Organising a Vide Grenier in the village hall

This evening I had to attend a meeting in the village hall about organising a vide grenier. This shouldn’t take too long, I thought as I parked in the village hall car park. Oh, how wrong I was! Why is nothing ever simple?

There was much debate over whether we should change the date of the vide grenier. Opinion was divided: could we ‘piggyback’ off the success of Moneneuf having a vide grenier on the same day? I believe that it would be better for Reminiac to have our vide grenier on the same day, as people do like to browse and if they can look around two car boot sales within 5 minutes of each other, I believe they will. Rather like jewellers, they benefit from being close together.

What about an entrance fee?

The next topic was the entrance fee. Monteneuf has been holding vide greniers for several years and does not charge an entrance fee. The problem is that renting a ‘space’ is so cheap: 2 euros a metre. We, therefore, aren’t going to make a huge amount of money from the stall holders. Notwithstanding this, the French are fickle and they do not part with their cash easily, and bearing in mind that this is our first year I voted for ‘no entrance fee’. As there were strong views on both sides, this point remained unresolved.

If a community wants to hold a vide grenier, they need to get permission from the prefecture, and in order to get permission a whole host of forms must be completed. Once you have permission, you must obtain signed forms from every stall holder that detail what each stand is selling. In France, individuals can only sell things at a car boot sale twice a year.

The forms were all agreed upon.

Moving on to pitch size and location

Now to sort out where the stands would go. A plan of the village green was produced. I had assumed that on the day, stallholders would arrive and set up around the village green. Not so.

Each stall holder will pay for either a 1m or a 2m stretch. These spots will be measured to the centimetre and there will be aerosol paint markings on the grass setting out each pitch. Woe betides ANYONE who ‘overflows’ into the next pitch!

Publicity. I volunteered Mark to make a HUGE sign promoting the vide grenier. He doesn’t know yet! Who would have thought that organising a vide grenier would be so complicated?

I think there will be several more lengthy meetings before 1st May! Sometimes, I smile to myself as living in Reminiac reminds me of the Vicar of Dibley. It’s great being involved in the village community but sometimes having to attend a meeting to organise another meeting can prove tedious. Organising a vide grenier is definitely one of those occasions. So let’s wait for the next meeting!

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