One year on - how Wymondham community run bookshop Kett’s Books is going from strength to strength

17:22 17 September 2014

Kett's Bookshop celebrate their first anniversary. Shop manager Tracy Kenny with volunteer Trevor Ellingworth.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Kett's Bookshop celebrate their first anniversary. Shop manager Tracy Kenny with volunteer Trevor Ellingworth. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Archant norfolk

It’s been a year since 20 strangers met for a drink in a Wymondham pub, desperate to save an iconic bookshop under threat of closure.

And 12 months on, the dedicated team of volunteers has seen their vision unfold - with the community run Kett’s Books now a thriving addition to the town’s independent trade.

But up against the clock and with a lack of funds, it took a leap of faith to get the project off the ground.

Tracy Kenny, one of the organisers, said: “We all thought it was a terrifying prospect that Wymondham wouldn’t have a bookshop. But it was a very brave thing we did because we didn’t know each other - we were persuading people to get unsecured loans. We were agreeing to work together in a field that none of us knew based on goodwill.”

Meeting for the first time on September 17, it was just two months before they formed as a company and just four before they opened shop in Wharton’s Court in January.

Pitching in with skills picked up in previous jobs, the group of volunteers, ranging from teenagers to those in their seventies, planned, marketed, decorated and bought “all the books we could,” according to director Lorna Daymond.

But despite a rocky start, 70-year-old Mrs Daymond insisted the risks weren’t a worry.

“I just knew this was meant to be so, no, I wasn’t nervous at all,” she said.

Since then, they have gone from strength to strength - with a popular book club, a string of visits from successful authors and a steady stream of trade.

But, according to Mrs Daymond, sales figures aren’t top on the list of priorities.

“A main part of reading is about the conversation - we can say that the books on our shelves are there because a customer recommended it, or a member of staff loved it,” she said.

“Our key message and idea is that we want to grow readers - to give more to really capable, accomplished readers, but we’re also here for the woman in her fifties who has only read one book because she’s dyslexic,” 42-year-old Mrs Kenny added.

But Mrs Daymond, who has lived in Wymondham for 30 years, said that the shop’s future is always uncertain - and urged those living in the town to make the most of it.

“We are always wondering, ‘can we still do this’ and then we look at the books, and the answer is yes - so we keep going.”

For now, the shop’s future looks bright. They have a junior book club in the works, high hopes for grant funding and a visit from children’s author James Mayhew on October 1.

“It’s going well - I spent a lot of my time here but it’s been so worth it,” Mrs Kenny said.

For more information, contact the shop on 01953 603663.

Do you have a Wymondham story for us? Contact reporter lauren Cope on


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other news

Yesterday, 09:30

After an adventure which covered 1,855 miles and used 241 litres of fuel, a Wymondham couple have presented a charity with a cheque for more than £4,000.

Yesterday, 08:54

He was a shining example of kindness, consideration and fortitude - a man of honour and humour with a gleam in his eye and warmth in his heart.

Yesterday, 08:51

Staff and pupils at Attleborough Academy are celebrating thanks to a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted – which comes three years after its last rating of ‘Requires Improvement’.

Yesterday, 07:22

A judge warned that people must feel free to go out in safety at night after he jailed a drunken robber, who grabbed a woman’s bag after she left a nightclub.

Most Read

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It was its down-at-heel aura that first attracted Polly Grieff to the crumbling Old Manor at Saham Toney.

Read more
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Westfield Infant School and Nursery in Watton and Forest Academy in Brandon are among three community causes in their areas to have been shortlisted for the Bags of Help Campaign.

Read more
Mon, 17:19

Serious concerns over pupils safeguarding and a lack of proper checks on staff are among the problems found at an infant school by inspectors.

Read more
Tue, 06:00

A new crematorium has been granted planning permission by a district council for the third time.

Read more
Friday, October 14, 2016

Five vehicles were damaged on the same road in an overnight crime spree.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C


Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up