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Ben's CSC - North Notts, Nowt Noted

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  • Ben's CSC - North Notts, Nowt Noted

    CSC March 2017

    Let me preface this CSC by warning you that ‘it is better to travel’, ‘the thrill of the chase’, ‘it’s the taking part that counts’ etc. I think what my CSC demonstrates is that this pastime is getting no easier and that we can often put in a right slog for little or no reward, so therefore none of us need any sense of guilt when chancing upon summat amazing in a charity shop or similar. 99% of our digs are mundane and futile, so it’s important to celebrate the 1% where we find a gem. Let’s just say that this was one of the 99% and my freebies pile grew exponentially.

    I decided that I would give my day out a theme in terms of going back to the ancestral lands of my Mum’s side of the family (Mansfield, Mansfield Woodhouse and Sutton-In-Ashfield). I don’t drive (I have issues with differentiating between left and right and I’m like a Thunderbird puppet in that I struggle to move my left or right hand independent of my left or right foot – the wish to be the next John Bonham was thus nipped in the bud), so, having a day out hitting chazzas often sees me spend far more in fares than is sensible, therefore, to keep costs down I decided I’d use my Trent-Barton Mango card (like an Oyster card), which has a daily cap on it i.e. once you max out at X amount, the rest of your day’s travel is free. This would involve one particular bus route ‘The Threes’. The challenge was to hit as many chazzas on the route of The Threes as possible.


    First, I’ve got to get from my village to Nottingham. Going into battle prepared. Well, prepared for me anyway. I don’t eat during the day as a rule, so hydration is my only real priority. Bit of reading matter in the shape of Mojo, actually, one of my main targets for the day was to find a book to read on my commute as I’ve been ploughing through them quicker than usual lately and have found myself empty-handed.

    To paraphrase Blossom Dearie, ‘I Like Nottingham……..In The Rain’.

    This would be my shiny orange chariot. The 3B being the more direct service (3A and 3C are the more meandering routes).

    If I spend this, it will be a fookin’ miracle.


    First stop on the route is Hucknall. Possibly the town responsible for the birthing of the cocksure ginger crooner. As penance for cursing the airwaves with that gobshite, Hucknall’s a bit crap. It’s on particularly obstructive form today. Like quite a few towns round here, it’s really only one main street, with very little happening on the side streets, giving the impression that these are towns that you just pass through, on your way to something better. Best thing about Hucknall is the space-age veterinary practice called East Midlands Referrals, where our dog got his metal knees.

    From Mick Hucknall, to the Lighthouse Family. Radio 2 twaddle.

    The stash, such as it was.

    All I could find. Ms Bentley sounds to me quite representative of the mid-80s era where Hi-NRG started to morph into house. Youth Praise is in the freebies pile – ‘nuff said.

    Headway chazza. Next to where the flame-haired minstrel used to come to have his dreadlocks tended to. The twat.

    Not much in here. I picked one thing up, but didn’t have chance to take a pic in situ as it was a tad cramped in there.

    Back across the road to Sense.

    Not looking very promising.

    But I won’t mither too much when I find a bit of DC go-go. Still not sure how go-go wasn’t massive and how it remained / remains so localised.

    Last stop in Hucknall was Sue Ryder. It reeked in there. Think it had flooded recently or summat.

    If ever the front of the rack was a genuine representation of the crud that lay within, this was it.

    Next stop, Kirkby-In-Ashfield.
    Jet Boy stole my baby.

  • #2

    This chazza is a few yards down from the bus stop and always has some League of Gentlemen type biddy on the till. Today’s slightly crackers older lady was just making prices up off the top of her head as her colleague hadn’t left a list out for her.

    Wasn’t a lot in here and I really shouldn’t have bothered with the one I did pick out (will do a pic later). The lady charged me £1.50 and I think that meant that I overpaid by around £1.49.

    Down the street, just opening up as I got there. Very little vinyl here though.

    Back up the road to the last port of call.


    One thing I notice in a lot of these types of towns is that they often have bedroom DJ’s collections, huge amounts of techno-with-chipmunk-vocals 12”s that ain’t going anywhere but landfill. Headway take the trouble to put every item in a PVC cover, with a big price sticker, which often has a comment on it. I was once told that there’s a local dealer who comes round and buys job lots of vinyl from the chazzas. Wish he’d crack on and take a load more as the stock was frighteningly similar to when I came last Autumn.

    Chastened, it’s time to head for the land of opportunity that is Sutton-In-Ashfield, where my Great Grandma used to live. And where a record fair takes place at the Church Hall every few months.
    Jet Boy stole my baby.


    • #3

      This is the Idlewells Shopping Centre, where you get off the bus for Sutton. I always find that I need a pee when I get here. So it’s case of hitting the sole chazza (BHF) and legging it to the indoor market, where the loos are. Incidentally, there’s a stall on the market that sells vinyl – mostly your 180g reissues, LITA and stuff like that. It was in Idlewells where I heard one of my most ‘Sutton’ conversations ever. Two older fellas talking about trying to get early retirement: “Aye, well, thi wunt giyit me. Thi ged it ‘im though. Boggers.”

      BHF is right near the entrance to Idlewells, so your Sutton dig begins almost immediately.

      Sayer. Never a good omen.

      However, there was one find. Probably the best thing I found all day. Yup, we’ve peaked already. It’s downhill all the way from here. Feel free to go and read another thread.

      As you leave Idlewells, turn right and you pass Fat Rat’s Records (massive back room full of tightly-cramped racks of vinyl, teetering piles and alcoves jammed with stock. Pure record blindness results though. Plus it’s been there a while, so has most likely been picked over too many times now. There’s also a YMCA that usually has loads of vinyl, but not on this occasion – they’d sacked it off. So they don’t get a photo. Carrying on to the market place, there’s a new Air Ambulance shop. No vinyl though. So, go back on yourself and head for the shopping precinct.

      On the precinct, the first chazza after Idlewells is PDSA.

      Almost always has vinyl and some of it can be brilliant. This is where I found my copy of Sounds of Salvation a few years back.

      Today, I just found Grotbags’ ‘other’ LP. And a book. I wouldn’t ordinarily read these books that lionise cockney gangsters (one of my pet hates is the celebration of cockney wideboys, I hate Fletch, Del Boy and Harry bastard Redknapp with a passion), but I’m interested in how Bindon moved in the circles he did, with particular reference to the sleazy end of the 60s characterised by ‘Performance’, as I’ve just finished reading a novel ‘Sway’ (by Zachary Lazar) that touched on similar themes and I enjoyed that a lot. As of writing, I’m halfway through the Bindon book and, though I’ve had to navigate a lot of geezer clichés of ‘He never hit anyone who didn’t deserved it and he loved his old Mum’ type wank, it’s not bad.

      Just along the precinct, towards the main street, you’ll find the Notts Hospice. Occasionally has vinyl, but not today.

      Sutton has a bloody big sundial. To what end? Shrugs shoulders.

      Just after a similarly bloody big branch of Wilko, you’ll find the Sutton branch of the Uhuru chazza.

      One of my rules for the day was no buying Terror Themes, Shirley’s ‘Something’, or the Jack Jones LP with ‘Spinning Wheel’ on it. So, this stayed put.

      A couple of doors up is a Sally Army. The scene of one of my best ever finds a few years back, so, like a junkie, I chase that hit each time I come here. And there’s rarely anything here these days.

      Which is reflected in the vinyl being shuffled away under the big girls’ blouses. Nowt to see here, move along now.

      After the Sally, you keep going along that street, past Asda and cross the road onto Outram Street. It’s bandit country down here, but there are a few chazzas and there even used to be a shop back in the day (New Cross Records).

      Couple of hundred yards along (on the left-hand side of the street), you’ll reach Children’s Society. Never has much in though.

      Today’s petite piles. I got a Manfred Mann LP for a quid. Needed a clean, but seems to be fine (pic later). Summat nice to give away.

      A few doors up is the Cancer Research shop, where there’s always a decent amount of vinyl. Often some ‘out the back’ as well and I’ve found staff will always give you the nudge if there is.

      Wasn’t much cop today though. The sleeve on the left always reminds me of Samantha Morton!

      A new shop has opened across the road. Was closed today though. Sherwood Priority Knights Templar charity shop. Yes, they have gone there. Knights Templar imagery, Union Jack bunting in the upstairs window and explicitly stating that the Sherwood area is prioritised. Sign in the shop window said summat about ‘we make sure that all the money goes to people from our area’, I’m guessing that the demographic of beneficiaries would have quite tight parameters, probably defined using a Dulux colour chart? Fuck’s sake. Would have been an interesting test of my resolve had it been open and a pile of vinyl visible!

      Up the street on the left, is the Community Hospice shop. I found ‘Hymns A Swingin’’ here not so long ago. Nowt today though and it was so dimly lit that I couldn’t be arsed to get my camera out.

      Back across the road is the chazza in aid of victims of the Chernobyl disaster. It seems to have lost its signage though, much like the Community Hospice. Kind of in keeping though, Outram Street needs a bit of regeneration to say the least.

      The bus stop for the Three to Mansfield is back across the street (near the Community Hospice shop), so I got on and off we went. The bus passed this chazza, next to what used to be New Cross Records and this place is NEVER open. So, I had to get off the bus and check it out, I assumed this was some sort of divine intervention. It wasn’t. I could have saved myself a ten minute wait til the next bus.

      And on to sunny Mansfield…………….youth.
      Jet Boy stole my baby.


      • #4

        Mansfield. Very much maligned and misunderstood. I won’t have a word against it. It’s where most of my family is from and is like an outpost of resistance against the sprawling influence of Nottingham. Mansfield seems to have its own micro-climate and definitely has its own accent and dialect, even though it’s not that far from Nottingham. If you’re from Notts, you can pick a Mansfield accent a mile off. When I was in the Lakes last year, sat on top of a mountain, just a few yards away a lad was taking the piss out of his girlfriend and just from the way he said ‘Nooooo’ to her, I started chuckling and said “You from Mansfield mate?”. Like many North Notts towns, closing the pits and the hosiery factories really hammered Mansfield. Signs of recovery lately though. Still best not to stare at someone’s pint though.

        So, head up the hill known as Leeming Street (soon to get a bunch of investment and not before time). No vinyl in Age Concern. Turn left at the top of the hill and the next street on your left gives you the double whammy…..

        Adjacent chazzas. Lovely.

        Quite a lot of vinyl in the Extra Care shop. This was where I found a minty Davey Graham LP years back. Often have a lot of vinyl in here though, worth a look as it’s always really cheap.

        Having seen the Marti Caine LP on Chevron at the front of the box and this one not too far behind, I got a bit excited. Sadly, this was as good as it got.

        Next door, BHF was also pretty much pish.

        Down the street from those two is a fairly decent vinyl outlet where you can also sit and have a coffee. The stock is mostly new release / 180g back catalogue stuff, but there is a second-hand section (though hugely overpriced, which probably reflects that they’re the only show in town).

        Keeping it cheap, I just got a couple of 12”s in there (and these are not counted in my CSC, so there’s still plenty of scope for spending / disappointment). Associates for me, PWEI for my mate.

        The weather was worsening. This is a side view of the Four Seasons shopping centre (on the right).

        Bit further up the road is an RSPCA where you can sometimes find a bit of vinyl. Sadly, it’s usually the worst kind of easy listening leftovers, or a ‘DJ Ratty gets scatty’ collection of 12”s.

        Almost forgot to nip in the Lighthouse shop…….

        …………some things are best forgotten.

        So, with only paltry finds in Mansfield town, it’s time to nip to its more sedate neighbour, Mansfield Woodhouse. This is where my Mum’s family were brought up. On the bus over (I cheated here and used ‘The Miller’ as there’s no Trent Barton service to Woodhouse), an old fella sat in front of me and he had Tourette’s, with his ‘tic’ being that he jolted his arm a fair bit and laughed like Muttley. I thought “Fair play mate, if you’re gonna have a form of Tourette’s, at least have one that sounds like you’re happy!”.
        Jet Boy stole my baby.


        • #5
          Mansfield Woodhouse

          Obviously, I’ve got personal reasons for nostalgia round here: visiting my Grandad, going to the newsagents for a ‘sucker’ (usually one of those Dracula lollies that was black with a red centre) etc. It’s pronounced ‘Woodus’ by the way.

          There’s a big Air Ambulance shop as you come into Woodhouse town, on the right before you actually get to the main part of town.

          Always has a bunch of vinyl. Seems to turn the stock over fairly frequently.

          Meagre finds. The WMS one didn’t have owt on it. Bit of ‘blue’ for yer Dad though. And some Belgian parpery for the freebies pile.

          As you come into the town centre proper, there’s a Partnershop (Xian?) on your right, very rarely has any vinyl, always has loads of books. No finds.

          Right down the street, almost as if you’re leaving town, headed for Warsop or summat, there’s a branch of Uhuru, usually has plenty of vinyl.

          Slow to turn the stock over, so it can be a grind to go through the same old stuff, even when you’ve not been here for months.

          These were the only things I could find today. As I took the vinyl to the till, noticed the Cobain diaries book. Thought I’d get that for a bit of holiday reading, bless him, he wasn’t well. Anyway, the grand total for all this? “Giz a quid mate”. Ok.

          So, headed back to Nottingham. Thinking that if I got back in time, I could finish up in the leafy suburb of West Bridgford, hit the charities there (look for the tea tray that my Mum had asked me to keep an eye out for) and hit M&S for summat nice for my tea (we’re in ‘Breakfast, Dinner and Tea’ territory up here. Lunch? Fuck’s sake.).
          Jet Boy stole my baby.


          • #6
            West Bridgford

            Hard to explain the layout of Bridgford if you’re not familiar with the place. Safe to say that the infrastructure is struggling to adapt to the booming affluent population and the desire to live, shop and socialise here. So, in order to avoid the 16.00 closing times of certain chazzas, start at what is usually the last one you find and work backwards towards Oxfam which keeps more recognisable hours.

            Nowt in the first Age UK shop (there’s another one back in the middle of town, that rarely has owt either).

            A few doors back up, Save The Children had nowt either. This was all starting to get eerily familiar. I’ve only really had one good hit in here over the years, but you never know.

            A couple more doors up, Air Ambulance was a vinyl-free zone. Incidentally, that lady is absolutely typical of a West Bridgford lady. They all look like that. Without fail.

            A couple of doors further (next to a nice deli), Notts Hospice never has any vinyl, but does have good books. They actually had some vinyl today, but it was just a batch of Elvis stuff. No thanks.

            Back into the town centre. Shelter does have vinyl…

            …., but it’s been the same stuff forever (highlights: Bee Gees ‘Rare, Precious and Beautiful’ volumes).

            Bit further up the street, you’ve got the last two, but the two that are most fruitful (as a rule), Cancer Research and Oxfam (Books and Music store – I’ve already passed by and ignored the Oxfam that has clothes and bric-a-brac).

            Not much vinyl in here. I was nearly tempted by the Ted Taylor ‘Football Themes’ LP, but I refuse, on point of utter blood oath type principle, to spend any of my money on summat that contains ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. I did find a tea tray in here though. So that was another two quid out the kitty and my Mum was pleased when I got it home – result!

            Here’s Oxfam then. Always worth a look as it’s a lovely shop, very well maintained and the staff are friendly. Loads of nice books (West Bridgford is a well-to-do area, so donations in all the chazzas are likely to be quality) and a good selection of vinyl upstairs.

            So, plenty of vinyl, CDs and DVDs (and sheet music etc) upstairs. They’re plugged in to eBay etc though, so not too many items slip below the radar (I got Roy Williams Trinity in here for £3.99 a few months back) but they do reduce stuff pretty well if it doesn’t sell. Because there’s money in Bridgford and the place also fills up when there’s a Test Match at Trent Bridge, I’m sure some of the ambitiously-priced collectible stuff must go, else they’d have changed their business model!

            I bought these two, more out of fatigue and desperation than anything. Beau Dommage went in the ‘Out’ pile pretty quickly (unremarkable folky pop), Mike D’Abo is a keeper. Side A is a bit dull, but Side B sounds like The Band or summat.

            These are the finds that I didn’t have time to take pics of in situ. Top two are fookin’ dreadful and went straight in the ‘Out’ pile. Manfred Mann cleaned up really nicely, I had a little needle-drop last night and, as predicted, it will make a nice freebie for someone.

            So, knackered, I headed to M&S, got some snacks and then caught a bus back home.

            As I warned you, pretty awful in terms of finds, but I enjoyed the day out. There’s always next time. I’ve got Friday off work actually…………………be afraid……….
            Jet Boy stole my baby.


            • #7
              I salute your stamina.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Benicio Del Toffo View Post

                This is the Idlewells Shopping Centre, where you get off the bus for Sutton. I always find that I need a pee when I get here.
                Interesting. I came up with a vague theory about our digestive systems being affected by geography or leylines or something after I noticed that I always need a shit when I get off the train at York.

                I like the bloke with the bowler hat in Mansfield. I've never seen anyone wearing a bowler hat in public before. Is it a Brexit thing?


                • #9
                  Is that a hooker outside the Sutton PDSA? I'd be too scared to go in that PAWS shop in Kirby. The images ,which could represent any Northern town, are brain fryingly and unrelentingly grim what a sh*thole this country is. Brilliantly documented though. Now ,I'm going to read how you fared in Mansfield.
                  record licker


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Benicio Del Toffo View Post

                    I had a swim in that pool in Puerto de la Cruz a few years back. It was bloody freezing. It also has a hidden grotto decorated with 40 years of used chewing gum.


                    • #11
                      Excellent stuff. I have had many, many days like this one.
                      "..hole...road...middle thereof"


                      • #12
                        A nice effort. Yep, this is would be a typical jaunt for me too esp during spring and summer months.


                        • #13
                          Lovely stuff. My mate works in that WB Oxfam, I'll report back your good words.


                          • #14
                            Top stuff Ben - just goes to prove Roy Castle was right, dedication is what you need.

                            BTW Thanks for the package which landed this morning
                            Last edited by someblokecalledfuz; 27-03-2017, 09:10 PM.
                            In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

                            Eclectic Mud


                            • #15
                              Great read mate..... and thanks for disclosing the location of Sound of Salvation . The great swap.
                              sigpicRock on Penderyn