a 10p handy and simply couldn’t be bothered breaking in to another pound to purchase them.
Still, I had earlier picked up a copy of the Bionic Woman Colouring Book for the princely sum of 50p from the same woman’s stall, and admired her Nadia Comaneci gymnast doll, dressed in a rather cool, of-the-era, Romanian Olympic team tracksuit (and as I’m writing this, I’m beginning to regret not having stumped up the £20 to buy her). However, for anyone thinking that this particular table-top sale offers up a cornucopia of cool and idiosyncratic goods, it has to be said that our rather eccentric lady’s table (comprising of bags of buttons, offcuts of brightly-patterned fabrics and erm… colouring books from the 1970s) was one of the few stand-outs at the sale. Otherwise, perhaps reflecting its location in the comfortable suburbs on the borders of Manchester and Stockport, this sale was distinctly lacking in the kind of goods that might tickle the fancy of an ageing hipster such as I (cult books, old vinyl LPs, retro clothing etc). As such, purchases were pretty much limited to the aforementioned colouring book, a vase (1970s, West German I was told) for £4, a couple of old vinyl LPs for 50p each, a pair of beach trousers for my eldest daughter, a pair of utilitarian sandals for Mrs SHS – I sure do know how to spoil her, huh? – and a baking tray (as new) for £1.
Generally, on doing the rounds of this particular sale of about thirtyish stalls, I noted that a significant number of dealers were in evidence (both selling and buying) and that at least half of the stallholders had been present the last time I attended the sale. All of which means that I will probably leave it for a little while before I visit it again. In the meantime, I’m happy to report that the deficiencies of the table-top sale were compensated by some choice booty sourced in the upmarket charity shops of nearby Didsbury, where purchases included the books Visceral Pleasures by British graphic designer, Vaughan Oliver and The Very Breast of Russ Meyer by Paul A. Woods and the Lp Rodgers For Moderns: The Compositions of Richard Rodgers by Ted Heath (sadly, not the former British PM!) and His Music, bought solely for its charming illustrated cover.
The next Parrs Wood PTA table top sales take place on 8 Sept and 13 Oct, from 10.00am at Parrs Wood High School, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 5PG