Bookseller of 20 years steps in to save the day at Holt business meeting

Holt sign, dated 17th May 1991. Photo: Archant Library

Holt sign, dated 17th May 1991. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

A former bookseller stepped up to save the day after a scheduled speaker falling ill left a Holt Probus group in the lurch this month.

The Holt and District Probus group sent out an SOS, asking someone to come forward to speak at their February meeting, and member Alex Bennett stepped forward.

When the brewery that Alex worked for got new owners, he and his wife started a bookshop in Ipswich.

Mr Bennett and his wife fitted the shop out with shelves – doing most of the work themselves – and contacted publishers and others to fill those shelves with books.

They were not in a primary shopping street, but word soon got around and as they discovered, Mr Benett explaining that in a bookshop you are sometimes busy and sometimes not!

They branched out by allowing a young man to use a back room for gramophone records and enjoyed their time (getting on for 20 years) in the book business.

But times change, and when the Net Book Agreement (a fixed book price agreement between publishers and booksellers which set the prices at which books were to be sold) was first ignored by large retailers and then declared illegal, Alex and his wife disposed of the premises.

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Meetings of Holt and District Probus Club are normally held at lunchtime on the first Thursday of each month at the Feathers in Holt.

Enquiries about membership (or about a trial visit - visitors are most welcome) should be made to Secretary Alan Holmes on 01263 710782 or to Treasurer Ray Morgan on 01263 711489.