Beach’s Bookshop by Alan Clarke (R18)

On the corner of the High Street and Crane Bridge Street stands an old timbered building.  For many decades this used to be Beach’s Bookshop.  It had an incredible range of old books.  Mr Beach would even buy school text books and put them out for sale.  There are quite a few images of the outside of this building but we do not have any of the inside.  However, the latest addition to the Salisbury Museum image archive is a photograph of a sketch of the interior.

On viewing this image a lady responded:

“A lovely memory of Beech’s bookshop. I spent many happy Saturday mornings here searching for books of poetry.  Do you remember the smell of the old paper and leather binding – such a magical time?”

We haven’t managed to capture the smells in the archive but this image does capture the atmosphere. The old ceiling lights, the extensive card indices, the rows and rows of books on many different display racks, and the tables, the old telephone, the small paned windows, the ceiling beams.  In the 1960s there could not have been many residents of Salisbury who had not been in this shop.  Everyone knew where Beech’s was.

If you have any sketches of such iconic places in Salisbury, the museum image archive always welcomes donations of photographs of these sketches.

What a wonderful, and cleverly done sketch! Do we know whose work it is? I remember browsing in the book shop when a student in Salisbury in the 1960s. There used to be cardboard boxes of old documents, even Wills I remember, for sale. Presumably these had been thrown out from solicitors’ offices when going out of business. A goldmine for local historians.

I was so sad when, after years of absence, I returned to the city and found the shop had closed!

This another of Alan’s treasures:

Thank you Alan.

The Salisbury Museum Volunteer Blog

~ A place to share and discover more about volunteering at The Salisbury Museum

One thought on “Beach’s Bookshop by Alan Clarke (R18)

  1. I didn’t write this! It’s a re-blog from the Salisbury Museum Volunteer Blog. I just happened upon it for the sake of nostalgia… I first visited ‘Beaches’ during the very first holiday jaunt I had on my own in 1955. I stayed in The Old Pump Cottage in Shaftesbury and cycled all round the area, including the visit to Salisbury.


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