Norton of Morton

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

Saturday 28 December 2013

The charity shop confessional

In which G.M. Norton bags a pair of brogues and two ties for less than five English pounds.

If you have followed this periodical of mine with proper care, you will be aware that I am a regular frequenter of the great British charity shop. So when I chanced upon a bargain or three, I naturally wanted to share it with you, dear reader.

Take last Sunday during a quick inspection of the local YMCA shop. This particular beneficiary boutique is fast becoming one of my favourites. It's an extremely large retail space, across one sweeping level. Largely furniture, is also comprises a good selection of books, an assortment of homeware items, and just a rail or two of clothes. Despite the small space dedicated to clothing, over the last few months, I've picked up a couple of super blazers. One of which fits me like the proverbial glove. Indeed, when wearing it for the first time to the office, a lady caught sight of it and remarked that "It's too good for here."

Last week, I entered the premises accompanied by my beloved and our two children. It wasn't a planned excursion, by any means (shopping with young ones does tend to become military-like). In fact, it was my beloved who piped up with the winning suggestion. 

Among the wardrobes, chairs and display cabinets, tucked towards the other end of the shop sits the rather sparse men’s clothing area. A few jackets were quickly viewed and discounted from my mind. Then I spied high up on a shelf what looked like a decent pair of brown brogues. The brown brogue is a key item in a gentleman's wardrobe. A classic style of shoe. I felt my heart skip, a feeling I’ve experienced many times over the last year of so.

Reaching up and bringing them under my experienced eye (my left one), I inspected them for the usual signs of wear, while attempting to discover the size of said shoe. Disappointingly, no such markings to determine size (or indeed, maker) were clearly visible so I placed them carefully on the floor and using the shoes I was already wearing, I estimated that they were in my size. Only one way to be bally sure, of course, so undoing the thick laces (not to my taste but easily changeable), I slipped them on. Content with find and fit, I removed them from my feet and gleefully noticed the price tag - two pounds and ninety nine pence!

I was suddenly filled with a growing urge to pirouette around the shop like an adagio dancer. We Nortons do not believe in alerting others to such rich pickings though so I restrained myself and settled for a knowing (if slightly manic) smile. The dancing will wait, I told myself.
Fred just found a cane for ninety nine pence, too
With the shoes protectively held on my person, I noticed a tie rack. A new and welcome addition, YMCA. One can't have enough nooses to slip around one's neck, after all. Two ties immediately caught my eye – a paisley type and a knitted number. I do love a knitted tie. It adds a little extra protection against the elements during the winter months but also brings a different texture to an outfit. For the bargain price of ninety nine pence each, my shopping spree was complete as I finally succumbed and danced my way over to the till. 

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



  1. A great little haul, it's very satisfying at those prices!
    P x

    1. It most certainly is, ma'am! Persistence is of paramount importance, of course.

  2. Job well done! If you ever see a leather trunk or typewriter on your travels please let me know!

    Follow me too? Oh So Gawjess

    1. Delighted to do so, dear lady! Although I must confess that the trunk and typewriter are already on my imaginary wishlist. I would recommend the Stockport Vintage Village if you're on the hunt for anything in particular.


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