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Ministry of Stories and Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Home > London > Fun for Children
by Catherine Stobbs (subscribe)
I'm an actress and freelance writer living in North London
Published June 3rd 2011
If you head down to Hoxton this weekend you might come accross a rather unusual shop. It's official title is Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Purveyor of Quality Goods for Monsters of Every Kind established 1818.

The shop sells every monster related product you could imagine, so it will more than satisfy all of your monster related needs.

Notable items include;

'A vague sense of unease'.
Organ Marmalade.'
Neck Bolt Tightener'.
Pickled Eyeballs.'
Distressed Damsel's Hair.'

They also ask you to make note of the following rules and restrictions before entering the shop;

Only one giant in the shop at a time.
Customers are politely requested to refrain from eating the staff.
Beans (Magic or otherwise) are not excepted as payment.
Humans welcome, but entirely at their own risk.

Ok, so I haven't completely lost the plot, the whole shop does have a purpose (other than feeding and entertaining monsters), if you look carefully at the back of the shop you may just see a secret entrance.

That entrance leads into The Ministry of Stories, and that is exactly what the shop is all about.

The Ministry of Stories was created in 2008 and is designed to help young people get creative with writing and story-telling.

In 2002 a shop called 862 Valencia was opened in San Francisco. It sold everything a pirate could ever need, but hidden in the back was a special workshop, designed to promote literacy skills, story-writing and help out young people who might be struggling with their school work.

The pirate shop was the brainchild of author Dave Eggers, in 2008 British author Nick Hornby thought that something similar would be very successful in the UK. With Dave's permission plans for the monster shop began.

The Ministry of Stories provides a free space for young people to write and be creative. Authors and other creatives, including artists and teachers volunteer their time to provide free help for children aged 8-18. Everything from one-to-one sessions through to full workshops, if your child enjoys writing or needs a little extra tuition there is something to inspire everyone.

The shop is only open on weekends and holidays, so why not take your child along. Even if they don't feel like getting creative, they will love the magic of the monster shop. Every last detail is covered so it is really like walking into another world.

The Ministry is always on the look out for volunteers to help out with their projects, if you feel you would like to help young people out with their writing and story creating, more information can be found here.

Required skills include, the ability to spell (most of the time) and extensive tea-making skills. It is a great opportunity to make a difference, in a very, very odd way.

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Why? Because it is the only place where you can cater for your pet monster
When: Open Saturday and Sunday 10am- 6pm and some school holidays.
Where: 159 Hoxton Street, N1 6PG
Cost: Free, unless you have a huge shopping spree in the Monster Shop
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