Sunday, 29 July 2012

Bargain hunters' joy

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, July 29, 2012, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.

Bargain hunters' joy 
A big day out! 
Author of the new book Sci-Fi Worlds - Doctor Who, Doomwatch, Battlestar Galactica And Other Cult TV Shows Richard Thomas heads to the Singleton Park Car Boot Sale. 
WHY? Car boot sales are a good way to save money and even make some extra cash and one of Wales’ five biggest is held every Saturday opposite Singleton Hospital in the car park of the Wales National Pool in Swansea.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? The Singleton Park Car Boot Sale is a well run car boot sale in the heart of Swansea which helps to raise funds for Singleton Hospital. Attendance barring bad weather is usually very good and there are lots of good deals to be grabbed.
ANY HISTORY? Father Harry Clarke a Catholic priest from Stockport first introduced the car boot sale to the UK after seeing a similar event being held in Canada while on holiday there in the early 1970s. Car boot sales now happen regularly across the UK every weekend of the year.
WHAT TO TAKE? Bring some carrier bags for your purchases. Food is for sale on the site. You can choose between burgers and hotdogs or a healthy option. There’s also an ice cream van and a bouncy castle to keep the kids busy. If you want to have a go at selling your unwanted clutter: cars cost £10, and vans and cars with trailers cost £15. Aim to get there before 6am if you want a good pitch to sell from as the car park fills up very quickly.
LOOK OUT FOR? There's something for all ages and tastes. The kind of items typically for sale include everything from ornaments and pictures to books and dvds, and toys and games. You might even find some old vinyl records or some new furniture to buy. Collectors of all sorts will enjoy scanning the tables for more items to add to their ever growing collections. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, I recently added a New Series twelve inch Cyberman figure to my collectors shelf bought from the car boot Sale. Sellers often don't know how much some of the items they are selling for 50p would go for on ebay.
WHEN TO GO? The car boot sale is open every Saturday between 7am and 1pm, but begins to close around 12pm. After 12pm prices start coming down if you want to look for some last minuet bargains.
TELL ME MORE: You can find the Singleton Park Car Boot Sale across the road from Singleton Hospital Car Park. For sat-nav users the postcode is SA2 8QA. Details for this car boot sale and others can be found at
Richard Thomas is the author of the new book Sci-Fi Worlds - Doctor Who, Doomwatch, Battlestar Galactica And Other Cult TV Shows, a collection of science fiction/TV focussed essays and interviews published by Bretwalda Books. Included are interviews with X-Files and Lone Gunmen star Dean Haglund, Lexx co-creator Lex Gigeroff, UFO investigator Nick Pope, and Doctor Who writer Lance Parkin. You can find the book by searching 'Sci-Fi Worlds by Richard Thomas' on Richard's next book Para-News: UFOs, Ghosts, Conspiracy, Cryptids And More is also available for pre-order from Amazon and all good book retailers. For more information about Richard Thomas's books go to or email