Sunday, August 21, 2011

London through its charity shops #13: Mornington Crescent, NW1

For me, the name Mornington Crescent conjures up images of sleepy Sundays in an empty, autumn 1950s London with a soundtrack by Belle and Sebastian. Of course, the band didn't exist in the 1950s but they did write a song called Mornington Crescent (in 2006). Singer/songwriter Stuart Murdoch apparently fell in love with the romance of the station when walking past it. The North London tube station was closed for much of the 1990s and there were fears it was never going to reopen, but thanks to a successful campaign it finally did, in 1998. The name is most famous for the game Mornington Crescent, which features on the Radio 4 programme I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

From the station, walk up towards Camden Town tube along Camden High Street. On the left hand side within a very short space are six charity shops. The first is a poor Age Concern with not much of anything at all. Relief Fund for Romania (RFFR) is far better with clean and well organised stock, a large space with plenty of clothes, CDs, records and books. Next up is a decent British Heart Foundation; Scope is average; Cancer Research is likewise unexceptional. Last but not least is a fine looking boutique-style Oxfam (pictured), which is slightly a case of style over substance, but never mind.

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