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Sie & Will's Charity Shop Challenge 2013

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  • Sie & Will's Charity Shop Challenge 2013

    CSC 2013 – BEDS, PIMPS, SUGAR HIGHS & GO-GO GIRLS

    Sie & Will Complete The Charity Shop Challenge 2013 (Saturday 5th October 2013)

    PART ONE – GET-UP, FRY-UP, HOOK-UP...

    Will and I have been discussing the Charity Shop Challenge for a number of weeks now, but the right opportunity didn’t present itself during the summer months. Undeterred, we kept it in mind and waited and, at long last, the fateful day arrived. So, we arranged to meet up at 9:00am on Saturday morning and visit a few local towns in a 10-15 mile radius of our home town of Sandy.

    Right, first of all – pick a lucky T-shirt.









    Grab some cash. A tenner in change, plus a note for refreshments en route. Too cold for an ice cream, we’ll perhaps drop in the local for a pint afterwards. Pop a few new albums onto the car stereo and head off to Sandy market square.





    I’m early so decide to pop into the local cafe for a quick breakfast. As I walk across the square, I spot an advert for a car boot fair. Here! Today at 9:00am! A perfect start. With a spring in my step I trot off into the cafe and order a modest fry-up and mug of tea.





    As I leave the cafe fed and watered, Will saunters across the square. It’s just 9:00am and he knew about the booter. Let’s go!





    Ah. Okay. Not what we expected. “Shall I go ask him if he’s got any records” chortles Will. We make our way to the car and pass by a couple of charity shops. No vinyl in either.





    Not exactly the flying start we were hoping for” I remark as I point the motor in the direction of the A603 and the road to Bedford.


    .
    If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

  • #2
    PART TWO – THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER...

    We drive across to Bedford and park up just off Castle Road. We realise that we’re just a stone’s throw from the Hooded Claw’s residence, but decided that he would probably not appreciate a knock on the door at 9:15am. Best leave that sleeping Wolf lie... A fancy artisan delicatessen catches out eye for a moment but, with only 30 minutes on the meter, there is no time to spare. We dash into the house clearance shop.





    It’s the first time I’ve been in here (thanks Col!) and it is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave. Lots of mad junk to wade through, but only a single lonely box of records. Will picks out an album that catches his eye. It's signed..!





    How much are the albums mate” he crows. “Fifty pence young man” is the reply. We have our first catch of the day. It’ll be a few hours yet before we will have the opportunity to assess how good Nancy & The Cast belt out River Deep Mountain High is. For now, we dream.

    We trot onto the next charity shop. “Never heard of Mercy In Action” I remark. Oh a hang on a minute, what’s this? Lee Perry in Bedford..!






    Will gets stuck into the records, I peer over his shoulder and he passes back an American jazz dance instruction album from the 1950’s. I took a picture, but it was too blurred to use. I doubt my hand was shaking with excitement though; the £4 price sticker immediately put me off. There were still a lot of places to visit and I couldn’t risk spuffing 40% of the budget in the first hour.





    Quite a few records in the Children’s Society. I was interested in the old wooden record box but a “not for sale” sticker soon quashed any hopes. Shame. A young lad buys the copy of Sergeant Pepper that was displayed above the counter. I should have paid more attention and heard what he paid for it. Most of the boxes were full of mass-produced over-produced 80’s dross, so we shuffle off back to the car.





    As we drive the short distance into the centre of Bedford, Will reads the sleeve notes from the Nancy & The Cast album. “They played a successful world tour y’know” he states. “Where did they play?” is my response. “Vietnam” was the disappointing yet somewhat hilarious reply.

    Right. Another 50p in the meter and we’re into the main shopping centre. First stop is the Salvation Army. I used to love this shop when I first moved down to Bedfordshire in 2005. It always had lots of albums for sale including a lot of Polish gear. I reminisce with Will as we approach the shop. Today is a different story, with only a few bits for sale.





    We chortled over the Cockatoo that offered the usual private press trinity of poor band name, poor band photo and poor track-listing. There was a 12” on Sunnyview that I already had plus a British 12” from ’83 on Smokey. “Never heard of that label before” I said over my shoulder to Will, but he wasn’t stood next to me; where had he gone..?





    Sie - “What you doing mate..?

    Will – “I’m after a new jacket. D’ya reckon I look like a pimp in this..?

    Sie – “More like John Motson to be honest. Anyway, it has a button missing. How much?

    Will (checks label) - “Twenty quid!” (replaces coat on hanger and leaves the shop)

    Disappointed, we had off down the street and into Cancer Research.





    There are a few 45’s. One on RAK. Could it be Hot Chocolate’s glam-psych groover “Go Go Girl..?”





    Nope, it’s a CCS 45 that - admittedly - I’d not seen before. It could have been a lot worse, I remark to Will. “All the RAK 45’s I find are Mud, Racey or Suzi-bloody-Quattro” I proclaim. I also note that an afro’d goalkeeper had decided to sell his prized Lieutenant Pigeon 45. We leave the shop and pick carry on chatting about *that* Hot Chocolate 45; basically a continuation of the conversation we had held with Rich Hero after the Klaus Johann Grobe gig early that same week. It’s a bugger to find in the wild, we all agreed.

    We arrive at Marie Curie and it is just a quick visit as they have no records. A quick trip around the corner and into Oxfam.





    Nothing for us in the album racks so we get stuck into the 45’s. I immediately find two RAK turds.





    But then a cry of “you beauty!” goes up next to me. It’s Will and what’s that in his hand..?





    A copy of the elusive “Go Go Girl” (the flipside to the 1972 “You Will Always Be A Friend”). We immediately pay and rush outside to celebrate this splendid find. High fives all round.





    Fortunately, the local Beer Festival hadn’t opened its doors and so the temptation to abandon the Charity Shop Challenge after just one solitary hour and two finds was narrowly avoided. However, giddy after his good fortune in Oxfam, Will decides to celebrate the only way a Glaswegian knows how to when alcohol is not an option.





    I make my way up to Save The Children. No records. When I emerge from the shop a still-beaming Will has his sausage roll and bottle of Irn Bru. “I’ve not drank this stuff for years” he states. We take a left and head up to the British Red Cross. The front of the store had been vandalised overnight and so there was broken glass everywhere.







    Undeterred, we rifle through the racks. I pick out a couple of classics and pass them Will’s way. I fail miserably in my efforts to convince him that Elkie Brook’s “Rising Cost Of Love” is a great disco tune and notice that, obviously high on Irn Bru sugar, he has gone native and began constructing a shrine to his beloved home country.





    I bundle him out of the shop and we head for the arcade and the British Heart Foundation. Bugger, it’s gone.





    But hang one, what’s this across the way. Haven’t seen this shop before.





    Loads of records upstairs..! Take us a good 30 minutes to get through this lot. I set about the albums whilst Will hits the 45’s.







    After passing several records between us over a dividing cabinet, we decide upon this small selection.





    Will takes the Hammond and Moog staples whilst I hmmm and aaahh over the two private press looking albums. Had to put the Johnny Howard album back when I realise it has the wrong album inside the sleeve. Bah, always remember to check..! I am sure someone here at VG+ will be able to tell me if I missed out on a great album or not.

    Will’s blood sugar levels peaked around now and after growing discontent after thumbing through 100’s of 90’s singles, he finds a children’s pool table and constructs his personal ode to Scotland and its musical finesse.





    Time to pay for our finds and move on.







    Some rubbish albums to flick through, plus a rather bizarrely titled children confectionary board game. Let’s move on again.








    Nothing to report in the next two shops. On to the Salvation Army next door.





    “All the albums are twenty pence today lads” is the cry from over the counter. We dig in. Will pulls out a couple of Vulture Classics and eventually settles on five for a pound. I chance upon a copy of the Maureeny Wishful album (a Jimmy Page / Big Jim Sullivan collaboration from the late 60’s) – albeit without a sleeve. Seeing how the price sticker was on the white paper sleeve, I figured that the original sleeve wasn’t hidden in the rows of albums, as much as I wished it to be. For twenty pence I really shouldn’t grumble.

    At this point I forgot to take any photographs, which is silly because the haul of 6 records was the best from a single shop to date.

    Before we leave, there is chance to try on another sheepskin jacket. Will considers, reconsiders and puts it back onto the hanger.





    Over the road and into the marvellously named R.A.T.S and he’s at it again..!





    I find one album that briefly piques my interest, but a quick review of the track listing and back it goes into the rack. I know that I’m not ready for The Yiddish Yodeller yet.





    Back to the car then, let’s move on. Let’s cross the country line and head for Hitchin.


    .
    If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

    Comment


    • #3
      PART THREE – MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS

      There is a screech of brakes as we speed down the A600 when I remember this place.





      It’s a house clearance place I last visited several years ago. It wasn’t much cop then and after a quick 10 minutes wander through he many rooms and sheds, we come to the same conclusion this time around. Back into the car. 15 minutes later, we’re out on the street in Hitchin.





      We wandered over to the market to see if Pete has set up, but he’s not there. We’re told that the old boy was on his holidays. Shame, although strictly not part of the CSC, it would have been daft to have visited Hitchin and not called by his stall. Always cheap, always jovial and always turning up surprises. Shame we missed him.

      Nothing to report from Age Concern. In fact the only things concerning us right now were the angry looking clouds descending on Hitchin market square. We’re both hungry and cold. There’s a temporary suspicion of CSC activities whilst I pop into the butchers and pick up one of their award winning pork pies. That’ll be perfect for the pub later.





      Somehow the quest for records has been relegated to second as we push on, seemingly now undertaking a Charity Shop Coat Challenge as Will’s want to find a retro winter jacket continues. He disappears into the Salvation Army. I was surprised to find it still open – usually it closes its door at midday on a Saturday.





      No finds here, but I did manage to capture Will in full flow with local hero Roger Whitaker watching on. Sort of.





      We split the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research between us, only to meet back out on the street two minutes later sans vinyl. With the rain clouds closing in, we nip around the corner and hit three shops in quick succession. Can you spot them all in this photograph..?







      This god-bothering affair originated from the town where the Hero dwells, so I best warn him. Nothing from this wobbly looking trolley of records, hang on, what is that..?





      Mods eh..?





      Nothing in the Garden Tree Hospice, so we wandered down the street and into Sue Ryder.





      I’ve got the records to myself as Will is back trying on jackets. I hate that Frampton album with a passion. There are an old couple who drink in my local that, when spending a pound in the jukebox for three plays, always pick the long version of “American Pie” and “Do You Feel Like We Do” off this Frampton album that bloody goes-on-forever and don’t get me started on the Talkbox bit. Obviously more concerned with value for money than my aural pleasure. Plus, they sing along to American Pie. Rant over, I find a few bits, but the Tamla Hits is trashed. Shame. [I saw one at the Record Fair the day afterwards, the seller was asking £15 for it, the shameless bugger!]

      Expecting Will to be on my shoulder as I flicked through the records, I was surprised to find him gone. I found him at the till, paying a princely £7 for a coat..! Well, thank the gods he’s happy at last. Quite stylish too, not as Motson Pimp-esque as some of the others he tried on earlier.

      We skipped back to the car. No more records to put in the bag, but we did have a pork pie and a coat.


      .
      If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

      Comment


      • #4
        PART FOUR – THE CSC’S END

        We decide to pop into Letchworth, home of the World’s first traffic roundabout (honest) and as seen recently in the film The World’s End. We are cheered by free parking and dash over the road into the first of many charity shops.







        No records in Scope, so through the arcade and into the Garden House Hospice. As we walked, I reminisced again about how many records this place used to have blah blah blah piles of them there was etc etc. This time, we find the place much tidier.





        Nothing for us this time, we wander over the road and past David’s. We again considered a CSC diversion, but remembered we’d turned over the racks earlier in the week. Around the corner, past the station and into Mind. Hello what’s all this then..?





        There are plenty of records and, distractingly, a number of videodiscs interspersed with the albums. Makes for a frustrating yet interesting time as we busily make out way through the racks. I think I’ve stumbled on a Planet Of The Apes OST when clearly I haven’t, whilst Will finds a ‘European Art Flick’ with a remarkable title that has us both giggling like schoolgirls. Unbeknown to Will, as he proclaims “it looks like porno te me!” in a broad loud Glaswegian accent, the frail old lady shop assistant is wandering behind him to take a bag of donated clothes into the back room. She nearly jumps out of her skin. Will apologises and fortunately the shop assistant and the good people of Letchworth trying to buy charity Christmas cards see the funny side of it.






        Down the hill and into the Salvation Army, I pause for a moment to check out the cassettes on the table outside the front of the shop. Tiro Tapes, anyone..? By the time I get inside, Will has about finished the boxes. “Nowt fer ya here” he tell me. Who am I to argue. Nothing in the British Heart Foundation and so onto the YMCA. We’re on the last leg of the tour now.








        Just like the song claims, it is indeed fun to stay at the YMCA as we both pull up chairs from a table set for sale and start looking through the records.

        Unfortunately none of the ones inside the store were as interesting as the eight album sleeves proudly displayed in the window and we leave empty handed. We did however pause to review this odd looking Shirley Bassey album of Germanic origin...





        A final call in Age UK – no records – and we were done. It was now 2:00pm and I had to pick the missus up from work. Game over for us lads. Time for a pint..?


        .
        If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

        Comment


        • #5
          EPILOGUE – THE SIR WILLIAM PEEL





          Pleased with the day, we share out the pork pie and had a listen to the finds over a pint. Unfortunately Nancy & The Cast didn’t live up to our expectations, and my easy album from Bedford wasn’t all that; although I might give the version of Sunny a second chance. However, we did have the Go Go Girl 45, a Maureeny Wishful album and a bag full of Vulture Classics. Oh, and a coat – how could I forget...


          If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

          Comment


          • #6
            That Red Cross charity shop has moved to Silver Street in Bedford and continues to sell vinyl.

            And that copy of African Sanctus by David Fanshawe in the British Red Cross shop would have been a nice find had it been in better condition.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Sanctus
            eat chocolate-creams with the appetite of a blase parrot. H H Munro.

            Comment


            • #7
              Grueling Sie!

              hats off to you and Will for putting all the work in for so little reward.

              I was underwhelmed when I heard African Sanctus many moons ago and have always left it whenever I've seen it since. Have I made a mistake?
              it's OK to head out for wonderful, but on your way to wonderful, you're gonna have to pass through all right. When you get to all right,
              take a good look around and get used to it, because that may be as far as you're gonna go.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sie Vulture View Post
                Had to put the Johnny Howard album back when I realise it has the wrong album inside the sleeve. Bah, always remember to check..! I am sure someone here at VG+ will be able to tell me if I missed out on a great album or not.
                Not.

                Well, it is a cheesy parpfest, but I do have a soft spot for the version of Maxwell's Silver Hammer on here. Guilty pleasure territory.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Saint Jude View Post
                  I was underwhelmed when I heard African Sanctus many moons ago and have always left it whenever I've seen it since. Have I made a mistake?
                  Nah, it's utter rubbish Hayden mate!
                  "Hangin' out with you two is like partying with Fugazi"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Even though we only got a few bits it was worth the morning out.Finding a copy of" GO GO Girl" was the the highlight but still a decent little haul and it never broke the bank.
                    Am I cracking up or just getting older?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Someone mention RAK singles? Go-go Girl seems to be turning up more often 'round these parts now!

                      I've done Hitchin and Letchworth a few times (had a friend who lived in one, then she moved to the other). I did very well out of the Sue Ryder there a couple of times but it's been quite a while.

                      The fry-up in Sandy looks worth the visit...

                      Comment


                      • #12


                        oddly appropriate, given the paucity of decent vinyl within

                        http://www.firstfoot.com/dictionary/k.html

                        "Keech: Rubbish, detritus, crap, verbal or written. Excretia, human or otherwise."

                        a fine CSC submission, Sie and Will.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sie Vulture View Post
                          ...from the town where the Hero dwells...
                          Oi!

                          Originally posted by Wuggsy View Post
                          Even though we only got a few bits it was worth the morning out.Finding a copy of" GO GO Girl" was the the highlight but still a decent little haul and it never broke the bank.
                          Nevermind all that. Let's see the coat.

                          I bought yet another copy of the commonest RAK 45 worth buying in town on Saturday. Nice to see the records are turning over. Sie, I'll let you go on believing there are no Suzi Quatro 45s worth picking up.
                          You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rich Hero View Post
                            Oi!
                            Seriously, they were a couple of preachers residing down the road from yours. Careful now..!

                            I can't ever imagine me buying a Suzi Quattro 45...
                            Last edited by Sie Vulture; 14-10-2013, 06:17 PM.
                            If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              On a charity trawl in Bristol the other day the only thing of worth we turned up was a decent coat. I am very happy with that though, much better than any of this record nonsense...

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