It is an Aladdin’s cave in the centre of Huddersfield.
But the Oxfam Shop in Market Walk, where people can browse books, records and artwork in search of the rare and the remarkable, will close later this year, spelling the end of a venue which has become something of an institution,
For Oxfam volunteer Heather Brooker it will be especially sad.
She joined the shop in September, 2007, four months after it opened, having seen a copy of Anne of Green Gables in the window.
“I thought I read that when I was a girl, so I went in and saw a ‘volunteers wanted’ poster, and the adventure began,” she said.
“Each shift brings something different, rare, old or unusual.
“I have loved being surrounded by books on the shop floor in the unhurried calm atmosphere of what can be truly described as a book palace, where people who love books can browse at their leisure.
“I will miss the excitement of opening boxes in the sorting room and filling a trolley of books to shelve so others can discover them.
“There have been so many people who love books in our shop and who love to talk about them and I will miss them immensely.
“Alongside our manager, our volunteer team have worked to sell books and music to make a profit for those who are in dire need. Being a part of this team with such worthwhile objectives has been a privilege.”
Heather, 69, a retired teacher of Fixby, hit the headlines three years ago when she discovered a tatty print she was framing was in fact a limited edition piece of art.
The picture, called Blue Wildebeest, was painted by Hilda Bernstein, a key figure in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. Only 50 of the prints were released across the world.
Mrs Bernstein’s daughter, Frances, who lives in Leeds, collected the painting after an Examiner story alerted one of her brothers in France to the discovery.
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The family had many of Mrs Bernstein’s paintings, but not Blue Wildebeest, and Frances submitted a bid of £100 at a silent auction to add the piece to the family collection.
Over the years the shop has been at the centre of Huddersfield’s book community and has created a reading group.
But Heather said the rent is too high for Oxfam to take on another lease, and it will close on December 19.
“Our books will be incorporated into the Oxfam Shop in New Street. We are all very sad that this adventure is almost over but we must celebrate the exciting, shared experiences we have had.”
Heather will carry on as a volunteer at the shop in New Street.