Sunday, 16 September 2012

Bargains a many in Abergavenny

If you can ever manage it, wednesday is a perfect day for a thrifty trip to Abergavenny. Not only are there hoards of charity shops, it's also the day of the weekly Flea Market.
Here you'll find secondhand treasure at the end of the charity shop rainbow.
It's held at the lovely old market hall in the heart of the welsh town - the giant kitchen things dangling from the ceiling are put up for the annual Food Festival in mid-september. Food. Another great reason to visit Abergavenny.


But I thought I'd save the Flea market for last, and started at the other end of town, at the Salvation Army shop. I have a soft spot for this one; it's been spruced up on the outside since I was here last, but thankfully not inside. Still old-fashioned, small, dark and fusty. I always feel hopeful when I walk in here. And sure enough I found this large flowery sheet. Probably use it for some soft toy making.

Now all you have to do is cross the road onto Frogmore street, and work your way up the hill towards the market hall. Happily all the other charity shops, bar one, are along here. There's Oxfam (best for books and bric-a-brac); the Wales Air Ambulance shop (furniture and occasionally some interesting retro china) I recently spent ages looking longingly at a set of 70's soup bowls with handles in here. I have nowhere to put soup bowls with handles.

Further up you'll find Marie Curie Cancer Care and Cancer Research (clothes),  and closer to the hall, the British Red Cross, and the British Heart Foundation (more clothes), Barnardo's (great for books) and St Davids Foundation Hospice Care, which seems to be the place to go to get a decent secondhand sofa.

Abergavenny is always lively, and there's that strong sense of community you often find in a thriving market town. It's also in a beautiful setting, surrounded by hills. Fantastic walking country.

The only one not in this convenient straight line of charity stores is the Sue Ryder shop, near the Post Office. This is my other favourite. There's always a fair amount of furniture, the clothes are good (lovely Red Herring coat, yay! Size 8, boo..) but I usually head straight for the bits and bobs on the back shelf. The other week I got this salt box for £2, though having looked it up, turns out Mehl is actually the german word for flour.

This time I found an interesting little smooth wooden bowl with a ha'penny in the bottom dated the year my husband was born. Meant to be don't you think.


Charity shop crawl complete, I made a beeline for the Flea market. SO much to see. And in the interest of research I bought these lovely old playing cards for £1.50. Both sets are complete. I know this because I stood there like a loon and counted them.


Just as I was slowly, slowly making my way out, I saw a little book sitting on top of a pile of things, and the title caught my eye...
The Verse Book of a Homely Woman
The verse book was first published in 1920, and on the back it says,
'....the simple, straight-forward heart outpourings of an overworked, tired mother, yet full of faith and hopefulness, and cheer'. 50p only and I had to get it.

If Fay was around today I'm sure she'd have been a blogger.


I'm linking up with the Lulastic Charity Shop Blog Hop, and Liz's fab Magpie Monday.  Top spots for nifty thrifting. Go see!

18 comments:

  1. Ooohhh I want to go!!

    Love that wooden bowl you found - fate indeed!

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    1. Spotting the date on the coin was a happy moment, though would probably have bought it anyway!

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  2. Oh you did well. What a great Wednesday! Love the salt/flour box.
    Fay definitely sounds like a blogger to me.

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    1. It is an interesting book, religious in places but also plenty of familiar bits about being a busy mum. I like this poem:
      'If only dinner cooked itself, and groceries grew upon the shelf;
      If children did as they were told, and never had a cough or cold...
      ...(goes on in a similar vein until the last verse).....
      Ahem! If wishes all came true, I don't know what I'd find to do,
      Because if no one made a mess, there'd be no need of cleanliness.
      And things might work so blissfully, In time-who knows?-they'd not need me!
      And this being so, I fancy whether I'll go on keeping thing together.

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  3. I did want to go to the food festival, but I had my mother in law staying instead :-(. Looks fantastic though - I don't know Wales that well.

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    1. Oh you must come! I know you'd love it. Maybe we could meet up at the festival next year? Lots to do around Abergavenny + some seriously good restaurants :)

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  4. That bowl is lovely! And I love the pheasents on the playing cards!

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  5. OH MAN! We were moments away from Abergavenny on our holiday at least once or twice - I just cannot believe we missed out on this GOLD MINE!!

    Thanks so much for linking up - always such a pleasure reading your posts
    xx

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    1. oh that's lovely! Thank you Lucy.
      Maybe next time for Abergavenny - and if you do head this way, there's also Monmouth and gorgeous Hay...plenty of great treasure hunting places xx

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  6. Love the cards and the book sounds great, fab finds.

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    1. Thanks so much - time to learn a few more card games I think!

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  7. My husband comes from Abergavenny so we usually try to get there once or twice a year. I shall print this blogpost out and take it with me next time I go to help me spot the good charity shops!

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    1. Really hope it helps! I'm not originally from around here, but I've grown really fond of Abergavenny. Miss some of the secondhand shops that have closed down since we've been here, but Gingers is still going strong. Always loads of furniture. I'm sure you probably know it!

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  8. Just found your blog and I have greatly enjoyed reading it. I visited Abergavenny several years ago and went into the British Heart Foundation shop in Cross Street, as I have a very personal connection with this place. I had discovered while researching my family history that the building had for very many years been a pub called the Wheatsheaf, (closed in the 1960s), and it was in this very place where my great great grandfather was born in 1837, his father was the landlord.

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    1. It must have been fascinating finding all that out, piecing it together and then visiting the shop. You will be on my mind the next time I'm there! Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

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  9. Really weird - I googled Abergavenny to get some idea of what the town is like and your blog came up. And what's the first thing I see? My sheet! Well actually it was a duvet cover and I gave it away many years ago but it made me feel very odd to see it again.

    Are there really blogs all about charity shops? I must explore further.....

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    1. there really are! Though mine is more a bit of this and a bit of that - check out Me and My Shadow for a great thrifty/charity shop blog. Funny you spotted your sheet! This post is pretty old now and the sheet has since been made into a multitude of soft toys... Thanks for stopping by :)

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