Letter to the Editor: Charity Shops

Civic Co-Op

Every now and then we receive emails from concerned Dronfieldians. Usually they are too incoherent to publish, but once in a while someone is able to send an email without dropping the c-bomb or making casual racist remarks. Below is an example of this:  

Charity – apparently – begins at home it’s said. We’ve all heard this quote, probably all said it ourselves and presumably believed it. Which is all well and good. But, fellow Dronfieldians, with ANOTHER soon-to-be-open charity shop in our beloved Civic Centre, the question I put to you is this:

If it begins at home, where does it end?

I ask you this, because very shortly, approximately a quarter of the retail outlets in the Civic Centre will be charity shops. Out of 13 shops in our town’s central shopping area, a hefty 3 will now be charity shops. 3 out of 13. That’s quite a high percentage. It’s often said that you can judge the affluence of any town by the number of these charity shops it has in its shopping areas (have you visited Woodseats recently?). In which case, I sincerely hope, and indeed suggest, that this seemingly inevitable rise in said shops is curtailed by the relevant authorities.

A few years ago, we welcomed the one in the Forge, ‘Ashgate, by Design’ was Dronfield’s kind of charity shop…. a designer one. Not just any old tat, but quality goods, competitively priced, and set in a modern retail shopping development of similar quality shops. As time (and the recession) went on, I suppose we had to grudgingly accept that another charity shop would rear its ugly head, and so it proved to be with Bernardos in the Civic. But, playing on our heartstrings, who would object to having something there to help the kiddies?

But that’s how these things escalate…. Ashgate, the nice one. Then Bernardos. Then the other one. Now this one…..what next? Where’s it going to end? Do we need another one? Do we need any of them? How many old vases, obscure books, jigsaws missing pieces, scuffed shoes, mismatched bits of furniture and Human League vinyls does one community need?

The recession, so they tell us, is over. The UK’s economy is set to grow more in the next year than any other of our large European counterparts. This growth will NOT be because of tens of thousands of charity shops continuing to spring up all over our towns.

Dronfield needs to say enough is enough. If we don’t, and we suddenly get a ‘Cash Converter’ outlet, next to Geoff’s DIY, then we’ll only have ourselves to blame.


Merry Christmas,

A concerned resident.

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