One person’s throwaway is another person’s treasure, or so the old saying goes.
Few shops sum up this attitude quite as succinctly as an antique shop. Full of old furniture, jewellery and useless junk that has accumulated in the homes of countless people over the years, many are absolute treasure troves for the right sort of shopper. In addition, many are the last sources for products and items that may no longer be in active production anymore.
If you’re looking for somewhere to take your seniors for a good browse for bric-a-brac, then they’re probably one of the most ideal places for it too. Whole days can be spent rummaging through antique and vintage stores looking for old items and just enjoying seeing what you can dig up amidst the masses.
Doing so can be of immense benefit to older people as well, as looking through objects of a nostalgic nature is a fantastic way for them to build mental connections and open up about their pasts, whether it’s a toy from their childhood, a record holding a favourite song, or even just an item from a period of history they’ve an interest in. Take your seniors out for a day exploring these select vintage and antique stores around Wigan for a good rummage and a trip down memory lane.
Up in the north-east of town on Eckersley Street, Antique and Oddities is the first shop on our list. It’s tucked a little out of the way in the more residential parts of Wigan, so you may need to hunt it down – just take the left from Whelley onto Vine Street and then the first turning right; straight down from there you’ll find Eckersley.
However, once you get there, you’ll find a very well stocked little antique shop. It collects items from all over the place and has a special unique collection that’s also available for viewing on request. Antiques and Oddities tries to keep true to its name, as it specialises in objects that are especially quirky, unusual or even macabre. It’s the best place in Wigan to find something that truly has a story to tell.
Many of the items on display are small and can be carried out that day if you want to make a purchase. Otherwise, it’s a small treasure trove of personal histories and fascinating old knick knacks to explore.
Primarily it’s a vintage shop, stocking and selling second hand items that are at least retro and maybe even genuinely antique. The shop, which is bright and very well stocked, contains numerous items from furniture, to tools, to old ornaments. However, it also contains more recent items, such as toys, CDs, records (yep, the vinyl kind!) and even second-hand clothes. It’s well worth a good rummage around here, as there’s all sorts you can find on its shelves.
In addition, Grants Bulldog Forge also has an on-site café serving home cooked food. So, if you’re making a day of rummaging around, this is a great place to stop for lunch before continuing onto the next discovery.
Outside Wigan itself in the nearby town of Hindley just down the A577, Crown Furniture operates as a house clearance service. If anyone is relocating and has large items they can’t bring with them, they’ll pick it up, clean it, and resell it.
This of course means that their shop is largely dedicated to furniture and large bulky items such as old kitchen appliances, but you’ll probably find all sorts of pieces from across the county, both modern and new, conventional and unusual. Even if you don’t find anything truly antique, there will always be something to comment on and always something new to see.
Another store located just out of town, this spot is north-west of Wigan in the nearby village of Roby Mill.
The focus at Gemma Redmond Vintage is on jewellery and accessories, collecting pieces from as far back as the 1700s, all the way to the turn of the millennium. The shop was founded on a passion not just for the appearance of jewellery, but also for the varied and intimate history behind them. There’s a huge focus on high quality and good condition, and all their items are carefully preserved and presented. Each piece is selected by Gemma herself, and she has a particular interest in jewellery with especially eye-catching designs, unique appearances, or fascinating histories.
The shop is open to the public and anyone can drop in as and when they wish to browse the items on display. Chat with Gemma and she’ll have a story for figuratively every piece in her collection. This one is a must for those who love the finer things or just have a passion for shiny fashion!
While strictly speaking you can’t just rummage around in an auction centre, you can’t compile a list of places to view antiques and vintage items without including at least a reference to one. Wigan’s Auction Centre is found to the south-east of town on Waterside Drive, which as the name implies is just on the canal.
On any auction day there’s going to be at least one item with an interesting history and story behind it, and even if you don’t intend to buy anything at an auction the experience of one can make for an interesting outing. Keep a look at their website to see when their next auctions are.
While we don’t always realise it, we’re surrounded by history and historical items. Even something as ubiquitous as a child’s doll or mundane-looking ornament may hide a rich and engaging story behind it. Get your seniors out to uncover these stories, or maybe remind them of stories of their own by taking them out to an antique or vintage store. Who knows what you’ll discover while you’re there?
For more advice on how to provide better supported living and companionship for your elderly loved ones, or to find out if home care in Wigan may be right for them, contact our local Home Instead team today, or see if caring could be the right career for you.