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Les Collectables is a brass collectables, antiques shop specialising in brass hardware, particularly old brass hardware.
Originally started by Les Benson back in the late 1980's when he decided to start trading on Green Point Fleamarket to supplement his monthly income. He was assisted by his daughter, Jacqui. It didn't take long for the entrepreneurial bug to bite with Jacqui who quickly started her own business, beginning to sell sweets in front of dad's van and then expanding to her own site selling bric-a-brac and a range of intriguing items (Millionaire's Confetti and Rattlesnake Eggs were particular favourites).
Les in the mean time was doing so well that he gave up his job and started trading in brass full-time. A workshop got created at home for repairs, restoration and cleaning to which many customers were invited to spend an evening and come and work on their own items at no cost. Les' stall was a landmark at Green Point with his truck and familiar Welsh flag flying from it.
Demand for his products grew, as did the stock and a shop was opened at 4 Gabriel Road (on opposite end of the street block as the current shop). The shop was cosy, with it's little weights room, table in the middle for all the new items of interest and the urn boiling away for coffee in the winter months. Not to be forgotten was the pillory on the front stoep.
As the business became more well-known bigger premises were required and suitable premises were found on the Main Road. With the move to 91 Main Road, trading at Green Point fleamarket for Les Collectables ceased. Instead it was decided to rather open shop on Sundays, when customers could not only come browse at leisure but certainly find Les there, and invariably there were lengthy discussions on everything from providence on items, to general queries on how to resolve restoration problems. The trademark pillory of course made the move as well.
Many years later, the business well and truly established and despite some setbacks for Les with his health, he decided to go into 'semi-retirement' (retirement still a foreign word for him). A 3 month closing down sale was held, after the standard hardware stock was scrapped and the collectables moved to the garage at home. Les Collectables went into semi-retirement in April 2006, much to the chagrin of many of the loyal customers. Les however didn't stop completely - he continued buying and selling collectables and began doing repairs for other dealers and the public (which he continues to do now).
3 months later (July 2006) a new shop was born, this time a 2nd-hand furniture store called Removex Householders, opening up at 18 Gabriel Road, Plumstead. The shop was the expansion of the deceased estates and household buying of Jacqui Benson & Libby Mokgoro. After 3 years in the furniture business and seeing many of the original Les Collectables customers walking through our doors still looking for their brass hardware, it was decided to return the business to its roots. August 18, 2008 saw Removex Householders begin trading as Les Collectables.
1 year later and the brass is definitely back. Along with a small variety of furniture, brass hardware and collectables are definitely en vogue at 18 Gabriel Road. Although there is no pillory to act as a landmark customers will be sure to find much the same as at the old shop, although on Sundays there is a generally a younger (and more prettier) Benson there to welcome customers.
Les' knowledge and assistance is not lost and he is regularly consulted by customers, who are still welcome to make use of this workshop under his beady eye.
ADDENDUM: Things have now come full circle and as of 1st December 2009, Les Collectables will again be located at 91 Main Road, Plumstead. We look forward to welcoming back all our old clients and welcoming newcomers to enjoy browsing our shop.
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