Melanie Charnock, The Jumble Trail

Tell us about yourself?

I am Melanie Charnock (aka Mrs Jumble) and I am the West Norwood Jumble Trail Champion. I have 3 kids - Stanley 9yrs and twins Albert & Atticus aged 2yrs 7m

Melanie Charnock, The Jumble Trail

What is the Jumble Trail? 

Jumble Trail is a like a whole community car boot sale on the streets around your neighbourhood.  I heard about the Jumble Trail concept whilst listening to the founder, Martina Randles, being interviewed on BBC London Radio. I'm really passionate about the importance & value of community, I also used to be a Costume Stylist & absolutely LOVE rummaging for second hand & vintage stuff, i'm a massive magpie, so it felt like a match made in heaven to me!  I couldn't resist setting one up for West Norwood & just knew our amazing community would be right
up for it too.

How do you find balancing it with motherhood?

I only decided to organise the first Jumble Trail just 4 weeks before the day & definitely underestimated the amount of work involved.  It was just little old me beavering away answering emails & organising promotions whenever my twins were napping.  I also used to head out most evenings after they'd gone to bed to flyer the local area, my partner & I saw very little of each other that month, the washing mounted up & the cupboards became bare, but it was just for a short time & was definitely worth it.  

What do you love about SE London and particularly being a mother here?

The thing I love most about being a mum in SE London is the fantastic sense of community.  I'm from Manchester & have no family nearby, the local mum friends I've made through playgroups & school have been an absolute lifeline for me, especially since I had the twins, I honestly don't know how I would have survived without them.  I've got two welcome new additions to the Jumble Trail team this time & they are both local mums, Daniella Moore Andrew & Stephanie Hyde, we have named ourselves The Jumblettes!  I met Daniella at a baby group a few years ago & when she heard about the second Jumble Trail she very kindly offered to help, Stephanie also offered her help via a post about Jumble Trail on SMN.  A perfect example of the fabulous, supportive mamahood community we have here.

Finally, can you share a secret top tip for other mamas in our area? 

My secret local tip is camping at Dulwich Woods Scout Centre, a great taste of freedom for the kids right on our door step, not glamping by any means but it's cheap, easy to get to & if it all goes pear shaped you can be home in a warm bed within 10mins.

West Norwood's Jumble Trail is on Sunday 26th April, sign up and find out more here: