Grand opening of Wisbech's new second-hand bookshop which aims to deliver the late Octavia Hill's goal to 'spread the word about reading'

Left to right at the Clock Bookshop opening: Cllr Gordon Bambridge, executive member for growth at Breckland Council, Wisbech mayoress Janet Tanfield, Charlotte Gilsenan, new chief executive officer of Bankside Open Spaces Trust, Peter Clayton, chairman of Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust and Wisbech mayor Cllr Peter Human. Picture: SUPPLIED

Left to right at the Clock Bookshop opening: Cllr Gordon Bambridge, executive member for growth at Breckland Council, Wisbech mayoress Janet Tanfield, Charlotte Gilsenan, new chief executive officer of Bankside Open Spaces Trust, Peter Clayton, chairman of Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust and Wisbech mayor Cllr Peter Human. Picture: SUPPLIED

SUPPLIED

Book-lovers in the Fens are in for a treat as a new second-hand bookshop has opened in Wisbech and it promises to deliver the message of the town's most famous daughter, Octavia Hill.

The Clock Bookshop, which gets its name from the newly refurbished Clock Tea Room at the nearby Birthplace House, opened its Post Office Lane doors on Friday, March 29.

Everything from biography to cookery titles is set to tick the boxes for book-lovers and bargain hunters in the town.

The shelves include novels and antiquarian works, books on crafts, nature, health, military matters and travel as well as titles tailor made for children.

Carol Scott, one of a three-strong voluntary team running the shop, said: “Our hope is that the people of Wisbech will welcome this additional service to our community.

“We also hope it will enable them to donate their books to a good cause as well as giving, as Octavia Hill did, access to books for people of all ages.”

The late Octavia Hill was reportedly determined to spread the word about the joy of reading in the town where she was born, Wisbech.

Octavia, the co-founder of the National Trust, was the driving force and treasurer of the Kyrle Society, which was founded by her sister, Miranda.

One element of the Kyrle Societies’ campaign was a ‘Books for all’ enterprise, when public library provision had just come around in the Victorian era.

A society spokesman said: “We have taken a lease on the bookshop premises for six months and it is hoped that the shop will become a clearing house for second-hand books.”

Readers can donate to the shop on 4 Post Office Lane and any good quality volumes left unsold will be offered to applicants free of charge.

Money raised by the sales will be considered as donations to the Octavia Hill Society, which is the primary friends’ support group for Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House at 7 South Brink.

Ms Scott added: “People interested in helping to man the store would be asked to do two-hour slots and that those wishing to be involved should leave their details at the shop.”

The Clock Bookshop opens on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.

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