Emerging from Bethnal Green station it is crystal clear where “Rumble in the jumble” is to be found. The procession of fashionista’s with their requisite carrier bags stuffed to the brim with donation bargains march along the Cambridge Heath road towards the Oval Space, their colourful costumes strangely redolent of a scene from a Peter Greenaway film.
After handing over the very reasonable £3 entrance fee and a contribution bag of clothes (no dirty pants allowed!), the climb up the stairs past the alluring view over the gasometers leads to a light, bright space filled with music and merriment. Initially the impression is not of a jumble sale at all, but of a contemporary music festival, however on closer inspection all the essential elements are present.
Deciding which strategy to adopt for perusing the space appears to be a very individual matter; differing techniques are evident and are as varied as the supporters attending the event. My particular favourite initially performed a slow reconnaissance mission, followed by an amazingly rapid lunge towards a chosen stall, an unsuspecting lady had a purple sparkling evening dress swiftly and unapologetically snatched from her fingers, this may not sound especially heinous although you would expect better manners in a septuagenarian.
The goods on offer are of a very high quality and regularly replenished throughout the afternoon eliminating the usual first come first served policy of a traditional jumble sale. The music from Radio One’s Gemma Cairney along with other DJ’s is current and exuberant; surprisingly in contrast to this the overall ambience is one of nostalgia highly reminiscent of a 1977 street party.