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The site was redeveloped in the early 1970s, but until then the tiny corner premise, Helga’s Record Shop, drew youngsters like a magnet to buy the latest hit. It opened in 1958 and was so small that only a couple of customers could fit in the shop at any one time. The lady who ran the shop – presumably Helga herself – sat behind her narrow counter. There were one or two cramped racks of records. Marianne Colloms remembers buying all her earliest pop singles there for just over six shillings; EPs and LPs were too expensive for her. ‘I don’t think I ever ‘browsed’, just placed an order and collected it’. The shops occupying Numbers 235 and 239 were shoe-horned into what had served (many years previously), as the entry lodge for Sandwell House, a mansion that stood between West End Lane and Sumatra Road.

I don't remember Helga's though I lived on West (October 08, 2015) End Lane from 1967. I remember buying the Magical Mystery Tour double EP in that area when it came out (Dec 1970?) but don't think it was there. HI MARIANNE if you see this, Adrian HB (ex-Egton) here.


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