Nigel Barton and Derek Westwood met whilst both working at a High Street building society. They also have a shared passion for music with both separately dreaming of one day opening their own stores. Meant to be some would say!
Before working at the Building Society, Derek had been providing mortgage advice for other companies, Nigel had built a successful career selling cars. In a previous life Derek spent ten happy years working in music retail for HMV and Tempest Records (A much missed Independent in Birmingham). Tower Records and a short stint at Our Price.
They spent many a lunch break chatting about music, gigs, favourite acts etc. Redundancy reared it’s ugly head for Derek and after a lot of deliberation he decided to accept the lump sum and plough a good chunk of it (alongside Nigel’s Savings) into creating their wonderful little Emporium.
They both threw themselves into the task wholeheartedly and have been open for three months or so now after seemingly endless months spent painting, cleaning, opening accounts and buying stock. So far, the lovely town of Leominster as accepted them with open arms, they are also totally gobsmacked at the amount of younger people who have discovered the joys of vinyl and how knowledgeable they are on a very wide range of music.
The Record Shop That Gives Mortgage Advice
They are also extremely knowledgeable about mortgages. Here at Proper we have a shop that sells pies and vinyl (Pie & Vinyl) in Southsea and a shop where you can try and buy organic Italian wine whilst browsing through vinyl (Winyl) in Manningtree and now we have a record shop that offers mortgage advice. The great thing about independent shops is they are all different but these three are completely unique.
I asked the boys about their first day of trading and what Proper releases they are enjoying?
The first day was very odd as we envisaged a big unveiling and some kind of ceremonial fanfare! In reality however we just looked at each other and said ‘right, that’s it, let’s open the door! We were in fact both outside looking at the window when a chap walked up and said “are you open”? We just said yes and in he walked. Turns out he is a long serving soldier in Hereford who has become a friend of the shop. He bought the recent Post Malone LP “Austin” on blue vinyl for his son who was over the moon with it apparently! We hit the ground running that day and were relieved to hear lots of positive feedback on what we had created as we had no idea on whether it was any good or not as it was all done on instinct.
Standout proper Releases:
Derek is enjoying the Laura Viers LP – Phone Orphans especially as it looks great too on black and blue vinyl. Laura has such a haunting voice and writes outstanding songs.
Nigel is loving the recent Tony Visconti Box Set on Demon. Not only does it have a beautiful 60-page booklet, the fact that it is signed makes this doubly wonderful.
15 School Lane