When I was younger Streatham was known for only one thing; its gargantuan and spectacular ice rink. We would put on our cool bomber jackets, exchange our best crepes (yoof speak for shoes, mum) for some skanky boots and skate the day away to the winsome harmonies of BoyzIIMen.
Now though, memories of skating in Streatham are being squeezed out by the minutes spent gallivanting around the charity shops.
I am a charity shop ADDICT. I start going through withdrawal if I don’t go for a week (symptoms include pottering around my friend’s homes, picking things up from their shelves with an inquiring gaze.) I like that it is a kind of shopping that requires imagination and vision (my husband didn’t have that vision when I showed him a little packet of retro Christmas candles this evening) and that it builds patience as you dedicatedly wait until you come across the item you hope for.
So Streatham REALLY floats my boat. It must have the most number of charity shops per sq mile then any other area in London. In the one mile walk from Streatham Hill along Streatham High Road to Streatham Station there are TWELVE of ’em and two junk/antique shops. Never has a road so aptly been nicknamed (er, by me and Tim) The Golden Mile.
Here is the run down but also check out the google map where I’ve handily plotted them for you!
Give a Little
Begin at the top with Give a Little at 77 Streatham Hill- just opposite the Mega Bowl. Bursting at the seams with clothes and trinkets, both up and downstairs. Clothes tend to be on the steeper side – £7-8 for skirts but all good quality. The bric-a-brac is fairly priced, nice mugs for £1.
Trinity Hospice Shop
Stay on the same side of the road for this sprawling jumble sale kind of a shop, chocka block with quirky things and people. I love the kids clothes section- literally a tiny mountain of garments that you bury your nose into – three for £1.
A little shop that involves popping off the main street a few metres, but well worth browsing as the prices for things vary wildly.
Relief Fund for Romania
Carry back down the main road for a while until you come across the little yellow sign pointing you up to the left. This one has £1 rails- hurrah! Sometimes when you need jumpers for craft projects you really don’t want to spend more than £1 but these rails are so rare.
British Red Cross Books and Music
Cross over the road for the next two. A huge selection here, carefully laid out. In specific Books and Music shops I find you don’t get the bargains you might in another shop but you are paying for a higher chance of finding something ace, aren’t you?
This Trinity Hospice Shop is as sparse as the first is sprawling. But they have selected the choiciest cuts, and there are some creative little crannies. (Doe we say crannies?)
Nip back over the road for this new, massive Oxfam – this one is the Ikea of chazza shops. Clean, spacious, affordable and air conditioned! Primarily for furniture and bric a brac, they have some gorgeous things in there. Our sofa hails from here, this massive, bed like thing and it was only £30.
Amazing shoes and clothes- I snapped up a pair of Reef flip flops from there today for £3.99, they kinda, mostly fit me, even though they say a size 10 and I’m a size 6. Just a few inches sticking out the back. I wonder if I can snip that off…
They have the longest rail for dresses ever seen (each one around the £5 mark) and the BEST tunes. One of my favourite things about charity shopping is the eclectic music and how it is perfectly acceptable to singalong. (No?)
British Red Cross
Huge selection of clothes and lovely crockery. They always seems to have some nice retro bits in here too.
Working for Charity
Tiny shop with a small selection of things. The things were LOVELY but, dare I say it, a bit overpriced. I saw this tea set and thought “OOf, I’d stretch to £15 for that” as it was so beautiful. Turns out they wanted £58. Yep. £58.
The ongoing charity shop pricing dillema. See, on one hand I agree that they have a responsibility to their charity to get as much as they can for an item. On the other hand, I feel like they play an important redistribution role too – making beautiful and good things affordable for those less well off.
This is quite a new shop and swanky with it. It’s a Next Generation charity shop – making charity shopping more clean and appealing to the masses. (However, personally? Give me a rumble in the manky old jumble anyday.)
There it is, The Golden Mile – for some of the best charity shopping in London. The prices reflect those of other Capital charity shops – no 50p china plates here- but for sheer volume and overall thriftiness Streatham is Where It Is At.
Having a little one, I have to plan my charity shop traipsing carefully- ensuring Ramona gets a chance to run wild either before or after. Being a scorching day we trundled round the corner to Tooting Bec Lido, this fabulous old school pool, where we bumped into a wonderful friend, scoffed ice cream and splashed our merry wee hearts out. Heaven.
And Now, Roll Up, Roll Up- Time for the Charity Shop Blog Hop!
I am well excited about reading everyone’s write ups- be it local or exotic.
Please link back here (with the image if poss) and visit all the other linker-upperers to share a comment– hopefully you’ll find even more charity shop lovers than you knew of. Hurraahhh!
Just click below where the links (and photos) will be displayed in all their glory…
And finally, if you are on Twitter use the hashtag #charityhop (see what I did there?)