09 March, 2009

NCT Sale North Holmwood

So this Saturday we went to have a look at the first NCT sale (in our area) of the year, taking place in North Holmwood (near Dorking) -
NCT Sale #1
- we popped over and picked up Nanjan first and then made our way (about half an hour early) to the village hall -
NCT Sale #3
- we formed up with the small queue of about 15 people already there (thinking that some people had been rather keen as we thought we were early) and after a wait of about ten minutes two ladies with official badges started to slowly walk up the queue from the entrance to the hall, collecting our entrance fee (£1 each) and handing over in exchange a large carrier bag -
NCT Sale #2
- lined with promotional material from nurseries, aqua-aerobics instructors, toddler groups and music tutors (oh and a key-ring encouraging one to breast feed, which you could pop open with a coin to replace the message with a picture, if so desired)...

With five minutes to go Flyingpops told me to check how long the queue was behind us (as lots of cars and people had been arriving while we were waiting)-
NCT Sale #4
- and the answer was extremely long...and the hall looked like it was quite small...and I started to feel a little bit uncomfortable about what was to come (recalling the chaotic scrum of dusty church/school jumble sales of old)...

When the doors opened and everyone flooded in (every third person either carrying (internally or externally), pushing (on differently sized sets of wheels) or dragging an infrant, at various stages of development) -
NCT Sale #6
- we knew what we wanted, and I duly waded in to try and help search, but I got about half way round (the extremely narrow walkway between stalls) and became completely stuck, trapped between pushchairs being wielded by stern faced mothers using them like weapons (the baffled looking infants quite unaware of what was going on around them or how they were being manipulated), at one stage I honestly thought the tide of people was going to sweep me off my feet - I only stayed upright by gently nudging a pile of teddy bears under a nearby trestle table to make some room for my feet and pushing up against a colossal pile of "0-6 month" baby clothing (nearly new)...when I *finally* escaped, gasping, into the hallway, I threw open a window, shed my (stupidly thick) coat and gulped in air until the claustrophobia had passed...peering back into the fray I could just about pick out Flyingpops bobbing about in a sea of determined bargain hunters, clutching armfuls of spoils with an equally determined look upon her face...when she got back to the entrance she shoved a lot of it (and her coat) into my hands and just had time to utter "We'll just do the middle now" before vanishing again from sight...peering behind me, it quickly became apparent that it was so busy in the hall the ladies from earlier who had been handing out the bags were now blockading the doorway to stop anyone else coming in! It was 50 minutes before we saw the sunshine again...

Some lessons could be learned from this...leave the pushchairs outside and put into place a one way system with signs from the ceiling - 50 people equipped with buggies the size of shopping trolleys moving against one another in a space twice the size of my living room while fighting over bargain baby goods was never going to be a recipe for congeniality...

Anyway, we succeeded in getting a baby bath, a top and tail bowl, some baby towels (the kind with a hood on one of the corners), lots of baby grows (including a Disney one) some things to do with teething and a scattering of toys...and we only spent £15...so, not for the faint hearted, but there are certainly a *lot* of bargains to be had!

5 comments:

Absolute Beginner said...

Very good post - made me chuckle. Flyingpops told me a slightly different story but she did acknowledge that it was chaotic. Sounded like she enjoyed it much more than you though... hee hee

Ys said...

Pushchairs are evil and so are the mothers weilding them! They always take me out when they see me hehe.

Flyingpops said...

I absolutely loved the sale.. we got such bargains and it's the first time we've allowed ourselves to buy some bits... there is another one on Sunday - and I can't wait!

Mum said...

Ah,happy days! I can remember doing that in jumble sales,a very satisfying feeling to have got loads of bargains. Then, of course, getting it all out at home,working out how much it all would have cost new,the obligatory cries of admiration from whoever is there and then carefully washing it all in fabric softener to make it smell lovely!Well done bargain hunters!

Dad said...

My experience was more like Fink, retreating to the edge of the hall after an initial foray, my role being to hold things,to leave the expert two free hands,only occasional sightings of her as she came up for air in the heaving mass.Then carrying it all home for washing and putting away,only to have the drawers disemboweled whenever she was feeling in the need of nesting!When everything would be taken out and rearranged.Don't mess with a pregnant woman on a mission!