Stories are not just in the books around Hastings and St Leonards

From: Carol A Dennard, Kings Road, St Leonards on Sea

Friday, 28th May 2021, 10:07 am
Albion Books in Hastings. Picture from Google Maps SUS-210528-100524001

From his alluding to the rich local tradition of book trading to the highlighting of current shops in Hastings, I wholeheartedly endorse the views and sentiments expressed by Andrew Hemsley in his editorial on books.

What he did omit was the fact that if you take a stroll along the promenade to Hastings Old Town there you will find Albion Books ( now the longest running bookshop in the area) and Hare and Hawthorn, both gracing George Street and whose proprietors offer their own individual and differing styles in bookselling.

In the opposite direction there is St Leonards where Clive Linklater did rightly reign, relaxed and supremely knowledgeable. As the paper recently reported, St Leonards has now borne the loss of local character John Philips and witnessed van loads of books being cleared from his Scarlet Pimpernel emporium en route to an online supplier. His departure has left one second-hand bookshop remaining. As I happen to be co-owner of that shop there are those who may remark I have a vested interest in alighting on the column.

My point however is that, over and above the physicality of books that Andrew Helmsley touched on, it is the people who frequent the book shops in Hastings and St Leonards who make them the unique places they are, these being the neighbouring towns of the one borough traditionally served by the Observer and to which it bears its title.

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