Charity shops can be invaluable for finding costumes and props. There are two main areas in Cambridge where there are several: Burleigh Street by the Grafton Centre, and Mill Road. There are also a few in the town centre. Many of the charity shops are not as cheap as you might expect, but there are notable exceptions. This may not matter on a larger budget, but if money’s tight, the difference between trousers at £8 or £3 will be important.
All shops will have stock that is not on display and it’s often worth asking if they have something particular. They’re usually pleased to help: many will either go and look for you or let you look yourself.
- Oxfam, 34-35 Bridge Street (near Magdalene Bridge). 01223 311041. Oxfam is one of the more expensive charity shops but is well-laid out and sells good quality clothes. Larger shop on Burleigh St, which also sells furniture.
- Save the Children, 21 Magdalene Street (opposite Magdalene College) 01223 313900
- The Hospice Shop, 30 Regent Street, 01223 462452
- Cancer Research UK, 42 Regent Street (near Downing College) 01223 367045. Another slightly more expensive shop, but good quality. Other shop on Burleigh Street
- British Heart Foundation, 10 Burleigh Street, 01223 368865. Reasonably cheap
- Oxfam, 20 Burleigh Street, 01223 329841. See Bridge Street branch.
- British Red Cross, 26 Burleigh Street, 01223 301426. Cheap. Very helpful and always willing to have a look in the store upstairs.
- Scope, 33 Burleigh Street, 01223 360205
- The MIND Shop, 38 Burleigh Street, 01223 302926
- Cancer Research UK, 52 Burleigh Street, 01223 464189. Slightly more expensive but lots of stuff. Good selection of shoes. Other shop on Regent Street.
The area of Mill Road beyond the bridge is called the Broadway and the numbering is slightly random, with some shops having Broadway numbers and others having Mill Road ones.
- Salvation Army, 44a Mill Road, 01223 316161. Probably the cheapest although they sell a fair amount of rubbish. Good for crockery and tea sets. Also sell furniture at very low prices.
- East Anglia's Children's Hospices, 174 Mill Road, 01223 243800
- The Romsey Mill Charity Shop, rear of 191 Mill Road, 01223 506443
- Cat’s Protection League, 172 Mill Road, 01223 566997. One of the cheapest of them all! Very useful 50p bargain bin. Staff are very friendly and helpful.
- RSPCA, 188 Mill Road, 01223 212644
- NCH, 228 Mill Road, 01223 244964
- Romsey Mill Community Chest, 2 The Broadway, Mill Road, 01223 519287. Children’s clothing and toys. They also have a selection of prams and buggies.