Beaulieu 50 - Time for a Little Nostalgia...
I WILL LET OTHER PEOPLE COMMENT on the 50th International Autojumble held recently at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, but I will indulge in a little nostalgia…
When the first of these events was held in 17th September 1967, the make up of material being sold was quite different to that of today. You have to remember that in 1967 the classic cars we know today were still in every day use (or not yet built!) and few were collecting them.
The “frogeye” Sprite for example had been in production for only 10 years and the Mini 9. The old car brigade was still very much geared to the veteran, vintage and post vintage cars of the pre-war years. The old oily bits were still there but much older but there seemed to be much more brass around in the form of lights of all sizes and shapes horns and the like.
Nowadays there are few stalls made up of shiny lamps. The majority of stall holders were ordinary enthusiasts just clearing out their garages and workshops, there were very few full time dealers. Nowadays, and because of eBay and autojumbles nearly every one is a dealer of sorts.
Margaret Rowles who retired as Beaulieu’s press officer last year has compiled a lovely booklet (the cover of which is pictured here) on the 50 years which was available to stall holders. It contains facts, photographs and personal reminiscences of stall holders and as some one who has been to all of them it achieved just the right balance “Autojumble is serious fun.”
She included illustrations of some documentation I did not know even existed from the early days, including a list of those who had a stall in September 1967. There are a few copies left, to order please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the events team on 01590 614614. Priced at £2 plus £1.50 p&p.
There is one aspect of early events she did not include. After about the 3rd or 4th events, between 2pm and 5pm in the afternoon the late Michael Sedgewick would broadcast visitors and stall holders sales and wants, his voice booming out of the loudspeakers, including pithy remarks and much humour. It was an audio “Exchange and Mart”.
It really worked too as many people looking for items were brought together with an appropriate stall holder. In those days our public address contractor used the big trumpet loudspeakers. Stall holders near one of these often got fed up with the commentary and the contractor, Peter Crutcher, often told me he had to remove, socks, rags and other items which had been inserted in the trumpets to cut down the volume.
All this had to stop when local villagers complained to Lord Montagu about the continuous commentary! Hence there is very little use of the loudspeakers system to this day.
from p. 11 of issue October 2016
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