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Christophers records who's original pigeon holing system still displayed all of the classic UK popular labels had whetted the appetite for a great haul, unfortunately disappointed as they'd just sold their vinyl stock in bulk....I took the wrong road out of Barry luckily as somebody had decided to set up a record shop.....yep.....old stock of Christophers....Atlantic BlackRed, Stax Blue/Yellow Stateside/TMG, but also contained many Soul releases that I drooled over for many weeks! Comment: Mike Wilks- soul source forum

Christopher's was a huge part of my musical education.

I would spend ages in there, grazing through the racks looking at Chris Rea's Tennis, or something by Rufus & Chaka Khan, wondering what the Hell they must sound like.

The owner would order anything in for you, if they didn't have it. That would usually be something I'd heard on Radio 1's Golden Hour and couldn't find anywhere. "Everlasting Love" by Love Affair, "Young, Gifted And Black" by Bob & Marcia, stuff like that.

I once bought a picture disc of Madness' "Wings Of A Dove", strapped it to the back of my bike, put a hot bag of chips on top of it, and cycled home. By the time I got there, the single was obviously warped beyond playability due to my own stupidity.I took it back to Christopher's, claiming it was warped when I bought it. The guy knew damn well it was lying, but he gave me a replacement anyway. Probably because I was such a regular.

They sometimes had a lucky dip basket where you could buy a bundle of ten singles, sight-unseen, for a quid. I remember discovering "Do You Dream In Colour?" by Bill Nelson that way.

When I first became a music journalist, writing singles reviews for the Barry & District News while still at school, the owner supplied me with a Barry Top 10 based on his own sales figures.

There was a musical instrument section nextdoor, which I occasionally went in to buy sheet music for piano, but that was very dry and boring compared to the treasure trove that was the record shop.

Simon Price



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