In the 1950s my father used to take me down to the market on a Saturday morning. There was a lot of good bargains on the so-called junk stalls – stuff there that would be classed as antiques nowadays. I remember on one occasion when I was around twelve years old there was a little ivory picture of two Raphael angels leaning forward with their wings spread out and they were in a nice little frame. I liked it and my father bought it for me. It was only sixpence for a real painting, on ivory. I remember one Saturday there was a very large oval mirror for sale, very heavy. Dad hadn’t got enough money to pay for it so he told me to go back on the Monday. I was only a little lad, but I went and bought it. Two guys loading a vehicle said to me, “Here comes the Daily Mirror!” I got it home to Beeston on the bus and we had it for years. I was creased by the time I got it back!
There were junk shops all around the market. I don’t think any of ’em sold anything good, they was all rubbish, but it still sold. You didn’t have to have a lot of money, you could still come home with a bagful wi’ no money. Unbelievable.
In the sixties I loved looking round the junk shops – I often bought little bits of second hand furniture and renovated them – I loved to mess about with wood.