“Freeze dried ice cream for astronauts, a canoe and an emergency distress flare all feature among the most bizarre items donated to PDSA charity shops during the past year. In among the daily donations of clothing, books and bric-a-brac, the leading veterinary charity has received a wide range of weird and wonderful items recently, from the quirky to the downright dodgy.
“A deadly Samurai sword was one of the more frightening donations pulled from a PDSA pink collection sack and was immediately handed to police. Other dangerous donations included live rifle rounds, replica handguns and an emergency distress flare.
“PDSA’s top ten list of bizarre items:
Freeze dried astronaut ice cream, vacuum packed (Leeds)
Canoe, including paddles (Morriston, Wales)
Emergency distress flare (Newton Abbot, Devon)
Shower cubicle (Merthyr Tydfil, Wales)
34-year-old condom, still in its original wrapper (Kilburn, London)
False teeth (Barkingside, London and Elgin, Scotland)
Live rifle ammunition (Glenrothes, Scotland)
Mobility scooter (Shirley, West Midlands)
Samurai sword (Shanklin, IOW and Poole, Dorset)
A musical organ (Huyton, Liverpool)
“It was music to PDSA’s ears when an electric organ was donated to Huyton charity shop in Liverpool. The instrument was sold to a specialist collector in Germany who paid £700. A euphonium (tuba-like instrument), and a Fender guitar also fetched hundreds of pounds for the charity.
“The shop survey also revealed that kinky Brits donated an assortment of risqué items, including vibrators, a penis enlarger manual and a leather whip. A very old condom, with a use by date of February 1975 was given to Kilburn shop in London and a bag of blue pills, suspected to be Viagra, was found in a carrier bag at Dover shop and hastily taken to a nearby pharmacy.
“Some of the more saleable items included six Radley designer handbags, which were quickly snapped up by eager bargain hunters, raising over £300 at the Wellington shop in Shropshire. A large Canoe, including paddles sold for £30 at the Morriston shop in Wales, a collection of China dolls fetched £250 in Knowle and 500 golf balls sold for 20p each in Diss, Norfolk….
“PDSA receives no government or lottery funding and relies on the kind donations of the public to support its vital veterinary work. PDSA’s retail network of 179 shops provides a vital source of income for the charity.”