Thursday, 21 April 2011

Its Boot Sale Time Again!

 I went to my first boot sale of 2011 on Sunday, getting there with Dad for its 8am opening. Once in we went our separate ways intent on finding some bargains.

I was chuffed to find these two cheap as chips (£1.50 for the two) Just William books in their original dust jackets, as I have loved these stories ever since I was a child and still dip into the books even now.

Further buys included three Woods Ware Jasmine breakfast bowls for £1.25...

...a stash of Sylvanian Families stuff for £4, which has pleased Monkeychild no end as she she loves playing with the houses and little animal figures...

 ...and a Lee Bender Bus Stop suit brought for a completely barganious £2! The lady selling it told me that she brought it from the Bus Stop shop in London in the 70s for her first job interview. I've had it dry cleaned and although I won't wear the skirt as its a bit too tight, I'll definately wear the jacket.

 However, I have left the most intriguing item to last.

I came across this book with its tatty dust jacket bearing the stirring title:  Wings on her Shoulders - a vivid picture of life & work in the W.A.A.F. I didn't pay much attention to it at first and brought it for 50p thinking that it would be a good read as I'm interested in WWII history. However, when I got home and opened it up I found two intriguing things inside.

 First was the inscription which reads  To Eleanor in memory of many happy times on the "Jous....l" together. Mabel'. I can't work out the spelling of the name though, which may be the key to finding out more about Eleanor and Mabel.

Secondly, I found a folded up sheet of paper which has what looks like a syllabus timetable carbon copied onto it with subjects such as 'Map reading and map plotting' to be held in the Billiard Room on the 29 November between 19:30 and 21:00 hours with the instructor Mr. B.J. Taylor.

What's even more poignant is that you can see where a flower has been pressed between the sheet

This is really fascinating stuff and wouldn't it be brilliant to be able to trace Eleanor and Mabel, and possibly where they undertook their training.

I've only just started to read the book, which is an account of the author's experiences in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force and have just got to the part where she has been issued with her W.A.A.F. uniform: "How to do credit to the R.A.F. with no more than a black tie, blue overall, thick grey stockings, beret and badge gave cause for thought. For weeks they were all we had; but we did our best to be neat, fairly bursting with pride".

Its illustrated with photos by Cecil Beaton which provides a glimpse into the life of a W.A.A.F.


  1. wow loving all your finds - got to love the booty season :o) The books are amazing, would love to know about the owners too. Im looking forward to the bank holiday this weekend where we get a sat, sun and a monday bootsale here! Scarlett x

  2. Fab haul! Love the suit and the book is a brilliant find.
    I must have a whingelette here....why are everyones else's car boot sales better than mine?!! They've been so full of overpriced tat lately, that I've stopped going!


  3. Ivy B - some of the stuff at the boot sale was overpriced, like the small sandwich sized platic bag containing some 1970s embroidered ribbons priced at £8! I thought at that price I'm not even going to bother to attempt to knock them down to what I thought was a more realistic price.

  4. What lovely finds especially those Just William books - what a bargain price!

  5. Great finds yet the WAAF book. It's fascinating what falls out of an old book. Good luck with finding Mabel & Eleanor if you decide to take it further.

  6. That looks like a really interesting book, great finds! :)

  7. Great finds - love the suit. I like reading Just William too.

  8. Have to agree carboots are getting silly, which makes it all the better when you find something you want. I love Just William "I'll thqeem and thqeem :)
    The RAAF book sounds great, nice extras inside
    Happy Easter
    Cate x

  9. I am so jealous of your finds! Joyeuses Pâques :-)

  10. Your WAAF book looks like a very interesting find, lucky you! I agree with some other posters, our local car boots are rubbish too!

  11. Great finds! You've obviously got a good eye. I wonder if the mystery word in Mabel's inscription is "Journal"? Perhaps Mabel and Eleanor worked together on some sort of in house magazine or paper? Or is it the name, perhaps, of the WAAF training camp? Inscriptions on books can be so poignant ... I wonder why Woods Ware is so under valued? The three colours are so perfect. The marvelously named 'Beryl' is such a wonderful green - perhaps it is because it's so ubiquitous that it is somewhat unloved and therefore so cheap ... Enjoying your blog ...

  12. What super finds. I do find that the trick with charity shops and car booties is that you have to go regularly and learn to 'scan' stalls for the things you like without picking up every single item on every stall.

    Did you used to read 'Jennings and Derbyshire' when you were little? I loved them and have enjoyed sharing both those and 'William' with the boys.

  13. What brilliant finds! I'm glad you've been reaping the bargains whilst I've been taking a break. That Lee Bender suit is fabulous and a right old bargain.
    Monkeychild looks very pleased with her toys. xxx
    PS ABSOLUTELY love your new hair colour, so much so that I think I want to copy you. xxx

  14. What a great find the book is - it would be interesting to find out more wouldn't it?



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