melburnians love their op shops, seriously. You used to be able to take an op shop tour, like those outlet shopping bus tours that come in from places like Albury-Wodonga. For a couple of years there was a Melbourne Fringe show doing the same thing – you got on a bus with a performer and enjoyed a running commentary with your tour.
For over 30 years Preston Central has boasted an absolute gem of an op shop – the All Saints op shop, located behind the All Saints Anglican Church on the corner of High Street and Murray Road. They used to place their distinctive yellowy-green sandwich board on High St to let you know they were open but now they put it just outside the shop entrance at 230a Murray Road. That board’s a nice bit of vintage signage itself, part of the Preston Central landscape.
There aren’t many op shops like All Saints left in Melbourne. It’s a classic little store with real old-fashioned prices. When you drop in, chances are customers will be outnumbered by sweetly polite senior ladies serving behind the counter.
Everything is immaculately folded, hung and stacked and tidied. If you pull something out to look at, you feel obliged to fold it up again. All Saints doesn’t have that musty unlived-in house smell you notice in some smaller older op shops. There’s the usual selection of books, crockery and glasses, lamp shades and coffee pots, old board games, linen and Manchester. They don’t stock furniture, prams, cots or car seats. There isn’t a huge amount in the way of clothes or shoes, but if you can visit regularly there’s a good chance of finding something special. They often have clothes on a rack outside for sale for $1.00.
All Saints is open from 9 am til 4 Monday to Friday and on Saturday mornings from 9.00 til midday.
The Salvos is the only other op shop in Preston Central precinct. It’s open Mon – Fri 9.00-5.30 and Sat 9.00-5.00. Salvos stores are all the same, so you know what to expect– plenty of stuff, and the stores are always clean and bright with good changing facilities.
Others worth checking out are further south: Helping Hands Preston op shop on Oakover Road (open Monday to Friday 10 til 4 and Saturdays 10 til 2) and the two Careworks op shops (one furniture, one clothes and shoes, etc), on the corner of High St and Warrs Ave.
Time for an op shop crawl?