Second-Hand Stories

Climate Action Newcastle member Jacky Doran reminisces about the stories behind some of her family’s favourite second-hand treasures.


Our family and especially my daughters have always tried to buy second-hand and these are a few of our happy memories.

My younger daughter spent a large part of her gap year in Malawi as a helper in a school. She found this beautiful silk Ralph Lauren skirt in a street market there. It has a tiny mark on the hip which is probably why it set off on this epic journey. Along with an amazing array of other lovely stuff, it made its way back to the UK where it has been worn for many events including a wedding in July this year. My daughter is now 35!

In 2018 my elder daughter got married. I didn't want to buy something new for a one-off occasion but managed to find a beautiful dress, fascinator and shoes all pre-loved at Look Twice in Ponteland for a fraction of the cost of buying new. I have since worn it for two 2021 weddings – and it's hand-washable!

Lockdown meant realising what we'd always meant to do to the house, which included a porch to reduce heat loss when we got our new air source heat pump fitted. This little bench seat looks like it was made to measure and came through a private sale on the Facebook marketplace. So many amazing things there, no matter what you need.

Today, August 12th, I took 5 bags of toys and bric-a-brac to the St Oswald Hospice shop in Long Benton. I had to have a browse at the same time and I know it's plastic and I know it has batteries but I know just how much my eldest granddaughter is going to love this kettle! At least I am reusing, not buying new.

Our two granddaughters have only had the bare minimum of new items, everything else is recycled or second-hand. My husband made this as an example of something that can cost hundreds of pounds new.



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