'And finally, not everyone’s being doing topical. In fact, here’s the rather lovely 6 Oxgangs Avenue devoted to the history of the development of the area, this week highlighting how the block of flats came into being. Could have been prompted by Who do you think you are? Or just a timely reminder that not everything worth blogging about is in the here and now.'

Kate Higgins, Scottish Roundup 26/08/2012

Friday, 7 September 2018

The Wednesday Profile #6 Bobbie's Bookshop

Photograph, Catherine Stevenson

Bobbie's Bookshop was situated at 181 Dalry Road for over thirty five years.

The shop sold scraps and 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; Superman; Batman and Robin; and Justice League of America comics.

I also picked up a few Classics Illustrated too.

Occasionally, my sister Anne might be along with me as the shop also sold scraps too.

Bobbie's had a highly unusual arrangement - if you returned books or comics then you would receive credit to be spent on further comics. 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 still going home with different comics to read - oh the anticipation!

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 Road 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; for old times' sake I bought some DCs with the Bobbie's Bookshop imprint on them and thanked him for the wonderful service he provided to the community 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.

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