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"Discover feature" for Crofton Books

This month the Lewisham & Greenwich Newsshopper “Discover feature” focuses on the Crofton Park bookshop 

“Crofton Books - discover this hidden gem of a secondhand bookshop..

A new chapter for our Discover feature as Emily Hennings looks at a different type of place to visit - but one that's still a hidden gem you should check out.

This week's thriller is all about Crofton Books, a secondhand bookshop situated in Crofton Park library and right next to the station.

Located in the heart of SE London, it's a much-loved hub for locals but also pulls in visitors from further afield.

We spoke to owner Jason Shelley, so if you're sitting comfortably we'll begin the story ...

What makes the bookshop special?

It engages with the people of south-east London in a community space. With its unique range of books provided by locals it also draws people in from all around London which benefits the other local shops and our local economy.

We are encouraging adults and kids to read books again. Another way to prise people away from addictive computer screens.

What also makes Crofton Books special is the great people that work here. The staff like to give as much creative input as possible. Staff include people taking career breaks, students at UCL and Goldsmith's, retired book enthusiasts and professionals who come in to help on their days off. It's a real hub for creativity.

The bookshop also helps raise funds for Crofton Park library.

Are there any rumours of ghosts or any famous stories about Crofton Books?

Well, it's funny you should say that. As you may know there is a tree planted in the forecourt here, in memory of Spike Milligan. Rumour has it, you can hear him telling jokes if you stand under the tree.

That's not the only rumour. Recently with Radio 4, we featured a biography of a 20th century poet and artist, David Jones. He was buried in Ladywell Cemetery, just down the road here, and it is said he was seen walking out the gates towards the bookshop.

What is the best time to come and visit? Is it suitable for everyone?

The best time to visit is any day seven days a week, but particularly Sundays. On Sundays we play music and hold events. It's normally part of a great day out whether walking, cycling or taking the train here. Obviously, we encourage healthy brain and body exercise that's helpful to the environment.

How old is Crofton Books?

This year we celebrate the fourth anniversary of Crofton Books. In that four years we have grown from strength to strength.

This year we have been very happy to get some 1960s vintage oak shelving fitted, so hopefully we look as good as we feel in our old age.

Any secrets you can share about Crofton Books?

Are there any secrets? Yes. But we can't tell you except that Ernest Hemingway's great granddaughter is a regular visitor and so is Kate Tempest (obviously we stock her books and the ones she wrote and the ones she once owned).

You might also might like to know the bookshop is owned by a published modern poet and that's me.

So, if you are in the mood for a lovely secondhand book or two to while away the cold hours, then pop down to Crofton Books in Brockley Road. Keep up with them on social media for specific opening times, especially over the weekends.


Newsshopper article