Emporium – Loughborough Central
Since the early 1980s, the Emporium has sought to entice visitors to spend some of their time and a lot of their money by buying a small part of the wide variety of goods which others have kindly given to help raise funds for the GCR. While it has always housed many books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, pictures and videos, (and not all are to do with railways!) it’s the unexpected that has always been a feature of our stock, which makes working here, interesting! The odd chamber pot, clock, medallion, rare model, musical instrument, (and that wasn’t the hunting horn!) have all found customers, as did perhaps the most unusual item we’ve encountered since working here, the stuffed bird (of the feathered variety!) in the glass case.
Staffed at all times by dedicated volunteers, the wage bill is zilch which goes down well with the management! It also means making a loss is impossible, also a plus with management. Fortunately, almost all our visitors are minded to buy and/or give, chat and enjoy their day out at the GCR, and on that basis, all are always welcomed.
Initially, items were just given to us and sold directly via the shop, but during the past two decades, some books and railwayana items were for a time sold on a commission basis. This raised additional funds but involved extra cataloguing and the payment of VAT even on book sales. As a few years ago, total sales of such items dropped from thousands to hundreds, this practice has now ended.
One new venture for those who make larger donations is now being investigated. Please speak with us if you are a current tax payer and would consider agreeing to Gift Aid your donation via The David Clarke Railway Trust which is the charitable body which supports many GCR works. If you are willing to do this, such an action could increase the value of any such donations by 25%.
We hope to see you soon, both so that you may view our stock, chat and hopefully, to buy part of what’s on offer, thus supporting Britain’s only preserved, double tracked, open every weekend and summer midweek and, if booked, on Christmas Day, Main Line!