From buffalo horns to antique rifles - some of the weird and wonderful finds at the Stately Car Boot Sale at Sennowe Park in Guist
PUBLISHED: 10:30 01 May 2017
Thousands of people made their way to Sennowe Park in Guist on Sunday to try and get their hands on rare antiques from the attics of some of the county's grandest homes.
The annual Stately Car Boot Sale, held in aid of the Norfolk Churches Trust, is estimated to have greeted almost 10,000 buyers this year, smashing the charity’s fund raising targets.
Each of the 170 invited stallholders paid organisers £60 to pitch up and sell their collections of antiques and bygones while visitors each paid £5 to attend.
Clare Agnew, co-chairman of the event’s organising committee, said: “We’ve had incredible numbers, normally by 12 o’clock more people are starting to leave than are coming but at 2pm they were still pouring in even though we wrap up at 3.30.
“Last year we had about 5,000 people come but this year I’m guessing that we’ve probably got a third more, maybe even double. I’m quietly optimistic that we’ll make a lot today.”
The huge turn out is likely to have broken the charity’s fund raising target of £60,000 and all the money will go toward helping to protect some of the county’s most iconic religious buildings.
Ms Agnew said: “The money is to go to the churches; a particular issue at the moment is lead theft. There’s some poor churches that have had their lead taken, replaced and then taken again and it’s a huge issue as you don’t just need to replace the lead but also all the structure and fabric of the building while the roof is off. It’s an awful, awful crime so the more money we can make, the more we can help them.”
The stalls sold a huge range of goods, ranging from mannequins and lacrosse sticks to cars and even an organ.
Alongside them was a silent auction which saw bids for the top prize, a drawing by Antony Gormley, reaching over £13,000.
Meanwhile, children were able to represent their schools by competing in an art competition aiming to highlight the historical importance of churches in their home towns. The young artists who won were rewarded with money for themselves and their school.
“This event is not about collectors moving stuff on, it’s about the people who live in stately homes who are moving house or perhaps downsizing and have been hoarding for years – this is the perfect solution,” added Ms Agnew.
The standout sales
With each of the stalls selling antiques and collections from stately home attics, there was a massive range of weird and wonderful goods to look over.
Proud buyers walked the grounds carrying such things as vintage clothing, a large metal kennel, an even an antique mannequin.
But the most unique sights of the day included a buyer who had managed to find a pair of buffalo horns, a seller who was encouraging visitors to buy a huge electric organ, another selling three generations of fur coats, and even a huge collection of antique rifles and shotguns.
However, what stood out among the competition and was gaining a great deal of attention from bargain hunters was a 1972 Fiat 500R, complete with performance upgrades. Coming with a price tag of just under £10,000, the seller said the classic car is completely roadworthy and when he’s seen driving in it he gets more attention than if he was in a Ferrari.
The car boot sale took place at Sennowe Park, in Guist, near Fakenham. This large Edwardian country estate was built in 1907 by Thomas Albert Cook, grandson of Thomas Cook who founded the famous travel firm.
The estate’s grounds offer a unique venue for weddings and events, and have become popular as a shooting location for film makers and photographers. One of the most standout features is the Winter Garden, a 70ft glass house containing a fountain and a beautiful square patterned marble floor.
While the large country house remains home to Mr Cook’s descendants, visitors are able to get a taste of Norfolk’s country house lifestyle by staying in one of Sennowe’s seven luxury rooms, each room featuring views of the terraced gardens and Park.
Each year the Park hosts a range of local events and has hosted concerts performed by bands and singers such as The Pretenders, Jools Holland and The Rat Pack.