6 posts categorised "Chapel Place"

Hall's Change

Hall’s Bookshop as you know it will soon no longer exist. Well almost.

Hall's Bookshop, Chapel Place

The famous shop will be closing soon for refurbishment.

The current owner, Sabrina Izzard (terrific interview here), is retiring and has sold the shop to Adrian Harrington who is going to put his own spin on the place.

Adrian already owns a rare book business in London and will be relocating this to the Chapel Place shop. Whilst refurbishing the shop over the coming few months with some nice new wooden floors and a lick or two of paint, the basement, which is currently used for storage, will be opened up as a gallery space.

Don't worry though the intention is to retain the style and character of the existing shop and I've been told that it'll even retain most of the books. One can only hope that the famous 10p bargain box will still live on too.

Hall's Bookshop, Chapel Place

This is just another step in the evolution of the 115 year old shop that we should all be proud of.

David and I paid the shop a visit to take a few photos before it changes, why not stop by our Tunbridge Wells Project and have a look. We even explored the basement.

The Last Bookshop

The bookshop is dead.

The Last Bookshop - Hall's Bookshop

A still from The Bakery's The Last Bookshop.

I bet that had you going didn't it? Don't worry it's not real, it's a still from a short film called The Last Bookshop.

I recently paid a visit to Mr Books in Tonbridge and whilst talking books he happened to mention this charming film that his shop starred in alongside our own Hall's bookshop.

The short 20-minute feature imagines a future in which there are no bookshops left to browse. Could be a future closer than you think couldn't it?

It starts with a young boy surfing the Internet which then rather unfortunately breaks (take notice of the name on the screen he uses) . To alleviate his sudden boredom he decides to go outside. Walking around the bleak streets he wanders down a forgotten alley and discovers the last ever bookshop. Inside the old shopkeeper has been waiting over 25 years for a customer.

Well rather than me explain it why not just watch the whole thing below.

Filmed on locations in Tunbridge Wells and several other places all over Kent and London, the film’s creators Richard Dadd and Dan Fryer of British creative studio The Bakery made the film to highlight the decline of independent bookshops in the UK.

There is also a short video of the making of The Last Bookshop featuring an interview with Mr Books.

How many local locations can you spot in the film? What did you think of it?

Christmas Courtesy of Richard Hammond and Morrisons

Is it really snowing in Tunbridge Wells? No, it's just Richard Hammond and the Morrisons gang filming yet another advert here in town. Remember Lulu on The Pantiles?

One of the benefits of the wonderful world of Twitter and following some great friends in Tunbridge Wells is being able to grab exclusive news in and around town as and when it happens.

This evening Twitter was awash with lots of people sharing their photographs of the filming of the new Christmas TV advert in Chapel Place just off The Pantiles.
Here are some of the photographs shared from my friends who I would like to thank very very much for allowing me to share the photographs with you. Can't wait to see it on television.

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Courtesy Laura Betts.

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Courtesy Robert Wakeford and Anthony Hook.

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Courtesy Kassi Jones., Laura Betts and Anthony Hook.

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Morrisons Christmas TV Advert in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Courtesy James Golding and Laura Betts

If you'd like to keep up with all the latest happenings in and around Tunbridge Wells then follow me on Twitter and you'll get loads of exclusive insights.

Fly Fishing?


Do you have a copy of Fly Fishing by JR Hartley? Perhaps not, but perhaps in the twenty years that have passed since the airing of the famous Yellow Pages advert, the store that Mr Hartley walked in to ask may now finally have a copy. I'm talking about antiquarian bookseller, Hall's Bookshop, in Chapel Place. Hall's is one of our institutional shops that has been giving the beauty of books to the masses since 1898.

It's one of those places that always has a nose pressed up against the glass peering in. Where not an inch is wasted inside or outside the store, books filling every nook and cranny from floor to ceiling. With ultra-rare first editions for thousands or if you're feeling a little short, a 10p bargain box to rummage around in.

The smell of old books (obviously) greets you when you open the door, the rare shaft of sunlight is animated by the dust flying through it and even the checkout procedure is deliciously low-tech, where a credit card is only useful as a bookmark. Friends from out of town get lost inside and are impossible to drag out into the daylight and somehow time inside passes slower than the world outside.

We are actually lucky that the shop made it past its 100th birthday, because in 1989 Lloyds Bank, which owned the premises, decided to expand its neighbouring branch into the bookshop. But there was no way that thousands of loyal fans from around the world were going to let that happen. The chairman of the company was apparently bombarded with so many protests that the company conceded and Hall's Bookshop was saved.

So if you're looking for a place to escape the weather this weekend, forget the shiny new shops at the top end of town, take a walk down to Chapel Place for a dose of proper browsing, their local book collection is tremendous and you just might find that elusive book on fly fishing.

Sashed of First Place

Sash Window

According to Phil and Sofie on Channel 4's Best and Worst Places to Live 2006 show, Tunbridge Wells is the third best place to live in the UK. Only third?! Well you can guess my opinion on that, so I won't even begin to bore you. We were beaten by Horsham and Winchester no less. What exactly have they got that we haven't, how did they get to number one and we didn't?

Well I've found one thing that Phil and Sofie overlooked, and it could be our trump card for next year. Did you know that we have Western Europe's largest sash window? There's something you can bore your family with over dinner this evening. The remarkable claim to fame belongs to the delightful garden objet d'art/nick-nacks shop in Chapel Place. Go have a look, it's big alright. Perhaps we should make a tourist attraction out of it.


  • I am a spritely 30-something living with my beautiful wife in the most fabulous town in the entire world, Royal Tunbridge Wells.

    We love to soak up the culture, the lifestyle, the nature, the history, the people, the art, the architecture, and the countryside in this idyllic part of the Weald, and because we love our town so much we made our blogs to share it with the rest of you.

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