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An anniversary fashion show held in Castlebay last Saturday (12 November) has introduced a new generation to the possibilities of thrift store chic.

The team at the Thrift Shop in Castlebay was celebrating 25 years since the shop was established, by a group of ladies from the Church of Scotland, in 1977.

Ten volunteers (still all ladies) now work in the shop, but on Saturday they were joined in the school hall by around 100 people, with models from the school and from the youth café among those showing off party-wear, Christmas clothing and sportswear currently in stock.

Volunteer Liz Macgregor said: “We have been saving up good items for a few weeks now, and before the show our models came in and chose what they wanted to wear.

“It was nice to see the youth café getting involved and I think it was a bit of an eye-opener for some of the youngsters, seeing what you can get for £5 if you shop with us.”

Free entry and refreshments were offered to those who attended, but donations were taken and there were raffles of new donated items, Christmas gifts and for a two-foot high fluffy teddy named Bruno.

That resulted in a total of £200 raised, which will be added to the general funds of the shop, helping pay running expenses and providing a fund for donations to disaster appeals, which have recently included sums given for victims of the floods in Pakistan and war in Ukraine.

But Liz said of equal importance was the chance to get all generations together for an event which was good fun for all involved.

She said: “After lockdown it was great to get together for a blether. For such a wee population it was an excellent turn-out – more than 10% of Barra’s population was in the hall on Saturday.”

Next on the list for the Thrift Shop is a 50p special next weekend, enabling the volunteer team to clear out a huge stock of donated items, making space for what can be up to 20 bags of clothes, shoes and accessories donated each weekend.

Liz said: “We are really trying to make the shop somewhere that everyone can come in and find something they like. We sell lots of ladies’ and children’s clothes, but we know there are people who still don’t come in to see what we have.

“Sometimes we’re amazed at what is donated – new and nearly new items, clothes that have only been worn once, if at all.

“The people of Barra are fantastically generous and we really want to thank them for the donations and for their support. We would have nothing if not for them.

“But we’re also looking for new volunteers and for new, regular customers. Come and see what we have – you may be surprised.

“And if funds are tight, we might have the winter coat, boots or sweater that you need, in good condition and at a really good price.”

The pictures show some of the young models in their chosen outfits, and on the catwalk under the Barra bunting (Anna Maclean)