I have already been asked what "Op" shops are - Well I should explain that years ago they would be been called second-hand shops, but there is that old feeling often totally justifiable - that 2nd hand stores are usually pretty grotty shops full of aged furniture and bedding.
Certainly, the first "OP" shop was to the best my knowledge, started by the wives of officers in the garrison town of Colchester in Essex in the late 1940's - The original idea was to be able to offer better class goods than the wives of "The Other Ranks" might normally have been able to afford.
The idea certainly caught on, and it was found that a good number of civilians were taking advantage of the available goods mainly clothing in those days. And that I believe was the launch of Opportunity Shops which seemed to arise all over Britain and New Zealand.
leaders in the field were The Salvation Army and many other Churches and other fundraising charities like the local Ambulance Service, and prominent amongst these the Hospice Shops Animal Shelters, etc. Today, of course, everything has changed since those early days with so many Stores being staffed by volunteers and their wares are tastefully displayed.
I must admit to being a reluctant customer way back then, but eventually egged on by my Wife I did venture inside one such establishment and to my surprise, I saw a sparkling new Tweed jacket which I bought for something like $10 - and today all these years later, I still wear it occasionally.
Now in my latter years and lamenting the disappearance of most record shops, I make a regular trip to the Op Shops in Otaki (New Zealand) where I have found some excellent Compact Discs to add to my rapidly expanding collection.
And that is my explanation of the "OP" Shops - if you haven't visited one yet I would add it to your bucket list!Recommend0 recommendations