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Shere Khan's Charity Shop Challenge 2017. Felixstowe

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  • Shere Khan's Charity Shop Challenge 2017. Felixstowe

    I thought it was about time to have a go at a CSC. I did a bit of research online and settled on Felixstowe, which is about an hour from where I live. I'd never been to Felixstowe but my research suggested there were at least fifteen charity shops and most of them were on the same street. On the way home I could pop into Woodbridge and check out the four charity shops they had. I had Friday off, so did Mrs. Shere Khan, this meant I would have access to the car, I'm a named-driver, all systems were go.

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    Early start- well I'm calling it early considering I didn't have to be up at all. Of course, this translates to leaving the house at 8.45; such is the curse of becoming an old crock and, also, agreeing that Mrs. Shere Khan could come along. "Do you mind if I come"? "No, of course I don't" (what was I saying!).
    I needed a breakfast suitable for charity digging which could only mean one thing

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    A toasted roll AND a toasted bagel, with black coffee. I didn't stint; after this I had a croissant too. Now the tricky question of which jacket to wear reared its head. It was going to be warm so I needed something lightweight. I boiled it down to a choice of two

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    I know what you're thinking- 'It's surely got to be the one on the left', but my preference was for the straw coloured jacket on the right. It was a linen weave, unlined, and had a 'Clay Pipe' badge on. It would be nice and cool on a hot day, and a perfect match with my cream linen trousers. The trouble was this jacket had patch pockets (you were already wise to this I'm sure) which, I felt, would not be secure enough with the constant floor-squatting I'd obviously be doing. I'd have a car key, house-keys, a wallet, a notebook and pencil; I didn't want to lose any of these. Strictly speaking Mrs Shere Khan should have been my mule but I'm too gallant. In the end I had to go for the lighter coloured jacket, which had a discreet stripe - which was also perfect with my cream linen trousers, in case you are worried. It was also unlined but it was cotton and, therefore, would be slightly warmer, but it did have flap-pockets and a 'Way Through' badge on the lapel.

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    Before I went It was important to find out exactly where the Post Office was in Felixstowe, as I had something important to post so onto the internet I went. There were at least four Post Offices within 1/2 a mile of each other in Felixstowe. Result! Eventually we got into the car. Mrs. SK having settled in, then wondered where her handbag was; still in the house seemed the obvious place. She went back in to look for it. One nil to me, I think. It was fine, we had all the time in the world, after all it had only take an hour and a quarter to get out of the house. About 10 minutes up the road I realized I'd forgotten my important piece of post. Bugger! Shere Khan 1- Mrs. Shere Khan 1
    It turned out that Mrs. Shere Khan coming was good thing after all because I needed her to take great photos, like this one of the 'Welcome to Felixstowe' sign

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    The photo was so good I immediately took her off camera duties because she was going to make my efforts look so poor by comparison.
    We parked up in Felixstowe and one of the first things I saw was their super cinema

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    Then this

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    Immediately I fell in love with Felixstowe #gotta loveFelixstowe. Mrs Shere Khan headed off to the seafront and I made for my first shop.
    The first shop on my list was at the start of Hamilton Street and it was Basic Life, a local charity.

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    The records were in that classic, charity shop, down on the floor, under the books, long sloping pile. An early spot for the once popular but never again Jim Reeves here.

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    There was virtually nothing of interest-even at only 50p each- but I pulled two semi-interesting looking Lps out. The Million Airs 'Five Flats Furnished' and 'The Tommy Whittle Quartet and Barbara Jay 'The Nearness of You'

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    A massive bonus on the Whittle, on his own Tee Jay label, is it's signed by both him and Barbara, something I believe is very rare on this sort of private press record! It turns out they are husband and wife and with their son Sean helping out on synthesizer it's a bit of a family affair. Some interesting arrangements on here. It's a very competent straight jazz with a mixture of originals and classic tunes. The Million Airs are a Big Band, and a pretty good one at that. Apparently their version of 'Five Flats Furnished' became the theme tune for Alan Dell's Radio 2 big band show. I picked this up because it had 'Theme From Pink Panther' on it but having played it I'm totally hooked on their version of Gamble and Huff's 'The Sound of Philadelphia'. It starts out with a stirring brass section and then, after a burst of Hammond organ, they introduce a nagging, and insistent guitar which continues until he hits the wah-wah pedal- then they give the drummer some. 50p well spent.
    On to Age UK.

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    Age UK had a small plastic crate of LPs with a sign on the front saying '50p each 3 for £1'. There was a Larry Norman LP in there and also 'Oats & Beans & Kangaroos' by Roy and Val Bailey. Nothing else there really but I thought I ought to go for the extra LP to get the 3 for £1 offer. I added what looked to be a terrible Xian record by 'Andrew'. When I took them to the counter the chap picked up the Larry Norman and said "This is marked separately". There was a £3.99 sticker on it but I thought that was just a remnant of its time in a record shop. I told him he'd better hang on to that one and he asked me if I wanted to get another one for the 3 for £1. I told him there wasn't one worth having so it was £1 for the two.

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    'Andrew' is predictably awful. The cover is the best thing about it. Roy and Val have Leon Rosselson strumming for them and they do folky versions of children's songs. A nice bonus for me is a version of 'The Fox' which I used to sing to my son from a book we had. I hadn't even realized it was a song, but it rhymed so I used to sing it. I must play it down the 'phone to him. Two shops in and 4 records; it was looking good. Around the corner from Age UK I saw this great looking café #GottaloveFelixstowe

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    Just around the corner from Age UK there was supposed to be a Dyslexia charity shop. I found it easily enough but it turned out to be a shop for dyslexic people and not a charity shop after all. Bloody internet. Never mind, The Salvation Army shop was just around the corner. That turned out to be A Salvation Army church. Bloody internet. Don't believe what you read there; it's a pile of crap. Right, on to Oxfam. Jesus! It's not Oxfam at all- well it is, but it's a distribution centre. Damn you internet, damn you. Okay Barnardos, you'd better not be pulling my plonker because I'll go ape crazy on all fours.

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    Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah… Praise the Lord for Barnardos. I will dwell in the House of my Lord for 40 days and nights etc. Oh balls, no records at all. East Anglian Children's hospices can you save me?

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    Well, can you

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    Maybe you can. One 'Classic charity pile' and a small stack hiding in a corner- maybe 'stack' is going too far. Unfortunately there was nothing here. More Jim Reeves, some Tennessee Ernie Ford and some more Jim Reeves. Probably Harry Secombe too; he was everywhere. Let's hit British Red Cross.

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    Nice looking shop. I was getting good vibes from the original frontage #GottaloveFelixstowe. It turned out I should not have put my trust in those vibes. The vibes were completely false. Not a record in sight. Not even any 'vynils'. Vibes begone. You have shown yourself false. In my father's house there are many mansions. Amen. This was a grim series of duds but surely St Elizabeth's Hospice could break the awful spell…

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    No it couldn't; no records. What about the RSPCA next door? Mein Gott! A very small box of records. But there's nothing in there. Well, a double LP Duane Eddy comp will have to do. Tell me young wench (I'm kidding, she was probably at least 75 and nicely turned out) this LP has no price on it. "sometimes it's on the inside sleeve. Yes, there it is, £7.50" If I'd been drinking a cup of coffee it would now have been spluttered all over her but luckily I was yet to break for sustenance. I can't remember what I said but her reply was, "Well some of them are quite collectable now" to which I replied, "If only". Just across the road from these two shops was a sight for sore eyes, Underwood Hardware & DIY #GottaloveFelixstowe. If you wanted a nut they'd have it. "A rake sir? We have seven kinds". It was Ironmongertastic.

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    Suddenly, like a gift from heaven, I spotted something called…

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    This hadn't come up in my search for charity shops because…it wasn't a charity shop. Anyway it only sold Sporting memorabilia, collectables, stamps & Ephemera. I'll just put my head in the door…

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    Mother Mary, Joseph, and all the Saints!!! See those boxes? That says £1 each. Adam and the Ants (there were 4 copies). Okay it's not a charity shop, and not everything was £1 but I'm nothing if not an out-and-out maverick. I have a distrust of authority, a classic car, a bit of a drink problem, and I simply can't understand women. I've no idea how I ended up as a science technician; I've got TV cop written all over me. I didn't go mad, I just picked a few cheapies because I thought it was the least I deserved.

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    G T Moore and the Reggae Guitars. I've been looking for the erstwhile 'Heron' member's 'Reggae Blue' LP but haven't found it cheap yet and this was only £2. Interesting character, G T Moore. Design 'In Flight'. I like their 'Tomorrow Is So Far Away' LP and this promised much with arrangements by Syd Dale, Vic Flick, and Herbie flowers. It's not as good as 'Tomorrow' but side one has its moments. Anyway, only £2.
    Classroom materials is a woman who sounds as if she's on helium singing 'Activity songs for Primary Graders'. Japan 'The Art of Parties'. Always one of my favourites on the 'Tin Drum' LP so why not get the 12" for £2- there's a non LP track on the B side. Mezzoforte was from a £1 box and was bought for the B Side 'Funk Suite No. 1" which, I think, is a super track. I like a bit of robust Trad Jazz and Lu Watters looked like it would be just that- and it is. Those Clef sleeves are pretty stylish too, so another quid well spent. I ummed and ahed over The Specials 12". It was only £3 (damn good price because it's, more-or- less, mint). I thought £3 was a bit much for a charity run but I could always leave it out of the run-down so I gave in and bought it. I took them to the woman in the shop, she totalled them up and said "£12.50, call it £10". On that basis I figured 'Ghost Town' had cost me 50p so it stays in here. He had some nice High Life LPs in the shop and it looked like I could have bargained on the prices, because they were a bit pricier than the other stuff, but I wasn't out for that so I left it. I didn't even look at the 45s. I only saw Lu Watters because he was out on display.
    There were still a couple more charities to go. Next up it's Sense.

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    Sense did have a small shelf of LPs, situated at a convenient waist height but it was all chud. Full marks for the waist height, though. Okay, on to Cancer Research.

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    Alas, the charity shop was bare- of records. Well all those shops had, pretty much, been in the same street, but it had been meagre picking from the charities with most not even having 'vyiniles'. Thank God for Nick Barber. The last charity shop was a little way off so I started on my way. On the way I passed the original station building #GottaloveFelixstowe.

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    Don't be fooled though; when you go in it's been converted to shops. It's quite well done, and there's a little pub in there as well. If you go in, and out the other side there, in the distance, you can see the actual Felixstowe station platform.

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    There it is, beyond that big lamppost, next to Homebase. I soldiered on, passing this nice house
    #GottaloveFelixstowe

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    They had a bright red 2CV parked in the drive. The shop didn't seem to be getting any closer. I checked my notes. It was number 318 and I was stood outside…number 42. Bloody hell, it's too hot. I'll drive to it on the way out. Time to meet Mrs Shere Khan down the front. There was a slope leading down to the seafront. Here it is at 12 o'clock, on a Friday Half Term, on one of the hottest days of the year.

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    Serene, and quiet, I meandered my way down passing the biggest Acanthus I've ever seen

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    And a gallery window with two huge sheets of artistically treated wood veneer hanging in the windows

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    I made an artistic photo of myself taking the photo somehow referencing the entire history of photography in one crazy, awe-inspiring post-Stieglitzian homage to Man Ray. Sounds impossible but I did it. Further on it became clear why the slope had been so quiet.

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    Everyone was somewhere else on this mid-day Friday half-term possible hottest day of the year. Maybe they'd all swum out to that big boat on the horizon. Never mind, Peter was doing a roaring trade with his ice cream. Felixstowe Seafront was a delight #Gottalove Felixstowe.

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    This photo can't do justice to the wonderfully preserved Victorian seafront gardens, which stretch for about 1/2 mile along the front, and I know y'all don't give a shit about Victorian seafront gardens but they are stunning. Also nice was the Spa Pavilion…

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    ...even the back of it. They had brightly painted beach huts but what I really dug was these permanent chalets just off the seafront

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    So, after popping into Ruby's kitchen where I had a pancake with Ice cream and Maple syrup and Mrs Shere Khan had a doorstop bacon sandwich (yes, you heard that right- she had the doorstop bacon sandwich). Then it was time to head out to the last charity shop. It was another Basic Life, and I had managed to bag a couple in the other Basic Life shop so I was up for it as modern parlance would have it. I've never used that phrase before and I doubt I shall ever use it again.

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    Thar she blows. After her men, this gold doubloon to the first man who spots vynyls. Sorry, I came over all Captain Ahab for a minute. They did have some LPs but not much. I only managed Andy Desmond and this German cove.

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    "That'll be 80 pence". I gave them £1 as I'd left my gold doubloon nailed to the mast- damn that whale! Jurgen Marcus looks like the Bee Gee they tried to lock in the attic. However, he was able to bite through the roof with his magnificent teeth and using a network of anti Gibbs Brothers fighters he made his way to Germany to wreak his terrible revenge. And this he did with 'Eine Neue Liebe Ist Wie Ein Neues Leben' which translates as 'Surely These Teeth Will Have Their Day', according to Google translate. It sounds like Scott Walker's Eurovision entry- so not as bad as all that, then! The B side, 'Wein' Ihm Keine Trane Nach' or, "Check My Mane, Barry, And Weep" is similar Euro-Fodder. If you fancy it head over to You Tube to see him magically appear from the audience and launch into 'Eine Neue Liebe…' resplendent in turquoise velvet. They're all having a great time and there's a nice bit where Mary Whitehouse gives him a bunch of flowers. He dances, unashamedly, with these and then dances with what could be the show's host, who is seen punching the air with the sheer exhilaration of it all. Pay close attention to his impressive leap onto the raised platform at 2.09-what it is to be young I wish I'd been there…with a machine-gun. He was once a great beauty but unfortunately he ended up looking like Dennis Waterman in 'New Tricks'. Andy Desmond was once the property of Radio Orwell but now it's mine, all mine (evil laugh). They're welcome to have it back. It's not bad, it's just not good. I could easily listen to it in the background- whereas there's a lot I simply couldn't listen to- but I don't think I will. Barry St John features on one track- that's right Barry St John.

    Time to head to Woodbridge. There were five charities in Woodbridge and I'd love to tell you that records were falling into my hands like ripe plums from the tree but they weren't. Three of the shops had laminate floor syndrome and were record free. The British Red Cross shop looked promising- a red lions head over a door always spells promise in my eyes.

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    I picked up a copy of Stanley Black's 'All Time Top Tangos', for £1. You probably have a good idea what that sounds like. Mint condition and a nice sleeve.

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    In Oxfam the starting price was £2.99. I was a bit worn out and jaded by now but they did have a Guy Clark LP that I actually wanted so I coughed up the £2.99.[IMG][/IMG]

    So that was Felixstowe. All those charities didn't yield much but it didn't matter because Mrs Shere Khan now had competition, competition shaped like a large town in Suffolk, competition with a reputation for being Britain's largest container port, I was beginning to fall in love with Felixstowe. The next day I asked Mrs Shere Khan if Folkestone was in Essex, or Suffolk. "It's in Kent", she said "Kent"! I said incredulously. "Do you mean Felixstowe"? She asked. Must remember that; you can get into all sorts of trouble if you call your amore by the wrong name.
    "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

  • #2
    Hurrah!

    After a promising start to the year I thought that the CSC's had spluttered out.

    You now have an excuse to return to Felixstowe, as not only did you fail to visit Mannings amusements with it's incongruous architectural mix of medieval and art deco...





    ......you also missed out on some fantastic fish & chips in the nearby Regal, where they still fry in beef dripping.

    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


    • #3
      Originally posted by Saint Jude View Post
      Hurrah!

      After a promising start to the year I thought that the CSC's had spluttered out.

      You now have an excuse to return to Felixstowe, as not only did you fail to visit Mannings amusements with it's incongruous architectural mix of medieval and art deco...





      ......you also missed out on some fantastic fish & chips in the nearby Regal, where they still fry in beef dripping.

      I'll definitely be going back and will be sure to check out The Regal. Fish and Chips is hard to beat. Up this end of Suffolk Tony's in Gorleston was always my favourite for fish and chips but I've not been for a while.
      I had Felixstowe all wrong; I thought it would be a hell-hole full of container lorries but there are none at all. It seems they send them out on a different route.
      "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

      Comment


      • #4
        Fish Dish - which is closer to the area you were in - is also highly rated, but I've never been there:
        http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/delight-a...ants-1-5010488

        Perhaps we could add a recommended chip shop requirement for the 2017 CSC's?
        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by Saint Jude View Post
          Fish Dish - which is closer to the area you were in - is also highly rated, but I've never been there:
          http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/delight-a...ants-1-5010488

          Perhaps we could add a recommended chip shop requirement for the 2017 CSC's?
          Felixstowe just keeps getting better. As usual they are all 'Foreigners'. The best fish and chips I've had has always been cooked by nationalities other than English. Tony's is Greek, The Chinese in Bungay used to do excellent fish and chips, and another memorable Fish and Chips I've had was in Montgomery, in Wales. They were also Greek. We can't even cook our own food anymore.
          "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Shere Khan View Post

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            .
            Is that Felixstowe's red light area on the right?
            I am also amazed at how your jacket changed colour from blue to green in two photos, and I very much enjoyed the reflections in shop windows, which hint at what its to come.
            Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Great tour, I love the CSCs. Felixstowe's on the edge of my neck of the woods, but we've never actually made it out there.

              Google Maps has seemingly recently taken to adding all sorts of charity-related premises to a search even when you specifically search for 'charity shops'. However you can usually spot them from your phone, the genuine shops tend to come up with the shop icon (looks a bit like a shopping basket) whereas the related ones are usually a plain dot. That's saved me from a couple of wasted treks (though I suspect I may have missed a genuine shop or two in the process). Happy digging!

              Comment


              • #8
                Excellent stuff, SK. I quite like that Whittle LP, couple of decent tracks on it from what I can remember.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by babycart View Post
                  Is that Felixstowe's red light area on the right?
                  I am also amazed at how your jacket changed colour from blue to green in two photos, and I very much enjoyed the reflections in shop windows, which hint at what its to come.
                  The badge photo was taken with curtains closed and no flash. The other photo is with curtains open. The patch pocket jacket is a straw colour whereas the striped jacket is more on the stone-colour spectrum. I was expecting a barrage of replies asking where on earth I managed to find a pair of shoes to make the look stick, but it hasn't happened.
                  I'm glad you can see the photographs because here at work they are invisible which, I'm hoping, is our antiquated system.
                  "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sam View Post
                    Great tour, I love the CSCs. Felixstowe's on the edge of my neck of the woods, but we've never actually made it out there.

                    Google Maps has seemingly recently taken to adding all sorts of charity-related premises to a search even when you specifically search for 'charity shops'. However you can usually spot them from your phone, the genuine shops tend to come up with the shop icon (looks a bit like a shopping basket) whereas the related ones are usually a plain dot. That's saved me from a couple of wasted treks (though I suspect I may have missed a genuine shop or two in the process). Happy digging!
                    That google maps business is exactly what happened. I don't have a 'phone so no recourse to that solution. Luckily they were all in, or just off, the same street. I was surprised at how many just didn't have vinylz, though- especially as they are 'coming back'.
                    "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bennyboy View Post
                      Excellent stuff, SK. I quite like that Whittle LP, couple of decent tracks on it from what I can remember.
                      The Whittle is, as I say, very competent. I was expecting the 'Little Green Men' track to be pretty far out as it features Sean on his synthesizer, alas it wasn't- it's okay though and not to be sniffed at for 50p. Some of the arrangements are very interesting though, and definite thought has gone into them rather than just knocking out the usual one. Babs seems to have sung with all and sundry. They definitely know what they're doing. Bobby Orr on the drums is pretty handy but he needed a crisper recording sound to properly impart the excitement he generates.
                      "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Next time you go it might be worth popping into Underwoods and telling them that the word 'store' in "Traditional Hardware Store with Traditional Values" is American usage. Traditional English people would use the word "shop".
                        I'm sure they'd be grateful.
                        Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for a great CSC. Again, I'm amazed at the amounts of charity shops in UK. Even if some turned out to not actually being a shop, the towns of equal size here would not have as many shops. Just checked, Ystad is about the size of Felixstowe, and I can only think of 4 shops.
                          It seems we are not very charitable.
                          ------------------------------------------------------
                          "This is Modpowerpopsouljunkierock´n´roll so stop post shit like Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Grace Jones , Led Zeppelin and some other boring blues stuff, that kind of music don´t belong in this group, if I´ll ever see shit like that posted in this group again that person will be banned from this group forever!!!!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cratedigger View Post
                            Thanks for a great CSC. Again, I'm amazed at the amounts of charity shops in UK. Even if some turned out to not actually being a shop, the towns of equal size here would not have as many shops. Just checked, Ystad is about the size of Felixstowe, and I can only think of 4 shops.
                            It seems we are not very charitable.
                            In Ystad, though, there's always the opportunity of bumping into Kurt if he's taking Jussi for a walk.

                            A lot of charity shops is not always a good thing over here; they tend to move in when a town can't support it's actual shops. I guess charities can run because they are staffed by volunteers and, presumably, get preferential rates. So when the bakers has to close, because everyone now buys their bread at Tesco, a charity will probably take the space. Maybe in Ystad they just have great shops that are well supported.
                            "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cratedigger View Post
                              Thanks for a great CSC. Again, I'm amazed at the amounts of charity shops in UK. Even if some turned out to not actually being a shop, the towns of equal size here would not have as many shops. Just checked, Ystad is about the size of Felixstowe, and I can only think of 4 shops.
                              It seems we are not very charitable.
                              Same thing here. Charity is more direct, often run by church organisations with direct donations of food and clothes. Also, charities are very focused on getting public funding rather than setting up fund-raising business. Other factors, such as stigma of buying second-hand items and a general tendency to keep hold of stuff are all involved.
                              I've sometimes felt uncomfortable in UK charity shops when you're looking for records and a young mum comes in to haggle over the price of kids' bedding. Charities are charitable, the state not so much.
                              Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

                              Comment

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