Crowds to flock to Shelter’s famed charity sale

Shelter volunteer Kaika Maeda prepares the displays ahead of today's sale. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Shelter volunteer Kaika Maeda prepares the displays ahead of today's sale. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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AN Edwardian silk velvet tailcoat, field spectacles from the First World War and designer handbags are among the “sublime to ridiculous” items expected to cause a stampede at a charity shop today.

Bargain-hunters were expected to queue outside Shelter Scotland’s Stockbridge branch this morning in the hope of bagging a bargain at its now famous January sale.

It sees designer stock donated throughout the year – and specially kept back because of its exclusivity – put on sale.

Clothing from top fashion houses Prada, Marc Jacobs and Mulberry is among the key items eager shoppers will be jostling for.

Shop manager Pete Jew said he expected it to raise thousands again for the homeless charity.

He said: “It’s a broad range from the sublime to the 
ridiculous. This year the real stand-out piece is the silk velvet tailcoat and breeches for £200. It could be from any time between 1915 and 1940, it’s a dress uniform but we’re not sure where it comes from.

“If that’s not to people’s taste, there’s an array of designer bargains and antique collectables we hope shoppers will be keen to snap up.

“Last year we did £4500 on the day and £14,500 in the week. I think it’s the real eclectic mix of things we have for sale that brings people in.”

Ceramics and china from some of the world’s finest producers including Spode, Coalport, Beswick, Poole and Royal Doulton have been saved for the annual drive.

A Mulberry handbag was on sale for £80, a vintage teddy for £30 and vintage jewellery at just £10, slashing the high original price tags.

Now in its 12th year, the elaborate sale raises funds for Shelter Scotland’s free housing advice line to help people find and keep a home in Scotland. The launch comes at the same time the charity revealed more than one in five Scots worry they won’t be able to pay their mortgages or rent in 2014.

Research, based on a YouGov survey suggests nearly half of rent or mortgage payers are struggling or falling behind with payments.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, urged people to contact them if they were in trouble.

He said: “Many families are on a knife-edge.”

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com