Give & Taken what a day
The Given & Take event at Acland Burghley school hall earlier today was one of the most interesting community events I've ever taken part in.
Up early, I was out and about the area collecting bags from various people - even some of the local shops contributed and had bags ready for me to collect. One shop sent along one of their staff with a trolley of bags. Surprising what seasonal stuff (non food items) shops don't sell but just keep because they don't have any way of disposing it without trashing it.
Impressive the number of people from all walks of life who turned up with items to dispose of. Books, toys, clothes, baby stuff, TV's, other electronics, bikes, scooters, bags, furniture, plants - you name it and it arrived, loads by vans. By opening time there were so many people milling around it became difficult for the queues of people trying to leave their contribution so we had to open the second door. Because of parking restrictions some people just had to dump the heavy goods on the footpath in front of the school. The shop's trolley made light work of moving it into the hall.
The kindness of people, it was really touching seeing what people brought along - most was in good condition, not jumble sale tack. Seems the event prompted many local people to have a clear out. Most people don't mind giving away their property if somebody else is going to make good use of it. Couldn't believe the amount contributed in such a short time - the hall packed high I was wondering if they would actually get rid of it all in less than 3 hours.
When the people were eventually let in it became a polite orderly free for all. Not as I expected the usual jumble sale fights. As fast as we were putting the stuff out was as fast as it went. There wasn't even time for a cup of tea. One excited little girl collected a pink scooter and pink bag, her face was an absolute picture. She didn't seem to mind the time her mother was taking sorting through the kitchen section. The books counter was a big hit with many elderly men. Had to help a lady retrieve a rug and some stuff for her son at university. Her husband waited in line to collect a TV for him. Thought lucky young man.
The queue for the electronics was amazing. They had to wait for the items to be tested, a legal requirement but everybody patiently queued - no agro from anybody.
All that remained when it was all over were some books and a few clothes. The only thing I brought home were 3 plants. The lady in charge of that section had to hide them for me. They were like gold dust. Sadly one of the helpers lost her coat. Fancy leaving it on the floor behind a table.
Hard work but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Have told the Camden team I don't mind helping out again if there is an event not too far. Seems that Ackland Burghley school may be holding a Give n' Take event for themselves later in the year. If they need me I'll definitely be there.