New bookshop at the heart of Holbeach
Shoppers in Holbeach are welcoming "a new addition to the town's high street" after the opening of a volunteer-run bookshop on Tuesday.
The Holbeach Bookshop, in Park Road, is the result of an idea first raised by the Rev Kate Plant, assistant curate at the town's All Saints Church.
Sales of donated books, CDs and DVDs were promising on the opening day as customers were welcomed by trained volunteers at the bookshop which is over seen by a group of trustees.
Chairman Charles Baker said: "We had a good first day, with a very busy afternoon in particular.
"The bookshop has been well-received and people were saying how delighted and proud they were of the new addition to the high street in Holbeach."
Plans for the new bookshop first emerged in March when Mrs Plant saw a need to give people volunteering opportunities in Holbeach, as well as means to promote reading and regenerate the town centre.
Speaking to the Spalding Guardian in March, Mrs Plant said: "As well as providing good quality, affordable books and other media, we hope the bookshop will also provide space for local artist and schools to exhibit their work, story time sessions for young children and book clubs for older children.
"We believe the bookshop will contribute positively to the mixed economy of our high street and, as its reputation grows, visitors will be drawn to our town."
The trustees were helped by Holbeach county councillor Nick Worth in finding a suitable location to set up the bookshop.
Mr Baker said: "We were trying to find a suitable property where we could start off and then grow.
"Before that though, Kate had come across Carolyn and Brian Boardman who used to run a bookshop in the Lake District.
"Carolyn and Brian have been instrumental in getting the property right because they both had the time and the knowledge in terms of book retail experience.
"We also had a volunteer session at the church which went really well and we finally got the property we needed in the summer."
At the same time, donations of books and cash came in from individuals and businesses.
Mr Baker said: "It's only a little shop but it has a huge range of lovely books and an amazing selection of volunteers.
"The whole mission of the bookshop is to raise money towards projects in Holbeach and the surrounding area.
"We're encouraging our volunteers to suggest causes in the Holbeach area to support.
"But we also want to encourage people to come down and have a look."
Mrs Boardman said: "We had successful first day of trading, with lots of customers and lots of well-wishers too.
"There is certainly lots of interest in the shop, especially when people realise it is a community bookshop run by volunteers, with the profits going back into the community."
Coun Worth, who is also a trustee, said: "I'm very pleased that The Holbeach Bookshop has filled the space in Park Road and it's certainly a really nice venue.
"It has a wonderful array of books and it helps towards the regeneration of Holbeach town centre as well.
"It's run by volunteers which makes it one of these community projects that has an added bonus to it.
"The shop is something that's needed in town and so it has to be good news for Holbeach."