Heygates Bookshop opened the door to its new railway station venue on Saturday (July 10). The secondhand bookshop was supposed to open on May 31 but experienced a considerable delay thanks to issues transferring its phone and broadband lines.
Regardless, owner Jason Passingham hopes customers resonate with the shop’s improved look and increased scope as they browse the wheelchair-accessible shelves.
“It’s a very big transformation and I’m happy to be open. We’re doing a soft opening and then once restrictions are lifted and things are easier, we’re going to have a proper opening,” he said.
That ‘transformation’ has manifested in a number of different ways.
Alongside the already vast assortment of secondhand books, the shop also stocks a selection of new books at reduced prices, alongside a variety of appropriately literary gifts.
The shop’s decor has changed, too. With oversized props and banners from popular books like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones hanging from the walls, Heygates presents itself as a gateway to any number of magical new worlds.
“I was worried a lot of people- because we’ve been closed for so long through no fault of our own- would sort of forget. But no it seems pretty good,” Mr Passingham said.
“Since we took all the vinyl off the windows and people can see in, you can see them walking past and stopping to go ‘ooh, what’s that?’ It’s been boarded up and covered for the last ten years and now all of a sudden there’s something in there.”