Earlyish start today (Friday), as Roger and I set forth once more. Important to see and meet members, especially ones I don’t know – so off to Hoylake to Marine & Cannon – and the Nashes. The anchor in the garden gives a clue. All about naval and maritime here (daughter does military and aviation elsewhere).
All immaculate within, not a book out of place or out of alignment on the shelves. Shipshape is the word that comes to mind. Doubly so – as a bookcase is floated off to the right to reveal further hidden bookcases beyond. Elsewhere in the house a whole secret room is similarly revealed. What fun this is – as various objects swim into view. Here’s a specimen jar from the Bounty, Captain Bligh’s knife, a cannonball from the Battle of the Nile – and prize beyond price – one of Nelson’s own books. And all with immaculate provenance. This is serious, specialist bookselling. An absolute delight. I’m so enjoying this.
Roger has to be back in Macclesfield by teatime to start organising tomorrow’s Macclesfield bookfair, so we regretfully conclude we don’t have time to visit both Southport and Preston, which had been the plan. Preston wins on the basis that it must be over twenty years since I last visited Halewood & Sons. Established 1867, it says. Remarkable longevity in a trade that only but rarely runs down through the generations.
Books piled high, wide and handsome. Roger’s rock-climbing skills called into play to traverse across to a Graham Greene first high above us. There might be anything here – and there is. We chip away for over an hour and suspect that we have barely scratched the surface, but come away very happy with our purchases and know that we shall return. Roger objects to my taking a picture of him writing a cheque – he doesn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.
He’s now setting up tables, I’m catching up with a double-blog to bring us up to date – and now I’m going to try and open the window to Room 202. Just for the devilment.