Saturday, 31 October 2009

News From Us / News From Others

Some interesting news from customer Joe Jorgenson, who has recently finished work on his book, The Complete Bob Marley Bibliography. Joe has not found a publisher as yet, so will be self-publishing initially. Details from him at

News also from independent publisher Five Leaves, currently turning away unsolicited manuscripts as they have around 30 new books in the pipeline - an extraordinary amount for a small publisher. Forthcoming titles from them include a new book from local lad John Harvey. Contact them at

For ouselves, we have returned from holiday refreshed and are adding new titles to our stock of largely second-hand books at an alarming rate. Adapting to the changed economic climate means we have to constantly review our choice of sites to sell on and also look out for potential new sites as we go along. At present we are selling on Abe Books, Alibris, Antiqbook and Mare Libri. For more news from us, visit



Friday, 30 October 2009

Above Matlock Town

Just above Matlock Town, Derbyshire, on a popular footpath linking `The Two Matlocks` - Matlock Town and Matlock Bath - stands The Chapel of St John the Baptist, a private chapel now largely in disuse and only open to the public a couple of times a year.

More by luck than judgement, a friend and myself were lucky enough to see inside the chapel whilst walking in the area not so long ago.

The building was designed for a private client by architect Guy Dawber, a leading light of the Arts and Craft Movement and a founder of the Council for the Protection for Rural England (the Arts and Craft movement was a rather idealistic cultural movement, popular in the UK and USA inspired by the works of John Ruskin and associated very much with William `News From Nowhere` Morris).

Unfortunately, the passage of time, coupled with problems of theft and vandalism, have taken it`s toll of the old chapel and it now stands in need of extensive repairs. The building has been acquired by a charity, the strangely-named  Friends of Friendless Churches, who work in partnership with the Ancient Monuments Society, but presumably their funds are not limitless.English Heritage have indicated that siome funds could be made available but this is unlikely to cover all the work now needed. 

Naturally enough, it`s unlikely that significant amounts will be forthcoming from private donors, and the location is not suitable for putting the chapel back into use, given that it lies some distance from the town on a steep, unlit path.

Not being a churchgoer myself  -I consider myself more your Humanist sort of dude, I must admit the visit was only of limited interest to me, but it`s an interesting building and well worth a visit if you get the chance.


The Council for the Protection of Rural England, now renamed the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is at English Heritage are at, the Friends of Friendless Churches is at , whilst the misleadingly-named Ancient Monuments Society ("we have always fought for historic buildings of all ages and types") is included amomng the list of links at the right-hand side of this blog.

Sites relating to William Morris and John Ruskin can be found easily on the web, I`ve no doubt.