PASS IT ON was 25 YEARS OLD on 18th OCTOBER 2001
Pass It On was formerly owned by Fishers Garage. Following the recent sale of Fishers Garage, the business was transferred to Ray and Mags Fisher.
The shop was stocked by an enthusiastic group of friends struggling to fill the shop premises at 15 Bishopric, Horsham ready for the exciting opening day on 18th October 1976. The staff raided their wardrobes and those of their friends for secondhand clothing and persuaded relatives to sort through their cupboards for old unwanted knick-knacks, and several staff also visited the local jumble sales. That first day was a huge success and the public flocked to search for bargains and to offer their unwanted items for sale. They were off to a good start.
Their initial premises were rented from King and Barnes, the local brewery. For the next fifteen years the team of friendly staff worked through thousands of goods, selling them on commission for the public. When in 1991 King and Barnes decided to redevelop part of their site and restore the old house to its original appearance, they had to move on.
Their next home was 53 East Street, part of the interesting old red brick building on the corner of Barttelot Road, opposite the former Brewers site. These were larger premises and there was room for expansion into the furniture market, so gradually larger items were accepted for sale.
In 1995 they were forced to move again. After the initial fear or being homeless, Mags and Ray were delighted to find vacant premises at 30 East Street, nearer to the town centre. For many years this had been the home of a photographic shop. With the increasing demand for old and modern secondhand furniture, the clothes department was discontinued and the furniture section expanded. Mags says "I believe the general public has a greater appreciation of secondhand and antique articles than it did when we started. Recent television programmes and car boot sales have heightened everyone's awareness of yesterday's treasures. Also thousands of ceramic figures are these days made by well known factories, often as limited editions and this has created a new generation of collectors and collectibles!"
Each day involves unpacking, displaying, pricing and selling the stock - then paying out when items are sold and collecting and delivering the larger items. A sense of humour and a lot of stamina are essential requirements and Mags and Ray are indebted to the staff for their support and hard work as they meet the challenges of this unusual job.
Many funny things have taken place from time to time. One springs to mind: a customer saw a distinctive ornament in the window. With great excitement he bought it to match an existing one belonging to his landlady, only to find that she disliked her original so much that she had brought it in to be sold. This was the one the gentleman then purchased! One customer pops in once a year when her peacocks have their annual moult - and we are asked to sell a quantity of peacock feathers.
It is rewarding to "discover" valuable items not recognized by the owner. One exciting moment was when a family were sorting their late father's house and Pass it On was asked to clear some items. An old broken Staffordshire figure, thought to be worth maybe £25 sold at £2,500 after Mags had carried out some research.
Over the years they have handled almost every article to be found in a home or garden. The general policy is - if there is a market for it and it goes through the door - they will try and sell it for you. Mags says "We love the variety of goods offered for sale as this makes Pass It On a fascinating place for customers to enjoy a quiet browse. So often a customer will come in looking for a particular item such as a jigsaw, and end up buying a chest of drawers or something similar!
It is very exciting to reach our 25th birthday. We are now Horsham's oldest secondhand emporium and even have our own web site www.passiton.org.uk." Mags would like to thank all the loyal customers who use the shop and have helped them to reach this special birthday - hoping that they can continue to pass it on for many years to come.