Photograph, Catherine Stevenson
Did anyone from The Stair visit Bobbie's Bookshop?
Bobbie's Bookshop was situated at 181 Dalry Road for over thirty five years.The shop sold paperbacks, but the reason why I visited it was that it sold the best range of DC Comics around. It was an Aladdin's Cave for my Green Lanterns; Green Arrows; Supermans; Batman and Robin; and Justice League of America comics. I also picked up a few Classics Illustrated too.
The shop had a highly unusual arrangement whereby if you returned books or comics then you would receive credit to be spent on further purchases. Theoretically you could visit Bobbie's with no money at all, and instead trade comics.Whilst you would leave the shops with fewer comics than you entered with, you were going home with different comics to read-the anticipation was great. If you also had money with you, even better! I guess it was a book exchange.
Back in the 1990s on a return visit to Edinburgh I looked out to Dalry for fun to see if the shop still existed-I couldn't believe my eyes-yes it did-I ventured in and spoke to the owner for a wee while-he was retiring soon, closing the shop in a few weeks; I bought some DCs with the Bobbie's Bookshop imprint on them-for old times sake-and thanked him for the wonderful service he had provided for decades.
On doing a little research I discovered the shop was also a newsagent and had been allegedly black-balled for a few years by the Sunday Mail and Daily Record for failing to open on New Year's Day 1967 to sell papers-evidently the locals supported his stance and switched their allegiance to other papers.
Brian Rennie at Oxgangs Street also used to visit the shop, but I don't think anyone else from The Stair visited Bobbies Bookshop?