Friday 17 September 2010

Big Bum Jumble report in DIVA magazine

There's a double-paged spread in the October 2010 issie of DIVA magazine, yippee! Here're a couple of dodgy scans.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

First Jumble Offshoot

Some Jumblers in Leeds are starting to organise a Jelly Belly Jumble. Just so you know.

Friday 20 August 2010

Diana Thompson's Pictures!

Here are Diana's fabulous photographs from the Big Bum Jumble. You can see more of her work at

Read accounts of the BBJ on PocketRocketFashion and Plus Size Beauty too!

Wednesday 18 August 2010


There are still a few badges left. Want one? Send your postal address to and we'll send you one.

How was it for you?

Kay Hyatt, our esteemed BBJ leader, organiser, chief and house model reflects on the day.

How did it go?

It was a great success! More than 100 people came and everyone seemed really happy with their swag on the way out. The main thing that I wanted to achieve was a feeling of bounty and choice, rather than the usual fat shopping experience of scarcity and expense. I had some feedback from one shopper who said how great it was to pick through the jumble to find things she liked rather than just to find the things that fitted.

The venue turned out to be the perfect size for the amount of stuff we had and the number of people who came. The staff were super friendly and helpful too. It was really great to have a theatre space in terms of the catwalk show, which was an absolute triumph. So great to have backstage areas for hair and makeup and also to be able to have dramatic stage lighting.

It was also great in terms of building community, I saw new friendships being forged and old ones rekindled all over the place. This aspect was really great for me too, in the time before the Jumble, not just on the day. I’m really happy to have a new gang of fabulous fatties to do stuff with in the future.

What was the atmosphere like?

It was a really amazing atmosphere. Right at the beginning, we were pretty swamped with shoppers and that slowed down later in the day but whether it was a busy or a quiet time, whenever I went round the Jumble it seemed to be full of people having a good time. I think that having so many opportunities to get a bargain kept everyone happy and the ambient stuff of the Bops fantastic deejaying (they did a five hour set, can you believe it?) and the slide show Charlotte Cooper made really turned it into something more special.

How did it compare to the Fat Girl Flea, the event that inspired you to put on the Jumble?

It was different to the Flea for me but mostly because I was working not shopping! I think the same feeling of bounty was present at both events. At the Flea, I think there was more of a sense of a pre-existing community but at the Jumble, it was like we were all new to it and to each other. I think I heard a lot more people saying ‘wow, this is an amazing idea’ at the Jumble than I did at the Fat Girl Flea because the Flea has been around for a while, but I think the Big Bum Jumble is the first ever such event in the UK.

What would you have done differently with hindsight?

I’d have had a better strategy for dealing with press and with creeps. We had a lot of last minute press attention and it was hard for me to get them to back off. I wanted press to promote the event in advance, not turn up on the day to take photos of us that they could then sell on as headless fatties. I had one creepy guy with a camera come too. He was a fat admirer and had come to the Jumble to hook up, I think. I was too nice to him and he took some liberties. I’m sorry if he took them with you.

I’d also spend less time flyering and more time on other forms of publicity. Though flyering on the day was a good use of time, in advance it didn’t add much compared to the effort and time it took.

I’d have also had a better plan for dealing with the leftover jumble. I’m still drowning under it in my house.

Finally, I wish I’d spent more time just enjoying the atmosphere and hanging out with friends. And more dancing to the Bops' music.

What were the highlights of the day for you?

The fashion show. What a sight it was. My eyes! I felt so awed by how incredible everyone looked. That John William really knows how to dress people! And at how brave all the volunteer models were, some of whom had no experience and some who only got roped in on the day. I was a bit anxious beforehand, because it came on late and I was worried about people getting fed-up waiting, but I don’t think anyone regretted the wait once it started. I loved abandoning my post at the door and running in to sit at the front and scream and whoop the whole way through. Just fantastic.

Did you find a Nudie Suit in the end?

No, still no Nudie Suit for me, but I have some nice new smart clothes for my new job, some cute new t shirts and at the last minute by find of the day, my 1992 Status Quo tour sweatshirt that fits me like a dream.

What advice do you have for other people thinking of putting on a Big Bum Jumble?

  • Don’t underestimate how much work it is. I started in mid-May but still felt like I needed another month to do it all right.
  • Don’t underestimate the effect on your real life of organising an event like this. Be kind to your loved ones.
  • Don’t underestimate how much work it takes to publicise an event. We did loads of stuff, only a fraction of which turned into real coverage.
  • Be specific about what you want help with and directly ask people to do certain jobs.
  • Individual pricing of stuff is a drag. If you can go for blanket pricing policies it is much easier.
  • Work out what to do with the leftovers in advance!

Will you do another one?

Yes, I reckon, but I think I need at least a year off.

What's next for you?

I’m still working on the Jumble for a while, tying up the many loose ends. After that, I think I’d like to start building some momentum towards the 2012 Fattylympics. I have made some connections with some paralympians who are interested in doing something whilst organising the Jumble. I’d like to do some local small scale projects that are about trying out activities. A fat swim is probably the easiest thing to organise but I’m keen on having a go at trampolining. Big Bum Bounce, anyone?

What else would you like to say?

The hugest of thank yous to everyone who came and shopped, everyone who helped in endless ways on the day and in advance, everyone who gave me their clothes. None of it could have happened without you.

How was it for you? Write to us at and tell us about your day at the Big Bum Jumble.

Sunday 15 August 2010

Want More?

If you liked the Big Bum Jumble and are interested in getting involved with more fat activist stuff then you may be interested in a two-day Fat Studies seminar that is taking place in London on 18 and 19 November 2010. The venue and details are yet to be announced, but you can find out more about the series on the ESRC-funded Fat Studies and Health At Every Size website.

Jumbling All Over the World

Over the past couple of months, the Big Bum Jumble blog has been visited by thousands of people. Here's a map of the places where people have visited from around the world. There's a big concentration in Europe, and on the US coasts, but there are also a surprising number of visitors from other places too. This could easily mean that there's a hunger for events like the Big Bum Jumble all over the place.

Here's a more detailed map of the cities and places where there has been interest in the Big Bum Jumble in the UK.

We don't know if we'll do another one, we might, but there's nothing to stop you from putting on a similar event yourself. Why not go for it? We're really happy to share the skills and knowledge we've built whilst organising this event, you don't necessarily have to go it alone.

As we've organised the Jumble we've heard people say things like: "Things like that always happen in London and never near where I live." But things happen here because we've put them on ourselves. Similar bigger or smaller events could happen anywhere. Maybe you live near one of the dots on the map, if so there might be someone near you who would also like to get together to swap clothes, meet-up, or put on a bigger event. Wouldn't that be amazing?

First pics in, better ones to come

I took some poor quality pictures, which seems to be a trend for me. Anyway, they give you a tiny idea of what it's like. There are no pictures here for the fashion show because I was in it. Better pics will come soon, and if you took photographs we'd love to see them. Sorry about the cheesy captions, I couldn't resist.

Arriving with bags o' Jumble
Tom finds a treat

Bill's beautiful signage
Time for a quick rummage before it all kicks off
Getting ready for a stint at the station
Two pounds please, and would you like a badge?
Loading up the Denim Bar
Nearly there
Jumblers doing what they do best
Ooh la la corsetry
T-shirts and denim are popular
Busy times at the check-out
The Bops keep everyone'e energy up with their righteous sounds
Just one last pick-through
All done, time to go home

Big Bum Thanks

Gigantic, fat, big bum thanks go to the following people for making the Big Bum Jumble happen. We love you. If your name isn't here it is because we are fried. Please get in touch and we'll add it asap.

Max Airborne
Jackie Barnett
Stacy Bias
Ruth Bop
Tamsin Bop
Louise Carolin
Vicki Chalklin
Miranda Cheesman
Dwayne Cobham
Stephen Collins
Charlotte Cooper
Sharon Curtis
Jade Desumala
Lauren Ding
Kelli Dunham
Kat Elvin
Elena Escalera
Fat Girl Flea
Chopin Gard
Ben Gooch
Julia De Gruchy
Beth Hardisty
Katy Hathaway
Holly Hessinger
Felicity Heyward
Pauline Hilton
Margo Howie
Stuart Howitt
Kay Hyatt
Rae Jenkin
Rebecca Kemp
Sue Kofi and Pat
Marion Labrum
Amy Lamé
Catrin Lewis
Deb Malkin and Re/Dress NYC
Jenny McLaren
Lauren Meow Strickland
Simon Murphy
London Borough of Newham
Newham Magazine
Newham Recorder
Siobhan Owen
Amanda Piasecki
The Pocket Rocket
Emma Purvis
Alison Quinn
Johanna Robinson
Bill Savage
Donna Savage
Nicholas Smith
Sinister Mary Clarence
Liz Sterne RIP
Nicola Sterne
Stratford Circus
Simone Stumpf
Bea Sweet
Diana Thompson
Corinna Tomrley
Tom O’Tottenham
Meryl Trussler
Jamie Wildman
Ceri Wilkinson
John William
Pippa Willitts
Gary Wilson
Mike Wyeld
Stacy Wyrd Rock
And everyone who helped and encouraged!