This project began around 2006 in collaboration with Paul Newman.
The early scans were made from the collections of Paul Newman and Cal Taylor … we were all in the same class at Bournemouth School.
Cal was buying blues and soul 45s before anyone else I knew. He had soul rarities that he bought on release, all carefully looked after.
Paul was DJ -ing in the 70s with some great golden oldies as well as 70s dancefloor specials.
Then some of the best scans of rare records were done at Juke Box Jive, Ashley Cross, Poole (now closed). I spent several happy mornings scanning rarities I couldn’t possibly afford. This is where I learned most about matching records to sleeves. This shop never had an earlier or later company sleeve on a disc. In each morning there, I scanned hundreds of pounds worth of 45s to my laptop.
I bought more records from Mike at Boiler Room, High Street, Poole than anywhere else. For several years, I’d go in on Tuesday mornings when Mike had the new stuff he’d acquired over the weekend. He put stuff aside for me. He always gave me great prices too.
Marc has now taken over Boiler Room and continues with collectable records and CDs with the addition of new vinyl … a spectacular Record Store Day 2020 selection
Then Dougie and Neal from Big Brother Records, Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole, which is my co-favourite shop. We have spent many, many hours there discussing music of every variety, and I’ve acquired almost as much there. There’s also a superb selection of blu ray and DVD.
I used to buy from here in Bath Market. Now they’ve opened a superb shop in Moordown, Bournemouth … Rocket Records.
I first discovered The Vault when it was in Stalbridge. Fortuitously, they moved to Christchurch, then to Bournemouth as well. The Vault was strong on Record Store Day and new CDs and new vinyl store. It’s also excellent for secondhand records. The Bournemouth store has gone. The Christchurch one is now Castle Sounds.
A newer shop is Pandemonium in Tuckton, Bournemouth. Since Lockdown they’ve expanded to new vinyl as well as increasing their secondhand stock. They have a loyalty card too … one stamp per £10 spent. Fill a card and it’s worth £10. It’s a more regular way of giving a discount.
Poole and Bournemouth are well supplied, with Red Rock Records in Poole centre and Red Rose Records in Boscombe’s Royal Arcade.
In the end, BCP (Bournemouth Christchurch Poole) is a good destination for a Record Collector’s day out.
Disc-O-Box in Blandford has long been a favourite. Luke and I have had many discussions on records. It’s always worthy popping in there.
Dealers at Record Fairs … Reading is a favourite, as is Brighton.
I often visit Helter-Skelter in Chichester. Great selection at very fair prices.
SJ Records in Stratford-upon-Avon is in the Antiques Centre, opposite Shakespeare’s Birthplace. It is another favourite shop.
Raves From The Grave in Frome (2-3 King Street, Frome BA11 1BH) and Warminster (5 Weymouth Street, Warminster, BA12 9NP) has a truly vast stock of new and secondhand material.
Norwich is a place I’ve only visited twice in the last two decades, but boasts that it has more (and better) record shops than central London has.
There are several great shops in Bristol and in Cheltenham. Guildford has a couple of good ones.
Reading is good, and I hope not to offend all my record dealer friends by saying Reading Oxfam Music is the one charity shop I’d ever recommend. Knowledgeable staff too.
I check out record shops everywhere I go … Grammar School Records in Rye is an interesting one. Mostly I’ve bought in the South.
Wales is good, but I have mainly been to shops there just once. There’s a funny thing about Record Fairs … Reading gets dealers from four angles because of position. I once saw a Record Fair at Stratford-on-Avon (by chance … we were there for theatre) and suddenly most of the dealers were different from the regulars at Reading, Brighton and Southampton … from further north mainly.
Rough Trade and Rough Trade East in London are stores I try to visit. Otherwise, sorry, but London is over-priced and sells at a poorer quality in general than stores outside. London dealers flock to the provinces to buy at price on sale to re-sell in London.