Well, I’ve burned as much midnight oil as I can to build up my stock and the moment of truth has arrived. It’s now all boxed up and ready to go. Alarm will be set for 4.00 am tomorrow for an early start to be at RHS Wisley by 6.00. At least the M25 should be OK at that time of day! Then all morning setting up ready for the fair opening on Thursday. The only remaining question – will it all fit in the car? It’s not just the stock (1st photo), but all the paraphernalia that goes with setting up the stall (2nd photo).
- 6 heavy panels of gridwall (the square steel mesh) to help form the backdrop to my stall (otherwise known as a ‘shell scheme’), plus sheets to hang down behind the gridwall.
- 2 large (6′ x 2’6″) tables to display the stock, plus table coverings and clamps to keep them in place.
- Another table (3′ square) to use for wrapping and a general work-surface (changing watch batteries, carrying out minor repairs, etc.)
- Shelves and shelf brackets to fix to the gridwall for extra ‘backstage’ display space.
- 2 sets of acrylic display shelves and supports to give height to the main display tables (home-made, in the old burgundy curtains).
- Another shelf (the long black box) that sits at the back of a main display table. This is again to give height, but it’s open on the back to give me some hidden space for my phone, card reader, receipts, etc. – as well as my lunch and coffee!
- Rolls of bubble wrap, plus a large home-made loo-roll holder to support it just above my wrapping table.
- A box full of lights, spare bulbs, lighting cables and extension leads, all PAT tested.
- Assorted old gazebo poles (I never throw such things away) that form a lighting gantry and help to support the backdrop.
- A sack barrow to help move everything between car and marquee (not sure how close I will get).
- And last, but not least, a bar stool – just in case I get time to sit down.
Not shown in the 2nd photo (simply because I forgot) is a large mobile tool chest that I take with me. This includes such things as
- Assorted wooden blocks for levelling the tables and the gridwall.
- Cable ties to hold everything together.
- Abrasives, oils, polishes and cloths for minor repairs.
- Assorted tools needed for setting up.
- Bungees, string, gaffer tape (never go anywhere without it)
- Business cards, price labels, pens, receipts, chargers.
- Spare batteries for my clocks, and a watch repair kit.
- A document wallet with all my signs, insurance certificates, PAT testing certificates, etc.
And all this is for an EASY setup – I’m in a marquee provided by others and I will not be demonstrating. If I was to take my own gazebo and lathe to demonstrate, then the list would double!
As to whether it will fit in the car – well, let’s go and try!!