IT’s usually the case that I’m tail-end Charlie where the January sales are concerned.
In fact, this year, you may well ask ‘what January sales?’ Many stores were price-cutting even before Christmas, and by the time I fetched-up in them at the weekend, there was precious little left.
Oh for the days when the January sale at Binns’ store in Shields was eagerly awaited, with its opportunity to replenish the household china.
Its remnants of fabric, or wool, were often my first targets.
Of course bargains have always come in all shapes and sizes.
I’ve just been looking at an advertisement from 1903 when even a pawnbroker in Shields was having one – largely of bulky goods which had not been redeemed and were taking up too much room.
The ‘pop shop’ in question was Freeman’s, in Waterloo Vale.
Offers included a feather bed in perfect condition for 12 6d (62p), a single iron and brass bedstead with mattress for 16s 6d (82p), four working models (nature unspecified), “to be sold cheap,” a “good old fashioned” mahogany piano, and a hair-stuffed sofa and six chairs.
All highly covetable, no doubt, even if it meant buying what was, in effect, someone else’s misery.