Search

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

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 Lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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, 14:57

The region’s local enterprise partnership has defended its decision to hand nearly a quarter of a million pounds to a Norfolk car manufacturer which has gone into administration.

Yesterday, 11:30

If there’s something strange at your town hall, who you gonna call?

Yesterday, 14:00

The first ever production put on by the Norfolk Amateur Drama Society has been hailed as a fairytale success.

Yesterday, 11:00

A parish council is facing a huge increase to the amount it has to pay for having its dog bins emptied by South Norfolk Council.

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
Friday, December 11, 2009

Dominic Chessum

From bundles of fake £50 notes to the sign which once hung above The Startled Duck pub, costumes, props and memorabilia seen in the hit Sunday night TV drama Kingdom are set to go under the hammer at a Norfolk auction room later this month.

Read more
Wed, 15:00

A community has dug deep in memory of a much-loved postwoman to raise money for a local hospital.

Read more
Swaffham
Mon, 15:00

Founded in 1921, the Royal British Legion has provided a helping hand – financially and emotionally – to servicemen and women for nearly a century.

Read more
Royal British Legion
Monday, January 9, 2017

Police are appealing for witnesses following a crash in Stow Bedon.

Read more
Watton

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

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

Newsletter Sign Up