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It was one of those mornings where I struggled to leave the comfort of a warm bed, but something told me to get up, get dressed and head over the river to a local car boot.

With a chill wind blowing from the North only the hardy or foolish ventured out to walk around tables of other peoples cast offs and unwanted items. There have been few times I have come back empty handed from this car boot sale, however walking down the lane, across the meadow there seemed to be far fewer visitors than I expected for this first sale of the year. As I got closer there were people already leaving with their finds. One woman was clutching a rather attractive star backed mirror and others passed by with some elegant guilt and gesso picture frames, this indicated that there were some quality items to source. Enamel industrial light fittings, shade and lamps littered the ground as I entered the tall mesh gates.

The first few stalls were of bric-a-brac and vintage clothing, then heading to the back of the playground where this sale stalls out in the winter months I headed for a couple of dealers who have the same pitch month in, month out. The first find was a long thin metal tin containing some vintage floats, there I found three good Hardcork floats with their distinctive three band tips, these would be ideal for young Tales if we go Grayling fishing again. The next two dealers had rods, reels and nets, a real mixed bag of items however a good condition Wilko extendable net for the cost of a pint of Guinness had to be snapped up. I passed on a good 9ft #7 fly rod just that had I purchased it I’d be doubling up on rods I already had and there wasn’t enough profit on it to trade it comfortably.

After a scout around the back section of this car boot I saw a Barbour jacket liner on a stall and again a blue note secured this item. Now chilled to the bone I started to make my way back but couldn’t help momentarily stopping to admire a watercolour of the Clapppergate Bridge near Ambleside by Henry Wilson (1864-1934), an artist and sculptor who taught at the Royal College Of Art, at the Central School Of Arts and Crafts, and at the Victoria Street School for Silversmiths in Birmingham. The painting was in an old traditional oak frame but the mount was badly watermark damaged however the watercolour itself was fine, I enquired on the price and without further questioning made the acquisition. As I decided to head home I took one last look at a rod in a tatty fawn rod bag, inverting it to untie the distinctive orange Sealey cotton ties I revealed a Edgar Sealey Octofloat 2, with it’s purple whippings intact, rod rings bright and cork handle in good condition. I enquired as to the price and after a brief conversation and negotiation picked up the fawn coloured rod bag and contents and headed back, down the lane and across the meadow with a smile on my face.

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