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Something About The Author

In 2008 Exeter become infamous, but not for the good. I was one of many who thought that the City would not suffer any menacing dangers from the likes of political terrorists and the suchlike. Luckily, this time anyway, the only person injured was the perpetrator - a nutter from Plymouth.

Yes, one should never be complacent regarding this issue, but one has to question why someone with a history of mental illness, was known to the police for having involvements with activists, and was actually being watched, should have ever had the opportunity to construct nail bombs and carry them around freely. This particular incident, which appeared on the National News, occurred within the newly rebuilt Princesshay Shopping Centre.

If you resided in Exeter back in the 1959, in the world of black and white, Pedigree pushchairs, and toddler's with leather reigns, one might have caught a glimpse of yours truly posing beside the Blue Boy statue in Princesshay. As you can see, I am the original Blue Peter !  Also depicted here are (the now late) Mother, and my then one-year-old Brother, Ray.


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A casual acquaintance with Paul

Although I have resided in Exeter since the year dot, I did board at Totnes during 1967 ~ 1970, where I attended the King Edward VI Comprehensive School. 

I started buying records at the age of 13, but these were secondhand, and mostly form Torquay Indoor Market in Market Street. There was a stall there that sold quite recent chart singles that were obviously ex-juke box, as the middles had been soldered back into place. Although the labels married, the printing was out of sync, but who cared?. Nice condition, and at the princely sum of 2/6.

However, I did purchase two brand new singles in 1968: the Casuals 'Jesamine', and Amen Corner 'High In The Sky'. Funny really, as I now wonder why I forked out 7/6 of my pocket money on the latter when there was so much great choice. And no, I was not indulging in intoxicating substances!

The shop that was enriched with my wealth was Paul Pinch, at the top of the main street in Totnes. Oddly enough, I purchased a second hand record at the same premises a while ago for all of 25p (5/- in 'old money'). I think my account of all this to the assistants in this now Charity Shop was fruitless. Are we sad persons? No...

Whilst we are on the subject 'Totnes'

Sometimes Lady Luck shine down, and everything is wonderful in the garden.....

In June 1985 I was all set to move into the Pickwick Arcade in Exeter, with my imagination running wild on how I was going to develop and expand from one paltry 12' x 10' unit to four in a matter of months!  I had been enthused into this by several factors:

1: having traded in Plymouth for six months, I had served my 'life sentence' .

2. Catapilla Records had the monopoly in Exeter, being the only second hand record
    shop,  and were usually paying no more than a 1 per item when buying in.

3. the collecting scene was coming into it's own, with collector's fairs springing up
     hither and  dither, and specialist's publications such as Record Collector
     becoming very popular.

Well, just two weeks prior to moving from Plymouth Hole (sic) to central Exeter to trade, I took a day off, and visited Totnes. No particular reason for this, yet 'something' had encouraged me. And there it was, a record shop closing down, with free-standing record display units for sale, and very reasonable priced. 

I paid for them, returned to Plymouth, and found a nice chap with a van who kindly picked them up, and delivered them to Exeter, all for a reasonable charge of 30.  Amazing really, as they fitted into the shop unit snugly. And when I did expand, I used them as a template to make more of same.

Here is a paper bag from Zounds, the record shop that closed in the Summer of 1985.

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