“Georges”, Southport

George’s Shop (with no name!), Southport

April 2017 : Sadly George died recently. We know his shop was loved because this page gets more comments, enquiries and hits than that for any other shop I posted about. His son has posted in the comments below and is looking at ways of carrying the business on and reopening the shop. I’m sure we all wish him the best at a difficult time.  The entry below was posted after my first visit.

The coastal town of Southport is home to a few stalls of vinyl in antique centres and the usual array of charity shop boxes (as well as the crassest sea front barn shopping outlets, which have totally chaved up their most famous asset – anyone else would have hidden these dreadful places away on the landward side of town, not ruining the front!). But even many locals don’t know of George’s Records, hidden away beside a concrete access ramp up to a first floor car park above the abandoned Waitrose store.

George used to have a store near the indoor market with an on-street front, but it was so tightly packed it was almost impossible to get to look at the records, so he moved to his current lock up a few years ago – and just didn’t tell anyone, reasoning that people would find out by word of mouth! I would never have found the place without the help of resident Vince Kelly, and it took him some months to discover George’s new hideaway.

To compound the air of mystery the shop front has no signage whatsoever, apart form a small A4 sign which you can see from at least, ooh, six inches away.

The outside – note the lack of a sign!

He took his Dexion racking with him and yes, you can move around a little easier – though you will get to know fellow browsers more intimately than perhaps you might wish to at times! George is also making the mistake of starting to dump boxes of new stock in the aisles, but for now you can still get to see most of the vinyl without too much aggro. Apparently he has loads more ready to be sorted, and more at home ready to bring down.

George has been running second hand shops in the town for at least 15 years, originally doing bric a brac and books, but as stock got harder to source he settled down to specialise in vinyl. Plus you have to get up very early to beat him to the charity shops! Though to be fair, he does help a couple of local charity shops value their new arrivals and gives them a good second hand price on anything he feels he can find customers to – a kind of you scratch my back approach which the greedier charity shops (hello Oxfam) could to well to emulate.

The bulk of the vinyl is laid out alphabetically, without any attempt to lump into categories – so the vocal harmonies of Ray Conniff rubs shoulders with the vocal histronics of Rainbow (Ronnie Dio excepted) – plus there are sections for film music, childrens, spoken word and a few other more specialised areas (though you will have to ask as nothing is marked). So prior to a visit it helps if you know what you’re after, though it is just as much fun to flick through and see what pops up.

Browsing at George’s, yesterday.

He has also set up a classical section, done by label. I was astonished to see what some of my early Decca classical albums are now fetching; I picked them up for pence just for the great fifities cover illustrations (done by some quite famous artists) but it seems that the performances are now becoming sought after.

Under the racks are boxes of vintage 10″ format pressings, where Winifred Atwell 78s mix it with Whitenake (now there’s a thought) limited editions in white vinyl, and of 12″ singles too. All this plus random boxes of 7″ stuff and piles of new arrivals waiting to be racked out, and you can have great fun browsing. There are plenty of alt.shopping attractions close by if you better half doesn’t share you enthusiasm!

On my visit to take the pictures, I came away with a lovely 10″ of Picnic Tea music, a smashing Canadian cover version of the Valley Of The Dolls film music, and a couple of well designed spoken word albums from the 50s. George saw Vince coming and pointed out a clutch of recently arrived sixties French dolly singers – Francois and Sylvie being added to his haul of obscure funk singles. Plus he does do a good deal on bulk buys.

Then it’s off to the Westminster Tea Room for a bit of afternoon tea and to pour over the covers.

The man himself, slightly over-exposed…

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67 Responses to “Georges”, Southport

  1. I was in George’s last week, he has even more records in now so you can barely get down the aisles, anyway the reason for my comment is that when I was in the shop a couple of pensioners came in and told George they had been looking for the shop for two years. Talk about keeping your location a secret I had to smile at George and he was happy to smile back at me with a knowing look. Happy days.

    • Sue Furner says:

      Where is Georges in Southport? We will be looking for it for the first time next week!
      Thanks

      • simon robinson says:

        Sue, I forwarded your email to a friend in Southport for more accurate directions, as it is a bit tucked away. Hope you made it, he says the shop now has even more vinyl in!

  2. apoap0 says:

    Hello,

    I will be staying in Southport for a month and I am planning to spend a lot of time in this record shop. May I also ask for some directions to it?

    Thank you!

    • simon robinson says:

      It’s just off Tulketh Street top end, just before the road meets Chapel street, there is a big ramp going up to the NCP car park, and George’s is tucked down at the left of the ramp. Hope this helps!

  3. paul says:

    Hi,

    I tried visiting this place yesterday, but the shutters were down. does anybody know if it’s shut down or moved again?

    thanks

  4. Sarah says:

    Hi, does anyone have a phone number for Georges? Or know where I can get my record player repaired in Southport? Cheers, Sarah.

  5. Paul says:

    Hi, i can vouch that georges is indeed still in operation..great place, if not a bit overwhelming considering the only order is alphebetical..

  6. Luke says:

    What a great shop, and a great seller.
    went recently and got some great stuff, looking to go tomorrow too!

  7. ARIES says:

    Does anyone this guys opening times? I moved here a few months ago and I check to see if Georges is open whenever I pass but it never is. His shop looks so good in these pics I just wanna dig!

    • simon robinson says:

      Not being a local, I can’t help here! Our friends usually take us on a Saturday and he’s always been open then, but not been over myself for a while now.

  8. James says:

    I’m only a few miles away so I took the plunge after reading these comments and went down. The shop is easy to find, just look for the owner having a coffee and cig on the shop front… you can even see him on Google street view doing the same!
    Great shop, A-Z search and it takes some time to find what you are looking for…. oh and there are piles and piles of random records as well.
    I got what I looked for and took a random 12” into the mix to. I’m not disappointed with any of them. GREAT SHOP.

  9. chris says:

    If he opens its usually after lunch, there is a phone number if you do a google search. Got Loot OST, Vernon Burch Get Up 12″ in there and some other good nuggets. Nice shop if you got time.
    If you are travelling there phone him coz he doesn’t always open.

  10. sean says:

    Shop still open Tel: 07708 138641

  11. Alex says:

    Glad you all like the shop. George is my dad and I’m sure that he’ll be pleased with the great comments when I show this to him. Though the shop front isn’t named, for future reference, it’s called GS Vinyl Records. His phone number, should you wish to reach him is 07708 138641. If you should wish to email him, his address is gsvinylrecords@hotmail.com

    • simon robinson says:

      Thanks for the details Alex. Isn’t there a local art college who could devise him a great shop sign as a project? But we do get more postings about George’s shop than anything else, so he must be doing something right.

      • Alex says:

        Yeah there probably is and regardless he gets plenty of students through his doors, and a spangly new sign would look great. You never know with my dad. Something may well randomly appear in the future.

  12. Jools. says:

    Great place for those gems you’ve been looking for for ages. Got my Kraftwerk albums.

  13. A Guitar Guy says:

    Southport, land of the tide that goes out never to be seen again. Great post.

  14. Just moved to Southport….can anyone tell me if George’s is still open in 2015?
    Thanks in advance!
    Adam 🙂

  15. Alex Southgate says:

    Yes It’s still very much open and probably will be for a very long time yet. As mentioned above, he’s my dad. I’ll let him know you’re looking.

  16. Brian says:

    George is a great Guy and always helpful and very good knowledge on the vinyl scene

  17. Graham Cowperthwaite says:

    I was in Southport yesterday on Tulketh Street and could not find the shop at all. Is it still going?

    • Alex Southgate says:

      The shop is still there. It’s not on Tulketh street though, it’s just off it. If you walk down as far as Marble Place there is an amusment arcade on the other side of the road. This is on the corner of a little side street. My dad’s place is next door to it down that little street.

      • Dave W says:

        I went there Yesterday and the shutters were down. There is a laminated A4 sign on the wall letting me know I was in the right place. Has he closed for business?

      • Alex Southgate says:

        He is, but the shop is going to be closed for a while. Dad is very ill in hospital at the moment. The shop will be back open as soon as he’s well enough to tell me where he’s upto, then I’ll probably be opening it until he’s well enough to come back.

  18. Brian says:

    i Have been going to George for 3 years now and still he surprises me with some nice little finds i am an avid 45 collector, he has 2 rooms upstairs crammed with singles as well as racks downstairs There are delights on every shelf George is a great guy willing to share his knowledge and has a record player in shop for your listening pleasure He has like an underground status cos no one knows he is there He buys and sells and is in need of more racks to be honest It is a little precarious moving round lately He has so much & not enough shelves or probably the time to sort it So when you go in be prepared to stay a while and Get lost in it all
    CRATE DIGGING I LOVE IT !!!!!!!

  19. Hello….help please! I have posed before, but not really got anywhere…I have lived in Southport for 2 years, and have yet to find George’s! If he is still selling records, please can someone tell me how to find him? Thank you so much in advance! Adam.

    • paul says:

      Yup, he’s still there! I was in there maybe three weeks back! Right, so. Head down Tulketh Street from the town center end (by the coffee shop on the corner). About 20 yards up there is an arcade place. Theres then a little road on the left..he’s just there! Took me ages the first time! Hope this helps..good luck!

    • James says:

      See the post in 2013 made by me, also see this pic from my website http://www.ianswebsite.co.uk/georges.jpg the shop look this with BIG G sat in front as he always does.. The white side of wall seen 1st is the side wall of the arcade place Paul says in his post. He is on the side street of front of the arcade.

  20. James says:

    the arcade is now painted dark grey 🙂

  21. James says:

    Some very sad news..
    George has passed away, I do not know too many details but I noticed his shop has been shut for a few weeks so I asked at the arcade next door and they told me what has happened 😦

    It was after a short illness, he will be very sadly missed by a lot of people, myself included. The funeral will be held on the Tuesday after the bank holiday (so thats 18/04/2017) at Southport Crematorium, I think its a 1:30pm, but if you are going please check the date and time.

    R.I.P. George you will be missed.

    I also understand his son will be taking over the shop at some point and if its you Alex my sincere condolences.

    • Alex Southgate says:

      Thanks for the kind thoughts. The funeral is actually at 12.40 on the 18th at the crematorium. I’m hoping to take over but it’s early days yet. With a bit of luck we’ll be open again soon.

      • simon robinson says:

        No other shop listed on the site has had such feedback and enthusiastic comments, some people just get it right, and George was one of them; all the best with the immediate future and do let us know your plans when you’ve had time to ponder, and if you need any help I’m sure there are people here willing.

      • simmianbob says:

        Sorry to hear the tragic news George was a good bloke and I have never seen a shop like it it was amazing any idea when it’s going to be back open?

  22. Adam Evans says:

    So sorry to hear this, rest in peace George. Thoughts with the family.

    • paul says:

      Really sad news!! He will be sorely missed. Best wishes to his family..your dad and his shop were one of a kind.

  23. Anthony Nyland says:

    So sorry to hear the sad news, George was one of the loveliest people i ever met. Used to spend the whole day in the shop. Lunch from Marks, then afternoon coffee from Nero & leave when George shut. Was going to call him & pop over in the next couple of weeks. I’ll certainly never forget George, always a pleasure to be around

  24. Gillo Ballybay says:

    So sorry to hear about your dad’s death Alex, I’d only recently discovered his shop (about a year ago) He was a true character and clearly loved his music. He will be missed from the Southport scene.

  25. Tom says:

    I knew something was up when I came back from university for Easter and George’s shop had been shut for the past few weeks… RIP George – owner of quite possibly my favourite record shop ever.

    I still remember going in a few years back and buying about 20 records off the stack of miscellaneous house 12″s in the back of the shop that was taller than me (and George had no idea what any of them were). Those records started my foray into vinyl DJing and I’ve not looked back since.

    I’m thinking about 5% of my entire record collection must be records from George. I guess it’s a good sign you were going to find something new in there when even he didn’t know what was in all those stacks and shelves!

  26. david latham (aka Judd) says:

    George is an old friend of mine and he will be badly and sadly missed. He started buying records back in the early 1960s and one of his first buys was an LP by the gospel and blues singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. He was an avid Blues fan and he and I used to go to see blues artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson at the original Cavern Club in Liverpool. It’s great to hear that he was so well known and that his shop provided such a valuable service. I hope Alex manages to reopen it and I will try to find it next time I am in Southport.

  27. mcdevsmit says:

    Alex, I am so sorry for your loss. Your Dad was a lovely man who ran a record shop in the right way – people (and music!) before profit, and that’s what kept nerds like me travelling from London to Southport just to go to the shop.

    I really wish you the very best of you do decide to carry on with the business

  28. Paddy says:

    R I P George
    Sorry to hear about this, i only found out today as i was planning to go there to buy some vinyl tomorrow daytime, and stumbled on this website
    I hope his son reopens the shop as this was probably the last of the great record shops, and put a sign above the door with “Georges record shop”
    My condolences to Georges family

  29. James says:

    Some Great news.
    I passed the shop on Tuesday (that’s 16/05/2017) and saw the shutters up. On the 17th I saw the shop did not seem to be open. So, I put that down to some kind of clearing of stuff.
    Today the 18th I saw the shop was open again and so I when to see what was what.

    I met Alex, Georges son, I very amenable fellow that has his dad’s friendly approach. Alex said he wished to continue in the same way his father always had.
    I wish him all the best, and said I will be going there in the very near future for a rummage, the shop was already bustling with buyers.
    Alex seems to have some IT skills and he may bring the shop into the 21st century with some online stuff…who knows 🙂
    The future for this shop is bright!

    • simon robinson says:

      This is good news James and thanks for passing the information on, and we wish Alex luck in his new venture.

  30. paul says:

    Excellent news! If Georges shop is back in business, ill be there next week! Thanks for the info

  31. Alex Southgate says:

    Thanks everyone for all the really kind words. We are indeed back open but I’m working two jobs at the moment so it’s only for four days a week for now. If you come looking you’ll find me every Monday. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until I figure out whether I can live off it (or get sick of doing both) and open full time.

    • simmianbob says:

      Good luck Alex what time are you opening on Saturdays. I only met your Dad a few times but he was always a gent and I have never found another shop like this anywhere

      • Alex Southgate says:

        I’m open from 10am. If the shutters are down I won’t be far away so give me 30mins and pop back. I’m either in the bank or somewhere fuelling up on coffee.

    • paul says:

      Hello alex,

      Will you be open this sat? 3/06?

      Thank you.

      • Alex Southgate says:

        Hi Paul. Yeah I’ll be open on the 3rd from about 10.30am. If you get there and the shutters are down I’ve gotten stuck in the bank so give me 30 and come back. Looking forward to seeing you then.

  32. paddy says:

    Great stuff Alex
    Good look with the new venture, be up for a visit soon
    Best wishes

  33. Les says:

    Sorry to hear of Georges passing, I’ve spent many an hour perusing the shelves over the years. Wishing Alex all the best in continuing the business. There’s a great opportunity to breathe some new life into the shop without taking away what your Dad made so great about shopping there. Will take the opportunity to nip in this week

  34. Jeff says:

    Very sad news, sorry for your loss Alex. I’m not based in Southport but visited GS Records a couple of times a year, making the trip specially and always enjoyed a browse and a chat with George and never left empty handed. I haven’t been since last summer, so have only just found out the news, but I look forward to visiting again soon and supporting Alex in his continuation of the business.

  35. Les says:

    Was in George’s (Alex’s) today and never seen it so busy, hopefully Alex will be able to keep it going for many years to come.

    Managed to make a few of purchases myself.

    Thanks

  36. Robert Forster says:

    Does anyone know it its open on Sunday?

    • Les says:

      Hi Robert, See Alex’s previous post from May 19, currently Monday. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

      Alex please correct me if this has changed

      • Alex Southgate says:

        Nope you’re spot on. It’s going to be those hours for the foreseeable future too … unless the shop takes off in a major way or I win the lottery.

  37. Robert Forster says:

    thats a shame im up there on Sunday – no worries thanks for the reply 🙂

  38. Does anyone have a contact for Alex? I have a friend over from Germany who is desperate to visit George’s and I need to see if I can fit it into our itinerary

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