Personally, I don’t get excited about flea markets and normally manage to avoid them. However, they do have a habit of finding me!
Two instances stand out. The first was when, on the way to a holiday on the South Coast, we decided to pull off the highway for a pie and a look at the Howick falls. As we drove in the ladies in the car all said with one voice, “Oh look, a Flea Market!” That delayed us a bit. The second was when I was overseas and had stayed the night at a B&B in Doncaster. I set off the next morning to explore the town, turned a corner, and walked right into the middle of a flea market.
So, acknowledging that not everyone holds the same views, I paid a visit to the Rosebank Flea Market. It is, apparently, regarded by many as South Africa’s best flea market, and is well patronised by both locals and tourists. More than 500 stalls offer clothing and linen, ceramics, art and craft objects, antiques and collectibles, jewellery and fashion accessories, books, CDs, food and, very naturally, African handcrafted items. It takes place in the parking areas of the Rosebank Mall on Sundays, and certainly is extensive. It is very well laid out and with easy access into the Mall itself for anyone who wants to escape! As I wandered through, my attention was divided between the articles on display, and the people. Some stall holders sat tiredly waiting for customers to approach them, whilst others stood and smilingly offered their goods to the passers-by. I turned from one sales pitch for delicious honey into another for magnetic jewellery. Generally, they were friendly, enthusiastic about their own articles, and quite willing to chat.
I spent a fascinating time with Iain Paterson in the Heraldry Stall. He is a Heraldic Artist, Designer and Researcher, and makes plaques for customers. He not only had examples of the plaques that he made, but also maps and references to the names that he could research. Of added interest to me was his stand of beautiful hand-made walking sticks. It turned out that they were, in fact, hand crafted sword-sticks, with finely made blades concealed inside. It was worth the trip just to see and feel such fine craftsmanship. (Alright, so I am glad that I went!)
Whilst I was wandering through, a group of African dancers was entertaining people at one end, whilst at the other was a remarkable busker, able to stand without moving a muscle until someone dropped money into his container. Then, depending on the amount, he moved and danced into a new position. He was so good that at one stage I was sure that he was not real.
It is a vibrant place and, for those who like that sort of thing (!) well worth a visit. It is also a place to which to take visitors to the city and the country. It could be combined with a visit to the African Craft Market outside, and to the sophistication of the Mall itself. Certainly the other shoppers seemed to be enjoying themselves – and so did I!
Sundays & Public Holidays: 09h00 – 17h00
For further information follow the links alongside.