'Mystery angel' visits Wandsworth Salvation Army

Phew! Richard Baggaley with volunteers Kevin Bassom and Liesl Wilson

Phew! Richard Baggaley with volunteers Kevin Bassom and Liesl Wilson

First published in News by

An anonymous woman who spent £5,200 in a Wandsworth charity shop has been dubbed “the mystery angel” by volunteers.

The woman, who begged her identity remain a secret, strolled into the Salvation Army in Wandsworth High Street just before closing time last Friday and almost bought up the shop.

Six exhausted workers stayed until 8.30pm helping her pack up the goods, which included everything from designer clothes to children’s desks.

Shop manager Richard Baggaley said: “We were a bit worried that she was a lunatic who was just going to say goodbye and leave, but she has paid.

“She’s gone from being the barmy lady to the mystery angel.”

The woman, a church-goer in her 60s, said she was collecting items for a school she was setting up in Kingston, Jamaica.

According to workers, she did not give details but simply said: “You have helped me in the past and I hope to make good use of these things for the future of those less fortunate than me."

She bought an estimated 1,000 brick-a-brack items, including about 100 pencil sets, a leather reclining chair and several paintings.

She also cleaned out the designer rail, buying Ralph Lauren shirts for all of her new teachers.

The goods completely filled the Salvation Army’s three and a half tonne truck used to deliver the load later in the week.

Soon they will be shipped over to Jamaica in a giant metal container to start a new life.

Mr Baggaley said: “The first batch of customers who came the next day asked if we were closing down, because there was so little stuff on the shelves.

“The call from the Salvation Army now is, we need more furniture again - although people have already been very generous.”

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