Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Charity Shop Hop #0 (Knutsford, Hale, Longsight and Levenshulme 2012)

Originally posted in a slightly shorter/different form on the Very Good Plus record collecting forum back in 2012, this hopefully will be the first of an occasional series of Charity Shop Hops inspired by their Charity Shop Challenge.

The Charity Shop Challenge which was an annual tradition on said forum. The rules being that with a budget of £10 for records you take make a road trip around a selection of charity shops either familiar or not. There would be year specific rules such as buy at least one 80's pop/Ember Records record, take a photo of your dinner, buy an ornament or whatever, which as a rule were ignored by most partakers.

This was my second attempt from 2012, the 2011 Poynton, Heaton Moor, Heaton Chapel, Reddish and Denton jaunt being lost to the ravages of time and a dead laptop.

Knutsford (Cheshire):

I have to admit I still know bugger all about Knutsford except I seem to remember David Beckham may have lived there at some point. One thing I certainly didn't know is that during the wilderness years a certain 60's LA rock icon settled here and opened a shop selling tables and cupboards.

Here's a pic of the main shopping street. Google says there are 3 charity shops around here, but, as we'll learn, Google lies.

First shop, Oxfam.

Where we find the usual moderately interesting selection of over-priced LPs.

Toyed with buying a Johnny Otis LP but this chose itself:

Freddie Hubbard & Ilhan Mimaroglu "Sing Me a Song of Songmy"
Yeah I know it's a reissue but when I am I ever going find an OG? I remember the Wire giving a (as of 2012) recent reissue quite a panning, and I can see where they were coming from. A mix of free jazz, pretentious spoken word, Penderecki strings and musique concrete, it's perhaps better described as interesting rather than intriguing.

This cost me £7.99 which meant with my first item I'd blown 80% of my budget. Bugger.

Next Barnardo's:

Box of vinyl in window (why do they do that?) and a few 7"s on a shelf.

A few 80's 12"s I wouldn't mind but all knackered, as is this:

"Close Encounters of the First Kind"
Been after one of these for a while for the synth stuff on the b side so I take the gamble only for it to prove unplayable once I get home. Not the end of the world.

Shop three: The Children's Adventure Farm Charity Shop. Nothing in here.

Or these two that Google didn't seem to know about: Cancer Research and Red Cross.

Sadly this Sue Ryder has closed down.

Only having ten minutes to get my train I take a gamble and head in the opposite direction from the station and quickly find what proves to be the last of the town's charity shops.

Age UK:


However they are all £2+ and they all suck. Did find this though which at the time I was quite happy with.

And back to the station.

Now, two LPs would be a pretty pathetic haul for any hop so I have a back up plan, that being on the return journey to Stockport I'd jump off the train at Altrincham and to see what I could find there. However on the way out of Stockport I noticed there appeared to be plenty of shops in Hale so figuring it shouldn't be too hard to fritter an hour there instead I head there.


Get off the train and I'm immediately impressed with the station.

This really is how a proper small town railway station should look. It's got a level crossing and everything.

There's even a clock in the middle of a roundabout just as you go out the front entrance. Yes I think I like Hale, I certainly like it's station.

I'm feeling thirsty now as I've not had a drink for almost three hours and the suns shining a lot warmer than expected. Having looked both ways and judged it safe to cross I head for the just out of picture Hale Newsagent.


Sccccrrrreeeech!!! "Stupid idiot! Try (incompressible)"

Some lady (my guess in her 50's) had came zooming over the level crossing in a new looking Jaguar and missed me by about 2 feet. I consider apologising but instead give her the old one finger salute and tell her to "Go fuck (her)self", then carry on on my way.

Pop into Hale Newsagent and pick up a can of Sunkist Pineapple juice only to be told it was going to cost me £1.75. Now in the space of one minute Hale has gone right down in my estimation.

"That sounds like a lot for a canned drink" I say. The shopkeeper starts laughing and says "Sorry, I meant 65p" and descends into a fit of giggles. I have a feeling he's tried this trick before with a surprising amount of the local twit paying up unquestioningly.

Turns out there are plenty of shops but only one charity shop.

Age UK:

No records here.

Actually, this is a really mediocre little town. So I head back to the station and spend twenty minutes reading a book ("Oh Mexico!" by Lucy Neville in case anyone's interested. Well written and entertaining but I really could do without all the lusting after her handsome flatmate) until the level crossing alarm goes off and my train comes round the bend.

Next stop Altrincham. However having improvised once I come over all confident and devil may care and decide to stay on until Stockport and from there get one of the frequent trains to Levenshulme, a place I haven't been to for a good couple of years.

Levenshulme (briefly):

Getting off I almost walk straight into this (the sun was shining right in my eyes)

It says Levenshulme in Arabic. And here's a photo of the station entrance nicked off Wikipedia because it's much nicer than the one I took.

However almost as soon as I leave the station I spot a 192 bus, get on that and make the 3 minute trip to Longsight, another place I haven't visited for two or more years.


Get off the bus, walk down towards the market and "Holy shit! A charity shop. I really need to buy some more records or this CSC will look like a complete flop. Maybe they'll have some"


They haven't got any. Oh well, I seem to remember there's at least one more charity shop on the main road. There is, the ever unreliable Islamic Relief.

They do, literally half a dozen...

...and I actually buy one (plus a CD)

Enya "How Can I Keep From Singing?"
That label on the Enya 12" look a lot of patience to remove.
Donovan "The Hurdy Gurdy Man"
The Donovan CD was a pretty random find among a pile of Mojo/Uncut freebies and CD-R copies of Phil Collins type albums.

So I head back to Levenshulme on another 192, and get off when I spot one of these.

Levenshulme (again):

No records but shedloads of cheap DVDs, including this:

Wander up and down the main road and it turns out there's now only one charity in Levenshulme, The Children's Society...

...and they've got records!

I choose:

Michael Garrick Sextet "Promises"
Haven't played this yet but very happy to pick it up for 99p. Can never have to much Brit Jazz. Especially for 99p.
"Close Encounters of the First Kind"
A mint up for a record bought approx 3 hours earlier. Honestly, you spend years looking for something and you turn up two in one afternoon.

I also purchase a blu-ray of this masterpiece for what I now consider an expensive by charity shop prices £2.99.

And back to Stockport.

The end.

Money spent on Records/CDs: £11.96
Money spent on DVDs/Blu-rays: £5.98

No comments:

Post a Comment