On Friday 22 March it was announced that Newham Bookshop is the London winner of the British Book Awards Independent Bookshop of the Year. Thanks to your help and support, we were chosen from a shortlist of seven London independent booksellers. Announcing the decision in The Bookseller, Tom Tivnan, managing editor of The Bookseller and chair of the Independent Bookshop of the Year judges, said: “In 2018, we had the wonderful news that indie bookshop numbers increased for the second year in a row, the first time that has happened in decades. We’ve seen that renaissance in the sector reflected in the sheer depth and breadth of submissions to this award. These are nine worthy winners, from regional shortlists of startling strength, all of which represent the best in British bookselling but, perhaps more importantly, are hubs of their communities.”
For London, he said: “Newham Bookshop in Upton Park, the London category winner, marked 40 years trading in 2018. The huge affection for the shop became apparent in a fundraising campaign to support its move to new premises last year, while manager Vivian Archer received the Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling Award at the Books Are My Bag Awards.”
Our Crowdfunder campaign has now finished, yielding around £5,000 towards our target for getting 743 Barking Road ready to be our new Adults’ Bookshop. Together with many generous personal donations, our auctions of signed copies of books donated by authors and publishers, and the two limited-edition prints donated by East End artist Doreen Fletcher, we have raised around £14,000 in all.
Thank you to all our supporters, through Crowdfunder or in person, for helping to raise so much to help our move. If you’d like to make a donation in person, you can still do so. Please visit us at the Bookshop – details here – or send us a cheque. We will give you the Rewards shown on the Crowdfunder page however you contribute, and we’ll be contacting all those who are eligible for Rewards over the coming days.
Our new shop at 743 Barking Road is now very much open for business, and we look forward to welcoming you there. Everyone who has seen the new Bookshop has been very impressed by its new, clean look, with good lighting and efficient heating. Thanks to the skill of our contractors especially our carpenter Charlie and our electrician/plumber Ollie, we now have a very elegant bookselling space. In particular, Charlie has adapted our original bespoke bookshelves – installed in 747 around 30 years ago – for use in the new shop.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.
18 December — East End artist Doreen Fletcher kindly donated limited-edition prints of two of her paintings to Newham Bookshop. They were auctioned at the event at The Wanstead Tap this evening and raised a total of £600 which will go towards our Two Doors Down fundraising effort. The auction followed a fascinating discussion between Doreen Fletcher and The Gentle Author, who highlighted Doreen’s forthcoming exhibition opening on 25 January 2019 at The Nunnery Gallery in Bow.
One print, Pubali Cafe, Commercial Road, was purchased by the evening’s auctioneer and owner of The Wanstead Tap, Dan Clapton, who immediately gave it to Newham Bookshop where it will be given pride of place. We are grateful to Dan for this generous gift and for all his work supporting the events organised jointly by Newham Bookshop and The Wanstead Tap which have been so successful over the past year.
15 December — Two weeks into December, and most of our new Bookshop at 743 Barking Road is ready to welcome you. Nearly all of the bookshelves are in place and full of books. There’s still a lot of work to do, and we will continue to work hard to get everything done in the next week or two. We’ve extended the deadline for our Crowdfunder page until Friday 21 December, and you can make donations in person at any time. We still need your help to reach our fundraising target of £25,000. Here are the latest pictures of the new shop taking shape.
During November, our contractors have worked hard to transform 743 Barking Road from the state it was in (shown in these photos) to the new shop that is now being fitted out.
One important task was the reinstatement of the archway between 743 and the Children’s Bookshop in 745. This was bricked up several years ago (left) but it is now replastered and repainted (right).
We have had a false (suspended) ceiling fitted to incorporate low-energy lighting units and an air conditioning heating/
cooling system. We hope you agree that this gives 743 a modern, neat look.
We’ve had new flooring put down and then started to put the bookshelves in place.
Booksellers Etta Levi-Smythe and John Newman are putting the books in place on the shelves moved from 747.
Come and visit the Bookshop to see how the new shop is developing. We’ll put some more pictures here as the work continues.
We need more donations to help us reach our fundraising target of £25,000. Please visit our Crowdfunder page to make your pledge, or make a donation in person at the Bookshop or at one of our events. You can also send us cheques by post, payable to Newham Bookshop. You will get a reward for your generosity however you donate.