Sound of music to end after 44 years at family-run store in Spalding

Bob Adams and his son Robert Adams outside Spalding Music Services Ltd which is to close.  Photo: SG191116-177TW
Bob Adams and his son Robert Adams outside Spalding Music Services Ltd which is to close. Photo: SG191116-177TW
  • Online competition forces father and son to close down business next year
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A father and son are facing up to “an unbelievably sad day” when they close their music shop for the final time after 44 years.

Bob (81) and Robert Adams (51) have blamed their decision to shut up shop at Spalding Music Services Limited in Winsover Road next spring on competition from online retailers.

Robert Adams tunes a guitar inside Spalding Music Services Ltd in February 2012.  
Photo (TIM WILSON): SG210212-142TW.

Robert Adams tunes a guitar inside Spalding Music Services Ltd in February 2012. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG210212-142TW.

The shop has been a fixture in Spalding since 1973 when it was originally the place for music lovers to buy records and cassettes.

Bob said: “We had a big shop in Broad Street and the largest number of records we ever sold was 100 LPs (Long Play) by Sir Harry Secombe.

“They were sold within a few weeks but during the mid-1970s, we got rid of records and tapes when I bought in the first electronic organ which really changed the shape of our music shop.

“A chap came in and said ‘I’ve got quite a heavy, two-keyboard electronic organ for sale.

We’ve been forced out of business by the internet and I don’t think any of us can see a future in keeping the shop open

Bob Adams, Spalding Music Services Ltd

“I’ve always been interested in electronic organs so I went to the chap’s house, looked at the organ and thought “I’d love to have that in the shop.

“But the only problem was that the organ was in the chap’s bedroom upstairs and we couldn’t get it down the stairs because it was too big.

“So we had to get the organ through the bedroom window and slide it down a ladder, into a pick-up truck.

“Anyway, we put the organ in the shop and sold it within a few days.”

Bob and Robert, who joined his father in the shop when he was 16, moved from Broad Street to Bond Street Court (between Winsover Road and Station Approach, near Spalding Rail Station) before moving to their current site nearly 20 years ago.

Robert said: “At one stage, we had something like 40 to 50 electronic organs in the shop - if not more.

“But the only famous musician we’ve ever had in the shop was Gilson Lavis (Pinchbeck-based drummer and percussionist with the Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra).

“Sadly, we’ve been forced out of business by the internet and I don’t think either of us can see a future in keeping the shop open.

“It’s been a gradual decline and whilst we could probably struggle on for another year, the internet has killed us.”

The shop’s closure will not only affect Bob and Robert, but three music teachers attached to them as well who offer tuition in the guitar, piano and keyboard respectively.

But before the shop finally closes by the end of March 2017, Bob and Robert are holding a huge closing down sale.

Bob said: “We have a lot of stock to get rid of which will be going at very advantageous sale prices.

“The final closure will be in February or March and it’ll be an unbelievably sad day.

“We thought between us ‘what should we do?’ but it’s inevitable and although we’re not crying on the outside, we’re crying on the inside.

“It’s soul-destroying that the internet has really grabbed hold of retail because Spalding used to be a lovely, family-friendly town.

“On Saturdays, we were really busy and we would employ extra staff to cope with it.

“The individual, one-off shops are just closing down and going into Spalding to buy things is nowhere near what it was before.”

Changing face of Winsover Road