Say it ain’t so! ‘Awesome, oddbeat, beautiful’ York shop to close

Paul Lowman, the man behind The Inkwell, is saying goodbye to Gillygate. Photographs: Richard McDougall

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Browsing at The Inkwell has been one of the great pleasures of shopping in York for the best part of seven years.

Whether you discovered a hidden gem, a forgotten masterpiece or just something fall-off-the-bed crazy, you rarely left without a purchase or an enlightening conversation with owner Paul Lowman.

Sadly however, that particular joy is coming to an end. The Inkwell is closing its Gillygate shop at the end of this month.

The news has left book and music lovers in mourning. But the good news is, the Inkwell will live on in a new form.

Created something unique

The Inkwell opened in 2011

The shop opened in 2011. As well as selling old and new vinyl and books, it also staged live gigs and album launches.

Leaving Gillygate was a difficult decision, Paul said on his blog. It had come about for a mix of personal and business reasons.

The vinyl stock has become more specialised and they want to specialise even more. And it was time for him, his wife Rebecca, and their two children two children “to move on to the next chapter in our lives”.

“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved with The Inkwell, and we leave 10 Gillygate knowing that we have created something truly unique; we’ve stuck to our principles, the shop stands for something and, in our seven years, we’ve made a difference,” he wrote.

“We have tirelessly promoted the artists and labels we believe in, and filled our crates with records based purely on our personal passion for them.

“How have we been able to make that model work? Because we’ve been blessed with the best customers ever.”

Customer reaction

Moving out of Gillygate and into a new chapter

Though dismayed that the shop was going, those customers paid tribute to Paul and The Inkwell. Here are some of their comments on Facebook…

Absolutely wounded to hear this, the shop has been one of the main reasons we keep coming back to visit York, Paul your knowledge, enthusiasm and conversation will be sadly missed

– William Holden

You’ve done something awesome for the community with ears in York, thank you

– Izzy Isgate

Oh no! Visiting your wonderful shop was a real highlight of my first (and only so far) trip to York

– Dan Orton

Yes, the browsing experience is what’s missing in the current retail world, and The Inkwell stood out with its offbeat stock and ace service

– Christopher Nosnibor

The shop is beautiful, but what you’ve built and what you’ll continue to do reaches far beyond those four walls

– Anna Lowman

Inkwell is closing?! Say it ain’t so

– Lisa Bullock

Genuinely excited

And so it is on to the next chapter…

“We are genuinely excited about what comes next,” Paul said on his blog.

“Inkwell Records will continue online, and – as a physical entity – we look forward to being a more flexible, moving feast, doing stalls, events, and anything else we feel like under the Inkwell banner.”

And in the meantime there’ll be “huge discounts on stock, and furniture”. So “please do swing by for a chat, a coffee, and maybe some bargains,” Paul says.

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