At a first glance this little street market might look all higgledy piggledy, but at a second glance you realize you have stumbled upon a real goldmine.
I am of course talking about Jackie's street marked at Flaks walk, just around the corner from Paul's bakery.
There you can find anything and everything, and don't forget to look behind and underneath.
It all moves quickly, you have to act fast. Don't bother haggling, it's not that kind of place. Everything is more than fairly prices, almost too cheap, so trying to get a further discount will be pointless. Having said that, Jackie has been known to throw in this and that for an extra pound or two.
Jackie herself is what makes this street marked so unique. It is almost like she is from another time, another area.
Remember the shop-keeper who knew you by name? Who greeted you with a smile and always was helpful and fun? Jackie is all of that, and more.
When she helps me decide what picture to buy, I can tell she has my interest in mind, not her own. If what I'm buying is too big to carry, (like the mahogony desk with the secret compartments), she calls a friend of a friend with a van and arranges a delivery the next day. She always greets me with "Hello my love, how are you? That is a smart hat! Where is your husband? Did he like the cups, the one with the wild flowers?"
Some days are too busy for chit chat, she is bustling around with new customers who asks about the price of the antique dining chairs, or wants to know if they need to buy the entire set of table wear, or if they can buy just the forks.
One day last summer, underneath a table hidden inside a worn cardboard box, I found an amazing selection of scarves and gloves from the 50s and 60s. None of the gloves were matched up in pairs, so I sat down and found the pairs, one by one.
There were brown leather gloves with beige stitching, delicate white satin gloves with flowers embroidered on them, long silk gloves going past the elbow, black gloves, blue gloves, basically gloves for every occasion and dress code. Once I was done pairing them all up, I counted 25 gloves and 15 scarves. I brought the box over to Jackie and said : "How much for the whole box?" "All of them, why?" I had to explain that I actually don't need that many gloves, but the vintage girl inside me can't leave any of them behind. She peered inside the box and said "25 pounds". Deal!
I often bring my friends to Jackie, they are always just as impressed as I am. There are things there you never knew you needed, but upon finding it you question how you ever lived without. Like the tiny mustard spoon, the wooden music box, or the lion book-ends.
They are more than just things and objects. To me they represent a time when things were made to last. They tell a story, have personality and character.
Next time you need a new lamp, or don't know what you want but you want something, visit Jackie's marked and have a look. You never know what you might find.
That is what makes it so much fun.