Sunday, January 09, 2011

London through its charity shops #4: East Sheen


East Sheen is like a posh village between Putney and Richmond; you'd hardly notice it hurtling (or even crawling) along the Upper Richmond Road. Consisting of nice little coffee houses and quirky, independent shops, it also has nine charity shops – more than twice as many as nearby Richmond. But we all know quantity doesn't mean quality.

Approaching East Sheen from Putney, a seemingly makeshift Octavia is the first port of call; a bit dull with not much variety. Mind is a little further up. And quite enticing it is too, with plenty of books, records and CDs; it's interesting, vibrant and cheap. Barngains of the Day: Panda Bear, Person Pitch CD, £1; hip flask, £2.

Crossing over and near the crossroads is a Cancer Research with decent bric-a-brac but not many books. Inexplicably, CDs and DVDs are piled on top of each other in a glass cabinet, rendering them rather difficult to look at. Some £1 records.

Over the road again, on the corner, is a Barnado's. Nice bric-a-brac, tidy, but uninspiring. Crossing the road is a fine Princess Alice Hospice. We were almost tempted by a 10-piece Susie Cooper tea set for £20. Neat, with a nice layout and good crockery. Barngain of the day: Joan Baez in Concert, Part II, CD, £2. FYI: Joan is 70 today! Further along is an okay FARA. Towards the end of the parade of shops is another Octavia, which has lots of books, records and CDs; it's pretty interesting and quirky.

Down Sheen Lane is where things get interesting (sort of), with a bunch of odd non-chain charity shops. The Children's Society has lots of (pretty bad) £1 records. Books are well organised. Quite nice. The Missing Foundation is a bit stark but quite interesting and cheap. A good selection of picture frames. I was tempted by a pair of as new Converse All Stars sneakers, £6, but Barngain of the day was an old Players cigarette tin (above), £1. The Youth Education Sport Charity Shop is like a jumble sale – inside and outside. Good children's books and toys.

Update 4/3/11
The Children's Society has closed down.

Update 1/12:
There has been a Shelter charity shop for a while on the Upper Richmond Road, almost opposite Cancer Research. It just sells clothes so I didn't linger long.

• If you've made it this far (I know, doubtful) you may as well walk five minutes more and check out Sir Richard Francis Burton's (and his wife's) concrete Bedouin tent tomb; it's quite extraordinary.

• There used to be a good Oxfam book shop in East Sheen but it's vanished, so no Oxfam at all now.

1 comment :

RA said...

Don't know how you do it, but wherever
we go you seem to get Barngains.

Perhaps I am now being too choosy or maybe I have reached saturation point as regards charity shops: maybe its to do with the fact that I volunteer in one.