Books for Amnesty to Reopen Next Month

Much missed King Street bookstore back after being forced to shut in January

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Manager Sarah with volunteers outside the old bookstore

Books for Amnesty

Amnesty International UK


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Books for Amnesty, the much-loved Hammersmith treasure trove of rare books, forced to close in January is reopening next month with help from Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Customers, 42 volunteers and one manager of the King Street bookshop were devastated when it shut its doors.

The shop was the only one in London and one of just seven Amnesty shops in the country. Now the shop is reopening in a vacant council shopfront at 181 King Street until it can find a permanent home.

Manger Sarah Dodgson, who had worked at the shop since 2008, says: " It was a cultural hub in every way. We provided a place to meet, display public notices, we were a window on to the community.

" There was such a variety of customers from students to serious book collectors and people made friendships. Someone would start a conversation and everyone in the shop got involved with it and they continued to be friends outside the shop."

The shop began as a stall based at the Hammersmith & City Line tube station fundraising for local campaigns. Two of its key founders Dick Langton, who died last year, and Christine Pain, who died in 2013, were instrumental in finding a shop at a cheap rent which was entirely run by volunteers until Amnesty’s head office stepped in to pay the rent after it increased. Now the building is being redeveloped and the bookshop was forced out along with other tenants.

Books for Amnesty has been sorely missed," says Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration. " We didn’t want to see such an individual, valued and much-loved shop lost from Hammersmith. I know many residents agree and, like us, can’t wait to have it back."

Charlotte Thrower, Head of Commercial at Amnesty International UK, said that over 20 years the bookshop had raised more than £1 million for the charity.

" After being priced out of the local market, we are really grateful to H&F Council for enabling us to move into 181 King Street - our new home for the next 18 months," she says.

" We are really looking forward to opening our doors in early November and in the run up to Christmas, will have a fantastic range of ethically sourced gifts and cards, alongside our extensive range of second hand books. Please do come in and say hello."

October 16, 2015