Used Book Shop celebrates one year trading
The Cotswold Canals Trust Used Book Shop recently celebrated its first anniversary.
What must be the biggest used bookshop in the Stroud area commenced trading on 23rd April 2016.
Fetes, fairs & jumble sales
The operation, led by Alan and Anna Watts, began as a roving operation several years ago with attendances at local fetes, fairs and Boat Jumble Sales.
An ever growing stock of books was stored in a variety of locations, from afloat on private boats to the basement of the Wallbridge Visitor Centre in Stroud.
Transport to and from each sales event was by private car.
Volumes (in both senses) increased. It became a daunting task to load the van, set up the marquee, unload and display the stock at the venue and then reverse the entire procedure at the end of the day and so, a Western Depot Ford Transit van was pressed into service.
Whilst these processes were carried out by a team of willing volunteers it was with great relief that Alan and Anna accepted the offer of a permanent site in the Thames & Severn Building, Unit 1, Brimscombe Port, GL5 2QQ. The Opening Day Volunteers are pictured below.Books, vinyl records, videos, maps, framed pictures and jigsaws are now on permanent display in the Thames & Severn Building.
Spreading the word
The operation was initially advertised by word of mouth. News of the book shop spread quickly making it necessary to indicate its location in the area using professionally produced signage and ‘A’ boards.
The customer base increased following an on-site interview broadcast on Radio Gloucestershire.
This was followed by an article and advertisement in the Stroud News and Journal.
Articles and advertising in the Trust’s quarterly magazine together with latest news items and a dedicated page on the Trust’s website have boosted the profile even further.
Vinyl records make a comeback
The growing stock of vinyl records is a particularly profitable line. A large collection was donated by another charity. Anna Watts explains… “We are grateful to a couple of Bookshop Volunteers who apply their knowledge of the record trade. They sort, classify and value the collectable items.
“This same system has been applied by volunteers with good knowledge of rare and collectable books. The result is that the more valuable books and records have sold very well on EBay.”
Anna expresses thanks to Stroud Valleys Canal Company… “We are grateful for the generosity of SVCC in allowing us rent free use of Unit 1 at Brimscombe Port. This means that all takings are donated towards the restoration of the Cotswold Canals.”
Opening Days & Hours
The premises are open to receive and sell donations between 10am and 4pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Book shop back on the road
The Used Books Team Volunteers are still to be seen at outside events.
They will be in action at the Stroud Raft & Duck Race on Sunday 27th August, 2017 at Wallbridge. The team will attend the Slice Through Time event at Saul Junction on the 20th and 21st May.
Perhaps the biggest event the book shop will be seen at this year will be the Tall Ships Festival at Gloucester Docks, Sat 27th — Mon 29th May 2017.