A weird and wonderful “curiosity emporium” is opening its doors in Leighton Buzzard, as shoppers can browse for unusual hand-picked items.
The Raven and Broomstick is the latest arrival to Leighton’s thriving Peacock Mews, offering eagle-eyed customers everything from tarot cards and ouija boards to gothic clothing and religious items.
The shop is celebrating its grand opening today and residents can explore the quirky new addition to the town.
Lilly, 48, shopkeeper of The Raven and Broomstick, said: “I moved to Leighton Buzzard eight years ago and I love the town – especially Peacock Mews.
“The community here is so friendly and I have heard a lot of people refer to it as Diagon Alley!
“This is my first business and it is something I have always wanted to do.
“I have hand picked all the items and I am most looking forward to meeting people and sharing knowledge about the pieces I have for sale.”
Greeting customers is Zelda, a witch made by a good friend of Lilly’s. The puppet sits in the front window and has red eyes and crooked teeth!
You can also, of course, find a taxidermy raven inside, as well as a broomstick (both of which are not for sale), while there are also popular collectable items called memento mori, such as broaches, necklaces, and rings, used by families as memories of loved ones after they had died, popular in the Victorian era.
Lilly said: “I’ve collected memento mori since I was a child and so did my mum.
“My favourite hobby is looking round vintage fairs, boot sales and thrift shops to find antique pieces.
“We sell items from all cultures and faiths from Egyptian and Buddhist items to Christian and Pagan pieces.
“I’ve now achieved two of my goals - opening a shop and driving a hearse - the next is owning a real life raven!”