When Council places its final seal of approval on Fabulous Finds – the region’s newest Op Shop situated in Hallsville’s two Uniting Church buildings – Manilla residents travelling to and from Tamworth will be able to enjoy a relaxing stopover in search of that elusive bargain.
Spokeswoman and facility co-ordinator Margaret Crowell jokes that “If anyone can’t find something absolutely fabulouswhen we’re up and running, then they’re not looking hard enough”.The new Op Shop, which will offer bric-a-brac out of the old church and clothing from its newer facility, will be run under the guidance of the Peel Valley Uniting Church, which includes Gowrie, Hallsville and West Tamworth congregations.
And it was all the original brainchild of Margaret herself.
“It was a building that was unused except for church services each Friday evening. And with the monthly markets held here, bric-a-brac was on offer from the old church, so we basically had half an Op Shop here already. Everyone I’d spoken to about it was very positive, a lot of people realising that re-cycled and re-usable items are one of the big issues in this day and age,” Margaret said.
Margaret added that a friendly cuppa (for a gold coin donation) and a chat would be part and parcel of the service for visitors at Fabulous Finds.
“There are a lot of elderly people around here on their own and looking for something constructive to do outside. We’ll welcome volunteers with open arms, or if they didn’t want to be part of the working team, we’d love them just to call in and have a cuppa with us.”
Margaret is even confident that perhaps down the track, Fabulous Finds being in a rural community, locals may even “want to pick up and run with it themselves”.
“Op Shops are great community facilities where people often take the time just to meet and have a chat,” Margaret said.
Funds from Fabulous Finds will be distributed to various charities, and the facility will be run under the required Covid guidelines.
Though as with many new community services, much work goes into their setting up.
“We’ve had to purchase things like racks and coathangers, and we’ve received many, many items of clothing and bric-a-brac from friends.
Helpers have come in to sort out and label the clothing ready for the racks, signs and information sheets had to be printed off. And we’ve had the old church re-carpeted, new shelving put in and a lot of painting and tidying up done,” Margaret said.
“We’ll also have a section for brand name and new clothing which will have a slightly higher price tag.”
As well as sending out the call for volunteers, organiserswould also like to receive more donations of clothing, bric-a-brac – even electrical items in good working order.
“The only things we can’t accept will be furniture as we don’t have the facilities to handle that at the moment. Donations may be left on the front porch of the main church. Later on we hope to have bins at the church as well as at the Rotary Book Sale facility in on Manilla Road.”
Initial opening hours are expected to be 9am-4pm Friday and Saturday, with the hope that these hours may be extended down the track. By Vinnie Todd