Chillingham Road is Heaton's bustling hub of cafes and bars, surrounded on all sides by students in identical terraced houses. What it also has is four thriving charity shops all within a few blocks. Today, in the never-ending pursuit of bargains, I visited each of them.
Changing Lives Charity shop is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday. Today 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' was playing and I debated for a long time whether or not to buy a pair of vintage green court heels. They have some genuinely cool stuff, and it's arranged nicely so browsing is fun. You can find out more about Changing Lives by visiting their website.
A young man in a suit rushed through The Salvation Army when I was there, picking up the last pair of cuff links for a bargain £3. I had to give them points for their music choice (Oasis), but the book section was a bit lacking, holding only the standard charity shop fare of Joanna Trollope, Dan Brown, and Hilary Mantel. That said, there's a decent CD collection on offer. The Salvation Army is open 9 to 5, Monday to Saturday, and you can give financial aid here.
The Oxfam Shop is the posh aunt of charity shops, with meticulously arranged displays of goods and gifts. There are some beautifully designed cards and a nice selection of food-gifts as well as soaps and other eco-friendly toiletries. The bookshelves are well-lined, with bibles and classics alongside modern fiction. There are some gems in there too- Alexander McCall-Smith, Julian Barnes and Thomas Harris jumped out at me. I resisted, thinking of my purse and those green flats in Changing Lives. The music was too soft to hear, but sounded Beatles-esque. The Oxfam Shop is open 9:15 - 5:15 Monday through Saturday, and if you have a few hours spare they currently need volunteers. Visit Oxfam's website here.
After the glamour of Oxfam, St Oswald's Hospice took me right back to grassroots charity shopping. No music, little method to the madness, just plenty of pre-loved goods and a lot of loud chatter and laughter carrying across the floor. Prices are traditional charity shop level too, with books going for as little as 20p. St Oswald's Hospice is open from 9am until 4:30 pm Monday to Saturday, and you can find out more about their cause here.