Bargains galore at big boot sale near Skegness

A lady clutches a massive bunch of rhubarb and asks the gentleman on the plants stall for growing tips.

Walter Harper has been running the boot sale at the roundabout in Burgh le Marsh for 10 years.

"How do you grow rhubarb because, when I tried, I was advised to cover it to start with but they just died?" she said.

Angela Batchelor had travelled to the car boot sale on the A158 roundabout at Burgh le Marsh from Alford, where she has a cottage.

Lockdown and having to stay at home in London has meant her garden at the cottage in Alford is running wild.

"This is the first time we've been been able to come up and get the garden sorted," she explained.

"We came to the boot sale to buy flowers and have bought everything but."

The stallholder was happy to Angela some gardening tips. John Jaques, 84, of Old Leake, is a regular seller at boot sales now he is retired.

"I've worked on the land all my life but now I enjoy selling plants at boot sales," he said. "During lockdown, I had to stay at home, so it's nice to get out and see people at last."

Since Covid-19 restrictions eased car boot sales are seeing a surge, especially since a lot of people used lockdown to have a clear out. There is also a new campaign to encourage people to recycle more rather than send unwanted items to landfill - and boot sales are the perfect place for this.

Boot sales first became popular in the UK in the 1970s. It has been said that Father Harry Clarke, a Catholic priest from Stockport, introduced them here as a charity fundraiser, after seeing a similar event or trunk fair in Canada, while on holiday there.

The boot sale on the A158 roundabout in Burgh le Marsh has been running for 10 years now. It is held every Friday and Bank Holidays on a grassy field owned by local farming family the Mackinders.

Walter Harper has been running it for the family since the very beginning after retiring to the area. "We had a caravan here and the idea was to go abroad for the weeks the park closed but when we tried that we hated it.

"So we stayed at the Mackinders' holiday cottages in Burgh le Marsh and one thing led to another. I did a bit of gardening for them and then they asked if I would like to help here. I've been helping at the boot sales ever since."

An early riser, Walter is on site at 5.30am - but he's not the first.

First there at 4.30am is Neil Huskisson, who has two businesses - Huskies Ices and Huskies Hot Food, which he runs with his wife, Jane.

"I've been coming this boot sale for eight years and love it - it's so friendly," said Neil. "It's been a tough year for traders like me because a lot of the events we would have attended - such as Woodhall Spa 40's Festival and Friskney Show - have been cancelled.

"I'm here at 4.30am to get set up and open the gate for Walter.

"It's great to still be able to come to the boot sales and see them so busy."

Neil's wife, Jane, who was in the hot food van, has become quite the celebrity since appearing on Channel 5's Bargain Brits by the Sea.

"People keep coming up and saying they've seen me on TV," she said. "I really don't mind - I love it."

Another long-termer at the Burgh le Marsh boot sale is John Savage from Boston, who sells fishing tackle.

"I've been here from the beginning and helped the Mackinders when they were first setting up," he said. "Since lockdown, with people looking for outdoor activities, there has definitely been a growing interest in fishing.

"While the weather is good, so is business."

Using the boot sale to have a clear out was the Gosling family from Willoughby.

"I haven't done a boot sale for three years and we had all this stuff in the garage so we thought we would give it a try," said mum Lorna Gosling. She said she also there to support her son, Charles, who is recovering from a brain tumour.

Charles, 19, has started collecting models to sell and Lorna said: "It's something positive for him to focus on.

"Charles is recovering now but he got cancer when he was 14 and just a headache can make him worry.

"This takes his mind off it and I'm just happy to be here to support him - and get rid of some stuff that has been piling up at the same time."

Further down the same row we met Sharon Glenville of Skegness.

The dolls on her pitch were not the toys you would expect them to be at first glimpse. Sharon is The Baby Maker on Facebook providing a service for mums who have suffered a bereavement. "I make the dolls for people who may have suffered a loss or just need something to cuddle," she explained.

"For many the loss of a baby is so painful having one of these 'Reborn' baby dolls to cuddle often helps.

"These realistic babies are made to order, with choice of hair and skin tone, and we try to make it a special moment when they are collected.

"As well as making the babies, I also help charity as the baby clothes are sold in aid of the Air Ambulance.

"It's a wonderful thing to do for people and my business also helps me be able to stay at home for my daughter."

Amongst the visitors bagging the bargains were the Beresford family from Cheltenham, who are staying in their caravan at Southview Holiday Park in Skegness.

"We love coming to the boot sales," said mum Wendy, who was with son, Ezra, 5, and daughter, Eve, 8.

"We've found all sorts - soft toys, hard toys and even a nest of tables for the caravan. It's been great."

Here are details of some of the county's popular Car Boot Sales to watch out for, according to Car Boot Junction (* may be subject to change since listed) :

FREDERICK GOUGH SCHOOL, SCUNTHORPE

Held: Saturday

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 08.00am

From/To: Jan/Dec

Frequency: Regular

FULBECK TABLE TOP FOR MARIE CURIE, GRANTHAM

Held: Saturday

Seller time: 9.00

Buyer time: 10.00

From/To: Oct/Mar

Frequency: Regular

FUN FARM - SPALDING

Held: Monday and Wednesday

Seller time: 11.00am

Buyer time: 12.00noon

From/To: Mar/Oct

GRANTHAM RAILWAY STATION - GRANTHAM

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 10.00am

Buyer time: 10.00am

From/To: Jan/Dec

HECKINGTON - Heckington

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 07.30am

From/To: May/Aug

HEMSWELL - Gainsborough

Held: Sunday & Bank Holidays

Seller time: 06.00am

Buyer time: 06.00am

From/To: Jan/Dec

HILL HOUSE - Market Rasen

Held: Saturday

Seller time: 08.30am

Buyer time: 10.00am

From/To: Apr/Sep

HOUGHAM - Grantham

Held: Saturday

Seller time: 08.00am

Buyer time: 10.00am

From/To: Apr/Oct

HUTTOFT VILLAGE HALL - Huttoft

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 10 am

Buyer time: 11 am

From/To: Apr/Sep

KIMBERLEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE - Scunthorpe

Held: Saturday

Seller time: 07.30am

Buyer time: 08.00am

From/To: Jan/Dec

Frequency: Regular

LEADENHAM VILLAGE - Lincoln

Held: Saturday

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 08.00am

From/To: Apr/Sep

LEASOINGHAM VILLAGE HALL - Sleaford

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 08.00am

From/To: Sep/Apr

LINCOLN RUGBY CLUB - Lincoln

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 08:00

Buyer time: 09:00

From/To: May/Aug

LOUTH AUCTIONS - Louth

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 07:00

Buyer time: 07:00

From/To: Apr/Nov

MORRISONS - Grimsby

Held: Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays

Seller time: 05.00am

Buyer time: 05.30am

From/To: Mar/Oct

MUM2MUM MARKET - Lincoln

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 1200

Buyer time: 1300

From/To: May/Nov

NORMANBY RACEWAY - Scunthorpe

Held: Saturday

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 08.00am

From/To: Jan/Dec

OAKLANDS - Grimsby

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 06:00

Buyer time: 06:00

From/To: Apr/Oct

PLAYING FIELD ASSOCIATION - - Lincoln

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 07.00am

From/To: Mar/Oct

RUGBY CLUB - Grimsby

Held: Friday

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 07.30am

From/To: Jan/Dec

SALTFLEET CAR BOOT - Louth

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 07:00

Buyer time: 09:00

From/To: Mar/Sep

SCOUT HUT - Grimsby

Held: Saturday

Seller time: 08.30am

Buyer time: 09.00am

From/To: Feb/Nov

SHIP INN - Ingoldmells

Held: Saurday and Sunday

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 07.30am

From/To: Mar/Sep

Frequency: Regular

STATE HOUSE FARM - Scunthorpe

Held: Saturday and Sunday

Seller time: 11.00am

Buyer time: 01.00pm

From/To: Mar/Oct

SOUTHEY VILLAGE- Lincoln

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 08.30am

Buyer time: 10.00am

From/To: Apr/Oct

SPALDING COMMON - Spalding

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 09:00

Buyer time: 10:00

From/To: Jan/Nov

ST PAUL'S, SKEGNESS

Held: Sat

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 07.30am

From/To: Apr/Oct

STAMFORD FOOTBALL CLUB - Stamford

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 7am

Buyer time: 7am

From/To: Mar/Oct

STATION APPROACH - Gainsborough

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 09.00am

Buyer time: 10.00am

From/To: Jan/Dec

STICKNEY GRANGE - Boston

Held: Saturday

Seller time: 05:48

Buyer time: 09:48

From/To: Mar/Oct

SUNNEY LEA - Boston

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 10.30am

Buyer time: 11.30am

From/To: Jul/Oct

TALLINGTON - Tallington

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 9am

Buyer time: 11am

From/To: Mar/Oct

THE BARN

The Barn - Long Sutton

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 09:00

Buyer time: 10:00

PAVILION SPORTS FIELD - Sleaford

Held: Sunday

Seller time: 07.00am

Buyer time: 07.30am

From/To: Apr/Sep