Newcastle Bookshops: Newcastle Bookshop

(photograph by Allan Glenwright)

The Newcastle Bookshop was on the Quayside (the address was 1 Side). The proprietor was Brian Mills who had previously been a lecturer in film studies at Newcastle Polytechnic. Drif said it was "great" book shop (because, unlike so many, it had opening hours that were easy to remember - 10.30 - 5.30). George Ramsden described it: "The shop consists of one room, fairly small and square, of which the front is entirely window, its panes rattled by passing lorries. It smells exactly how a bookshop should; along one wall stands a handsome bookcase, unlocked, with some interesting-looking books inside; the stock is well-chosen and enticing, the specialist stuff [applied arts] upstairs viewable on demand. Decorative touches are rare in secondhand bookshops, but in this one the ceiling is painted a rich blue colour, while the elaborate plasterwork of the cornice and above the old gaseliers is white - the jolliest bookshop ceiling in England". Brian Mills sold the Newcastle Bookshop in 1992 and it moved to Haltwhistle in 2002.

From TheBookGuide 28.04.10: I was saddened to read today that Brian Mills is suffering from dementia, and that his partner is collecting material for a memory book. I remember Brian from his days in the Newcastle Bookshop, and his brilliant trade card which featured a gas mask wearing audience. And I still have some of the wonderfully quirky ephemera which used to be a feature of his catalogues.
I was very sorry to read about Brian's illness. I remember well his shop at Side in Newcastle, and how when we visited him one morning, he took us in his car to his favourite lunch place, which we thought might be something special. We didn't realise at the time that we knew nothing about his tastes in food, so imagine our surprise when the lunch venue turned out to be a transport cafe! Brian was always such good company and so knowledgeable a bookseller who really understood his market. If you can, please pass our kindest regards, and this email, to Anne, who we also remember warmly. - Gordon & Gillian Hill 10.06.10.

Brian Mills died on 13 January 2011

The Newcastle Bookshop makes an appearance in the 1988 film Stormy Monday

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