Tom Widdicombe

Totnes Classic Handtools

Totnes Classic Handtools

For years I have bought and sold all sorts of different things, almost all related to the past. I can't remember a time when I wasn't drawn towards "old stuff" - old cars, old motorbikes, old farm machinary, anything really. I'm fascinated by it all.

Many years ago I was visiting a market in St Girons in the Midi-Pyrenees and I came across a stall buying and selling old tools. It was an astonishing stall. It was basically a table about 20 metres long, covered in tools and tool related items. Everything was immaculately laid out so that the customers could easily see what was what. Most of the items were priced. The whole customer experience was just excellent and very easy.

When I came back to my chaotic stall in Totnes Market I immediately changed the look of things. I pretty much just copied the stall that I had just seen in St Girons. At the same time I changed the emphasis away from vintage stuff and moved much more towards tools. Now, 15 years later, things are pretty much the same, except I now know quite a bit more about what I am buying and selling than I did all those years ago.

By the way, my business is not 100% exclusively tools - I still can't resist the old vintage stuff - I love going back to the past, me!

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