After a really sad dwindling of markets during the 1990s and early 2000’s, markets do seem to be on the rise again. Many towns and cities in the UK are encouraging this growth as it brings people back into the centres, popularises the area and creates secondary business as well.
At markets you can buy and sell all sorts, from toys, baskets and buckets to plants, glassware and the more bizarre. Regular markets tend to build their own character, they become known for their antiques, their vintage goods or their high street wares.
Car Boots have been a very common form of market during the last 20 years, where ordinary people can pay for a pitch the size of their car(ish). However, there does seem to be less of them around today. Car boots are great for all sorts of items and used to be a very good source of vintage items- the popularisation of ‘vintage’ means that everyone is an expert and bargains are not so available but the trawl can be fun!
A European form of carboot, a ‘viede grenier’ is when houses in a particular area just have an attic/garage sale – no pitch fees and quite a lot simpler too! I found my favourite ever bargain, an amazing set of dishes, at such a market. The Lille Braderie is a massive version of this- the largest market of the kind in Europe.
Music Festival Markets can be great sources of vintage clothes. Great music, relaxed atmosphere and shopping too – brilliant! We loved trading at Bristol’s Ashton Court Festival – everything on our stall was cheap- one year every item was just £1!
Obviously, the atmosphere depends on the festival but people are usually quite chilled. Quality and price of the goods on sale depend on the festival. Bigger festivals such as Glastonbury have to provide enclosures for the traders, its generally more difficult to get pitches, they are pricey and therefore so are the goods- you really cannot flypitch anymore!
These differ as they are traditionally professional traders paying a higher pitch fee than car boots charge. Today flea markets often have a mixture of vintage traders, car booters and antique goods. So certainly, a wide range of options for all purses!
In the past we saw many traders from Europe which allowed for a more diverse style of goods- hopefully they will return very soon. Many street and flea markets are essentially the same, however this is not always the case- some of the biggest flea markets in the UK are held at county showgrounds.
These are also usually professional traders with permanent pitches. Street markets are often the oldest markets around selling a wide range of items- think Portobello Road, Camden or Brick Lane.
At Portobello you could start with the junk area at one end and wander through to the more antique section up the road- never forgetting to look through the vintage clothes and accessories under the Westway canopy. In north-east Paris the street market seems to have spread into neighbouring shops and warehouses, providing artistic showrooms for the merchandise while retaining the street market vibe!
Although now settled in Gloucester Road, Bristol, Repsycho began life as a market stall, our roots are firmly in the trendy Portobello Road market of the 1980’s. However we also traded in student union markets at unis around the south of England, many, many music festivals including Glastonbury and the wonderful Ashton Court Music Festival in Bristol.
Now a new generation of Repsycho is enjoying the market scene. We can again be found out in all weathers with our wheely rails, tape measure and marker pens! We are at the M32 Flea Market in Bristol on the last Saturday of every month- come and see us!