The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville
After much searching and disappointments we were eventually offered the small office block opposite the church. The upsides were that it was very local, had a small area outside the front for displays and access, had several small rooms so that each section could occupy its own room and the whole building was on mains power and water. The downsides were that the access was small and there was no rear access. However the ongoing experience proved that these were only minor problems easily overcome.
We were blessed with fair weather for most of the two weeks which meant that we could put the larger items outside on the front area. This has the added attraction of enticing the public in to see more and drew attention to the shop being there.
It’s easy to be a trifle pessimistic on day one as one begins to wonder just who might be bothered to come and who would actually buy any of the myriad of items on sale. We needn’t have worried. From day one the shop was very rarely without a customer and many returned time and time again to see what new produce had arrived since they last visited. At the end of day one we had netted £410.
And so the week wore on with more and more customers buying more and more. The rooms were identified as Bric a Brac, China, Books, Electrical, Furniture whilst upstairs Anna had laid out the three rooms as Childrens, Gentlemens and Ladies clothing. We wondered whether the stairs might be too much for some but it was amazing just how many people ventured up the windy staircase only to stagger down minutes later with arms full of clothing.
The congregation were brilliant in filling the rota for helpers and we were never without two on duty plus, of course Jane RO and Anna who were there full time, from half an hour before opening to half an hour after closing. Amazing!
By the end of week one we had made £2,095 and at the end of the fortnight that had risen to £4,005.50. Customers were asking if we could stay there full time! No thanks; two weeks was enough for our volunteer army who were delighted with the results of their labours.
Our grateful thanks go to the shop owners Messrs Warner Goodman, who allowed us free access to the premises plus utilities for the two weeks and to Tom Holloway at the agents Holloway, Iliffe and Mitchell who arranged the loan for us. To Anna who devoted herself for the fortnight; and of course to Jane RO who lives with the church shop night and day for at least 6 months before the actual event and for several weeks after.
Christmas Edition 2013
Making good use of the outside furniture display