Shropshire Star

Talking Telford: Farewell to the snuggest second-hand in all the land

Last week we said goodbye to Wellington’s oldest charity shop, which was surely also its smallest.

The dearly-departed Oxfam in Duke Street, Wellington

Farewell to the snuggest second-hand in all the land, the Oxfam store in Duke Street, which welcomed its last customers on Friday. The tiny shop had been running there since April 1977, when Telford itself was less than a decade old, and it must have seen Wellington change immeasurably in that time.

As of late it’s been sandwiched between a cash machine and a grand-looking portal that’s now filled in with bricks. A row of three anachronisms at various stages of decline, perhaps.

Oxfam didn’t give any specific reason for closing the shop after all these years, other than a diplomatic reference to having to make “difficult decisions about the viability of particular shops, as in this case”. Surely the availability of volunteers was among the factors in deciding whether or not it was viable - almost every time I walked past the shop it was closed early. It was always a shame but it was always understandable too given that when it was open for business, the volunteers who gave up their time there were invariably the same people who helped run most of the other charity shops in town, and they can’t be in more than one place at once.

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