Thursday, April 07, 2016

London through its charity shops #32: Beckenham SE20

Ah beautiful Beckenham, one time home of a young Bowie and with a gracefully curved High Street full of lovely charity shops. Before we go up the High Street, though, a quick trip over the road to Croydon Road, where there's a Mind charity shop. It's okay, smallish but with a wide variety of sometimes quirky gems (The Beatles' White album was there on vinyl when I popped in – for £60). A few doors along is a decent, large, if overpriced, record shop called Wanted Man.

Back onto the High Street and first up is the Salvation Army; I've never found anything interesting in there and it's quite small; mainly clothes. Over the road is a decent British Red Cross, small too but full of goodies, including a Jellycat teddy (my daughter's current obsession) and my barngains of the day: two brand new Pantone coffee makers, for under a tenner. Good selection of books, clothes and bric-a-brac, nicely laid out.

Next is Scope with lots of books and some records. British Heart Foundation is probably my charity shop of choice, and this is a good one with lots of clothes, CDs, bric-a-brac and books. A decent Cancer Research is next, followed by a long and spacious Oxfam with tons of books at the front; clothes, books, records and CDs at the back. And a tiny clothes rail for men, as usual. Next there's an average Sense. Around the corner at 24 High Street is a St Christopher's Hospice; I hadn't high hopes for it but turns out it's a bit of an Aladdin's cave – a buzzing atmosphere, with piles of bric-a-brac and pictures, plenty of clothes, books, DVDs, records and CDs. Reasonably priced too – men's Versace and Hackett shirts were £4.50.

Nine in a row: by then I'd had charity shop fatigue.

There's generally good quality stuff in all the charity shops – but not great for men's jeans, though: I imagine the demographic is quite elderly and conservative. Far too many beige pleated chinos with elasticated waists.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Bedlam: the art of madness

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