The Ethnic Emporium sells all things bizzare. Every town usualy has at least one of these shops, but this one did seem extra special. It has been in the local news recently about a 260 million year old fossil on sale there. It contains alot of Pagan, Hindu and Bhuddist trinkets and books, so will appeal to the spiritualist in you, and has a huge selection of incense sticks. The shop also has a large collection of replica swords, including many from Hollywood films, including Lord of the Rings. However, what really took my eye, hanging in the shop window, was a replica of an old English Brown Bess flint lock musket going for, as i remember, around £250.
What to buy: You will be able to find something here to tickle your fancy, no doubt. Whether its an Aztec Medallion necklace from Pirates of the Caribean or a Bhuddist Prayer Wheel, a cd with the sound of crashing waves or a selection of samurai swords.
What to pay: As with all shops of this nature things can be a bit pricey, so come with money, or be prepared to go away empty hande.
In 1898, Mrs Santus wasmaking sweets in her kitchen at home using pure cane sugar, oil of peppermint and cream of tartar. Now, 110 years later, Wm Santus and Co, the name of a factory in Wigan, Lancashire, still make 'Uncle Joe's Mint Balls' to the exact same method and recipie.
A national institution, Uncle Joe's Mint Balls are traditionaly found in cans, bearing the image of the company's mascot, Uncle Joe.
Now, however, the company does not just produce Min Balls, but all kinds of sweets. At Uncle Joe's Emporium, you can find absaloutly any sweet you could ever wish for!
Comedian Mike Harding wrote a song about the sweets on his 1975 album 'Mrs 'Ardins Kid'.
What to buy: My favourites would have to be the Chocolate Lime's, but you can't go in without coming out with a can of Uncle Joe's Mint Balls.
Other hits in the shop have to by the different varieties of sherbet, and 'Black and White' mints. However, they also sell Uncle Joe's merchandise such as T-Shirts, cuddly toy bears, miniature vans, badges, ties...anything you could think of!
What to pay: To buy sweets loose, you can expect to pay on average 60p for 1/4lb, but prices vary, and a 200g tin of Mint Balls will set you back about £5.
Merchandise wise, T-Shirts are £9 for medium or large, £10 for XL or XXL, sew-on badges are about £2.50, and the 'Sweet Story' book is £3.50, which is a must for your first visit.