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Nottingham’s very last classical record store has been forced to close after 30 years after struggling to compete with online competition.Classical CD, based on Goose Gate, Hockley, opened in 1987 but will close next month.
Richard Gibson, founder of the shop, said it can’t cope with customers downloading music online.
Richard, 74, said: “The collecting people of my generation want the actual product but the younger generation just don’t have the same attitude.
“Also classical music is very much for people over a certain age. If I go to a concert hall I feel young compared to the average age of the audience.”
Although the shop will close, the customers will be able to order records from the shop’s wesbite.
And Tom Barkes, manager of the shop, said “there’s still life in the classical CD yet”.
“People still want a solid product for the things they value the most,” he said.
“What we will be able to do is order anything people ask for and we’ll use the same email address, the same website.
“For the things they [customers] value they want something they can have and hold rather than something that will possibly disappear at the press of a wrong button.”

Alan Chapman, from Leicester, has been a regular customer since the 1990s.
He said he will be sad when the record shop closes.
“To not have that expectation of coming to Nottingham from Leicester, and having no record store to go to, will be sad.
“You can’t just go online and browse in an online shop. This place, you’ll find bargains by chance. That’s what you’re after. By chance. And you’ll find some pearls.
“Online’s just not the same. So I’ll be sad to see the doors close for the last time.”
While Rachel Yardley, a part-time worker at the shop, says young people are not exposed to classical music by their parents.
“It’s not just for old people, it’s not just for posh people. It really is for everybody Young kids should have access to it and pick up instruments and hold the instruments.
“It’s a really good way of instilling discipline. You can’t get more of a team sport than playing in an orchestra or vocal group choirs. Things like that are really good for learning.”
The shop is expected to close in July and customers will get 20 per cent off if they spend more than £50.


Michael Browne
07 Jun 2023 at 07:28
On leaving school in 1964 and starting work in the Ministry of Transport HQ in Southwark, just along from the South Bank, I very soon discovered Henry Stave and Company in Dean Street, Soho - and it became my favourite record shop. There were others, like The Record Hunter near Waterloo Station, run by John Hunter(?), who went on to found Unicorn Kanchana records - always worth a browse - and EMG Handmade Gramophones just round the corner from Henry Stave, in Soho Square. But as a young 19 year old I found EMG rather intimidating and stuffy - they didn't so much recommend a recording, as tick you off for asking for something they did not approve: "Barenboim and Klemperer? - oh no," (curl of the lip), "you should go for Gilels and Szell.")
Henry Stave was a much more agreeable, friendly and supportive place for a young person to go to for advice.

At the MoT I inherited the running of the MoT Sound Reproduction Society (not a family planning advice centre!...) where in a top floor room once a week Civil Servants were able to relax and enjoy a lunchtime concert of carefully curated classical pieces. Henry Stave were happy to offer a generous 10% discount for members of the Society.

Going to live in Nottingham in '71, I was unaware of Henry Stave's move from Dean Street to Great Marlborough Street, and later when on the occasional visit to London and Harold Moores' shop, quite unaware that it had once been Henry Stave and Company. All the London classical music shops seemed to have vanished; it's happened here in Nottingham too, where retirement saw the end of Classical CD in the Lacemarket, and the very smart Classical Music Shop on Chapel Bar went a bit earlier, probably as a result of exorbitant city centre rental demands. At least the latter morphed into the wonderful online Europadisc, based here in Beeston, on the outskirts of Nottingham.

Emma, above, mentions Robert F Leslie, her Great Uncle. The name rings a bell, and I think I can put a face to the name too. Certainly I can remember one of the senior Henry Stave staff featuring in an article in either Gramophone or Records and Recording as an artists' agent signing up the venerable Dr Eugen Jochum. Was this Emma's Mr Leslie?

In Autumn 1975 I travelled down from Nottingham to the RFH to hear the LSO and Previn do a lovely programme of Debussy, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninov, and sitting right in front of me were Dr and Mrs Jochum - and 'Mr Leslie'. This was the period when certain members of the LSO were agitating to have Previn dethroned and replaced with a more 'serious' figure, and Jochum was strongly mooted for this role. The Jochums appeared to enjoy the concert hugely, smiling broadly and vigorously applauding both the orchestra and Previn. Meanwhile, Mr Leslie, if indeed it was he, did not offer a single clap or indeed any other sign of approbation towards the man he wanted his client to supersede! Fascinating.

Thank you for prompting a huge wave of nostalgia. I shall return to this website again with keen anticipation.



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