On Saturday morning I was heading into town on my bike when I saw a truly retro sight: loads of people queuing outside a church hall. It had to be a jumble sale. I was already going to be late, but had to stop and take a few photos. Just wish I’d had time to go in to snap up some bargains too. 30 years ago this would have been me, as one of Thatcher’s 3 million unemployed, queuing outside a different church hall every Saturday, then into the scrum as the doors opened.
That lead me to thinking about how long jumble sales have been around, and I discovered: “The jumble sale originated in Victorian Britain and survived throughout the Twentieth century. It was probably an invention of enterprising Anglican churchgoers, keen to raise money for charities as well as the Anglican Church itself and church causes it supported”.
So Jumble Sales have been around for about the same length of time as St Martin’s Church, which was built in 1875. It hasn’t changed much since this photo from the James Gray Collection of the church parade, thought ot have been taken between 1901 and 1910.