The weird and wonderful items on offer in Newark's charity shops
We took a look around Newark’s charity shops to see what was on offer.
Aside from the expected and commonplace, charity shops can often boast anything from unique bric-a-brac to clothing that is often vintage — hidden gems and curiosities at tiny prices, writes Eloise Gilmore.
And your purchase will support their valuable work for the good causes they represent.
Melanie Benna, manager at The Children’s Society charity shop, Paxton’s Court, said: “We’ll get absolutely everything — especially if it is a house clearance.
“We get some out-of-this-world stuff, and no one knows what it is.”
One piece in the shop was truly out of this world — a shimmery outer space-themed waistcoat on display among the menswear.
Melanie suggested an antique doll, estimated to be from the 1930s and complete with rosy red lips and moulded hair, was the weirdest item currently in the shop.
Among the bric-a-brac was a selection of vintage glasswear, souvenir shot glasses from all across the world and a unique giraffe ceramic.
“Everyday is like Christmas, opening up the boxes. It is fabulous working in a charity shop.” Melanie added.
The Oxfam Bookshop, Cartergate, had plenty of weird and wonderful donations to share, including rare books and vinyl.
Two Beatles records donated to the store sold for £100 each due to a rare misprint on the album cover, explained manager John Conlon.
John said: “We have also been given an old banjo made by Alfred Weaver, the most famous English banjo-maker. They are said to be the Stradivarius of English banjos.
“We are trying to find out when it was made and getting it valued.”
He suggested the banjo was likely made in the late 19th Century.
The shop also sees a variety of fascinating books passing through its door. A book written by a chaplain to Charles I in 1730 was generously donated to the shop.
The rare book sold for £200 after a valuation by the National Civil War Centre.
John added: “We get all manner of weird and wonderful books. You open a donation and have no idea what is in it.
“We have books here you can’t get anywhere else. We get some really old books, especially when people are clearing out their grandparents’ or parents’ belongings.”
The unique titles passing through the shop have included The History of Pond Sludge and The History of Cheesemaking in South Africa and books with handwritten notes from first world war soldiers to loved ones.
The British Heart Foundation shop, St Mark’s Place, also had a memorable book donation.
A 168-year-old Bible donated to the store sold for £200 to a collector.
Manager Rachel Hill said: “We get amazing antiques, it’s nice when you get things you have to research.”
A five-string autoharp was also donated to the shop and was sold online on the British Heart Foundation eBay shop.
“It was fantastic.” she added.
Other donations have proved more than meets the eye.
Rachel said: “We were given this little old tatty book — we were going to throw it out but then it unfolded into a map.”
The vintage map sold for over £200 in the store despite its condition.
Other weird and wonderful items sold in the shop included a phone charger which lit up like fairy lights and an antique clock set to be sold on eBay.
“The generosity of people is really wonderful.” Rachel added.
So, if you find yourself in town with time for a browse, why not pop into a charity shop? You might find something special while supporting a good cause.