HEADING OUT TO THE 'NORMOUS NEWARK AUTOJUMBLE
I've just had Andy the mechanic lay his hands on my 1100cc Moto Guzzi engine. It was tired and even more lumpy than usual after covering serious mileage over the spring and summer.
The bike is running lovely now, but as we know the days have shortened and riding opportunities are fewer: and so it was on Sunday. The previous day's fog lingered, and the temperature was registering just five degrees. Not good. I was like a kid whose Play Station and computer had vanished. I wanted to do something motorcycling, and the temperature didn't make it inviting enough to pick up one of my garage projects.
I know, I'll head over to Newark (Notts) where the monthly 'normous Newark Autojumble' takes place at the Showground. Always something interesting, entertaining and possibly tempting amongst the paraphernalia laid out; and I'd be car cosy with a fistful of CD's to make the hour and a half journey whizz by.
There was a big tailback of cars waiting to traverse the roundabout before the road leading to the showground, and as the weather had improved markedly, 'should have brought the bike' thoughts invaded as I crawled forward. But us car borne autojumblers moved on through, and I'd soon paid my six quid admission and was in amongst the numerous stalls and browsing crowd.
The Newark events are held monthly and organised by Mortons, the people who run most of the big classic and auto jumble events in the country now. Stallholders are charged eighteen quid for an outside plot of 2.5m x 10m. Inside away from anything the weather might bring it's the same price, but you only get a 2m x 2m space. A lucrative game judging by the crowds and number of plots.
People who turn up with a classic car or bike that's parked up in the showground area for viewing get a reduced entry. No bikes that I could see on this day, but a good line up of interesting and eccentric four wheelers. It's always fun watching what is being sold, and what folk are interested in. There's so much unidentifiable stuff at these events. Regular sellers must lay the same out at every jumble they go to, and in the north of England there's a circuit that traders (and buyers) can revolve around.
Bike projects abound, but prices seem to be getting silly. A BSA Gold Star that would need stripping of absolutely every component part before restoration even began (see picture) was advertised at £13K. Yes that is thirteen thousand pounds. A couple of dubious and seriously incomplete BSA Bantams were up for almost five hundred quid.
The marketing strategy at these events is pretty straightforward. Spread out your wares, perch on the back of the van, chat to other traders and mates, and wander across if someone is interested or asks a question. I love it, an anarchic cash economy; the antithesis of 'you must have this' consumerism pushed through today's ever expanding communication and information network. It's an individualists rebellion against the twenty first century.
Next time you're stuck for a biking idea or outing visit an autojumble. If nothing else you can stock up on WD40, gaffer tape, garage wipes, tools that have taken a walk...better than moping indoors.
The next event will be held on Sunday December 14th. Go to www.newarkautojumble.co.uk for dates through 2015.
here are some more great pictures of the show for you:
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Sign up to receive updates and new posts straight to your in-box.