Grooving in the Needles


Tucked away down the useful cut-through from Cinque Ports Street to the Mint, Needles Passage, is the recently opened The Other Record Shop, so named as it is the second vintage vinyl store to grace the town.

Contrary to what might be expected, Henry Tragett’s tiny, well-stocked shop should not be seen as a rival to the well-established Grammar School Records. Henry has worked there and continues to occasionally help the owner, Geoff Boudreau (who is also the partner of Henry’s mother-in-law).

The Other Record Shop has taken the space vacated by Sailors, now located in the High Street, and is crammed with second-hand and new vinyl, CDs, books, cassettes and posters, displayed in handmade wooden stacks and spilling out into the passageway outside. Potential customers are guided to the shop by an LP-shaped sign on the Mint as well as an occasional A-frame sign on Cinque Ports Street. The windows are painted with musical motifs designed by Evie Adams and the bold shop sign, designed by Nancy Nicholson, is reminiscent of record labels and design of the 50s and 60s.

Henry Tragett, The Other Record Store

For the last four years, Henry Tragett has had a record shop in Tenterden, Electric Palace Records (as well as working as a financial advisor) and had long had his eye on the Needles shop as a possible second store. When Martin from Sailors contacted him to let him know that he was leaving, Henry jumped at the chance to take it over.

There is a range of categories covered including sections on punk, reggae, R&B, soul and funk, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, among others. Henry is selling records from the collections of Eric Stewart of 10cc and David Betteridge of Island Records which is bound to turn up some interesting finds. In the past, his best sale has been a first pressing of the 1965 debut album of The Wailers (later to become Bob Marley and the Wailers), The Wailing Wailers, which he sold for £2,800.

Henry is very excited for the future and has many ideas for developing his shop. Upstairs, he plans a listening booth, something that used to be common in early record stores and which will add to the retro-feel of the shop. Another idea is to turn a small storeroom in the passage into a place to buy coffee. He says: “I am very excited about the shop and proud of having a good mix of music. I am keen to make it a hub where people can come to sit and chat as well as listen to and buy records. There have already been lots of interest and some regular customers.”

Always on the look out for new exciting stock, Henry also buys second-hand vinyl and is particularly keen to have more reggae, classic rock, and Northern Soul singles.

For collectors, it is sure to be a regular haunt, and if all the other plans come to fruition, will be a fun and friendly place to meet and talk to other music lovers.

Image Credits: Juliet Duff .

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