When I was a child (in the 70s and 80s) my mum used to make most of our clothes – she made those beautiful smoked dresses that are coming back into fashion now but my sister and I hated them. We also had dancing lessons which meant costumes often had to be run up at a moments notice. I have vivid memories of visiting our local haberdasher’s shop and delighting in all the treasures on sale there. We’d immerse ourselves in sequins and feathers, buttons and clasps, fabric and cottons in every colour. My younger sister would be entertained with the ‘job’ of picking up stray sequins off the floor – she loved to ‘help’ in this way. I would spend ages looking through the button tubes and opening the tiny drawers of the display cabinets or frightening my sister with the teddy bear eyes that they kept in jars. It was this shop we visited to get the velcro to make our detachable ra ra skits (as worn by Buck’s Fizz on the eurovision Song contest) – thank goodness there isn’t a photo!

A couple of months ago my mum and I made a pilgrimage to our little treasure trove – there were no longer sequins all over the floor (in fact there were very few sequins at all) but the button tubes and display cabinets were still there (as were many of the original contents) which kept my 4 year old amused (and cost me a lot as he had to have dinosaur and duck buttons) and we left happily clutching bags of beads, findings, zips and cottons. Now we know that our devotion to Sally Twinkle’s (or Sally Twink’s) can be extended wherever we are as they have been dragged into the 21st century with a website as well as a clean floor. Yes, they do sell wool too.

Is there a treasure trove in your life?

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