‘I’ve run my family junk shop since I was 15. We sell everything from yak skin masks to granny pants’

When you think of Greenwich your mind is instantly drawn to the beautiful park with it’s incredible views, the Cutty Sark or even the market with its amazing food, jewellery and artwork. But there’s another haunt a little off the tourist trail that could well be worth a visit.

For the wistful, the weird and the wonderful look no further than Greenwich’s family junk shop: The Junk Shop & Spreadeagle Antiques. From a dinosaur footprint to décor from Jools Hollands’ own studio, the family run shop is a treasure trove of the strange and mysterious – and it’s been looked after by four generations.

From the outside, the shop seems out of place in the residential suburbs of Greenwich. Partially obscured from the eye and right alongside a coffee shop, it would be easy to miss.

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Partially obscured, the shop could easily be missed by the casual passer-by

Its current owner, 56-year-old Tobias Moy, sits behind piles upon piles of ‘junk’, which are so close together it was an effort to walk through with my backpack without breaking anything! Upon entry piles of objects from books to bikes immediately surround you, making it hard to know where to look.

Moy is normally at the back of the shop in the tearoom, but is happy to help anyone who pokes their head in on the way by.

The shop is a world of intrigue from the moment you walk through the door

The shop is a world of intrigue from the moment you walk through the door

Moy told MyLondon the shop had been standing since 1967 when his parents, along with his grandmother, set it up, he said: “We were one of the first antique shops in Greenwich and now most of them have gone, it’s just eBay and all of that. But we’re still hanging on.”

He now runs the shop with help from his son and step-son, but is clearly concerned about rising business rates and the shop’s future: “Recently my business rates have gone up to almost £1,000, so that’s going to make us struggle. We’ll have to see how we get on.”

A collection of Barbie dolls is by far the most interesting item in store for visitors

A collection of Barbie dolls is by far the most interesting item in store for visitors

The main source of the maze of items is house clearances – Moy clears people’s houses and keeps whatever is of interest, sending rubbish to the tip. He also buys from other sources such as rubbish clearers.

He said: “I left school when I was 15. I was the one in the family out of my brothers and sisters that really really wanted to carry it [the shop] on. I’ve done it since I was literally 15 years old.”

Moy has a café at the back of the shop and cooks food for any visitors who want it. This is his display area, filled with objects that are too precious or, in some cases, just too weird to sell.

This dinosaur footprint is not for sale, but makes a good talking point for visitors to the shop

This dinosaur footprint is not for sale, but makes a good talking point for visitors to the shop

One of his most prized possessions is a real-life dinosaur footprint. The indentations of the dinosaur’s three toes can just be made out in the stone and Moy keeps it protected from prying fingers behind a pane of glass.

It’s not just Jurassic history which Moy keeps – he also collects and makes items of taxidermy, including owning two cats and a fish which he bought himself from Deptford Market, cooked and then preserved. Cassettes, records and newspapers dating to the 1960s also keep him company.

Moy bought and cooked this fish himself before turning it into an item of taxidermy

Moy bought and cooked this fish himself before turning it into an item of taxidermy

Perhaps the most strange item MyLondon saw when visiting the shop was what Moy described as a “death mask”.

This mask from Nepal is also not for sale. Moy said: “It’s yak skin which would have been stretched over the corpse’s face to dry. It’s probably about 150 years old.”

The totem-style poles were thrown out during a refurbishment

The totem-style poles were thrown out during a refurbishment

It’s not just bizarre artefacts which Moy welcomes into his shop – celebrities are invited too. The shop once hosted an episode of Celebrity Antiques Road Trip with Ainsley Harriott and Anne Diamond, which Moy described as “quite funny”.

It’s also been used to film television adverts. Moy has also been involved in filming himself, appearing as an expert in four episodes of the BBC’s Bargain Hunt shortly after it began.

The lower level of his shop is crammed with bottles, jewellery and vintage clothes and music – in fact it would probably be easier to say what isn’t for sale. Hidden in plain sight, too, are two pillars which were once part of Jools Holland’s studio.

Moy told MyLondon the totem-style poles were got rid of when Holland’s studio was refurbished. Holland gave them to his manager before they came to find a new home in Greenwich’s very own Junk Store.

It should be noted the shop may provide some cheap giggles or awkward questions for parents of very young children – most notably through the large “granny pants” hanging on the inside door.

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The store also has rave reviews online. One visitor wrote: “A wonderful collection of miscellaniety. I had a wonderful time, although he didn’t allow me to purchase his backbone. The porcelain dolls heads are of particular interest.”

Another said: “This shop is a really hidden gem! On my many visits to this shop I’ve picked up two antique chest of drawers, one of which was partly made of from a 1900s tea chest! I’ve also picked up a few biscuit tins and a model ship.

“Visit this shop as soon as you can, it will greatly improve your life.”

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