Sunday, 7 February 2010

Everyone Loves A Bargain

Until yesterday I'd never had occasion to step inside Broadway Bargains.

For years I have done no more than wander past Worcester Park's old curiosity shop and gaze with puzzlement and slight suspicion at the knitted baby clothes, doilies, combs and other assorted items in the window display.

I would pause to read the hand-written note on the door, scribbled on a piece of old cardboard declaring that the shop was too small to accommodate prams before shuffling off down the hill, wondering if anyone actually shopped there (how many combs and doilies could one person need?).

Today I completed what was a long-overdue Worcester Park rite of passage stepped into the world of Broadway Bargains.

I have fallen in love with the place.

Anywhere where you can buy things for just 5p has to be a good place. Who cares if you may never need that spare zip fastener - at only 5p you can afford to be prepared.

They also sell those awful gaudy old-fashioned birthday cards given out by great-Aunts who smell of wee. Now I know where they get them from. Come to think of it I've never seen anywhere else that sells them - perhaps Broadway Bargains have cornered this lucrative market.

I didn't actually need that ballpoint pen, but it was only 10p. No harm done. I can keep it in the same drawer as the spare zip fastener.

Then, having resisted the temptation to buy a shuttlecock, I found myself in a queue. It was rush-hour in Broadway Bargains. One of the women behind the checkout was called Brenda. I'm hoping the other one was called Doris.

I absolutely love Broadway Bargains - pocket money toys, fabric and ribbons, shuttlecocks, zip fasteners, gaudy birthday cards, cobwebs, Brenda and Doris and all. If you've never stepped inside you don't know what you're missing.

It must be given protected status in Worcester Park so that the shop and Brenda and Doris can be preserved forever and then all will be good in the world, and we will never ever run out of doilies.

16 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

monkeygirl said...

Broadway Bargains rocks. Where else in WP on a saturday morning could you buy bra extenders, those "magic" painting books we had as kids, or ribbon by the metre???

Colin said...

@monkeygirl
Hopefully not all to use at the same time? ;)

iamjamesward said...

Broadway Bargains is one of the greatest shops in the world. It's amazing. Last time I went there, I bought one of those polystyrne aeroplanes and a bag of googly eyes. I have no idea why I bought either of these things, or what I will do with them. Maybe I'll glue the eyes all over the plane.

Kathie said...

They prefer it if you buy your ribbon and fabric by the yard rather than the metre and they give you a recycled supermarket carrier bag for your purchases.

They once nearly refused to sell me a yellow feather duster because I was going to cut off the feathers for a child's fancy dress costume . (Cheam Common Junior Aztec Day since you ask) rather than use it for actual housework.

They currently sell "eyelash" knitting yarn at the truly bargain price of £1 a ball - great for scarves.

Not so crafty said...

Broadway Bargains, or 'the little old ladies' as it's known in our house, is the best shop in WP! The aforementioned ladies are lovely, extremely helpful, especially when it's the day before the dreaded Easter bonnet parade and I am wracked with guilt at my lack of earth motherliness. Pocket money goes miles in there, you can normally get that one thing that nowhere else seems to sell, and from what I gather by the letters on the window from various charities, they give a fair amount of their takings away. Marvellous place!

Mike said...

Nice blog. I am setting up a new business on the cusp of Worcester Park and Stoneleigh, so if you know any companies in W.Park that would like a video profile, please shout! :o)

Worcester Park said...

Mike - feel free to drop me an e-mail to tell me more about your new business! (E-mail address at the top of the blog).

Anonymous said...

I've not been in Broadway BArgains for about twenty years, but by all accounts it's exactly the same as it was then. How does it stay open? Is there such demand for general knitwear and sewing aids in the world of the WP? How do they make rent when the turnover must be all of £2 a day, £3 on a busy one? Is the lady who smokes cigars behind the till still there?

Long live Broadway Bargains....

Wambam said...

I have lived in WP since 1976 and Broadway Bargains has been there for as long as that. Its never changed.

I have been resisting the temptation to buy that sewing kit in the window since 1979

Susan said...

I am coming to Broadway Bargains, no matter what! I was in Worcester (Midlands) last week and googled haberdashers in Worcester as I needed to get something for my daughter's sewing club. When Broadway Bargains came up I thought 'great', then realised it was about 150 miles away and actually closer to where I actually live. Now I am back in London, I am going to Broadway Bargains, it sounds like a can't miss experience.

Jules260 said...

This shop is a must for any keen sewing buff. I was told about it by a friend and have kept the message going to everyone in my sewing class and beyond. The 'Ladies' are absolute treasures with a wealth of knowledge between them on many crafts. Long may they continue! Someone asked how they survive on just a few pounds here and there...........I've never left without spending at least £15! And I visit regularly! Spread the word, Broadway Bargains is the place to be.

Sue Ann Seville said...

Been using the shop since the early 70's.... fab shop and hope it stays with us for years

Carole said...

amazing little shop - to buy virtually anything "from a matchbox to an elephant" at bargain prices!! i.e. cheap haberdashery, knitting wools, stationery, kids bits etc etc.

Sarah said...

Fantastic little shop, the ladies are all so helpful.

Catherine said...

I absolutely love this shop and couldn't live without it as I buy all my knitting supplies there - the ladies are so helpful and friendly. May it remain open for many years to come!

Linda Ashby said...

This is easily the best shop in the high street. I have been using it for the last 40years and if you knew the age of some of the ladies who work there they put youngsters of today in the shade.

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