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#155 Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

June 30, 2011

As it says, "Purveyors of Quality Goods for Monsters of Every Kind".

It looks like an innocent, everyday, rather dour sort of shop, doesn’t it? It sits quietly on Hoxton High Street, doing nothing much. Maybe it’s a dry cleaners or one of the duller sorts of stationers, or something selling technical doohickeys – or maybe gewgaws – to experts in something worthy and yawnsome.

Then you see the name: Hoxton Monster Supplies. Open the door, and you’ll find the shelves stacked with items like Human Snot, Fang Floss (of string-like consistency) and tins of Fang Floss and Mortal Terror. Look again, and you might notice that some of the shelves seem to have bites in the them. Really big bites.

All this is in aid of a genius charity aimed at getting kids making up stories of their own. Based on a US idea backed by the writer Dave Eggers, the shop is a front for activity areas where local kids come to make up stories, guided by mentors. At the end of their sessions, they get a printed book with their story in which they get to keep. With illustrations, natch.

The shop is the ultimate expression of straight-faced make-believe. I hope the kids enjoy it – but adults are welcome to pop in, too. And yes, it’s all for sale, for real. Go visit!

www.ministryofstories.org

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