A Sunny Saturday in July 2006

While mowing the boot sale field this week I was remembering those customers who were once a part of my life at the Bootsale.

Of all those customers I’ve seen over the years, one that truly stands out is Lucky. He used to turn up in an ex-BT van, you know the type – grey with a moulded plastic body.

Lucky would leap out of the van when parked and do a hundred-yard dash to place a cone/coat/wife or similar to mark the extremity of his proposed pitch.
He would then spend the next couple of hours filling this vast area with items from his Tardis-like van interior.
The only problem being, that in all the years he attended, I never once knew him to have enough time to display everything before it was time to start putting everything away.
So, for Lucky, the whole morning was a constant procession to and from the van.

I’m not sure who first coined the term ‘Lucky’ because he was anything but over-blessed in the fortune department.
His first spell of bad luck arrived in a consignment of cigarette lighters that he predicted would make him a massive profit because he had bought a pallet-load of them ‘on the cheap’.
Unfortunately he had not counted on the weather being so hot and one summers day the van packed to the roof with these bargain lighters became the focus for attention from the fire brigade as they became a car-park fireball.
The chassis and cab of the van were saved but unfortunately the cargo area was turned into a large plastic blob.
This didn’t deter Lucky as his maisonette was stuffed to the gunwales with ‘reserve gear’. So instead of arriving in his plastic van he would arrive in an estate car towing a vastly overweight trailer and his constant procession continued once again.

Sadly his long-suffering wife/pitch marker was diagnosed with cancer and he disappeared from the sales.
I learnt some months later that she had died and that he had lost all joy in life.

Some years ago he turned up one last time, a shadow of his former self with a girlfriend in tow.
He set up his stall without enthusiasm, sold a few things, drank a cup of coffee with me to chat about old times and disappeared from view.

Gone…but not forgotten.