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Long before he was the curator of 22 identical sealed red boxes, leading bewildered pensioners down his ‘walk of wealth’ to participate in a game of chance in his ‘dream factory’, the evillest man on television Noel Edmonds presided over a ‘multi-coloured Swap Shop’.

Youth meant I never had the chance to experience the joys of Noel’s Saturday morning swaptravaganza, but for some bizarre reason the sight of young Noel and his odd jumpers is the first image that appears in my mind when someone mentions a swap shop.

However, it appears the swap shop has become somewhat of a craze in the recycling fraternity recently, with no less than two being held in Birmingham this Saturday. One is in the town centre and is based on Fairtrade, whereas the other is being held in Moseley.

The Moseley Swap Shop will be the first I go to, and I’m interested to see how the swap shop benefits recycling in the community. As I’ve  already pointed out in this blog before, council schemes seem to be going a bit haywire at the moment due to theft, so maybe community organised events are the way forward. I know I’d rather swap my old t-shirts for something else rather than dumping them in a box that’s going to disappear anyway.

I’ll be talking to organiser Beth Fisher on the day, as well as writing up a report for Birmingham Recycled, so I’ll have a bit more of an idea of how successful and how useful these swap shops are to the recycling effort. I’ll also probably post up a bit of post-swapping feedback on what I think of the swap shop idea in general.

Meanwhile, any opinion on the swap shop concept and it’s role in recycling is more than welcome.



  1. Hey, don’t diss Noel! I love how he has gone from odd jumpers to his odd shirts.

    Swop Shops are a big thing at the moment with Fairtrade Fortnight etc, I do wonder how far back they go.

    Good luck on Saturday!

    • I like to imagine he has some wonderful magical wardrobe that plain old shaven Noel Edmonds walks into and emerges like some technicolour bearded television wizard, ready to spread his love of cosmic ordering and opening boxes to the Channel 4 watching masses. Of course, I also have too much time on my hands to think about Edmonds’ morning routine!

      Yeah I was thinking that, I mean, I’ve never heard of one being on before a couple of weeks ago, but I suppose with vintage fashion and everyone being a bit more frugal with the recession, it makes alot of sense to hold them.

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