Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published May 23rd 2013
Paddington Greets you at the Window
Carshalton Antiques Gallery is at the end of the High Street, and although the iron grates at the window look a bit unwelcoming, it is an interesting shop to look around in. You have to be in the mood to browse though, because the shop is very cluttered, and requires a lot of careful manoeuvring to get around.
Paddington without his hat?
What first made me stop were the two Paddington Bears on display. I have been interested in having a Paddington Bear doll for a while now, and although they are widely available, most are newly made and have him in a red hat. I would like mine to be more vintage, and with the traditional black hat. Unfortunately, both the bears in the shop window were missing hats altogether, and looked a bit grubby.
Harry Potter 'Antiques'
Then something else caught my eye. Was that Harry Potter? In an antiques store? Surely not. But low and behold, there on a table, stood over a dozen Harry Potter figurines, including Fawkes the phoenix, statues of the professors, Hufflepuff & Ravenclaw jewellery boxes, and models depicting scenes from the books/films. I was keen to get a closer look at these, so went inside, but to my (and most customers') annoyance, they were impossible to get to because of all the other junk in the way.
This was the theme throughout the shop; the owner had tons of interesting things, including old coins, miniature cars, tambourines, cameras, and some quirky chemist bottles. The problem was that the owner seemed insistent on putting them all out out on the shop floor at once, meaning that you really have to rifle through to find anything of value. If you're willing to do this, then it is fine, but I was too scared of breaking something to start moving things around.
I decided it was probably best to call it a day, when on my way out I saw a bundle of cigarette cards. My dad collects these, so I asked her to move some stuff aside, so I could take a look. Most of them were in good nick, but like the rest of the store, a bit of a jumble. I could tell that there was at least one full set, but all the cards were mixed up, so I had to spend a good long while sorting them out before I got everything I wanted. It was well worth it though; I had between a hundred to a hundred and fifty cards, and she sold them to me for a fiver.
There will certainly be something of interest in Carshalton Antiques, the only challenge is finding it.