The notional ‘centre of London’ since the early nineteenth century, Charing Cross is still the point from which all distances to the Capital are measured. How fitting then that the six spokes of this junction mirror the principle fields of collecting at Saturday’s weekly market: stamps, coins, militaria, ephemera, postcards and miscellaneous(!)
Originally a vegetable market, the site can trace its roots as a trading place back to the late seventeenth century. Access to its wares was given a further boost in 1845 when the Hungerford suspension bridge was built and the market thrived for over a century before it became established as London’s premier collectors’ market in 1974. So far as we can tell, it remains the only weekly collectors’ market anywhere in the UK.
Whether it’s your first foray into collecting or you’re already an enthusiast, you’re sure to find something to spark your interest this weekend at Charing Cross Collectors Market. Browse to your heart’s content among the stamps, coins, postcards, militaria, ephemera, ethnography and all kinds of other historic items which have found their way down the decades to a stall in central London. Just holding items like these in your hands can summon up a sense of time and place which you may only have read about in the history books.
It’s not every day that you can see such a cornucopia of the unusual and unique. It’s just Saturdays. Between 7am and 3pm. At Charing Cross Market.
Following the recent government announcement outlining the roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions, we’ve been reviewing our approach to opening up the market again and are pleased to announce that – unless Government rules are changed – the planned opening date for the Collectors’ market is 17th APRIL! This is obviously great news for both collectors and dealers who will be able to interact face to face when negotiating the best deals. As always though, our priority remains keeping the public and stall holders safe so this is uppermost in our minds when making the decision to re-open. Naturally, government guidelines must still be adhered to with the wearing of face masks, social distancing and keeping gatherings to the appropriate number.
We look forward to welcoming our regular and new visitors to the market!
On a more sad note, Bridget and Jim would like to offer their condolences to the family of Neil, a long standing member of the Charing Cross Market community who recently passed away after suffering serious ill health over the past few years. He has been unable to attend the market for the past couple of years but we were in contact with him to obtain an update on his health. Despite having much to contend with health-wise, Neil retained that same wonderful sense of humour and met life’s trials with dignity and acceptance. He really was one of a kind and we know that he will be missed by many at the market.
Whether it’s stamps, coins, theatre tickets, records or baseball cards, collecting is actually good for us. Simply being absorbed in a task which is not required of us by work or personal relationships is an excellent way to put the cares of the world to one side and psychologists agree that this is a very real benefit of any collecting hobby.
As we age, it becomes ever more important to keep the grey matter active. Regularly immersing ourselves in the history, provenance and characteristics of a collection is a great way to exercise our powers of observation, memory and judgement.
As a collector, you are part of a distinct social sub-group with a shared interest. Immediately, there is a rapport with any fellow collector and the social benefits of a mutual hobby often lead to lifelong friendships.
Finally, as the world continues to turn at an ever dizzying pace, there’s the nostalgia for a particular period in history. The past isn’t going anywhere soon. It can be a comforting anchor in the eye of the storm that is 24 hour news cycles. Whether it’s the football programmes you started collecting in childhood or finding an unusual coin in your change, collecting often has very mundane, but very enduring, roots. And while the average age of collectors in traditional fields like coins and stamps continues to rise, it has become an even broader church. The bug of collecting is every bit as strong in today’s children and while Happy Meal plastic toys and Pokemon cards might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they just might prove to be a gateway drug.
Yes. Once again the Shangri-La of the collectors’ world will be open to the public tomorrow – not quite as usual because of course we’ll be taking all the usual precautions to keep everyone safe. But the main thing is that London’s second most famous trading floor will once again bring together philatelists, numismatists, deltiologists, militaria buffs and collectophiles of all kinds. Some dealers are packed up by 2pm and early birds will always get the first chance to see what our traders have on offer so make sure you don’t miss the boat. We’re dying to see you – just don’t forget your mask!
We’re delighted to announce that, subject to the precautions set out in a previous blog post, the market will reopen next Saturday 5th December. With London being placed in a Tier 2 category, we can meet all the criteria for safe operation which is really great news coming as it does just before Christmas. We have been inundated with enquiries since the announcement so we know lots of you are keen to catch up and bolster your collections. Quite honestly, we can’t wait to see you all again and next Saturday can’t come soon enough!
In today’s blog post we’d just like to reassure visitors on two points: yes, we’re still open and, yes, we’re taking every precaution to ensure the safety of both the general public and our dealers. Central to these precautions is the requirement to wear a mask. Don’t worry if you forget yours as they are available for £1 on the door (with complementary disposable gloves).
A one way system is in place meaning that visitors must enter by the Villiers Street entrance (by Costa Coffee) and exit by the stairs leading up to The Playhouse Theatre. We carry out a temperature test on all dealers and visitors with a non-contact infra-red sensor. Anyone failing this test is asked to return home and self-isolate. A one metre social distancing protocol applies in all areas of the market.
Although these measures are inconvenient, they are a prerequisite for the safe operation of the market which will always be our number one priority. We look forward to seeing you this Saturday.
The UK’s only weekly stamp, coin, postcard, militaria and ephemera collectors’ market continues. Where else could you buy genuine military formation patches, rare stamps from all corners of the globe, a silver coin from the reign of Charles I, historic postcards, ancient African artifacts and any number of other unusual and exotic items all under one roof? In fact, we doubt whether a more eclectic collectors market exists anywhere else in the world… It’s not for nothing that Charing Cross is traditionally regarded as the very centre of London from which all mileposts took their distances. So come along this Saturday from 7am to 2pm, browse to your heart’s content and see what our traders have for you this week!
On display at Charing Cross Collectors Market last Saturday was this headturning display of antique helmets. The two buffed ones on the left are French fireman’s helmets – the furthest left dates from 1880 / 1900 while the one below it on the table is from 1900 / 1920. Cutting a dash in the middle with its distinctive Pickelhelm spike is a German lobstertail cavalry helmet from WWI while on the right is its gloriously plumed French counterpart from the second empire period (1852-70). Come along this Saturday and see our latest range of wonderful antique collectables. 8am – 2pm.
Long regarded as the very centre of London, Charing Cross also enjoys a distinguished position as the only weekly Collectors Market in the UK. Stamps, coins, militaria, postcards, ephemera and antiques of all kinds can be found here every Saturday from 7am till 3pm. Experienced collectors, dedicated amateurs and curious first time visitors all rub shoulders in the exciting hunt for their next big find. Come along this weekend and discover your passion!