If anyone is planning to make a film version of Mr Benn then this is the shop to do it in… it’s wonderful.
Pete Boddis’ shop is packed with acoustic, semi acoustic and electric vintage guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, a classic collection of vintage country music clothes (including Nudie Cohn shirts even), vintage records and popular culture memorabilia.
It’s one of those wonderful shops that sadly most High Streets now no longer accommodate… the kind of shop that you go into and come out of 3 days later!
The shop has been open about 18 months… amazingly the items in this shop / museum were originally stored at Pete’s house before his wife said enough’s enough and Pete had to look to house his amazing collection elsewhere.
The record section resembles an old record store where you used to spend all day just browsing, listening, and finding the curious and collectible as reward for your patience.
The vast vinyl collection includes vintage classic jazz, blues, rock n’ roll, 60s / 70s pop, rock and novelty curios. The shop even includes a range of vintage record players, including Dansette’s, for you to listen to the classic sounds of yesteryear.
The musical instrument collection includes the rare, obscure and difficult to find items that produced the wonderful sounds of our musical heritage. The oldest item in the shop is an American Lyon and Healey acoustic guitar from 1886.
Among some of the guitar treasures are a 1962 National Studio 66 Reso-Glas guitar that was made for the late great Who bass guitarist John Entwhistle, a 1955 Gretsch Country Club guitar signed by Willie Nelson and there’s also a 1990s Ibanez guitar signed by Hollywood actor and Blues Brothers legend Dan Aykroyd.
The vintage shop is also home to a collection of American tin toys, books, magazines, old valve amplifiers, microphones, toys… the list goes on and on…all those things that you wished you had never thrown away.
Pete. the proprietor, is also an experienced singer/songwriter. The 67 year old being a stalwart of the country/rock n roll music scene since the mid 60s. He has two wonderful solo acoustic CDs released at present – ‘Sad Songs, Slow Waltzes & Tall Stories’ (released 2004) and a new one released this year (2012) titled ‘So Lo In The Bistro’.
The premises are part ‘shop’ part ‘museum / display’…and well worth a visit.
Special thanks to:
Gary O’Dea’s Cosmic Souls for modelling instruments and clothing
David Tucker at the original sin for photography