Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Soothed by Shoes

So far it's been one of those weeks that makes you despair of people's lack of sense or attention to detail. I won't bore you with the minutiae of it here, but lets just say I've been saved by three things: the brilliant series two of Fargo that's currently being shown on Channel 4, a good friend - well that's a surprise! 

My friend Jill and I get together once a month to go charity shop shopping together before we pick our girls up from school. Jill's awesome to shop with; she has a brilliant eye for clothes, loves her bargains too and is always frank with her opinions; its great fun picking out clothes for each other and finding that they suit. So yesterday, we hit the shops together and boy, was I in need of quality company!

Coming across these shoes lifted my spirits too. And they fitted - double bonus. 

They're Russell & Bromley and in super condition considering their age, with leather soles and uppers, and trimmed with snakeskin. Now, I reckon they could be late 1940s/early 1950s, looking at their style, shape of the heel and also the branding label. But I'm open to comments, so feel free to put forward any suggestions.

I also came across in a pair of 1920s Egyptian revival earrings and a WW2 Women's Voluntary Service badge. 

An eclectic array of buys but that's what I love about charity shops! 

This was interesting though. In the Red Cross shop a heated exchange of words was happening between two customers and the staff. Jill and I left the shop at the time as these two women and it turns out that another customer took pity on a guy who's apparently homeless and most days sits on the pavement a few doors down; he doesn't try to hustle anyone and is always polite if you buy him a coffee or snack. Anyway, another customer went into the Red Cross shop to buy him a coat to replace the inadequate one he wears. As the jacket was £15, the customer asked the staff if they could reduce the price considering who she was buying it for. The staff refused and maintained that it had to be sold at full price. The other two women intervened and questioned the shop policy as the jacket was in effect, being given to the homeless guy as a charitable act. The staff still refused and the women left saying that they'll choose another charity to donate their stuff to. 

I'd be interested to know what you think about the above, especially if you work/have worked in charity shops. Mine and Jill's viewpoint was that they could have heavily discounted the coat, providing that the staff witnessed her give the coat to the guy sitting outside and wasn't trying to make an excuse up to buy it cheaper for herself. 

To be honest, I'm probably biased though as the staff in this shop are notorious for being rude; one of the reasons why I stopped donating to them and give my unwanted things to a local hospice shop instead.


  1. Having just come in from a morning's coffee'n'chazzing with a good friend, I can vouch for the restorative powers of these activities! Love those shoes, they were a great find, as were the earrings and badge.
    As a worker in a charity shop, I would have discounted the coat, or if it was a really good quality item and I wanted to hold out for the full price, I would have searched in the stock room for something similar which I could sell for less. Ultimately, if you treat customers well, with kindness and good sense, they come back, both as customers and donors. I know how much clothing goes straight in the rag bag when there isn't anything terribly wrong with it, it's just a bit past its best; the guy outside the shop could probably have been kitted out perfectly well from donations which would never even have made the shop floor. In general, I'm not one for haggling in charity shops, and they will have a policy of not reducing prices, but I think you have to apply common sense and make a judgment about that. In this case, a discount is fine; I'd probably have made up the difference myself if I was particularly worried about the shop losing out! xxx

  2. Sorry to be a party pooper but that's the wrong logo for Russell and Bromley for that era, it's the modern logo. Having said that the shoes are fab so who cares?

    I think that behaviour of the ladies in the charity shop was appalling I'd never shop in there again in fact I'd probably have been so mad if it was me I would call the local paper!

    1. Thanks for your comment re: the shoes and you're right. A friend has just mentioned that they're from the 70s - another of my fave decades. Yeah, they're fab whatever age!

  3. Totally agree with miss magpie, I'd have contacted the local paper, not because I'm a busy body, but because I think they weren't representing the shop they were working for which is after all the red cross, supplying help where needed! and I do tend to get a bit feisty if I think people are being unjust.

  4. The sandals and the Egyptian earrings are fantastic. The perfect remedy for a rough week. The tights you're wearing look stunning with the shoes!
    How unbelievably awful of those charity shop workers. If the coat was particularly valuable I'm sure there was a less expensive one available they could have given away for free. So many donations are chucked in the rag bag, what damage would it have done? It makes you wonder why these people volunteer for a charity when they have no compassion for someone less fortunate than themselves. xxx

  5. Love those sandals and how fab are those earrings? A perfect antidote for a crappy week.
    Terrible behaviour from those charity shop workers. What harm would it have done for god's sake? I wouldn't shop there again or donate after that. That coat my never have sold and ended up in the rag bin. Where's the compassion?
    Fargo is brilliant isn't it? Loved the first one and the film of course.

  6. Nice finds, there! Those shoes are lovely.

    £15 is a lot for a coat in a charity shop, I've got mine in my local chazzas for £6 or less, so I'm surprised they weren't prepared to reduce the cost, especially under these circumstances - the women weren't hagglnig for hteir own benefit.

  7. How lovely to have a friend to go charity shopping with! Love the shoes and the other bits and pieces. I'm with you, yes they should have discounted the coat! Charity begins at home:)


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