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The late Tony Parkinson.

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Tony was happily married to Joan for 50 years and with her support the business thrived, eventually expanding to include natural history items such as fossils, gems and minerals; and also ancient art, varied antiquities and early framed maps.

However, books remained Tony’s great passion. His knowledge of them reflected his wide range of interests and his love of learning. A true renaissance man, with a BSc in botany and zoology and an MA in philosophy, he had a great facility for languages.

A lifelong curiosity about almost everything was also expressed in his love of conversation, humour and story-telling. Tony made time to chat to all his customers and was known for his kindness.

He didn’t claim to be especially organised and browsing in the shop could yield unexpected and intriguing discoveries. In fact, Tony himself was sometimes surprised by what was there.

In early December, enjoying a meal with friends, Tony said he had no interest in ever retiring. His death happened without warning and has left Joan, their son Andrew and Tony’s many friends deeply shocked and grieving.

Andrew is running Parkinson’s Books now and it has been as busy as ever, with numerous customers expressing their sympathy.

Alan Dawson and Charlotte Haptie