A Poke Around at The Flea Market Cardiff

The flea market is worthy of the title of ‘the Hidden Gem’ of Cardiff city, according to what the shop owner said, Frank.

Sunday Express from 1986

Indeed, given it’s a truly hidden place and locates there so quietly and undisturbed just like Xanadu. Even the COVID couldn’t do much to this place, although Brexit has affected it a bit since people were scared to spend money on old antiques. ‘This is merely a junk shop than an antique shop.’ The owner says.

Frank proudly shows photo taken by photographer when he was young

It lay on Rose Street. Shop owner, Frank, ‘Steptoe’, stands by the door talking to the neighbors. He’s a fairly friendly person and was willing to tell stories about his shop to everybody. A warm welcome when we came inside the shop. The creed he believes is that the attitude of the customers determines the price.

Bed from Titanic

According to what Frank said, the shop started with hobbies. Initially, the shop owner started with a couple of friends, was used to open once a month. Yet eventually, due to personal reasons, we weren’t able to find out where does his friends were gone, or probably they decided to leave him over other businesses. Therefore, he’s alone with the shop now.

Cup Collections

But back then, in the early ages, they used to send flyers from the street, but it wasn’t coming out well. Since they realized that if somebody missed their notifications, they would wait until next time. Ever since the past five years, they have decided to open every weekend, for regular customers from around also for people from overseas.

Then it becomes a welcoming spot for the weekends! Especially when the sky is drizzling, it offers more chances for pedestrians to come along and stay for the rain. He tells us a unique story about a bed lying upstairs.

I was curious about it since it’s the very second thing caught my attention, it has a paper on it that says, ‘Bed from Titanic’! Frank said to us it actually wasn’t, was just a homeless guy from the street who used it, and then left it there, and he just got inspired about this idea. ‘I would say it’s real if we are talking the Titanic of Welsh subfield.’

An overview of the shop

The shop itself has been around for almost a decade. The shop owner had this habit when he was 8 years of age. It all started the collection of oil lamps. When I was asking about how many customers would usually come in, he told me ‘You can’t really tell from the numbers of the customers, if this shop is valuable, it aimed to be a more relaxed place.’

I wasn’t surprised when he told me he is not making a living out of this. ‘Back in the early ‘90s, people would really collect the stuff for decoration, but now there aren’t many people willing to collect. It worsens when the charity shops from miles away opened up.

They are too sanitized and too expensive.’ Now it is also a relief for Frank himself after the work from a near garbage station during the weekdays, it would welcome the customers again. ‘I gave out the stuff from here to my friends, and no matter who needs them, 50 quids you can take anything you want from this shop when they move to a new place.’

Instead of promoting his shop to the outside world, makes people happy seemed to be his only goal opening this shop, to help people take a trip down memory lane every now and then is what he wanted.