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Name: Lynne Brodie
Comment: Upstairs sold various musical genres, especially the blues, and music magazines, some imported from the US. A guy called Bill ran it, who was also at Radio London on Sundays with Charlie Gillett on Honky Tonk. Remember it from around the late 1970s through to the mid-1980s.

Name: Robert Jones
Comment: I remember The Village Bookshop from an afternoon's shopping in 1977. I bought some LPs of real folk music recorded on cassette tape in people's homes all over the UK and Ireland. The Chieftans LPs had a prominent display. It was the largest bookshop I have ever been in, the two floors, basement and ground, seemed like football fields. One could shop there, then take one's music to Wards Irish House, a pub below Piccadilly Circus, two minutes away, and be guaranteed to be questioned by a musician, or road digger. Both were wonderful, wonderful places, now gone, gone, gone.
(17 June 2015)

Name: Jon Wozencroft
Comment: This was an amazing place. I worked there in the Summer of 1979. Bill was the manager, but the owner, whose name I shamefully forget, was an extraordinary person, whose main interest was esoterica (before such a term existed) and in particular the works of John Cowper Powys, the author, whose books he re-published as a labour of love.

That June, at the end of the summer term at university, I was walking the length of the Kings Road looking for a holiday job. The owner of The Village Bookshop had a clothes shop there, and upon enquiring, he said he didn't have a job in this shop but maybe I'd be interested in working in his bookshop.

I of course said yes. It was at the bottom of Regent Street, next door to the British Airways main showroom in London. How such a location worked financially God only knows, because as Robert says, the shop was vast. Bill, the manager, was the one who introduced me to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. It was great, if the shop wasn't busy, he'd be quite happy if you sat down behind the till and read a book.

Upstairs, the record section was run by Helen(?). They used to stock a lot of 'ethnic music' before it came to be termed 'world music'. I found out about the Ocora label and much else besides.
(14 May 2014)

Dave Harwood
14 Dec 2023 at 07:08
I found this notice in the 'Bookseller' dated 28th November 1981: “Village Book Shop closes after a 10-year life at 69 Regent Street, London W.1.”



69 Regent Street W1B 4ED Soho / London
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