I have a painting on my bedroom wall that fills me with joy as I open my eyes each morning and I have one special person and one very unique place to thank for that.
With this in mind I thought I’d use this week’s article to introduce you to my pal Matt Bashmore and the wonders of Deptford Market in London (I encourage you to pop by this special place if you’re ever in town). Here’s a transcript from a Q&A I did with him over whatsapp (whilst I was recovering from Covid!):
JO: So Matt, how did you stumble across Deptford Market and how long did it take for you to fall in Love?
MB: I think nigh on ten years ago my friend Hugh took me there whilst I was staying at his place in New Cross. He had the collecting bug himself and I think it awoke some deep desire to amass tat (I should mention that he has now advanced to mud larking on Deptford beach). They’ve always had loads of oddball bits of art, mostly from retired grannies in Kent. Basically, they chuck most of it in the bin if it doesn’t sell, so I felt I couldn’t miss a single one and when I started going regularly it became routine, like a weird sort of mindfulness. It puts me at ease when I’m there.
JO: You’re from Bristol originally and I get the impression from the way you describe your upbringing that Deptford Market encapsulates a lot of the things you miss, like the people, right ?
MB: Yea well there’s no shortage of characters for one thing. Specifically, I’m from south Bristol, which is a far cry from the artistic utopia people associate with the city. Maybe there’s an argument to say the same with Deptford/New Cross and the rest of London. Maybe less so now but it’s still got the charm
JO: Who was that lady you mentioned the other day ?
MB: Mandy, she’d have thrived in south Bristol! She’s great, no nonsense and a decent selection. Mostly electronics, only place in London you might find an old synth or keyboard next to an inflatable BBW sex doll (which goes by the name of Fatima btw)
JO: What’s your most unusual find down there ?
MB: I think the most unusual things I’ve found down there aren’t things I’d particularly want in my house, i.e.. the sex doll.
JO: Ye, especially a second hand one
MB: Ye good point, I think a lot of it must be for shock value but you never know. I get particularly confused about things like half eaten jars of pickles or bags of pasta…
JO: Do you see other regular / rival rummagers?
MB: It can be fierce amongst those regulars. Had some catty exchanges with one bloke who looks like a ginger owl, got pretty heated when I beat him to a box of these pretty ugly pottery pieces. Makes it all the sweeter when I see them on my mantle. To be honest I may we’ll be that ginger owl in my later years.
JO: Haha ! So, have you got any tips for first time visitors ?
MB: I’d say take your time there, give each little pile of junk a good looking at and try the hotdog van it’s decent !
JO: Thank you, Matt. I sure will.