Car boot fan’s hobby leads to documentary

Steve Hopper (l) and Mark Stacey
Steve Hopper (l) and Mark Stacey

A car boot fan and video lecturer from Eastbourne will be appearing in a documentary after his passion for collecting items led to an idea for a programme on the subject.

Steve Hopper said his interest in car boot fairs stemmed from a young age when he used to go to them with his father.

The programme, which will appear on Sky 212 (freesat 401) at midday on Saturday June 1, features TV antiques expert Mark Stacey and his history of antiques in Sussex as well as a first time car booter. Mammoth Boot Fairs in Polegate also features heavily in the documentary which is called ‘Car Booting: Aladdin’s Cave’.

Mr Hopper said, “I run a business in Eastbourne in the media industry and came up with the idea as I always loved car boots and it’s a collaboration between the two.”

The 26-year-old, who is producer and presenter of the piece, says his father went into carpentry in his retirement and would sell his items at car boot sales, taking him and his sister with him, “He would drag us out of bed on a Sunday morning and take us to car boot sales. I started rummaging through the items and you quickly learnt that you could purchase items that you would not be able to get in the shops at that price or because of its rarity. By going to car boot sales it would allow me to buy items with my pocket money and it was like pure magic.”

Mr Hopper, who also enjoyed selling his toys at the sales, said the experience also made him realise the value of money as a child. He added, “I think the highlight of the programme was probably the satisfaction that comes across from the actual booters.

“The project was fun, there were ups and downs and we met a lot of interesting characters - some of the typical British public that go to boot sales which made the programme what it is.”