Sent in by Arthur Robinson:
Hi, to everybody who remembers Robinson’s Records on Blackfriars Street, Manchester, England.
I have put Manchester in the address but actually we where just over the river Irwell , which separates Manchester from Salford, My wife Edna and I Arthur Robinson owned the business,
We originally started with our first shop in Patricroft, Eccles, approx: six miles from M/cr, It was in 1960 when we bought this building which was an old fish and chip shop; and with help from our friends we ripped out all the fittings, and turned into a record shop, calling it the Disc Centre. We also lived on the premises with our young family.
A short while later we opened our second shop, at the Eccles Railway Station, then approx: two years later we bought the old Royle and Leesons pet shop in Queen Street, Eccles, and in doing so we closed the shop near the Station. This shop we called The Music Box, A young lady called Doreen Buck, started work for us in the Station shop, and moved into the Music Box, she worked with us for 21 years, more about Doreen later.
As time went by we opened two more shops one on Broad St, Salford, and the other in Lower Broughton Road, Salford., Later on I went into partnership with a guy called Hector Gedhall, whilst Edna ran the original shops, The partnership expanded quite rapidly with four shops in Manchester, six in Blackpool, one in Liverpool, one in Leeds. One in Sheffield.
It was in 1979 when the partnership business ceased to trade, Edna and I still had three shops, when we decided to expand again, this time just the two of us, and we took the premises on Blackfriars Street, which we opened at first on the ground floor, and then later on we extended down into the basement area. We had another young lady called Kath Roberts, who used to work for us in the early partnership days, and afterwards, she became our supervisor at Blackfriars St, she carried on working for us for 34 years. Some of you might remember her?
The other person who stayed with us for 21 years was Marmalade ! our Ginger Tom, I say he was a person, because believe me he was as human as any human being I ever new, a fantastic pet, who never left the shop, he would sit many times near both our front, and back doors, sometimes went to look outside, but never wandered there. Many customers asked where Marmalade was before even looking at the records. For some he was part of their journey to Robinson’s Record’s.
It was during this time I decided to go to America, so as to buy records from there, I went to New York, only to find out that the places I needed to buy from where in New Jersey, and Long Island, this was the start of us really going into the collectors market, because our choice in America was fantastic, I along with Edna sometimes, started to go to America every 3 to 4 months.
The rest is history, because we built the shop up to what we thought was one of the best record collectors shops in England, it spoke for itself we had people writing to us from overseas, even from America ! Looking to see if we had the records they wanted. We had many Fan Clubs throughout England coming to us, asking us to see if we could find the records that they all wanted, I think luck was on our side because we managed to fulfil many of there requests, and finished up with a very loyal customer base.
I also have to mention the many staff (too many to name them all) that worked for us during that period, Edna and I agree that we had some very good , loyal staff, who became part of our extended family, and at this point we would once again like to thank them ALL, for their help in making Robinson’s Records a major part in not only our lives, but our customers as well.
It was in 1981 when we realised that our Record business was about to come to an end, what with the big changes in the music industry, Punk in England, Gospel in America, and of course the major factor was that of the Dollar dropping so far against the English pound, it just made it impossible for us to carry on.
It was at this point we made plans to close Robinson’s Record’s, and open our new retail venture, that being our D, I, Y store “Hang Em and Bang Em” in the same building, which later also incorporated Robinson’s Picture Gallery.
We did however manage to sell the remaining records to a business friend of ours John from London, who not only kept it running, but also re-employed Doreen Buck to manage it for him ,unfortunately he passed away two years later, then Doreen bought the business, and she ran it for two years more before deciding to retire. We ourselves are now retired, and thankfully still enjoying our lives to-gether. Once again we would like to say Thank you to all and everybody who knew us during that fantastic time.
P.S. We would like to thank Mike Prince, for the opportunity to post on this site. we know he enjoyed his days working for, and with us.