A couple of days ago I was in the lovely town of Lewes in East Sussex. My brief visit had nothing to do with photography, but I did have my camera with me. There wasn’t the time to explore the town, but I was struck by the number of secondhand bookshops there were.
This image of ‘A & Y Cumming’ takes me back to another time. This photograph could have been taken many years ago, as so little has changed. The only modern item clearly visible is the alarm box in the top left hand corner, but even this is relatively old if compared with what might be installed today.
In these days of Amazon and ‘online shopping’ etc, it’s rather appealing that a shop like this can still trade and survive. Even its opening hours are hardly 24/7. The sign writing on the door informs you the shop will open at 10am on weekdays and close at 5pm. On Saturday it stays open an extra half an hour until 5.30pm but not surprisingly it’s closed on Sundays. How very civilised.
The sign writing above the door is old fashioned, but befitting of what’s on sale. The telephone number simply says Lewes and does not display the area code, so you would have to know what this is if you wanted to ring the shop from outside the area. It’s all very quaint and says a lot about Lewes as a town. Yes, it has a large Tesco superstore, a Waitrose and other well known shops, plus a number of independents, but none of these has the charm of a Antiquarian and Secondhand bookshop which harks back to another era.
Long may shops such as these continue to exist and thrive in the future, helping to preserve a little bit of history in the process.