Visit the shops featured in our film…
1) HALL’S BOOKSHOP – Tunbridge Wells, Kent
The oldest bookshop to feature in our film, Reuben Hall established his Tunbridge Wells bookshop in 1898, and it has been in Chapel Place ever since (albeit initially at number 18). Now owned by Sabrina Izzard, Hall’s is a time capsule of a bookshop, situated in the picturesque Pantiles area of Tunbridge Wells. With its distinctive galleried first floor and floor-to-ceiling bookcases, Hall’s is nothing short of cinematic. Pick up a 10p bargain or an antique Victorian book. Quite simply one of the best bookshops in England.
Address: Hall’s Bookshop, 20 Chapel Place, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1YQ
2) BAGGINS BOOK BAZAAR – Rochester, Kent
The labyrinthine corridors which help give The Last Bookshop its sense of disorienting scale all belong in real life to the breathtaking Baggins Book Bazaar in Rochester. Sprawling across two floors, Baggins is easy to get lost in both literally and figuratively. The deepest recesses of the shop have a peaceful silence to them, cushioned from the outside world by layers of sound-deadening books. Here you can hide away and browse to your heart’s content, amidst the smell of books and the hum of a strip light. A visit to Baggins is a unique experience, and highly recommended.
Address: Baggins Book Bazaar, 19 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1PY
3) CITY BOOKS – Rochester, Kent
Just a short walk down the High Street from Baggins, lies this quaint Aladdin’s cave of a shop. Bob Peters is the owner (or should that be curator?) of City Books. It was a gift of a location for us, as the shop has an extensive collection of old coins (many dating from Roman times) as well as a fabulous old cash till – all props required by the script! If you’re on Rochester High Street, you should pop in, you simply never know what you might find…
Address: City Books, 41 High Street, Rochester, Kent
4) MR Books – Tonbridge, Kent
When we first discovered MR Books, we were on the look out for somewhere with nooks and crannies – a shop with a visual presence distinct from the scale of Hall’s and Baggins. MR Books was ideal, with its warm lamp-light glow and cosy corners. Several of the more close-up shots, including the boy snuggled amongst comics and annuals, were filmed in MR. Books. In 2012 the shop moved to a new location on Tonbridge High Street, with a regular procession of artistic window displays, and a fresher busier feel. A lovely example of a local independent bookshop, precisely the kind of place that deserves the be kept in business!
Address: MR Books, 142 High St. Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1BB
5) DAVID DRUMMOND AT ‘PLEASURES OF PAST TIMES’ – Cecil Court, London
David’s Cecil Court web page: www.cecilcourt.co.uk/david_drummond.php
Just a pigeon’s flap from Trafalgar Square and the bustle of Charing Cross Road, lies Cecil Court. A chocolate box row of Victorian shopfronts, many of them excellent bookshops. The longest-serving of Cecil Court’s Shopkeepers is Mr David Drummond, who opened up shop in 1967. ‘Pleasure of Past Times’ specialises in the nostalgic, and positively brims with charming treasures of days gone by. David Drummond offers us a portal into a London which has slowly faded away: a mesmerising world of silent films and music halls, sepia photographs and Victorian storybooks. His shop is a gem, and needs to be experienced.
Address: David Drummond, 11 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ
6) GOLDSBORO BOOKS – Cecil Court, London
London’s Cecil Court is lined with curious shops, from the delightful Marchpane (specialising in old children’s books, the shop has a resident full-size Dalek!) to the spiritualist bookshop Watkins (established back in 1894). Meanwhile, just a few shops down from David Drummond is Goldsboro Books. This shop is glimpsed in The Last Bookshop as the Shopkeeper tidies a shelf and descends a staircase. But this brief cameo belongs to a noteworthy shop. The largest specialist in signed first editions in the UK, Goldsboro Books was formed in 1999, and occupies the site of an historic murder, which in 1961 saw the first use of the Identikit by British police. Today, Goldsboro houses an enviable collection of pristine first editions.
Address: Goldsboro Books, 19-21 Cecil Court, London, WC2N 4EZ
7) TREADWELL’S – Bloomsbury, London
Specialising in everything from witchcraft to paganism, Treadwell’s is a magical bookshop of the occult and the esoteric. Although the shop did not ultimately appear in the finished film, Treadwell’s was an important part of our pre-production process. Owner Christina Oakley-Harrington couldn’t have been more helpful and accommodating. The shop is host to a regular series of fantastical events and lectures, and was the perfect place for us to hold our auditions and film our initial camera tests. A friendly shop that will set your imagination running.
Address: Treadwell’s, 33 Store Street, London WC1E 7BS