The Final Curtain? All shops except Durham and Chichester reported closed

Phil Groom writes:

Comments left during the last 24 hours indicate that all former SPCK shops except for Durham and Chichester have now been closed down.

As Bugs Bunny would say, “That’s all, folks!”

Watch this space…

47 responses to “The Final Curtain? All shops except Durham and Chichester reported closed

  1. D-Day thoughts on the few who have done a lot for the many:
    They did not flag or fail . . .they fought SSG on the blogosphere; they faught them on the shop-floor; they faught them through petitions, through cartoons and poetry; they faught them taking photos or appearing on You tube.
    They have not surrendered and know who they are. Thanks to them for the blood, toil, tears and sweat.

  2. Passed by Salisbury today … someone has folded over the A4 paper advertising the opening times and simply written sorry.

    A bit flipping late bozzos!

  3. noseyneighbour

    you cant honestly beleive that that was put there by the brewers

  4. Keep an eye on the back doors. If it isn’t the CC who’ve closed them down, then we need to watch where the stock ends up.

  5. Phelim McIntyre

    Am looking at organising an ex-staff and campaigners get together/party in the hopefully foreseeable future. Though we must be on our guard that this is not another attempt at slight of hand tactic by the Brewers Grim

  6. There is such a thing as complicity – the staff who really cared for SPCK are those that were well and truly stuffed by the B******.

  7. Phelim McIntyre

    I agree RevEv – as one of the people driven out by the Brothers Grim and someone owed money (holiday pay) it has been painful to see what these people have done. The party will not be one of “Celebration” but mourning the passing of the second oldest chain of book shops, and the loss of livelihoods and of at least one life, as well as one of relief that so much of the battle is over and justice is being done.

  8. However, Rev Ev, to use some 2nd World War terms again, there are some who were not complicit Quislings, but long-term resistence fighters – and Phil Groom knows who they are.
    Over-generalisation is unfair to them.

  9. By the sound of it Chichester may be the only surviving venue, we’d better crack on before they pull the plug on it.

  10. Well, it’s better than cracking off isn’t it? (did I say that?)

  11. Thankyou Exra, for those kind words.

  12. Phelim McIntyre

    EXRA, I agree that we need to recognise two types of staff – those who gave in and those who fought (both those who left and stayed as resistance). Their efforts must be remembered, but during war the Secret Service do not get medals.

  13. Like you, I`m one who got out – but I believe in honouring my friends who are still there, as I know something of what they have been through.

  14. Also, Churchill`s 4th June speech before the D-day landings was at the darkest hour and not part of victory celebrations – but meant as encouragement to all who were taking part in the tough times ahead.

  15. How sad, I was in the Salisbury shop on 31st May. I don’t live in S’bury anymore but worked at SPCK for a year when I left school.
    The lady who was running the shop had no idea of what was to come when I went in.

    I was looking for all kids of books as I know the shop well but was told anything on other faiths, LGBT theology and Taize music. The first two ‘weren’t Christian’ and had been thrown away and the latter wasn’t there because ‘they don’t order any new stock’ instead they were asked by SSTG to just order it on Amazon!

    Was very sad, in the year I worked there the shop was busy, SPCK were doing well, just having put on a tour with J John if I remember rightly.

    What will happen to the Salisbury shop, if I was there I would try acquire it! Can someone save this important shop?

  16. the worcester shop has reopened as of 6/6/09

    • Still with ‘Black Bond’ running it?

      Whoever you are “….” please don’t be shy about using a real email address next time: we won’t spam you and we won’t supply your details to any third party unless required by law. Using a real email address allows you to subscribe to comments too.

  17. Thinking of you, Steve, family and friends
    You are not forgotten x

  18. Any more news from anywhere?

  19. At this week’s Christian Media Conference at High Leigh several ex-SPCK managers who have retained jobs in the trade in various guises were able to get together, to toast absent friends and to catch up on news of others. The sense of bereavement and anger is still palpable, the results of the tribunals and the offer made still to be sorted out and the end of this sorry story still to be reached. However, those still in the trade are working to keep the spirit of the SPCK shops alive through their new roles.

  20. This isn’t over yet. Those Brewers have closed shops before. My bet is that they will try using another agency and re-open the shops that way. Of course they could use some contacts to keep shops open as seems to be the case in Worcester.

  21. Rev Ev, the staff who cared about the SPCK were screwed by the SPCK and then stuffed by the Brewers.

  22. Winchester is definitely closed, with a pile of post behind the door.

  23. ezlxq thanks for keeping an eye on Winchester. If there is a next time – get yourself locked in again.

  24. ASBO – agreed.

    Still makes me angry as SPCK had a strong high street presence that has now been lost through the total ineptitude of SPCK and the greed of the B******. The key sites that now stand empty were a shop window between the Christian Community and Society in general that we, as Christians, have now lost.

    In my opinion SPCK have failed in fulfilling their core mission statement by allowing the Christian community to lose this presence.

  25. York was open yesterday, badged as ‘Third Space Books’.

  26. I told you guys these Brewers are tricky. Bugs Bunny might have said, “that’s all folks”. I remember Porky Pig saying the same. Thanks for the news brainduck. The Brewers are floating rubber ducks up shitcreek.

  27. Please no ASBO for the last word. I can’t find a nice way to say it.

  28. Thankyou brainduck for that information,about York looks like the Brewers are brewing again.

  29. Truro has shortened the opening hours drastically. Been in there today…made me sad,but manager is doing her best as far as I can see, and it’s still supposed to be independent. They had a notice which said they were spring-cleaning!

  30. Jan that Truro shop would be OK if the owner did not have to pay rent to the Brewers. I fell in love with that shop when I saw it.

  31. If any of you suspect that the Brewers are still running shops using SSG premises or stock, or collecting rents from properties owned by SSG, then you need to tell the Interim Manager appointed by the Charity Commissioners who is:-

    EC3V 3BT

  32. Mole Island , you can’t report suspicions. If you see a shop open or speak with someone how can you report that as fact.

  33. Sorry, but the whole point is that the shops are “no-longer” part of SSG, they are under ENC Management. Unless the C/C unpicks this, I can’t really see “that’s all folks”…yet….

  34. Exactly. The only reason the shops are not operating is because the agency wasn’t paid. Otherwise it would have been business as “normal”. SPCK speak up.

  35. anon, why should SPCK speak up .

  36. Justice, the SPCK sold off the family silver , to quote a phrase. The buck stops with them.

  37. Thankyou anon , not only the family silver did they sell off. When will someone at SPCK say sorry for all that has happened .Just like our politicians, stay quite hope it all goes away .

  38. I’ve got this strange tune in my head, something like “there’s a hole in my bucket”.

  39. Phelim McIntyre

    SPCK are speaking, and are being sued for this – hence their silence. SPCK were not the only ones taken in by the Brewers – publshers and even some book staff said that it would be ok. When I was assistant manager at Chichester I read the SSG statement of faith on their US site and sent up warning flairs and some staff in shops around the south told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and no one can be that bad. Some even signed change of contracts when they were advised not to as they were illegal. Those who stood up, acted and spoke out to try and prevent the chaos were often in the minority. I often wonder whether I should name and shame some of those who tried to keep quiet but have decided not too as they are now in the same boat as everyone else concerning lack of justice.

    Because SPCK acted and are acting about the use of the name the Brewers are attempting to sue SPCK and some of the people there for large amounts of money – we are talkign about six figure sums. Please don’t forget this.

    This does not absolve SPCK from acting as much as they can but does mean that we should not get angry when they do not speak out as we would like.

    As to the Charities Commission being aware whether SSG and ENC are the same thing – yes they are and unravelling such knots as the Brewers have attempted to make takes time.

  40. Thanks for the post Phelim. Pity you were in the minority.

  41. Phelim McIntyre

    ASBO, some had concerns but had no concept it was going to be as bad as it is, even I didn’t realise it would be a the nightmare with the Brewers as Jason and Freddie. When they tried to get rid of me (the Christmas after the took over) there were a number of managers who via phone and email stood by me, but there were some who did not. There were even managers who those who supported me woulddn’t talk about me to as they were leaking emails and comments to the Brewers. Before I left and afterwards some of themstarted standing in the gap to try and see justice done – and then got shot at, sacked and banned from the shops. Then some of the people who sneaked got sacked by email as well, so their trying to please the Brewer’s didn’t do much for them. Not all of those who remained silent were pro-Brewer, some were just trying to protect the customer and the shop. They were not high profile in the debate about changes of contract but were not pro-Brewer, they hoped that something would change and they could get on with what they were meant to be doing. They were not yes men, and moved in silent protest.

    But when I had to leave the bookshops they were very supportive of me and the situation. Having had the priviledge of speaking with Simon Kingston at CRE last year I know SPCK are frustrated at having their hands tied by the legal process, but as soon as they can I expect SPCK to talk and then the articles/book will be interesting. I would love to write a book about this so if people want to email me their story they can – and then when the time is right I hope to get the story from SPCK.

  42. Phelim McIntyre

    That post was a long winded way to say that while I was in the minority for speaking up as loud as I did, I was not in the minority of senior staff concerning action.

  43. Phelim I often look back in anger. Right now we need to ensure that the Brewers never darken our doorsteps again.

  44. Pingback: Unravelling the Knots « SPCK/SSG: News, Notes & Info

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