Vintage collectables to star in Barrow Salvation Army special sales

10 August 2017 2:26PM

AMONG all the plastic toys, holiday souvenirs and general bric-a-brac that charity shops generally receive as donations, you do still find the occasional item that can spark the interest of a dedicated collector

In one Barrow charity shop they now have a designated person on a mission to locate those interesting items that will help generate extra sales and value for the shop and make sure that potential items of special interest will not remain lost and unloved, but find a new home where they can be really appreciated.

Paul Duffin is the volunteer at The Salvation Army in Abbey road responsible for helping sort out donations kindly gifted to the charity by the public, and he uses his keen eye to spot items of special significance.

Recently the charity received some items of railway heritage a pair of "Thunderer" whistles marked for L.M.S and F.R (Furness Railway) P.WAY 112.

The whistles along with an Ian Allan pocket train spotters handbook came with a batch of otherwise unremarkable items.

Lt Martin Davison, of the Salvation Army in Barrow, said: "Paul has a good eye for the unusual item.

"He takes his role very seriously and has a sense of when a particular donation may have some hidden treasure potential."

The Salvation Army now plan to hold a series of special collectors sales on Saturday mornings and the first is on Saturday, September 2 from 10am to 2pm at The Salvation Army on Abbey Road..

Lt Davison said: "We recently found some old car handbooks and workshop manuals for both V.W. Beetle and Ford Consul and Zephyr mark one models of the fifties.

"They are in good condition and I am sure will be appreciated by someone."

Items of local interest for the first sale will include a Barrow Official Handbook from the late 1940 and 1950s with some wonderful period adverts and information accompanied by photographs.

There is also a framed map of “Westmoreland” in very good condition and a large collection of amateur radio books and memorabilia for the Royal Navy Amateur Radio Society in Barrow.

Other books include some for model aero-engines and petrol-powered model boats, plus sporting interest titles and albums.

The charity regularly receives ceramic and glass items of some age and occasionally with a story to tell by their distinctive marking or colour.

Furniture from the 1950s and 1960s is now back in vogue as usable classic items. These pieces are now becoming much more popular.

Period photographic equipment and cameras, still are available at a fraction of what they cost when new, and are sought after by collectors as good value.

Period clothing is starting to be more appreciated too, and the ripples from London that 'pre-loved' items can be cool is starting to bring more interest in the more unusual garments that are on display.

Lt Davison said: "'Our treasure hunter Paul has a passion for motor cycles so we get plenty of attention given to items with a motoring flavour that are donated.

"The public are really kind and we appreciate their trust is gifting us these special items as well as the more routine household goods that make up most of our stock of clothes, furniture, cycles and costume jewelry.

"All the funds raised by our sales stay in the town to support our work here and make our Abbey road hub and foyer cafe a community facility to support the local neighborhood."

The concept of recycling items is not new, but the trend for re-purposing and renovation is now perhaps moving on to a further appreciation that items with original patina and signs of age can be more attractive kept just the way they are.

Fresh donations of collectible or unusual items, are always most welcome to add to the stock already carried by the Salvation Army charity store.

For further information contact Lt Martin Davison by email to or you can Facebook The Salvation Army Barrow

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