Second-hand shop attracts bus-loads

A second-hand store is attracting bus-loads of shoppers in rural Canterbury.

Located in the small town of Mayfield, a hundred kilometres southwest of Christchurch, "Overflow" is known as a hidden treasure-trove of pre-loved goods. 

The store is full of riches, set with a wedding dress parlour, crown lynn crockey - even a rare chopper bike.

Now that word's getting out, Overflow is gaining enough attraction to stop traffic. 

Shop owner Jan Howden told Newshub she was surprised at the reception. 

"It started our that this was overflow, but now that's the beginning of Overflow that way, and now it's the Overflow of the Overflow of the Overflow." said Ms Howden. 

The store only opens three days a week, but attracts shoppers coming from far and wide. Ms Howden recalls these memories fondly.  

"I got a phone call from Holland last year, and they were flying to Auckland to here and back up [again]." she said. 

Ms Howden started the business twenty years ago, initially acting as a storage space. It wasn't until people looked through her window and begged her to open that she established the "Overflow" Mayfield knows so well today.

Ms Howden says every item has its own story, and she considers herself more of a historian than a collector for it. 

"The saddest thing I ever bought was a glory box in a sale, and it was a lady's dream," she said. "I found her engagement notice and his notice at the war. While he was away, she'd made the baby clothes and her wedding frock and everything."

While many of the items are dropped off at the shop, most of them are from deceased estates. Ms Howden's daughter-in-law Leanne Howden told Newshub more about the experience.

"It's like opening presents every day, when you get stock in," she said. "It's amazing the stuff that comes through."

Overflow holds almost every trinket and treasure one can imagine. But asked on her favourite, the shop owner gives a earnest answer - the customers.