MYSTERY surrounds the sudden closure of a second-hand shop in Thornbury after its contents vanished overnight.
On Thursday morning last week, all the stores of the High Street opened for business as usual except one - Treasure Island.
Not only was it shut but the shop, ordinarily filled to the rafters with furniture, bikes and a multitude of knick-knacks, had been entirely cleared, to the dismay of the many residents who had deposited the items there to be sold.
Hilary Legg brought her bike to Treasure Island nearly two months ago. She now fears she has been left £150 out of pocket.
She went into town last Thursday to find out whether her bicycle, which she had been told had been reserved, had been sold, only to discover the shop deserted.
Mrs Legg, of Hillcrest, Thornbury, said Treasure Island appeared to have vanished overnight.
"I only noticed it last Thursday," she said. "The shop was absolutely packed with stuff. Where it’s all gone now is anybody’s guess. The bike was worth £150. I can ill afford to lose it."
Business owners around The Plain and on the High Street were none the wiser about the location of the missing ‘treasure’.
Staff at hairdresser's Bryant & co said they did not know anything about the sudden closure.
Florist Jean Owen, owner of T & J Owen’s opposite Treasure Island, said she had noticed the shop was gone on Thursday, but had not seen a removal van or anyone packing up the shop during business hours.
Mrs Owen was also one of Treasure Island’s customers and had a table waiting to be sold at the second-hand shop.
"They have a table of mine," she said. "It was worth a fair amount. The afternoon before it was there. It was only teatime on Thursday that I thought, it’s empty. I’ve not heard anybody say anything."
The Gazette has learnt that the now empty unit has been on the market for a new tenant for the last two months.
It is advertised for £7,500 per annum on commercial property consultancy Hartnell Taylor Cook’s website. However, when asked about the property, the firm said it was not the property's agent anymore.
Voyce Pullin, the unit's estate agent according to the To Let sign above the shop, told the Gazette it was not dealing with the property either.
Over the weekend, a handwritten note was left by the owner, only known as Mark, in the shop window informing customers he was in the process of relocating and apologising for any inconvenience, but with no details of where their items were being stored.