Monday, January 20, 2014

London through its charity shops #25: Crystal Palace, SE19

I always imagine Crystal Palace having more charity shops than it actually does: only three by my reckoning. They're located around the popular Crystal Palace 'triangle', which consists of Westow Road, Westow Hill and Church Road. There's a Mind Enterprise shop on Westow Road. The main part of the shop is pretty standard charity shop fodder with clothes, CDs and kid's stuff against the back wall. Along a corridor at the end of the main shop is an exciting ramshackle back room with lamps, books, records, pictures and various electrical and bric-a-brac items for sale. Around the corner on Westow Hill is Shelter. These have been popping up in fairly well-to-do areas (Crouch End, East Sheen, Finchley Road, Fulham, Muswell Hill etc) in the last couple of years, selling a mix of new stuff and over-priced secondhand stuff. The shops themselves are quite pleasant; airy and spacey (if overlit); the opposite of your average British Heart Foundation, where it's impossible to walk through the shop without knocking something off a clothes rail. Shelter has new products and women's clothes in the main shop with books, CDs and men's clothes downstairs. Over the road and along a bit, Cancer Research is a bit dull and shabby.

Aside from charity shops, if looking through other people's unwanted crap is your thing, then Crystal Palace has plenty more to offer. Around the back of Sainsbury's, Haynes Lane Market is a proper old fashioned flea market, and hasn't changed a bit since when I used to go as a boy. Around the triangle are dotted plenty of other antique/junk and vintage/retro shops worthy of a rummage (even the library seems to have a never ending sale of comics, books, CDs and videotapes). Church Road, with its boarded up shops and narrow pavement, might look less than inviting than the other two sides of the triangle, but linger on, there are plenty of secondhand delights there too.

Finally, don't forget a visit to Crystal Palace's famous dinosaurs (pictured above) and sphinxes too.

A more comprehensive look at Crystal Palace's charity and second hand shops (from a female perspective) here

2017 Update
Unfortunately, Mind Enterprise shut down a while ago. Never mind, there's another Mind charity shop along a little row of shops at 265 S Norwood Hill, a bit out of the way from Crystal Palace but worth a visit. It has a good selection of bric-a-brac, pictures, children's stuff, books, records and CDs. Some men's clothes, naturally lots of women's.

Previously on Barnflakes:
The Dinosaurs of Crystal Palace
London through its Charity Shops


Caspar said...

if looking through other people's unwanted crap is your thing, then Crystal Palace has plenty more to offer

Love it! I'm sold! Taxi!

Crystal Elixir said...

Great to see charity shops still thriving in a world obsessed with online shopping.
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