|Colourful Lewisham: my boon companion in the foreground|
My esteemed colleague had enthused about the charity shops in his local area for some time so I asked him to put his money where his mouth is and we met up on a Saturday outside Lewisham train station. Walking towards town, one is greeted with the ugliness of roadworks and construction sites, with flats going up and bollards all over the place. Things got better once we walked through the shopping centre, with a fruit and veg market on the other side and some charity shops.
We started with the British Heart Foundation, which had friendly, helpful staff (a rarity nowadays), good CDs and lots of cheap paperbacks – my companion picked up half a dozen thrillers for his missis and declared the non-fiction section to have seen better days. Next was the 'uninspiring' British Red Cross which had plenty of women's clothes and a poor book department. Scope has a nice feel to it; it's small and pleasant yet the music is too loud and the staff "dozy". Good CDs but bad placement of the books, next to the changing rooms and till. Cancer Research had loads of CDs and women's shoes, cheap clothes rails and a small book section.
|Soviet sci-fi style staircase, Lee Green|
Onto Blackheath, where there's an okay and cheap Cats Protection shop, featuring lots of cat figures in the bric-a-brac section. The Community Hospice is small with good bric-a-brac and cheap books. The British Red Cross is lovely and colourful, with lots of designer clothes. I spotted a lovely pair of black Levi's 501s, as new, for £8.99. Unfortunately a few sizes too big for me, but I joked with the shop assistant I'll put on weight to make them fit. She told me of the harm of being overweight and the possibility of getting diabetes. At the back some good records too, but I wasn't going to pay £8.99 for Jimi Hendrix's Smash Hits.
We walked past lovely houses and across the heath to get to Blackheath village, where there was a uber chic Mary's Living and Giving Save the Children, which we didn't dare go into. There's a nice Cancer Research where a near barngain was the pop-up 3D ABC book, unfortunately some letters were damaged. I had nothing and was getting desperate: a cool Wrangler shirt was frayed; a nice Penguin shirt was too small. The final stop was Oxfam, our first of the day. Women's clothes are downstairs; upstairs there's a large book and music section. Nothing grabbed me. Still, it was a good day. It had started raining again and the light was fading.