Meet Wayne Hemingway, The Man Behind The Classic Car Boot Sale

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We've been counting down the days since April and now the time has finally come. In anticipation of this weekend's Classic Car Boot Sale at King's Cross, the last of the year, we caught up with founder Wayne Hemingway to chat about David Bowie, chips and Camden in the '80s.

Interview by Danielle Morgan

They say that behind every great man is a great woman. There are stories floating about that you and your wife met at a Wigan Casino all-nighter because of a five quid dare about who could cadge a phone number first between your mates. Care to set the record straight for us?

Nearly correct ! It was the regular Wednesday evening Northern Soul night at Angels Burnley with Northern Soul DJ Richard Searling ..and yes I won the bet!

Original Angles Burnley all-nighter ticket with Gerardine's number, PHOTO CREDIT - Wayne Hemingway

You've been going to Northern Soul all-nighters and Bowie concerts since you were 13?! We see you have good taste. What other shenanigans did you get up to growing up?

From the age of 13 it was always bands, dancing and fashion… with some cricket, football and running thrown in!

We were pretty shocked to find out your dad was Canadian Mohawk chief and wrestler Billy Two Rivers! Do you have any memories of him, he sounded like a pretty out there chap?

He's my father, but not my 'dad' as he buggered off when I was three. But he has been an activist over on the Kawnawake Reservation so maybe he passed something decent on . Oh and until I went bald I could do a proper quiff.

Baby Wayne sporting THAT quiff and with a ukulele doing his best Elvis impression, PHOTO CREDIT - Wayne Hemingway//Hemingway Designs

We hear you started out with a stall on Camden market, just like us. How was it during the early days of vintage wheeling and dealing?

It was the beginning of the 80s. I was playing in a band, needed money to pay for rehearsals etc and Gerra and I just emptied our wardrobes of clothing she had made herself and my old homespun punk clothes and secondhand clothes. Camden was a very different place back then; the rent on our stall was £6 a day and the people who went there were very cool. Along with Kensington Market it was the leading place for youth culture in Europe. We had little or no competition (either selling or sourcing cool secondhand... it wasn't called vintage back then!) We grew from taking a £100 a day to £5000 a day pretty quickly.

Wayne wheeling and dealing on his Camden stall in the '80s, PHOTO CREDIT - Wayne Hemingway

How did you go from co-founding Red or Dead, to housing development, to starting a design company to then launching the Vintage Festival? That's quite an eclectic mix of business ventures!

We have been lucky enough to have the guts to follow instinct - to take on new challenges. We have never had a bank overdraft or been answerable to anyone or ever had a fear of failure, so we try things that excite us and follow our mantra, 'Design is about improving things that matter in life'. Housing, regeneration and events that bring fun and opportunity to people fulfil that mantra.

Hemingway Designs was commissioned to rejuvenate Dreamland in Margate. Vintage shopping, rickety rides and chips by the seaside sounds like our idea of heaven, what was the attraction for that project?

The seaside, "people power"... its right up our street (check out Wayne gassing about Margate here).

Dreamland scenic railway in 1951 and Hemingway Designs re-imagined Dreamland, PHOTO CREDIT - Design Week

At Rokit, we're self confessed vintage junkies. What do you love so much about vintage?

Sustainable, ethical, thrifty, independent… whats not to love?

Wayne's goth days during the '80s, or is he a new romantic? We can't quite tell, PHOTO CREDIT - Hemingway Designs

We hear you have a record collection of over 7000 records, that's pretty impressive! Can you name your top 3?

Its actually nearly 11,000, impossible to pick 3 all time faves as it changes by the week, whether I am in the mood for northern soul, disco, boogie, deep funk, gospel or modern soul. My favourites this week are 25 Miles To Go by Edwin Starr, Summertime by Billy Stewart and This Time by DJ Shadow, because they got the floor going crazy at the after party for The Festival of Thrift we put on a couple of weekends ago in Redcar (near the steelworks).

Last time round we filled our boots with Sriarcha crab and tooled leather '60s handbags. What can we look forward to at this weekend's Classic Car Boot?

Over 100 classic cars, dozens of cool bikes and scooters, hundreds of vintage sellers, upcyclers, designer makers, a dozen brilliant food sellers, DJ's playing from Double Decker Buses... tens of thousands of cool folk... it's a veritable Festival for Fiver, just like the old days!

Count us in. Make sure you head down to Lewis Cubitt Square behind King's Cross train station this weekend for vintage, vinyl and top quality nosh. For more info, head to their website. See you there!

Classic car boot sale dog
PHOTO CREDIT - Classic Car Boot Sale