Curtain rises on Aladdin’s cave of curiosities
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
WITH hot air balloons suspended from the ceiling, a truck’s front grill as a serving counter and illuminated circus signage encouraging customers to scream (if they want to go faster!), the interior of the newly-relocated Olde Barnard Castle Curiosity Shop, is nothing if not dramatic.
Owners Tim and Angela Baitson kept the theatrical décor under wraps while they transformed the shop on Horse Market, Barnard Castle, papering the shop window with a large question mark.
They unveiled their new premises earlier this month and have been inundated with curious customers ever since.
Initially opening The Olde Barnard Castle Curiosity Shop last summer on The Bank, they decided to make the move into the town centre when the premises – formerly Oliver Twist’s Deli – became available.
Mr Baitson said: “It was a big risk for us moving, but it seems to have been the right decision. There has never been a moment since we opened when there wasn’t a customer in the shop.”
The Aladdin’s cave, which is open at 10am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on weekends, is filled with unusual gifts, books and unusual trinkets, while also serving coffee and cake.
Mr Baitson added: “You can help yourself to coffee and cake and we’re doing an honesty box system where customers can pop money in a box.”