Design by Giugiaro by Peter Vann
Since its opening in 1991 within the premises of a small model factory at Alnwick Station, Barter Books has grown well beyond original expectations. Starting off in what was the ticket and parcel office of the original Station, the bookshop has expanded down the platforms and through the waiting rooms, until it now covers over one-quarter of the whole Station site. This translates into an area exceeding 8000 square feet and containing over 350,000 books on more than three miles of shelving. Now houses the Famous Writers Mural – 40 feet long by 18 feet high. The bookshop also sells secondhand DVDs, videos and music (CDs, LPs, cassettes, sheet music), as well as a small but growing section of artists’ prints. And then there are the shop’s many extra features! These include an open fire in the winter, coffee and cookies, a model railway running above the book columns, a mini-cybercafe, generous seating and browsing areas, a children’s room, and dozens of glass cases containing many of the more interesting antiquarian books. A final note: during the enlargement process the owners took (and are taking!) particular pleasure in restoring, as they can, various features of the Station. This so far includes the original North Eastern Railway cast iron fireplaces, two of the Station clocks, a drinking fountain, and various waiting rooms. Most dramatic of all, however, was the restoration of part of the glass roof. That was when we all stood about watching as the sun came streaming in for the first time in many years to bring the wonderful old Station visually back to life. The very latest addition has been a forty foot mural celebrating the names of those who worked at Alnwick Station in its railway days – over 400 names plus the coats of arms of the three railway companies involved.
Book Number: OLCL 61105976