Lanark charity shop closes after more than three decades

The shop, which has now closed.
The shop, which has now closed.

The St Vincent De Paul Society charity shop in Lanark has closed after over 30 years of fundraising and service to the town.

Repairs needed to its premises in Bannatyne Street, its best known location during its time in the town, coupled with the high cost of running a van to pick up and deliver furniture, were major factors in the decision to shut it down.

Kevan Carty, president of the society in Lanark, said that the amount of furniture and clothes contributed to the charity in the town had also greatly reduced over the past few years, hampering its efforts to make ends meet.

“Unfortunately, it was becoming harder to cover the cost of rental, so it was costing the charity too much to continue the operation,” he said.

The shop might have looked like any other of its ilk – offering a mix of bric-a-brac, jewellery, clothes and furniture for sale – but, unlike national charity shops, which sell goods to raise funds which are then sent on to continue their work, the St Vincent De Paul shop’s main aim was to served its community.

“The main aim of the shop has always been to provide clothes and furnishings at low cost,” said Kevan.

“But equally important was the ability to provide the same things, free of charge, to those in our community who, because of unfortunate circumstance, found themselves in dire need.”

The first shop opened over 30 years ago in St Leonard’s Street, and its stock was later transferred to the Bannatyne Street unit.

May Kelly has been manager of the shop for well over 15 years, and she has now been presented with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of that service.

“The society would like to record its sincere thanks to May, who has provided her services as manager over the years on a purely voluntary basis,” said Kevan.

“Thanks also go to all those volunteers who have over the years provided the vital assistance so crucial to the shop’s existence.

“The society is also grateful to those in Lanark and the surrounding area who have so generously given to it in the past.”