Saturday, 20 April 2013

Independent Record Store Day!

The Muso-Psychogegraphical Wanderings of a Retrospective Sojourn

Today, Saturday April 20th, is Independent Record Store Day! Co-incidentally, on a recent trip to my hometown of King's Lynn, Norfolk, I decided to search for the sites of the old record shops of my childhood. I knew they had gone, but I thought I would photograph what was there in their place.

There was a record shop in this area of Tower Street (above). I couldn't remember the name of it, but when I checked online there was a Bayes Recordium there at one time, so I think that must have been where I bought my first single: Hawkwind's Silver Machine.

However, I do remember when Bayes Recordium moved to Broad Street into a much larger store. I think at the location that is now Bet Fred (under the flyover), but I may be wrong, although it was definitely near there somewhere.

On the website British Record Shop Archive it says about Bayes Recordium:
Bayes Recordium started above Bayes TV in St James Street in1957. We moved to Tower Street in 1963 to our own shop. Above this shop we had a recording studio where almost all local (and not so local) groups recorded. We had records made which were sold in the shop and buy the groups. In 1973 we moved to Broad Street (when the iconic orange/black bags first appeared). We sold the business in 1997 having been going for 40 years.

What I did discover on my psychogeographical musical wandering around King's Lynn was a current independent record store in St James' Street (see below). Since I was hanging around the outside taking photos, and drawing attention to myself due to my general snooping, I thought I'd better go inside. So I had a look around and then chatted to the owner about independent record shops in general, and about those that had been in King's Lynn in my child/teenagehood.

The current clientèle looked middle-aged (50+) and were all men - probably those original music-boffins of the 60s-70s. Maybe at the weekend some young people might frequent it, and more women, although maybe not...Anyway, I felt bad about taking his time and then thought I should buy something, so I bought Reparata's Shoes on 45, even though I have nothing to play it on!

As for the independent record shops in Leeds, I have to confess I haven't been to them. But apparently there is a Crash Records on the The Headrow, and Jumbo Records is located in St John's Centre. I love the retro looks of their brand.

Other blogs on King's Lynn:
Pretend Cats, Mistaken Architects and Opinionated of King's Lynn
Jumping Cows, Oil Cake Mills and Car Parks Without Compare


  1. What a great idea: seeing if all of those shops that were icons of our youth are still there (or not).

    I will now go to see what Appletons in Higher Tranmere, where you could buy Broken Biscuits has become!

    1. Yes, it is a spooky experience, nostalgic but also fun. Keep me posted!

  2. Sadly all the record shops of my youth have inevitably gone. Henry"s Records was a legendary place where I scored loads of blues, jazz, rock, reggae, folk. I even got a fairly obscure Ornette Coleman LP on order from an indie label in Texas from Henry"s. He had opened the shop in the 50s and was a hipsters" landmark. We had Subway Records by the old Hants and Dorset bus station in town, now a generic shopping centre. It was originally in the basement of a Georgian terrace house, then it was moved up the staircase to ground level, where there was more space. I got loads of heavy rock and prog stuff there.

    1. Hey, you are a prog fan too! You will probably find some old photos of these shops. Quite often people seem to post them on those listservs - but then you probably know that. One of the things I found interesting on this trip was trying to situate some shops which was so hard because everything had changed so much - there were barely any existing original landmarks left to help orient an exact shop position, in some cases...

  3. Love the Bayes Recordium bag. And what a splendid name for a shop! Here in Cambridge we had Andy's Records and Parrot Records which also had iconic bags. They both had shops in other towns in East Anglia and i remember a few years ago getting a Parrot bag in a record shop in Ipswich in what must have been the branch there (but by then renamed). We also had had Jays Records and numerous secondhand records gone. Impressed with your first single purchase being Silver Machine..Mine was less impressive (the Police) but i was still at junior school and hadn't discovered prog rock ..

    1. Hello Mr H. Thanks for your comment. There was an Andy's Records in Norwich, too, where I grew up as a teenager. Actually it lasted for quite a while. I'm pretty sure it was still there when I moved back for a short time, circa 2002. I loved the Police, too, still do! All the best, T