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Back to Beaulieu: What has changed if you have not been to Beaulieu for 15 years?

Back to Beaulieu: What has changed if you have not been to Beaulieu for 15 years?
'What has changed if you have not been to Beaulieu for 15 years?' I ask myself when I get invited to join a friend to the International Autojumble. I don't have a clue, because I don't remember much (15 years is a long time...). But the moment I cross the gate it all comes back in a flash, and I immediately remember where to go to see old friend Barry's stall, or the guys from Peterborough, the areas with rusty parts, or the posher places with books, lamps, art or accessories. Some seem to have emptied their trailer in a minute, others must have spent a full day to present the merchandise. I see buyers walking away with very useful, but also sometimes the most impossible items, from a hard-searched-for crankcase to a rather ornamental 6-feet battleship model... 'If you can't find it at Beaulieu, it doesn't exist'...
But of course very important is the social side of the event. I stop at friends with stalls, and drink tea, beer or wine, depending on their nationality ! It is truly an international Autojumble, as I meet people from Holland, France, Germany, Australia and even a Canadian who had the Autojumble on his bucket list ! An Italian had flown to London, taken the train to Brockenhurst, and by taxi to the field !
So I go to see my old friend Barry, now 87 years old, he has never missed an edition of Beaulieu Autojumble. His 'Grotty Chummy' is really here for display only, but as a good autojumbler, everything is for sale at the right price ! I remember that 15 years ago, he had a box of bits (mostly rubbish, but including one or two good things), and started asking £ 20, knocking off a pound every hour ! Quite the opposite of today’s e-bay... 
After many miles by foot, an exhausting day, I walk away from Beaulieu Autojumble with only a few new bits and pieces, but with many new and happy memories. After 15 years, Beaulieu Autojumble has changed a lot, but is still the same !

Words and photos by Nick Jonckheere



#1 2017-09-10 17:28
hi, I visited Beaulieu once, I think it's the world's most beautiful party

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