#WeNo Insider’s Guide to Maddison’s second hand shop

For this edition, our roving reporter headed past St Lukes up towards Rosebery’s auction house.


If you are a ded­ic­ated bar­gain hunter with a pas­sion for second hand goods, then Maddison’s is a treat. The fore­court is a jumble of fur­niture. Inside, the shop is crammed with book­cases, chest of draw­ers, desks. The odd chair dangles from the ceil­ing. All of this is inter­spersed with bric a brac. It’s the type of shop where you need to look care­fully and rum­mage; hard to man­oeuvre around, with little focus on present­a­tion, cer­tainly worth peer­ing behind bulky items for hid­den treas­ures.


Whilst our intrep­id FEAST report­er was talk­ing to owner Ian, a steady stream of people browsed or pur­chased. The last was a young man who hap­pily car­ried off a work­ing type­writer. Ian com­men­ted he has reg­u­lars who pass by every couple of weeks. Each has their own par­tic­u­lar interest, be it 50’s fur­niture, records, vin­tage cam­er­as. And tellingly, about 35% of cus­tom­ers are trade. Note. You have been tipped off — because these are deal­ers look­ing for qual­ity goods to sell on in their shops.


There are his­tor­ic links to nearby Rose­berys. Ian was first intro­duced to Rose­berys by his antique deal­er dad, keen to settle his son into the world of work when he returned home from trav­el­ling. For 11 years Ian worked at Rose­berys; ini­tially selling cata­logues, becom­ing a fur­niture port­er, cata­loguing and doing bits of valu­ation work. When Rose­berys began con­cen­trat­ing on high­er value antiques, he saw a gap in the mar­ket. In 2003, he set up shop in a former butchers called… yes…Maddison’s. The name stuck. He took the ori­gin­al shop sign with him 4 years ago when chan­ging premises.


So where does Ian get his stock? Well, about 85% comes from house clear­ances. Which explains why Maddison’s mid week open­ing is ad hoc — Ian will be out doing clear­ance or downs­iz­ing work. Call ahead to check open­ing, but Sat­urdays in the shop is the busy day — always open with fresh stock. Ian looks wist­ful “Its amaz­ing how much people amass over a life­time”. He recently cleared a massive 7 tons out of a stu­dio flat.   Inev­it­ably some of this stuff goes to the tip (one prop­erty con­tained 30 broken kettles, anoth­er a col­lec­tion of cheese labels from around the world). How­ever, he recycles as much as pos­sible. To that end, Maddison’s has an on going rela­tion­ship with neigh­bour­ing char­ity shop Emmaus. Ian donates over a van load a week to Emmaus; mainly lower value items like books. In con­trast, some of the vin­tage curios now goes to Mabel’s Five and Dime. This is Maddison’s new sis­ter shop, based in Syden­ham.




86 Knight’s Hill

SE27 0JD

Call Ian for week­day open­ing times 07956 832970

Sat 10 to 4pm