Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published May 17th 2014
Grab a Bargain and Troll
For decades, Merton Abbey Mills has had a weekend market featuring handmade arts & crafts, and homemade food. It is a great place to find those one-off pieces, and support local craftsmen and artists.
Just recently, however, it has begun a new market, one that is open every Friday from 9am-5pm. Don't think that it is just a copy of what you're going to get on Saturday and Sunday, because this one specialises antiques. If you like old stuff, then check it out.
Tea & Cookies?
When I say old, it is a relative term, or at least it is for the traders, who sell anything from antiques (19th & 20th century), vintage (1940s-1960s), or retro (1970s-1990s).
Since it is a new feature to the mills, there are currently only a few stallholders, but as word gets round, more are bound to pop up. If you are interested in setting up your own stall, just get in contact.
Star Wars Cards
The first stall I was attracted to had a display of Star Wars cartoon cards that would make any fan's day. On the table next to it, there were Star Wars fridge magnets, and magnets that had prints of old cigarette cards on them.
These bits and pops were just to tease you in, because the gems of this guy's stall featured a children's school writing desk printed with Beezer annuals cartoons, and a coffee table printed with Mickey mouse comic illustrations.
Opposite was a woman selling newly handmade, but old fashioned style jewellery. Made from silver, gemstones, beads, and cord, they had an aged, and slightly Indian look to them. Considering how long they must have taken to make, she was selling the jewellery at rock bottom prices between £2-£5.
Next door was the proper antique stuff, which main featured kitchen utensils, such as a rolling pin, and dark metal cookie cutters. Slightly (actually a lot) more attractive were a set of china plates, china cup, and a tea stand.
Around the corner, I was taken back to my childhood when I saw a table full of plastic Troll Dolls. These wacky-coloured haired creature originally made by a Danish woodcutter called Thomas Dam in 1959, and were a big fad in the 1960s. They came back again in the 1970s, and then again the 1990s, when I started collecting. I saw one troll in particular that I remembered owning. It had purple hair, and was moulded into a yellow dress with pearls. I think what made this one so memorable is that most Troll Dolls are naked, or if they do have clothes, they are removable.
This same stall had lots of other cult merchandise, including Star Wars action figures, Beanie Babies, and plastic toys that look liked they may have come out of a Happy Meal.
What you can get at the Abbey Mills antiques market ranges from genuine antiques to cheap junk, but even the junk has a place in some people's hearts.