Wednesday, March 09, 2016

London through its charity shops #30: From Lewisham to Blackheath

Colourful Lewisham: my boon companion in the foreground
There was rain, wind, hail and sun, there was coffee and Greggs sausage rolls, and starlings catching the crumbs in their beaks mid air, and there was giving fried chicken to a very grateful homeless man. Along we way we passed Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen's former house and Danny Baker's current one and popped into, oh, 13 charity shops (unfortunately we had to miss out a few) where my boon companion bought about twenty books and I got absolutely nothing, but there were some close barngains.

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
We took a bus to Lee Green, where's there's a large Geranium charity shop with some furniture and electrical good; plenty of bric-a-brac. Books were cheap. Next door was a smaller Geranium 99p shop. Nearby is a huge Sue Ryder furniture store which also sells white goods. Along the walls were lots of books, CDs, DVDs and bric-a-brac.

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.

1 comment :

T-1000 said...

Your account is so vivid - it's like I was there with you! p.s. - 'found' (in the Onion) barnacle: What does not kill me makes me whinier