Sometimes I will do anything to avoid marking.
Well, here you are: a mini-review of High Barnet's charity shops, sometimes the source of rich and fruitful pickings, sometimes quite literally threadbare.
Cherry Lodge: can be rather disappointing, and really only for the most dedicated charity shopper who is able to make daily trips. I have sometimes seen nice china serving dishes here. Alas, I do not serve, so they remained languishing in the window.
North London Hospice: this shop used to have a canny manager whom I suspect bought some of the best stuff before it ever hit the selves. However, you still see the occasional camera in the window and I bought an acoustic guitar here which unfortunately has a twisted neck, but they weren't to know that. Sometimes they have small items of furniture, and it's definitely one of the best ones.
All Aboard: unlike the above, nobody weeds out stuff before it gets to the All Aboard chain. Some of their stuff is really peculiar but I've bought a couple of Western shirts here, and this is the shop that had an old fashioned gramophone with a trumpet once. What a good job it was far too expensive for me to buy! The lady in here is phenomenally friendly.
Cancer Research: they have recently redesigned the interior of this shop, which was a mistake. Now it's all tidied up and the desire to pop in for a rummage has evaporated along with its untidiness. There are sometimes nice women's shirts and tops, though.
PDSA: enormously untidy in the friendliest way, and I bought a great leopardskin coat here once. There are some superb men's clothes at the back. I once bought three brand new tweed shirts for two quid each. Now that's charity shopping!
Oxfam: pouf! the only one that smells like a charity shop. Come on guys, it doesn't have to! In spite of that, and the fact that it's rubbish for clothes, it sells records and CDs (some really good buys sometimes), and the occasional antique book. Well worth a visit.
Noah's Ark Children's Hospice: sells functioning electrical goods- some audio gear- and has been a godsend for last minute emergencies like old CD players and so on. Not very nice clothes though.
Willow, and another new one: avoid. Nylon, acrylic, bobbly wool. Pull up your socks guys. The lady in one of them refused to take my donation one week, then the following week they were appealing for donations. How very silly.
Last but not least comes my favourite, the British Heart Foundation, where someone takes the trouble to put the books in alphabetical order (yippee!! thank you! I buy all my books here), there's a fab selection of clothes for both genders, and the right ratio of space:rummage-rails to accommodate all sorts of people, buggies, waking sticks and lonely chatters.
There you go.