Return of much-loved Mersey bookshop

A much-loved independent Merseyside bookshop has reopened its doors for the first time in more than two years. Andrew Brown reports

Parkinsons Books
Parkinsons Books is located in Lord Street in Southport. Picture by Andrew Brown Media


One of Southport’s hidden retail gems is now reopened after being closed for more than two years.

Parkinsons of Southport – ‘Not Just Any Old Bookshop’ – has traded in Lord Street for the past four decades. It was a real treasure trove for town centre shoppers. However, many people have remained unaware of the existence of this family business.

It is located at the end of a small alleyway between the Lakeland clothes shop on one side and the 92 Degrees coffee shop on the other side. This is close to Lord Street’s junction with Nevill Street.

Once inside, visitors will find three floors and an outside area. These are filled with thousands of rare books, seashells, collectibles, CDs, vinyl records, gemstones, rocks, antiques, minerals, fossils, maps, prints, manuscripts, curios, and much besides.

The shop has delighted generations of Sandgrounders and visitors alike. Sadly it had to temporarily close its doors when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020.  Shoppers are now able to rediscover what the shop has to offer.

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Parkinsons Books owner Andy Parkinson said: “We have been open again for the past two weeks. We just wanted to open quietly and get up and running again before we really started advertising ourselves again.

We closed the shop at the start of the pandemic, but it is good to be open again.  It has not been too bad since we reopened, things have been quite steady.”

Parkinsons Books was first opened on Princess Street in Southport town centre in 1981. Opened by Andy’s father Tony Parkinson, it was located opposite Les Dodd’s snooker centre. Sadly, Tony died in December 2018.

In the late 1970s he had enjoyed doing book searches before going on to open his shop alongside his family. He had a masters degree in zoology and taught throughout Europe.


Parkinsons Books
Parkinsons Books has been in Southport since 1981. Picture by Andrew Brown Media


In 1983 the shop moved above Lakeland on Lord Street. It then moved to its current home in 1986. It has been a popular fixture for families ever since.

Andy is also a DJ who runs Audio Book, which brought music to last weekend’s Southport Food and Drink Festival. In recent years he has hosted special one-off Audio Book events at Parkinsons Books, showcasing local and international DJ talent.

He added: “At Parkinsons Books we sell collectibles, antiquarian, minerals, shells, books and lots more – a smorgasbord of world delights. We have thousands and thousands of books and other goods in here. My next job is to carry out an inventory and get it all catalogued.

“At the moment we are open between Wednesday and Saturday, and will see how Sundays go for us. Since we have reopened we have seen some of our old customers coming back, it has been great to see them again.” 

This article first appeared in Stand Up For Southport

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