Thursday, January 06, 2011

London through its charity shops #3: Richmond

There are only four charity shops in Richmond; thankfully a couple of them are pretty good.

Opposite Waterstone's on the corner is a Cancer Research, which has good stock, though quite expensive; CDs are £3 (a pound more than Putney's) but a good selection. Oxfam and Octavia are located on the other end of the High Street, near the train station. Oxfam has a nice feel to it with friendly staff and great books (including an antiquarian section), records and CDs. A bit pricey, though, so I'm hesitant to say Barngains of the Day, but: Tortoise's debut CD, £2.99; International Lonely Guy, paintings by Harland Miller (hardback book), £9.99.

I love old Penguin books and find Miller's huge canvases of (invented) Penguin book covers both nostalgic and subversive (and pretty funny). Jarvis Cocker is a fan and he (along with several others, including Ed Ruscha, an obvious inspiration for Miller) interviews the artist for the book. It has great reproductions of Miller's (who went to Chelsea College of Art the same time as I did) paintings.

Octavia, a few doors along, comes across as a disappointment, being pretty dark, small and stark. There's not a proper changing room and too much new stuff.

Marie Curie Cancer Care, round the corner and next to Waitrose, is small and uninspiring. The bric-a-brac is a tad pricey but the books and CDs cheap. They have an occasional gem, such as my Barngain of the Day: The Work of Director Spike Jonze (dual-layer DVD, consisting of Jonze's music videos – including The Beastie Boys classic Sabotage – and various short films), £2.

Related: I posted a comment on a recent Guardian article about how great Oxfam is. The article mentioned how nothing at Oxfam is wasted; I had to beg to differ (comment 50-something, under Barnflakes).

September 2011 Update
Octavia is no more. Marie Curie Cancer Care has stopped selling books and CDs – it's just clothes now.

However – crossing over Richmond bridge I came across four charity shops on the other side. Is this still Richmond? Let's say it is, though it may be St. Margarets or Twickenham. Anyway, crossing the bridge away from Richmond, on the left once over the bridge on Richmond Road are four charity shops quite close to each other. They all seemed really nice; funky, good quality and clean: Octavia, Fara, Princess Alice Hospice and Mind.

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