I spent all of last week but one feeling disappointed by the rubbishness of the usually majestic Hough End boot sale the weekend before. So it was with a renewed sense of anticipation that I headed down there again last Saturday. Surely it couldn’t disappoint me twice. The sun was shining, I walked there, which takes about 40 minutes, down Alexandra Road in Moss Side. I like Moss Side: its bad reputation is largely undeserved. It’s got one of THE most beautiful parks in the UK slap bang in the middle of it, and some stunning architecture dotted in amongst the cheap housing. I was feeling really quite chirpy and uplifted as I got closer, and looking ahead to a good hunt.
I neared the entrance and was puzzled to see that the gates seemed to be closed, with some terrified looking young cadets (it’s put on in aid of the air cadets) fending off annoyed sellers with boots full of bounty.
Cancelled. Because of a waterlogged pitch.
Honestly, I’m starting to think that me and Hough End will never be on the same page. It’s only on anyway for six weeks every summer so that’s it for this year. Sigh.
By Saturday evening I was still feeling the need for some thrifting action, so it seemed like a good time to investigate Bowlers boot sale: the one that’s advertised in the Manchester evening news every week. We’ve never been before because even though it’s in Trafford, where we live, we’ve…erm…never been able to work out where on earth it is. But this time I was determined, sussed it out and it turns out that a bus from close to us goes pretty close to it. So I was all set.
I woke up on Sunday morning not really expecting much… maybe 30 cars or so of slightly desperate sellers at this indoor boot sale, all wishing the sunny weather away so that more people would come along. I had to faff around a bit to find it as it really is in the middle of nowhere, or more precisely of a big industrial estate.
Now this, THIS was what I was looking for. Yesssss… Bowlers boot sale is massive. And eclectic. And generally fantastic. I’d say think of three Old Trafford football grounds and you might just about have it. It took a good few hours to walk around. It was a happy mix of literally everything under the sun (or not in this case) which is what you want from a boot sale. I could have bought tons of stuff, but as we are currently feeling buried under stuff and needing to offload some I was super selective. So just (just!) things like the Yoshitomo Nara print you can see here for £3, a Fred Perry jumper, also for £3, a bizarre mix of characters for the children and so on. Oh, and a book of vector graphics from some hipster graphic designers for £2 which sells for £60 plus on amazon. It’s safe to say my bootsale mojo is back. And this is on every single week so I can drop in whenever I feel like it. Now THIS is the kind of thing that I moved to Manchester for.