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An Ormskirk Record
Dot Broady-Hawkes shares her recollections of the many and varied record shops that have served Ormskirk in for many generations
Frederick B. Rudd of 16 & 28 Derby Street West had one of the first businesses in Ormskirk to sell Gramophones and Gramophone Records. Formerly a Musical Instrument Dealer in the early 1900s, the post WW1 boom in the sale of the Gramophone and 78rpm records meant Rudd’s little shop at No 28 must have been packed with a vast range of recordings. Amazing to think that 50 years later the same premises was re-opened as the first Soundsgood store in the town. The tiny shop again was packed with the latest hit records from the Top Ten as well as an eclectic mix of teenybop, progressive rock, classical and middle of the road music. Genres that seem to sound quite strange now!
Allsets in Burscough Street was a busy store in the 50s and 60s, selling the new vinyl long playing (LP) records and the very best music centres and radiograms available. The small but very well stocked record department in the back of the shop was a magical place in the 60s and the soundproof booths were just the best!
Woolworths did not always have a record department, only opening one in the early 70s but with centralised buying and distribution it did not have the vision to be adventurous in the stock holding and risk something new. Ormskirk had a large Student population even then and although they were all poverty stricken most of the time, they seemed to always find the money for the latest Yes or Pink Floyd album. It was always easy to tell who was a student by the way, they called an LP an ‘Album , just to show they were hip………
Soundsgood, which moved to 28 Burscough Street in October 1975 and Allsets provided top 40 chart singles and a superb range of music, with cassette tapes and the amazing unreliability of 8 track cartridges. The link between a biro and a cassette tape is something only that generation understand.
Will Parker Records began in the first floor of 56 Aughton Street, with the Farmer’s Union office below. It was cut price records without losing the choice. A busy store that eventually moved to the Bus Station end of Moor Street.
After these stores were gone along came Quirk’s Record Centre in Church Street which was a hugely successful business.
The days of independent record stores are sadly pretty much gone with the new technology and new media. We can only sit and look at our old LPs and promise ourselves that one day soon before our children take them to the tip we will buy a turntable and speakers and play them all again, just to hear how the music used to sound.