Well-known Felixstowe bookseller to retire and hand over to vinyl store

Richard Moffat, right, of Poor Richard's Books in Felixstowe, which is closing, and Garry O'Malley of Grooveyard Records

Richard Moffat, right, of Poor Richard's Books in Felixstowe, which is closing, and Garry O'Malley of Grooveyard Records, which is taking on the store - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant

A much-loved Felixstowe book shop is closing after 25 years, with a vinyl shop taking on the building.

Owner Richard Moffat, of Poor Richard's Books, has decided to retire from running the second-hand bookshop in Orwell Road, while continuing online sales, as he approaches his 75th birthday.

"I have just thoroughly enjoyed doing it," he said. "The book-buying public are really nice people."

Richard Moffat of Poor Richard's Books in Felixstowe, which is closing, but will continue to sell books online 

Richard Moffat of Poor Richard's Books in Felixstowe, which is closing, but will continue to sell books online - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant

Garry O'Malley, who shares Richard's passion for serving collectors, has bought the building. He has been running his second-hand business, Grooveyard Records, in the back of the shop for the past two years.

He is now planning to move the used vinyl shop into the front of the building after Poor Richard's closes, and open up in the new year.

However, Richard will continue to run an internet bookselling business from the basement.

"I've kept about 10,000 books to sell online," he said, adding this would only take a few hours a week.

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He decided the time was right to go now partly because of the pandemic.

Some of the remaining books at Poor Richard's Books. Although the bookshop is closing, online sales will continue

Some of the remaining books at Poor Richard's Books. Although the bookshop is closing, online sales will continue - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant

"Covid has changed everything and business has dropped off, although the internet kept us going," he said.

Poor Richard's had more than 50,000 books, making it one of the largest second-hand bookshops in Suffolk.

Most of these are now gone after the store held a sale, and Richard is currently packing up the remaining stock and passing it on to charities.

Richard went into bookselling after retiring at 50 after more than 20 years as head of English at Deben High School.

"I had always collected books, especially the big poets," he said.

He originally started his bookshop above Wainwrights in Hamilton Road before taking on the shop in Orwell Road.

Richard is the author of two local history books,  A View of Felixstowe From The Bath, about the Bath Hotel, and Felixstowe Flooded, about the floods of 1953. He has also republished other books by local authors.

He is looking forward to spending more time with wife, Valerie, a former nursing sister at Ipswich Hospital and The Bartlet, and their family. He is also planning more trips to France.   

Garry O'Malley of Grooveyard Records, which is currently operating within Poor Richard's

Garry O'Malley of Grooveyard Records, which is currently operating within Poor Richard's and will move into the front of the building - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant

Garry, aged 50, is looking forward to  moving his vinyl shop into the front of the store, after carrying out some alterations to the interior of the building.

"I am fairly new to the trade, but I have always had a huge interest in music," he said.

"I don't deal in new vinyl - it's all used. We stock all genres and have something for everyone. Browsing is the best thing about a record shop."

Garry said a lot of people didn't realise the vinyl shop was there within Poor Richard's, so he was looking forward to letting more people know they were there. 

Some of the second-hand vinyl stocked by Grooveyard Records in Felixstowe

Some of the second-hand vinyl stocked by Grooveyard Records in Felixstowe - Credit: Charlotte Bond/Archant


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