A prominently located shop in Shrewsbury’s Frankwell area, has re-opened over three floors under the ‘Welsh Bridge Books & Collectables’ banner as an Aladdin’s cave of books, antiques and other collectables. Legal support was provided by Charlotte Nutting, an Associate in FBC Manby Bowdler’s Shrewsbury-based Commercial Property team.
The period building at 127 Frankwell, had previously been an antique furniture shop before a brief period as a bar. It has been in Simon and Anthony Price’s family for many years and is one of several properties they own in the area. The new tenant is David Wilsdon who has sold books and collectables for over 18 years.
Starting off in Wolverhampton's Antiques market in 2002, David went on to open a shop in the city centre in 2009 before shifting to online sales in 2015. However, with a desire to get back to the high street, he started to consider options for a physical shop. He explains:
“Whilst so much purchasing is carried out online, there’s something to be said for being able to pick up and feel a product and this is especially so when dealing with antique books and collectables.
“Once I decided to start a shop again, the hunt was on for an ideal location and whilst I considered Bridgnorth, Ironbridge and Lichfield, Shrewsbury’s rich history, architectural charm and bustling high street proved to be an ideal location.”
The timber-framed building is arranged over three floors and is comprised of eight character-oozing rooms but, as David explains, these required some work to get them ready for use:
“Whilst I visited several properties, this historic building stood out for many reasons: its location in Frankwell; its 16th Century charm and its labyrinthine lay out meant it had a lot of potential.
“The number of rooms provided scope to dedicate certain areas to individual subjects, as well as offer space for original art, antique photography equipment and music related materials. That many rooms though meant preparation for opening took almost four months!”
David will be working alongside three long-standing friends who all have distinct areas of specialism in the books, antiques and collectables market and over the longer term, it is their hope to host small live events, including book and poetry readings, at the shop.
, FBC Manby Bowdler, adds:
“A building so brimming with history and charm and the quirks that often come with that, deserves to house a business that is similarly rich. Welsh Bridge Books & Collectables is certainly that: eclectic and vibrant, it is a true treasure trove to get lost in and I am delighted to have welcomed David and his team to this important property.”
Having not worked with the FBC Manby Bowdler team prior to this move, David is in no doubt as to the value Charlotte brought to the transaction. He concludes:
“With a project such as 127 Frankwell, the intricacies of a complex building and needing to successfully move all the products carefully, it was always reassuring to know that Charlotte and her team were on top of the legal aspects of the lease and they were always quick to clarify any queries I had.”