A USED bookstore is set to reopen less than two months after a fire destroyed its premises and 400,000 books.

Berwyn Books lost over £1million worth of rare and used books in a huge fire at its Buckley warehouse in November.

Among the lost books were many unique and historic works – including a book signed by Queen Victoria and a first edition of the Radio Times from 1923.

The very first edition of the Radio Times was among the items lost in the fire.

But the public has stepped up to help the business rise from the ashes by donating around 15,000 books so far.

New co-owner Katrina Matthews says some changes have been made, after the original owner stepped back.

“Myself and a few colleagues said we were going to start a new business, keep the name quite similar but be a separate legal entity. That’s why we changed to The Berwyn Bookshop,” she said.

Co-owner Emma Littler said: “Myself, Katrina and our staff were really lucky that everyone was of the same mind that we wanted to continue.

“Having this support from our community, our customers and our family really pushed us to do this.”


Katrina added that the publicity generated in the aftermath of the fire had led to large donations of books, which were kept in various locations as a search was underway for permanent accommodation.

“They’ve been stored everywhere you can think of,” she said.

“The Buckley Football Club had two large shipping containers full of book donations, helped Lester’s Farm Shop (in Drury). They’re also all in my conservatory, in my living room, in my grandmother’s garage, in my colleague’s garage. They’re just everywhere, so my house is now a bookstore and not a real house.”

They will now be sold from the Caffi Isa Community Center in Mynydd Isa after the business was offered the use of the facility by its owner, Sara Parker.

“Sara is our fairy godmother, we can’t thank her enough,” Emma said.

“Not only did she jeopardize the space for her business by providing us with storage space, but she also provided us with a lifeline when it came to our new store. We are incredibly grateful and it has relieved the pressure .The space is just perfect.”

Wales National: Caffi Isa (Source - Google Street View)Caffi Isa (Source – Google Street View)

Before the new-look bookstore opens on February 5, the hard work has begun to get the stock on display and ready for sale.

Staff appealed for donations of props and props, boxes and bookcases.

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