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Name: Ade Macrow
Comment: I was always puzzled why Derek's Records had two shops in such close proximity to each other, as they were around the corner from one another, one being in Wood Green High Road, the other in Turnpike Lane.

The name Derek's Records is also associated with Tottenham Hotspur for me, because the DJ (Willie Morgan) at White Hart Lane who played the records at half-time each match, always announced that "all records played are available from Derek's Records".

Amongst other records purchased in both these branches, I bought my Jane Birkin-Serge Gainsbourg Antic reissue of 'Je Taime... Moi Non Plus' there, with then then 'daring' pic sleeve, showing Ms Birkin bare-chested.

Name: Tony Swettenham.
Comment: I never had the pleasure of visiting the Wood Green High Road and Turnpike Lane shops, but I do remember the Walthamstow branches - again they were just around the corner from each other!

One was in 'The Arcade' which was a covered precinct that had one end opening out on to Hoe Street and the other end was near the top of the High Street where Walthamstow Market was/is held.

The other one was in Hoe Street, in the row of shops between the High Street and Walthamstow Central station and the bus concourse.

The main thing I remember about the Arcade branch is getting quite a few singles there (they seemed to have a lot more 45s than LPs in that one - you never saw the records in the racks, they were just 7" square "Derek's Records" branded cards with the artist and title written on them, which you took up to the counter to get the record. Still got a few of those singles.

The bigger branch in Hoe Street was, as I remember, much more geared towards LPs. The last time I was there, a year or two before it was closed down sometime in the early-mid 80s (I think), it still had stocks of late 60s/early 70s prog and psych stuff on Immediate, Vertigo, Harvest, Charisma (the majority of it I didn't know from Adam at the time) - all going for about £1.99 each as they clearly weren't selling and must have been in the racks since about 1970(!), and it was a few years before all that stuff became extremely collectable. But a lot of what I saw there now changes hands for hundreds of pounds a time, so if only I'd snapped up a bunch of those when I had the chance! Hindsight, eh?...

Name: Ivor Young
Comment: Dereks was owned by Derek Fox and Terry Harrington. The Wood Green High Street shop was an opportunity they couldn't turn down, when the site became available, as it was big and spacious and had a very heavy footflow outside. The Turnpike Lane shop - run by Jeff Jones - was an earlier acquisition and the upper floors served as a distribution centre for many branches, since they took over the 'Wax' chain which had stores as far away as Fareham and Guildford. I have a feeling that the Wood Green High Street store is now a Maplins.

The Wentworth Street branch of Dereks (Petticoat Lane) did incredible lunchtime singles trade to the office girls. Vernon Basey, who also oversaw the market stalls in Petticoat Lane and Walthamstow, had incredible product knowledge, as did Terry Harrington. I had the pleasure of working with them in later years, along with other former employees of Derek's. Great people.

Name: Steve Garrott.
Comment: I worked six days a week at Wentworth Street and Saturdays at the Arcade, Walthamstow. The lane was extemely busy on the dinner times and all day Sunday. Derek was a very strange man, Vernon a bully, and Jeff an alcoholic. Happy days.

Name: Lynne Brodie
Comment: There was also a Derek's Records store in Green Lanes, Harringay, N4 back in the late 1960s/early 1970s. I used to go in weekly with my 6/6d pocket money and come out usually with the latest Engelbert/Monkees '45. Bought stuff by Esther & Abi Ofarim, The Move, The Animals - I could go on and on and...!

Name: Lesley Ramm.
Comment: I have very fond memories of Derek's in Turnpike Lane. Their pegboard-lined booths and headphones. After they closed I found a branch in Edmonton Green but then that closed too. Used to order LPs and collect. I miss the artwork on album covers - CDs too small to do them justice. Times change.
(16 December 2014)

Name: Deryck
Comment: In the 1970s/80s I used to use the Turnpike Lane shop for some of my dance 12" purchases - always thought the guy serving me must be Derek himself. Ha ! Clearly it was Jeff. Thanks Jeff for your time & advice.
I still have my blue disc cleaner with the logo. Very very happy days.
(6 September 2014)

Name: Caz
Comment:
The Turnpike Lane shop dealt with imports and was one of Derek's first shops. Wood Green joined the group much later. Derek's shop in Fore Street, Edmonton supplied all the music for Tottenham Hotspur, Derek's team, and a lot of the team were regulars there.
(31 August 2013)

Name: Marc Griffiths
Comment: I'm not sure all of these branches were connected with one particular 'Derek' (or 'Derrick'). The shop at Turnpike Lane was run by a West Indian and by all accounts was a Reggae specialist.

There was also a 'Derrick's Record Village' at 460 High Road, Leyton.
(15 December 2012)

Name: Steve
Comment: I worked at Derek's Records in Wood Green High Road c.1981. I was there for, I think, about six months.

One strong memory was the riots, where the front window was smashed in but no stock lost. I was walking down Wood Green High Road for the first time in 30 years yesterday, but couldn't work out where the shop used to be! I know it was near Turnpike Lane tube. Does anyone know the address? Would be brilliant to walk through it, even though it's something else now!
(15 December 2012)

Name: Derek Copeman
Comment: I started to work for Derek Fox under the management of Terry H in Wentwoth Street - while there I watched them grow. Will anyone tell me what happened to Derek and Anne Fox ?
(16 April 2016)

Name: Dave Harmer
Comment: Just heard today from Terry Harrington that Derek passed away on 1 May 2016 of a heart attack. I first knew Derek and Terry back in 1965 when I was a CBS Records van Salesman and called on quite a few of the stores for many years. I always found Derek to be quite a placid man and I knew him right up to the time I retired from the UK entertainment business in 2010 and he was still working the markets. RIP Derek.
(10 October 2016)

Name: Peter Gifford
Comment: I managed the Wentworth Street branch 1982 to 1988. Sorry to hear of Derek's passing. I remember the heated discussions we had about Chas & Dave.
(28 November 2016)

Comment: Hi Peter, just looking at the photos from Derek's Records. The photos you posted showed the two sisters, that was myself - Sam - in red and Kathy in black and white. I enjoyed those days.
(2020)

Name: Reg Hammond
Comment: I remember shopping at Derek's Records in Walthamstow. I went to school with Derek Copeman. We had our own disco in the late 1960s/early 1970s, "CHJ" better sound systems.
(2020)

Name: Andrew Fox
Comment: So wonderful to read about everyone's memories of the various shops that he adored so much. If anybody has any photographs or particular stories they may have of or about Derek himself, I'd be so grateful to see and hear them. My email address is [email protected] - if anybody has any questions, I'd be glad to try to answer.
(2020)

Name: Pete Macrow
Comment: I worked at Derek’s in Edmonton between 1978-81 during my uni holidays, mainly as the driver going between the shops and as holiday relief in the Walthamstow and Edmonton branches.

I always remember Derek ringing me up at my parents on a Sunday morning to offer me the job, in his inimitable silky smooth voice. I was so impressed that the big boss did that in person. Saw him on a number of occasions when I worked there and he was always so friendly and pleasant and down to earth.

My sister-in-law Lynn Macrow also worked at Derek’s and basically got me the job. Betty Cooper also worked there for a number of years, and the Herberts - Carol and Lynn.

I remember Terry Harrington and Vernon Basey well, Terry was a lovely guy and although Vernon had a bit of a reputation, he was always fine with me.
My successor in the driving job was an unassuming young lad called John Rocca, he took the job to get into the music industry- a slightly strange place to start I thought at the time. He went on to form the band Freeez who went on to have a couple of massive hits with Southern Freeez and I.O.U., so not a bad starting point after all.

Finally: Ade Macrow - are we related? Bizarre that you’re posting here and two Macrows have worked at Derek’s - ours is not a common surname!

What prompted Freeez to form? How did you all meet?
I met Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick in the record shop* where I worked on Petticoat Lane near Liverpool Street Station in London. At that time I’d never played in a band before. Not in the traditional sense. I’d learnt percussion from a Ghanaian guy called Shaft I met, and so had played a tiny bit of traditional African music. As well as having to earn my percussion equipment by playing for my Mum and Dad who did Flamenco cabaret shows in restaurants. Anyway… Somehow I spoke to Bluey and somehow he mentioned he had this group of musicians he’d assembled, who he played with once a week in Dalston, East London. I must have asked something that resulted in him asking me for a demo tape... I can’t remember how we got to the subject. Ask Bluey. But I recorded myself playing percussion on, and sung my own lyrics over a Roy Ayers track and passed him the cassette tape… and, he invited me to join. Full interview

*Derek's


Comments

Jeff Jones
01 Jul 2023 at 07:54
Derek Fox founded Derek's Records in the late 50's after finishing his National Service.
He started in Petticoat Lane having a stall in Coulsden Street and then in nearby Wentworth Street.
His first shop was in Turnpilke Lane and went on to open several more. His brother,Nat Fox also owned two or three record shops in North London.
His long term partner was Terry Harrington who with Terry' boyhood Friend, Vernon Basey expanded the business. They bought the southern England Wax records group of shops in the late 70's and at its peak had a chain of 12 shops.
It fell into decline in the early 90's. A few of the London Staff moved over to work for Prism Leisure that was a record and distribution company based in Enfield.
Jeff Jones

Details

Locations

5 Turnpike Lane N8 0EP Wood Green / London
4 Chequers Parade SE9 1DD Eltham / London
3 Wentworth Street E1 7TB Spitalfields / London
117 Fore Street N18 2XF Edmonton / London
11 The Arcade E17 Walthamstow / London
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