AXMINSTER’S 53-year-old Archway Bookshop opens a new chapter this week as Tim Pritchard (right) hands over the ownership to Simon Holmes.
Tim bought the popular shop six years ago, having previously managed Serendip in Lyme Regis for several years. His love of books goes back to childhood when he was even known to read while sitting in a tree!
Simon’s arrival at the Archway marks the achievement of a long-held ambition and a switch from his previous career as a consultant to local government and police. I honestly never believed it would happen — but I am totally delighted that it has,” he says.
Says Tim: “I shall be sad to go but the time has come for a change, and I am pleased to be passing the Archway on to someone who very clearly appreciates the joys of a small independent bookshop in a delightful market town. I will certainly miss the customers (and my staff) and count myself lucky to be able to count so many as friends.”
He adds: “The suggestion that book shops are dying and that everyone is turning to reading on tablets is simply not the case. People aren’t ready to give up on the tactile benefits of books and on the joy of discovery that goes with them.”
Simon has lived for the past 25 years in Colyton where his part-time interests have included collecting second-hand books. “I would like to develop the Archway͛s online presence, but I have no big plans to change what is very clearly an institution, he says. ‘Tim has done a fine job here and the shop has a loyal customer following. I look forward to getting to know them all.”