Car boots - a foot in the past

When was the last time you went to a car boot? My parents are regulars – at both buying and selling.

Last week they loaded the car with their un-wanteds and set off towards a small (almost) village in Dorset.

They returned home with a healthy profit and the satisfaction of having emptied their house of more clutter.

Despite its isolated location the sale was held in a place famous for its industrial past - the extraction of clay. One huge pit has since filled with rainwater and become a tourist attraction.

The Blue Pool gets its name from the effect of refracted light on the water - surprisingly the greyer the day, the bluer the water. With a tea room, museum and shop it’s a beautiful oasis, created from man’s need to produce and manufacture – in this case, clay pipes and china teapots etc.

The location of the car boot sale existed only because of the area’s busy past. In the 19th century the census returns confirm that local residents, in their hundreds, had been employed to either extract or move the clay to the seaports for onward processing. As the market declined so did the employment. The few houses, the hall and the Blue Pool are reminders of a time and industry now past.