The last time I visited Jurby Junk I stepped on to a live chicken and nearly shat myself.
I was minding my own business browsing the array of tatt headed for the big bin of buttons, and being a tall man, and a man not used to side stepping poultry in shops, I clumsily lolloped forward, kicking the bird as I went. As you could well imagine the chicken made a massive deal out of it and I bolted off in the other direction concerned of an impending panic attack. When back in my car, with the dust and feathers settled, I thought to myself, if anyone is to blame here it’s me for not anticipating that there could be a small-feathered beast browsing Stella’s wares.
For those who haven’t visited the jewel in Jurby’s crown before, it’s a bit like the type of shop that you might find down Diagon Alley – or if you’re too cool for a Harry Potter reference, think of it as a Las Vegas for Bric-a-Brac nerds.
Jurby Junk comprises of two large units housed within a gleaming corrugated iron beast of a building. One of the units deals with the ‘junk’ the other sells second hand books and props from the locally produced blockbuster smash hit fil-ums. Stepping foot into the junk side of the building, is akin to stepping through some kind of mystical portal where anything is now possible. The heady intoxicating aroma of cat does something to your brain and before you know it you’re doing crazy things, like paying £25 for a bejewelled walking stick (I did once) or not questioning the fact that cd’s that came free with Smash Hits magazine ten years ago are now being resold for £4.
But that’s me being a cynical bell€nd; you really need to doff your cap to the ringmaster of all the mayhem, Stella Pixton. The daughter of one of the early leading lights in British aviation, Stella opened up the first incarnation of Jurby Junk forty years ago and over the years established it as one of the North’s biggest tourist attractions.
It’s bad news for the flat parish also; asides from Jurby Junk, the only reason to head there now will be for a zany day of team building on the go karts or if you’ve been a bad bastard and need locking up. (To be fair the new café and car museum are both very good).
Now, I invite you to put on some haunting pan pipe music, close your eyes, and reflect on some of the best things to come out of Jurby Junk over the past four decades….
- Stella’s many leather outfits
- The clapped out Jaguar parked out front that once belonged to Coronation Street’s Mike Baldwin
- Stella’s book of poetry
- The several thousand buttons and badges
- The extensive collection of second hand erotic fiction
- The handy car park where most learner drivers learnt to reverse park
- The cats…the many, many cats.
Right, compose yourselves, dry your eyes, it’s not what Stella would want. Presumably she wanted you to come and support the business when it was open, then she wouldn’t be closing up, nice one, hope you all feel happy with yourselves.
Silliness aside, it’s another thing gone that makes the Isle of Man a truly batsh!t place to live, and for me, that’s sad.