Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 9 March 2013

Behold the beneficiary boutiques!

In which G.M. Norton reveals the treasure he has recently managed to plunder at bargain prices.

I must confess, I love a good charity shop. Last Christmas, I managed to cobble together a party outfit for the princely sum of £38 and it’s fair to say that I am continuing to unearth even more bargains (to the detriment of my wardrobes).

This year, I have made a vow of sorts to buy the majority of my clothes from charity shops (or ‘beneficiary boutiques’ as my chum Bruce Partington-Plans refers to them). As I know what sharp eyes you’ve got, I have afforded myself a little get-out by writing that is my intention to ‘buy the majority’ – a chap must allow himself sufficient leverage to snaffle something extra special from time to time.

Well, I am now three months into my aforementioned abstinence and suffice to say, I am doing rather well.

Take the other weekend for instance. My beloved hails from Darwen in Lancashire and as she doesn’t drive, I did the gentlemanly thing and escorted her twenty miles to spend the afternoon with her friends. Bidding my beloved and our baby daughter adieu, I toddled off with our eldest in tow.

With three hours before we were due to collect my beloved, we had a bite to eat at a nearby eatery before heading to the plethora of beneficiary boutiques, all within walking distance of each other.

This may sound awfully dull for a six-year-old but my eldest had made the mistake of telling a deliberate untruth earlier in the day so as punishment, I scrapped our plans to go bowling and ventured to the beneficiary boutiques instead.

As it turned out, by the end of the shopping experience, my eldest commented that she’d had a lovely time and spent the journey home with her head stuck in a newly-acquired book. Even if it was about a high school musical.

Anyway, I am prattling on and I’m sure you’d like to know what we managed to pick up.

Well, I managed to unearth two ties (£2 each), four shirts (£2 each), one sports jacket (£3.50), plus a heap of records (£2) for the combined total of £17.50.

In addition, my eldest bought nine books. And what did I get for the beloved? This bone china tea set for the ludicrously low price of £6.50.

Have you had any success at the charity shops? Pray tell, ladies and gentlemen.

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’



  1. I have been visiting Abergavenny in South Wales and found the charity shops really expensive! Ten quid for a polyester skirt from Next, and the charity shop lady was really rude to me as well. BUT there's an amazing vintage shop called Vintage Vision down the road that sells vintage for very reasonable prices - tulle red 50's ballgown for £45, blue velvet jacket for £15 etc. I don't understand why the charity shops are so expensive in comparison. There are some really good charity shops in Cardiff and some of them are super-cheap, with all clothing at £1 in one of them (you have to be quick though!). By far though I prefer the car boot sales and flea markets, they're my usual hunting grounds. Well done on getting that tea set for under a tenner!

    P x

    1. I was rather pleased with the tea set, it was my favourite buy of the day. Although the cockerel tie was a very close second.

      There are a couple of charity shops that I've visited that have priced their wares far too high. I do enjoy a car boot sale too, it's been a very happy hunting ground, especially for records. Plus you are able to barter a little!

  2. A gentleman residing in the antipodes, I've had great success in my sartorial adventures around the "opportunity shops", or as I shall now call them, "beneficiary boutiques". I've managed to obtain two beautiful vintage dinner jackets, one from the 1930's, in fact. As well as this, I've gotten several lovely pairs of shoes, and many other compliments to my wardrobe. Not to mention the silverware, the books and the many many neckties.


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