Sunday Pt. 1 – the pictorial low-down on the Cheddar Carboot

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Friday 23 September 1664

…Pepys writes….My cold and pain in my head increasing, and the palate of my mouth falling, I was in great pain all night. My wife also was not well, so that a mayd was fain to sit up by her all night….Dined with little heart at noon…So home, and late reading “The Siege of Rhodes” to my wife, and then to bed, my head being in great pain and my palate still down.

You certainly needed to be tough to survive without the medications that we take for granted today. Average life expectancy was just under 40, but this is heavily skewed by the high rate of infant mortality. Over 12% of all children born would die within their first year of life.
I love the fact that Pepys reads to his wife. We do not know if she is literate. My wife enjoys being read to. I enjoyed being read to when a child. ..just one more chapter, dad……

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Today is day two of Somerset Art Weeks ‘Prospect’ Festival 2017. We plan to visit a few centres but before that, to celebrate breakfast with two duck’s eggs which we purchased yesterday Saturday at one of the events. They are about a fifth bigger than large chicken’s eggs. <later> they should be cooked for seven minutes. They are very rich so one egg at a sitting is enough.

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Cheddar Carboot and market is one of the larger events of its type in the UK. This is my first in depth report, and probably my last unless something extra ordinary happens. I do TripAdvisor reviews and to date I have done 671 written reviews and offered up 1,340 photos from 42 countries around the world. You can say I am fairly used to doing them.

History of Cheddar Carboot- started by a local farmer in 1996.
Location – Winchester Farm Wells Road BS27 3RP
Layout – at least 150 grass pitches, about 60 hard ground pitches, a large indoor area with many wet weather pitches.
Car park – large enough! You pay £1 per car but can walk in free.
Facilities – toilets, restaurant, cafe.
Hours – Sundays from 6am to 2pm ; the public can arrive after 7 am
Cost of stall or space – from £8 to £20
Contact Mr Ashley Hann – 07831277327

That’s the mechanical bit over, now the detail. The majority of the spaces in the grass area are families having a clear out of their children’s’ clothes, toys or removing from their house unwanted bric a brac. I can say that if you don’t mind buying second hand clothes there is no point in spending more than 50p an items for clothing your new child. People also try and get rid of books and rather old Hi Fi sets.
A few plant and flower stalls (normally good quality grown locally) can be found. Sweets and drinks are always of low quality, virtual sugar bombs with added chemicals. Garden tools, normally second hand, are available and are of good quality but beware petrol driven mowers and chain saws. People keep them in their sheds for years and swear blind they work well. Ask when they were last used. If they cannot answer you then take a chance but don’t pay more than a tenner.

An old fashioned look means that the model is well out of date and spares impossible to get. Paintings and photographs are neither well stored (been in the attic for years) or of ‘popular’ quality. Anything over a fiver and you are paying for the frame. There is normally a good fishing equipment table in the main hall. Cheese is available (and yes it is fresh). The star of the show is the amazing butcher who has the most convincing chat I have ever heard. For this reason he is popular with Chinese and Indian restaurants who stock up for the week. He piles on steak after steak, chops after chops, chicken after chicken and says ‘who will give me £20?’ and goes on piling the meat on until someone says yes. You only have to move an eyebrow for him to register it as a sale. See video here.

Having given all the caveats above, you can get some amazing bargains. My wife purchased five art books for £2.50 from someone who was clearing her mother’s house. As I left I saw a chap walk away with a Stihl strimmer, lightweight, new cost £230 + for which he paid probably about £40. Their Chinese equivalents are well built but weigh a ton and you need to wear strapping in order to carry it.

As the day goes on and stall holders are getting tired, the price of everything will come down. What was sold for £1 comes down to 50p. Anything to get rid of them and save having to pack them up again. When you leave, expect a queue to get out. If you are at all civilised you will move on to the Cider Bar about a mile east along the road. Part two will cover that noble establishment. And now, to the photos in random order…

why pay full price for a childs new bike?
the jam and marmalade woman is always here rain or shine
skeletons taken out of their cupboards
dog and some cat food
cheap and cheerful tools
good quality plants
sugar bombs
potted flowers
typical grass space – take it off me or it goes to the recycle
very good tools normally at the far side of the indoor hall
tools – detail
fishing stand – you name it…. they are regular attendees
the indoor hall – full when it rains
army stuff
Victoriana
a sad and unloved mower. Don’t touch it.
£3.99 for an item costing 50p tops to manufacture.
The amazing Garry Davies. He ‘performs’ high speed selling for up to 5 hours. Hypnotically amazing.
this mannequin needs a head and shoulders massage

click here for next part of day

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