Neil Williams

One thing from Maltpress Trading

Oh hi. I’m buying one thing from every shop on the Crystal Palace triangle and writing about them here for the joy of it. This is the first thing from the first shop. It’s suitably festive 🎄

The shop

Maltpress Trading.

A curiosity shop so curious it doesn’t (yet) have signage over the door, since opening in June.

But this is no johnny-come-lately to the triangle. Its owner Sally Battley (née Maltpress) previously occupied a smaller space in Haynes Lane, (Maltpress) trading under the same name (Maltpress Trading).

But now she’s moved into this bigger, higher-footfall space that was once Piast (a Polish deli), and briefly SE19 Boutique.

The owner

Here is Sally, behind the till, looking all hygge and festive. Are you feeling Christmassy yet? 

Inside of a shop. A christmas tree is in the foreground. Many curiosisites and vintage items are shown. In the background, a shop owner is behind her till, busy with something, wearing a woolly hat and scarf

Sally loves old, beautiful things. This much is obvious but it’s also how she describes herself on Etsy.

Look, this is her typewriter. (And tea).

A beautiful old grey metal typewriter on a cluttered till. There is a cup of tea by it.

She uses it to make lovely little price tags like these.

I asked her about the ink ribbons. You can’t buy any that fit this old machine but you can re-spool others onto this typewriter’s cartridge. (Is it a cartridge? Maybe that’s modern printer lingo). It’s a messy job requiring patience she says she doesn’t have – so a family member does it for her.

She had her white van stolen recently, losing lovingly-chosen stock, which sucks big ones. 

The many things

The shop is a treasure trove of curated randomness. So many curios caught my eye! Here are just a few. 

These happy spoons made me happy.

A silver tankard full of about a dozen wooden spoons, that have holes in them in the shape of happy smiling faces. A sign behind reads ANTIQUES.

I like how this duck is looking at the freaky dismembered doll bits in her basket-body, as if to say what the actual quack, get the duck out of me. 

More duck-based horror with this taxidermy ducklingarium. 

I also liked this iconic fellow, and this bouquet of bone-handle butter knives.

Years ago I had some similar secondhand butter knives, picked up somewhere pre-marriage and merged into our young couple’s cutlery selection, which my (now) wife took to calling “jumble knives”. It sounded like a great name for a crap vengeful horror villain with knives for hands – like if Freddy Krueger had a bric-a-brac backstory. So I parcel-taped them to my hand and made this. 

TV antiques presenter David Dickinson holding up splayed £20 notes and girnning. His other hand has been photoshopped and replaced with a hand that has 5 butterknives taped to it with brown tape. It is reminiscent of Freddy Krueger holding up his glove of knives in front of his face.
JUMBLEKNIVES. Tagline: Butter wouldn’t melt.

I could spend ages in here looking at everything. 

I’m not sure if I ever bought anything from Sally before. I think I haven’t. Soon fix that. 

The one thing 

I bought this nutcracker. Sweet! 

And Christmassy, as promised. 

I (Maltpress) traded it for £12.

It was the first thing I spotted when I walked in. (The second thing being a similar nutcracker right next to it, but I preferred this one for its square shape and nice grain. I don’t know what wood it is – do write in, wood nerds). 

It caught my eye instantly for nostalgia reasons and practical reasons. My mum always had nuts in the shell on the go at Christmas – and in my later childhood, we had one of these. It was fun to put the screws on those hard nuts to crack, and chuck their defeated shells in the farmhouse fire. 

I’ve carried on the nutty tradition and passed it down – my younger son is as keen on it as I am. We go nuts together on the mixed nuts, and chuck our empty shells at the nearest radiator. (Not really. Mine go in the food bin, he mostly leaves them all over the worktop and floor).  

The thing in its new home

A wooden nutcracker screw on top of some mixed nuts, in a cheap white Ikea bowl

Here it is, nestling happily on my nuts. And my son’s nuts. I am not above obvious smut, even about children.

Uh-oh, looks like I need a nice wooden bowl now, doesn’t it? Damn you, Diderot effect

Maltpress Trading is at 3, Hollybush Terrace, Westow Street, London SE19 3SD.

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3 Comments

  1. What a great write up! I shied away from this shop as didn’t realise it was Sally’s effort, but knowing her from the market I will definitely pop by. Thank you for opening this up for me!

  2. Bless you…..
    I haven’t done my signage as I’m terrible at making decisions but also get terribly overwhelmed so I’m just puttering along one thing at a time. It’s due for January!
    My maiden name was Maltpress and I’m one of 3 girls do I felt like preserving the name.
    Thanks for the write up 🤗

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