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Image Micheal Viner

Not sure whether this was connected with Diamond Records at West Croydon, which was a Soul, Funk and Reggae specialist. Comment: Marc Griffiths.

(Aug 9, 2013) Dougie p said:Stephan Mercado's dad owned the shop. He had offices in the back of the shop selling stationery. I used to work with him. The West Croydon branch that is.

(Aug 9, 2013) Dougie p said:Stephan Mercado's dad owned the shop. He had offices in the back of the shop selling stationery. I used to work with him.

(June 26, 2013) Martin Blunden said:Diamond Records in West Croydon had loads of wonderful reggae records tacked up around the walls - loved looking at the colourful labels. Bought Wynonie Harris' 'Battle of the Blues' EP on Blue Beat there for only 50p some time in the 1970s.

(Feb 16, 2015) Long-since gone but worth a mention: Diamond Records in Catford Broadway, I bought my first few records there, both Rod Stewart single 'Maggie May' and albums 'Every Picture Tells A Story', 'Sing It Again' and the Faces first 4 albums 'First Step', 'A Nods As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse', 'Ooh La La', and 'Coast To Coast'. Comment: Geoff Garoghan


One shop I recall in south London, Diamond Records, North End, Croydon. Just a few metres from West Croydon Station though I see you have a Diamond Records listed in SE6. I bought from there 'Yes Sir I Can Boogie' by Baccara in 1977 after having seen them live in Minden in (then) West Germany. Commnet: Helene Anderson

(Dec 19, 2013) David Eyles said:Back in the late 1960's I worked at the Record Department in Allders. But each Friday after being paid I would head down North End to Diamond Records to purchase the latest Soul records on Motown, Stax, Sue and Atlantic. Reg was the manager (though not the owner) and over a number of years I built up a very extensive and valuable collection. This had to be sold owing to a divorce settlement in the late 1980's!!! Oh well, that's life.

(Feb 26, 2013) Dougie Pelling said:This was the shop to get good soul and 70s funk,Right on Soul Brother

(Feb 23, 2015) According to the website 'The Past & Present of Croydon's London Road': http://london-road-croydon.org/history/0020-a-z-pharmacy.html Diamond Records occupied 20 London Road, Croydon (not North End) from August 1965 to 1981. There is a quote from journalist Mick Brown, who had a Saturday job there. I remember it being in a good position, right by the bus stop for West Croydon station.

(Feb 23, 2015) Saturday job at Diamond Records in W Croydon, 1966/7 selling Wilson Pickett and Sam & Dave records to mods. Best job I ever had! Seeing this bag brought on a Proustian rush. I worked at Diamond Records in West Croydon as a Saturday boy, circa 1966/67. Same business, same paper bag! From what I remember, the owner was a Mr Green, but the shop was actually managed by a very nice lady named Rhonda. In any event, Saturdays the shop would be filled with mods, checking out the Tamla/Atlantic/Sue records that had been played by Jeff Dexter at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley, and whoever was manning the decks at the Top Rank Suite in Croydon. Also had a very extensive ska/Blue Beat selection. Guys would just come in and ask to hear whatever was new. The place was like a party on Saturday afternoons. Comment: Mick Brown

(April 4, 2015) My Dad owned the Diamond Records shop in Croydon. Dad's name was Micky Mercado and he had the shop until 1981 at 20 London Road West Croydon - next to West Croydon station. The shop in Catford was owned by my uncle Monty. Micky and Monty were partners until 1968 when they fell out and went their separate ways, both keeping the name Diamond Records. But it was Micky's shop in Croydon that used to import the American soul records and specialised in ska and Blue Beat long before it became Reggae. Rhonda was the manager in the late 60's/early 70's but it was Reg who was in charge during the best years of the 70's. Doug Pelling and I did both work at Twinlock - Doug DJ'd at my leaving do in 1980. Micky, my Dad, passed away in 2006 at the age of 88. Comment: Stefan Mercado

(May 18, 2015) I worked with Ronda (no H in her name) Mid 60`s It was a shop with a fantastic atmosphere and we had all those fantastic American imports too. Best record shop in Croydon. We worked hard but we enjoyed being there so much that it was no hardship. I looked forward to going to work! I think I remember Mick Brown and another Saturday boy called Derrick. That bag design brought it all back to me. Does anybody remember a really good customer we had called Ricky? I`d love to get in touch with him again! Comment: Sue Mackie .

(July 8, 2015) Hi Stefan, I remember DJ'ing at your leaving do very well, I think it was in a basement at a club in Forest Hill, although I might be wrong. I seem to recall in the back of the Diamond Record shop, for a little while you had Croydon Visual Planning, a stationery company. Comment: Dougie Pelling

(August 2, 20150 I remember buying Positive force, 12inch 99pence, Back together again, Donny H. Many a hours spent Saturdays in Diamonds Comment: Marilyn Hall.

( December 22, 2015) My friend maria worked at the catford branch. I remember diamond records in catford. Around 1983/84.Does anyone know john or paul that worked there. Would like to get in touch. John was a dj that worked there, known to friends as johnny north. If anyone knows him or anyone who worked there I would love to catch up with them. I spent my free time there and lunch breaks .
Thank you. Sally Moss.

Name Rita Webb Comment: Hello....I worked at Diamond RECORDS CATFORD for the period spring 1968 to autumn 1973. I worked with Irene and Monty and the manageress was Roberta Dodge. Often wondered if "Bobbie" Dodge was still around. I left London in 1974 so all contact was lost. Rita (nee Green) (Jan 10, 2017).

​Comment
I loved Diamond Records in West Croydon. I remember, as a 15 year-old, going into Croydon on a Saturday afternoon just to listen to the latest Soul and Reggae releases that had arrived that week. Reg was ALWAYS very friendly and helpful, even though we asked to listen to a whole lot more than we ever bought. However, you always knew he was in charge! I remember buying Mr. Big Stuff by Jean Knight and I've Been Lonely For So Long by Frederick Knight (both on Stax) from Reg. A much-missed shop, a much-missed shop manager and a much-missed era!
Name
Kenny Gee
(2018)
Comment
I worked in the office in Streatham for both Micky Mercado and Monty Bonstein for 13 years, I remember you Stephan. Carol Watkins (nee Hastings).I worked for Micky Mercado and Monty Bonstein in their office in Streatham fo 13 years and remember you Stephan.
Name
Carol Watkins
(2018)

Comment
Rita Webb Nee Green, I must have bought all my early records from Diamond when I was a kid, remember the shop when it was by the gas board shop, then when it moved next to Woolworths, I remember being sneered at when I bought the Pistols God Save The Queen (by Monty ?)It still brings a a wry smile to my face, I never forget the big listening booths you could sit down in at the original shop, the sound quality was never quite as good when I got home :-) I run a facebook group about 70's music https://www.facebook.com/groups/1903022356411117
Name
Karl George Carpenter
(2018)

Comment
My friend Jean Whittaker worked at the Crofton branch in the 70s
Name
Jean Whittaker
(2018)

Comment
I worked with Bobbie Dodge in the 70s and 80’s at cloaked records in streatham... great times! She used to talk about the diamond record days and ‘ Mr. Monty’ my sister Sue Swan worked at the catford shop in the 60’s.
Name
Colin Swan
(2019)

Comment
I remember Diamonds record shop in Croydon,listening to music in the booths until Reg cottoned on that we didn't have money to buy any.When I worked as a Saturday girl in Littlewoods then I was able to buy music...All the Tighten Up albums and Tamla Motown music I bought from Diamonds.Reg was a big guy with a moustache,wonder where he is now
Name
Carol Reid
(2020)

Comment
I frequently visited West Croydon Diamond Record Shop in the 1970’s. I still have my Black Funk album and also my, The Front Line album, which I payed a mere 69p for. I have fond memories visiting the Diamond Record shop in West Croydon as a teenager. Still playing my Vinyls today.
Lorna Malcolm
Aka Lady Issachar.
Name
Lorna Malcolm
(2020)

Comment
Born and bought up in Croydon, before I started work in 1980, my Saturday jobs income was scoot down to Diamond Records and buy the latest soul/funk normally heard from Robbie Vincent's Saturday radio show, Greg's soul spectrum, Horizon, JFM to name but a few! This store was the best in Croydon, white labels etc! First 12 inch bought, Celi Bee and the Buzzy Bunch...Then off to Scamps in Crown Hill! Great days....
Name
JOHN ALBERT
(2020)

Comment
I have just stumbled across your website, and it brought back 64/65 like it was yesterday.
I was a Whitgift Trinity schoolboy who worked at Diamond, West Croydon on Saturdays and occasional holidays. I worked from the very beginning of the shop for a year or two for Ronda Head and Sue Frier (?was that you, Sue Mackie). I thought the boss was a semi-mysterious "Mr. Monty". I had previously known the ladies at Singer Records, upstairs at George Street, Croydon.
I thought Diamond was the best record shop in the world, with a superb range, especially imports, and an almost family relationship with its customers. I think Top Rank, Broad Green, DJ's would visit to hear new releases.
Great memories
Name
William Booth
(2020)

Comment
Diamond Records in West Croydon was a fantastic treasure trove in the 1960's - It was always busy, especially at the weekends and you would have to queue up if you wanted to hear a record in one of the listening booths. Great memories of great music.
Name
Michael Lindsay
(2020)

Comment
My trips to both shops were my musical pilgrimages. Like everyone here, I lived, loved and breathed reggae music, and appreciated Keith Stone's son's comment regarding the, sometimes, terse attitude of his father, Keith, The Cry Tuff man. After introducing an old friend to D.K. Records, he likened it to a replica, downtown Jamaica record shack, with similar attitude to the few, sporadic West Indian restaurants that peppered London then and greeted you with sucked teeth and a scowl. Whatever; reggae music will never die. I still keep in daily touch via an on-line station called pauzeradio.com... That old system of listening, dancing and buying the track seems long gone now, sadly.
Name
Keith Palmer
(2020)

Comment
No mention of Diamond Records, East Croydon here?
Situated at the end of St. Georges' Walk opposite Grants Dept. Store.
I used to spend hours and hours in this most excellent record shop in the early 70s.
Most of my records, I still have today, I purchased here back in the ay.
Golden days!
Name
James Lynch
(2021)

Comment
In 1964 I was the first manager of the first Diamond Records, in Streatham near the Locarno. Cyril Stapleton used to pop in. The three partners included Stefan's dad, M.Mercado,(Mr. Mac) and his uncle M.Bonstien (Mr. Monty). They were very tolerant of my youthful ways, not so the third partner Len Harris. Along with my own family problems, he was a main reason I did not stay the course. He had a hair-salon called "Chavo" (why?). I used to wind him up by calling it "Shave-oh". Some or all of Diamond Records became part of the EMI retail project, aka HMV Record
Name
Roger Francis
(2021)

Comment
Do any of you Catford Diamond Record shoppers or workers remember Maxwell/Michelle Confait who bought records there in the late 60s and early 70s? Michelle was a real record 'freak'. Would love to hear if you have any memories. Rita Webb,
Name
Anna Kelly
​(2021)

It was my job to crack open the boxes of that week’s new arrivals and play them over the shop’s sound system
I found a Saturday job, in a record shop in West Croydon. Diamond Records was owned by a small, tubby man with brilliantined hair and a pencil moustache who was seldom to be seen. It was managed by a woman in her thirties named Ronda. There was a large West Indian population in the area and the shop did a lively business in ska and bluebeat recordings: Desmond Dekker, Prince Buster, The Skatalites. The West Indians would drift in at lunchtime, sharply dressed in tailored clothes, often topped off with a pork pie hat. They were style kings, “rude boys”. It was my job to crack open the boxes of that week’s new arrivals and play them over the shop’s sound system, while they moved languorously, signalling their approval or disapproval with a nod of the head. There was a girl who worked at the record shop that I yearned for. Sue was three or four years older than me, out of my league. One day her new boyfriend came by at closing time to collect her. He swaggered in dressed in a velvet jacket, long hair coiffed in a perm. He was a drummer who had just joined a new group, featuring a guitarist who was supposed to be the latest rock sensation. I couldn’t have cared less. The guitarists I cared about were Steve Cropper, BB King, Buddy Guy. They wouldn’t have entertained this pretender — whoever he was — for a moment. Extract from Teenage Dreams My Life As A Soul Boy Mick Brown (2021)


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