Removals Fairies Strike at former SPCK Bookshop, Chester

Phil Groom writes:

We all know about the tooth fairies: you leave your tooth under the pillow, fall asleep, and in the morning your tooth’s gone and there’s sixpence (OK, showing my age…) in its place. In Chester, they have removals fairies, and they’ve paid a visit to the former SPCK bookshop:

Former SPCK Bookshop, Chester: Empty Card Racks Former SPCK Bookshop, Chester: Empty Shelves Former SPCK Bookshop, Chester: More Empty Shelves
Empty shelves in the former SPCK Bookshop, Chester
(Photos taken Thursday January 21st, 2010)

We don’t know exactly when the fairies visited, where they’ve taken the stock or who’s got the sixpence: presumably the Interim Manager, and hopefully he’ll be using it to pay off some of the creditors. Never has the phrase “watch this space” felt more poignant…

I also have it on reliable authority that Wesley Owen Chester is scheduled to close its doors for the last time today, leaving Chester without a Christian bookshop. If you’re the praying kind, please remember Ian Vollands and the rest of the staff team in your prayers.

But perhaps the situation is not as bleak as it might seem? Chester is home to eden.co.uk, the UK’s (and probably Europe’s) biggest online Christian retailer, and they’re involved in discussions with friends and church leaders about the future of Christian retail in the city. If you live in the area and would like to take part in those discussions, you can request membership of the Chester Christian Bookshop facebook discussion group.

Responding to concerns that Eden might be branching out into bricks & mortar retailing, Gareth Mulholland, Head Honcho at Eden, said:

There are lots of creative ideas being floated around. They generally involve collaboration, community and shared ownership – none of them involve Eden.co.uk setting up its own bookshop.

Kudos to Gareth and Eden for taking this initiative.

Thanks as always to our intrepid photographer for the pics.

Disclosure notice: the link to eden.co.uk featured in this post is an affiliate link. If you use it and then proceed to make a purchase, eden will pay a small commission to the UK Christian Bookshops Directory. Thank you.
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30 responses to “Removals Fairies Strike at former SPCK Bookshop, Chester

  1. Pingback: Wesley Owen: More closures, but hope for Chester? « UKCBD: The Christian Bookshops Blog

  2. Left scratching my head.

  3. Valiant for Truth

    It will be very interesting to see whether any other shops are emptied. We still don’t know whether any of the premises have been sold, and whether any creditors have had replies to their claims in response to the “Bookseller” advertisement. So may unanwered questions, at a time when the premises could usefully be offered at reduced rent to potential Christian booksellers trying to plug the gaps left by the demise of both SPCK and Wesley Owen shop closures.

  4. Does anyone know what’s happening to the other shops? It would be interesting to know if any other properties owned by the Brewers/ SPCK have been emptied – or is the Chester shop a ” one off”?

  5. I understand that the fairies have struck in Canterbury…… and may be fluttering to another couple of shops ….

  6. I understand that the fairies were working in the dark emptying the York shop tonight….

  7. Hah?

  8. Valiant for Truth

    Curiouser and curiouser as to who is removing the stock and where it’s going?

  9. Obviously they`re putting a girdle round the earth in 90 mins.
    Either they`re using the stock as flight fuel, or Oberon has them doing Theology O levels.
    Fairy funny.

  10. Is anyone else thinking, because of Mousey’s comment, of connections between Brewers and asses?

  11. They`re certainly a midwinter`s day`s nightmare. The asses heads could be an improvement.

  12. Valiant for Truth

    Removals fairies are tonight in Newcastle. As the lock on the shop door there was changed by the Interim Managers, they must have waved the magic wand to let the removals fairies in.

  13. Salisbury stock being boxed up for removal

  14. Last I heard, Gotham was going to offer stock back to suppliers and pulp the rest. Maybe that is what is happening. I tried contacting the CC but I get a “message out” reply. Maybe some more of us should seek an official explanation.

  15. Wasn’t it Gotham City where Superman operated?

  16. No – Superman was in Metropolis. Gotham City was protected by Bat Man. This time though Gotham is facing not one but two jokers.

  17. Some of the emptying may be quite legitimate. At St Olav Christian Bookshop Chichester we bought the existing stock of several southern former SPCK/SSG shops from the administrator. It helped us get a good start before Christmas, and in the quieter period of January we filled our shelves and have kept turnover going.

    We continue to be encouraged by the response to the new shop in Chichester and have had a good number of people returning with regular orders.

  18. I checked Winchester yesterday, and the removal fairies haven’t yet visited. There is a commercial estate agent’s board advertising ‘Vacant Freehold’ for sale.

  19. Valiant for Truth

    “Removal fairies” have moved the trading of the Pilgrim’s Progress Shop in Hereford from the premises owned by SPCK to larger premises, and it is to be hoped that the franchise deal the shop had with the Brewers is terminated so that they can succeed in freedom.

  20. I visited York yesterday and it looks desolate and abandoned. It is just a shame the faires do not know how to tidy up after themslewves. I did not have the heart to take a picture of what was once a fine shop. I think the Bradford shop has been emptied but cannot really see through the small chink in the window blind. There appears to be a mess all over the floor that was not there when I left it.

  21. I saw Newcastle a few days ago. A shame that the fairies did not tidy that up either.

  22. Valiant for Truth

    Wasn’t the York shop up for sale? Any sign of it having been sold?

  23. I checked Winchester yesterday. The removal fairies have been in at some point since I last visited. The (prime site) property has been “acquired for refurbishment” according to the sign in the window.

  24. Hopefullly it will be refurbished as a bookshop?

  25. Pingback: 2010: SPCK/SSG Blog Overview | SPCK/SSG: News, Notes & Info

  26. Pingback: The sad and empty shell of the former SPCK Christian Bookshop, Chester | SPCK/SSG: News, Notes & Info

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