Faking it in Canterbury and Google in a Kerfuffle

Phil Groom writes:

Thank you to Richard Long for bringing us this latest picture from Canterbury, showing the former SPCK/SSG all brightly painted and decked out as ‘Canterbury Christian Bookshop’:

Canterbury Christian Bookshop, 05/07/2009

Canterbury Christian Bookshop, July 2009

Richard writes:

I don’t actually know what the current status of the ‘Canterbury Christian Bookshop’ is, but anyone who has been following the saga of the former SPCK shops will not be surprised to learn that it was shut when we visited on a busy Saturday afternoon. Despite the fresh coat of red paint, hand-written signs on the door told a slightly different story. The shop appears to be open about 4 days a week, and was appealing for both volunteer staff and second-hand books.

Somewhat bizarrely, our dear friends at Google seem to have got themselves into a kerfuffle over who owns or operates or does whatever is being done to this particular shop as well: their search results link it to Canterbury City Council:

Google Search Result for 'Canterbury Christian Bookshop'

Google Search Result for 'Canterbury Christian Bookshop'

Maybe Google are right and there’s actually a religious revival going on in Canterbury — it is the seat of Archdruid Rowan, after all — but I suspect genuine confusion is closer to the truth; and if even Google are getting themselves so kerfuffulated, what chance is there for the rest of us?

The shop has certainly changed since the last photo we had back in February 2008 when Dave Walker posted about it. Dave’s original post isn’t available, of course, since Mr J Mark ‘Bully Boy’ Brewer huffed and puffed in his ultimately futile attempt to blow the evidence away this time last year, but here’s a screenshot from the archives at Cease & Desist:

In Canterbury - Dave Walker, 12 Feb 2008

In Canterbury - Dave Walker, 12 Feb 2008

The question now is who is responsible for this shop? If either Peter Gotham or Fergus Jack should happen to read this, I’d urge you, gentlemen: please get over there now and take control of the premises before there are any further unauthorised auctions, rebranding exercises or asset shuffling. Please don’t let Canterbury go the way of Exeter.

Thank you.

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16 responses to “Faking it in Canterbury and Google in a Kerfuffle

  1. Grrr! Banksy would have done better. As far as I can remember Mark Brewer had to pay rent for this shop – the highest rent in the chain.

  2. Phelim McIntyre

    The building is grade 1 listed so I wonder if the owners had permission to repaint the shop?

  3. Judging by the standard of the imported tat in some of the shops, aesthetics never was the Brewers` forte.

  4. It was some giant poster that was put up at considerable cost. At the time Mark Brewer was complaining about a mannequin dressed in clergy garb in the Birmingham shop. Doesn’t matter, the Brewer Brothers had no art. None at all.

  5. Great Saints! Somebody got rid of the giant poster of St Stephen the Great.

  6. Google has also got the shop in the wrong street. The address given is in St Peter’s Street, and I think this is correct. But the arrow on the map is in nearby St Peter’s Place. Google also has a photo of the shop in its old blue colours and SPCK name.

    But the fault is probably Google’s, not the Brewers’, as the link they give is to a city council Fairtrade Guide, which lists this shop, as “SPCK Bookshop”, as offering Fairtrade
    * Biscuits
    * Chocolate
    * Chocolate hazelnut spread
    * Cocoa
    * Coffee
    * Confectionery
    * Drinking chocolate
    * Honey
    * Muesli
    * Rice
    * Snacks
    * Sugar
    * Tea
    Is this a new market for the (Tea) Brewers?

  7. Valiant for Truth

    I thought that this one was of the shops owned by SPCK, so do they know what is happening? It certainly could go the same way as Exeter unless the Interim Managers step in.

  8. The kind of T the Brewers brew is Trouble.
    Cockney rhyming slang about tea leaves comes to mind.

  9. Valiant for Truth

    As said before, SPCK is a charity, and for over 300 years Christians have given money to SPCK to undertake its mission, which included bookshops and the purchase of buildings in which the shops were located. So are these people to be re-paid by current SPCK officers not caring, or are SPCK working with the Interim Managers to safeguard the inheritance?

  10. Can we have a close-up of those posters on the door? Anything about changing locks?

  11. Thanks Richard Long. Now can you take a closer look at the paperwork on the door. Big favour please.

  12. I did try and visit the shop on a recent trip to Canterbury but I guess it was too much to expect it to be open at 3.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon in June.

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