Tuesday, 3 March 2009

A bookshop and a bandstand....

A bookshop.....

My favourite book shop happens to be in Southport, my home town. I now live 40 miles distant but visit whenever I can. Broadhursts never fails to invoke childhood and early teen memories - the joy of browsing for a whole winter's Saturday afternoon with £20's worth of Christmas or birthday gift book tokens in my pocket - sheer bliss.
It's a joy to buy from a bookshop where the staff have a good literary knowledge, and you can explore as many nooks and crannies as you like, finding thousands of books. And to have them wrapped in brown paper with string is a lovely old-world touch.
I will let their web site tell its own story: http://www.ckbroadhurst.co.uk/
....and a bandstand.
England’s parks are something to be proud of. Green spaces to feed the ducks, play on the swings, or simply take a stroll. If you are lucky, your local park will also feature a bandstand hosting regular concerts. You can bring a picnic and sit on the grass or maybe hire a deckchair. You could hear anything from a brass band to a steel band to an amateur choir. The programme is likely to be conservative: popular classics, movie soundtracks, or ragtime and jazz, something for everyone to enjoy as they pass by, or as it floats through their window on a sunny afternoon.
Shared enjoyment is key.
England’s public parks sprang up as a response to the increasingly polluted urban environments created by the industrial revolution. Parks were designed to be enjoyed by working people, and the provision of music was central to the Victorian philanthropic vision of self-improvement through exposure to culture. Many of England’s bandstands have fallen into disrepair and disuse, but a rescue mission is on the way in some areas to restore them to the heart of our culture, where they belong.
A Bandstand was first built in the Municipal Gardens, Lord Street, Southport in 1900, taking the place of the ornamental fountain of Victorian days.
In 1913 this was replaced by a sturdier looking structure which, as before, was a popular venue for concerts in the town Some rebuilding and new seating in 1924 allowed more people to enjoy the music and entertainment's in greater comfort... there were even lady morris dancers in the 1950's. The popularity of the Bandstand continued into the second half of the twentieth century, until it came face to face with 1960's planning policy. In 1969 it was demolished, to be replaced with a modern concrete fountain.
It was not until March 1986 that a new, military style Bandstand was opened on Lord Street, in front of the ABC cinema. In 1998 the concrete fountain was demolished to make way for the new Town Gardens, which were officially opened by the Mayor of Sefton on 16th December 1998. The gardens around the present Bandstand have also been rebuilt and were officially opened on the same day.
If you enjoy brass band music try and catch the movie Brassed Off....


  1. Oh bookshops are the places where I can forget time and much more...

  2. I added Brassed Off to my list. How did I miss this film? Postlethwaite is always great. That's rhymes, doesn't it? Teehee

    YOU have a fireplace in your bookshop?! Now that's not fair. Totally over the top in the charm department! :^)

  3. Me again, Michael!

    A pleasant homage to your favourites. I love looking at books but the shop doesn't have to feature highly for me!

    I generally associate bandstands with holidays, perhaps because there was a greater likelihood of hearing a performance. "Brassed Off" is a great film.