"Alan Dein has a few fond memories of those vinyl treasure troves you used to find near Tube stations."
Alan Dein has a few fond memories of those vinyl treasure troves you used to find near Tube stations It’s the early 1980s and I’m walking down Station Road towards Finchley Central station. On the left hand side, just before the entrance, is a white shack stuffed with second-hand records, mainly 45s. Can’t remember the name of the tiny shop at all. The guy that owned it was well into his psychedelia - he was still living it really and well before any kind of mainstream revival. I remember that he had the LP cover of the New Vaudeville Band’s Finchely Central in the window, which was of course, perfectly appropriate.
Looking back now, there were quite a number of these shack-cum-shops next to suburban Tube or rail stations selling second hand records. There was also one on the Archway Road by Highgate Tube station. I discovered some good stuff there. They stored 45s by label rather than artist or genre, with what seemed like entire mint-condition runs of 60s labels like Atlantic, Chapter One or Fontana - oh, for a time machine to return with that inevitable wider knowledge of music that I’ve picked up over the decades. It’s nice to recall these long-lost signposts of our musical heritage, which were owned by geezers who loved their sounds, and who were trying to pick up a few bob to fuel their hobby. But their disappearance is just part of the stomp of the iron heel of generic blandness chucking up another nail bar.
Did anybody bother to photograph these places?