A new independent bookshop has opened in the rural Lancashire town of Garstang by former secondary school teacher Sally-Anne Fraser.
Skippy in the Well has opened on 3 Oak Grove on Garstang’s high street, restoring a bookshop to the town once more after its last one closed several years ago.
Fraser, who has been a qualified secondary school English teacher for 13 years, was inspired to open the shop because she believes “books have become less visible - in our high streets, in our schools and in our homes”. Fraser said that because reading was “vital” for children to develop their vocabularies, to broaden their ideas of the world, to increase their chances of educational success and to make their lives “better and brighter” she wanted to make her contribution my opening a bookshop for the children of Garstang and beyond.
“Opening Skippy in the Well is my small contribution to making books visible again,” Fraser said. “I want the bookshop to be a place where children can discover the magic of books and adults can rediscover, celebrate and share the joy of being a reader.”
The front section of the bookshop hosts a reading ‘tepee’, baby and picture books, children’s non-fiction and fiction up to age 12. A small corridor shelves face-out classics and that opens up into a wider space towards the back of the shop, where teen, young adult and adult fiction and non-fiction are stocked. The shop also has comfortable chairs and a coffee machine for adults, with plenty of space for prams and push-chairs.
The bookshop will also stock a range of hand-made, ethically produced soft toys made by Barefoot toys and Fraser plans on running bookclubs, events and story-telling sessions.
Fraser said: “I am also offering a creative writing course for adults and private GCSE English and English literature tuition. It is my hope that with my experience and contacts, I can connect with local schools in the area to provide joint literacy and book-related events, as well as being a local supplier of reading and textbooks.”
Fraser added that Garstang’s high street had a “truly independent feel to it” with a strong trade association and a diverse range of shops and services.