Car boot sellers’ final farewell after 35 years at Norfolk’s longest-running site
- Credit: Philip Robinson
The longest-running car boot sale in Norfolk has officially closed after 35 years, with stall holders packing away for the final time.
Bargain hunters said it was "the end of an era", after Banham Car Boot Sale held its last ever sale on Sunday after 35 years of business.
Philip Robinson, who lives on Banham Road in Old Buckenham, has been a loyal customer over the years and has visited the car boot every Sunday morning since the mid-1980s.
He said it was a sad moment as car booters packed away for the last time.
He said: "I was only a customer but I used to go there every Sunday at 6am for a coffee and a wander around to see if there were any bargains to be had.
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"I have been going every Sunday since the mid-1980s. There are lots of friends I have made over the years, it was like a big family."
The site officially launched in September 1984 and was unique for having a large undercover section so car booters could escape bad weather in the colder months.
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But Mr Robinson said he first saw a decline in people coming to the site five years ago when they introduced a 50p charge.
"It's gone downhill over the last three to five years," he said. It started when they introduced a 50p charge for people to have a wander around.
"A couple of years ago they scrapped it but by then the damage was done."
Other factors which have been blamed for the decline of the site include online market places, such as Facebook and eBay, and retiring market stall holders.
Writing on Banham Car Boot's website, Martin Goymour, managing director, revealed the car boot is estimated to have had around 140,000 stalls and 1.74m visitors.
He also thanked staff and stall owners for their participation over the years and said "times change and we must adapt and change accordingly".
Mr Robinson added: "It's an end of an era and it was a big community and family which has now been broken up.
"On Sunday it was quite a sad atmosphere knowing that the stall holders that I have known for years I probably won't ever see again."