Grant Smithies opens record shop in the Free House beer garden
A record shop has sprung up in the unlikely setting of a Nelson beer garden.
Avid vinyl collector Grant Smithies has opened Family Jewels Records with his wife, artist Josephine Cachemaille, in the Free House beer garden.
He said Family Jewels Records was "possibly the only record shop in the world that's in a beer garden".
Free House owner Eelco Boswijk had used the small garden office, but readily agreed with Smithies' idea of turning it into a record store. Smithies has held regular vinyl fairs at the Free House.
But he reckoned the city was "desperate" for a record store after Everyman Records closed down three years ago.
"We haven't even had an official opening, we've just been down there every Friday and Saturday afternoon sorting out LPs and people have been flooding in."
Smithies said during winter the shop would be open every Friday and Saturday from 1pm, with longer hours in the summer.
After Boswijk gave the go ahead, Smithies and Cachemaille were in the space bashing out walls and taking out carpet. Now the small space is filled to the brim with vinyl records.
Always on the look out to "rescue" old vinyl records from people's basements, Smithies said he was also looking for people wanting to sell old turn tables.
He said the idea was to eventually set up a turn table in the store, allowing the public to play whatever music they wished for the enjoyment of those having a beer in the Free House's garden.
"It's great to have a place to talk about music, people have been really enthusiastic about there being a record store again."
Smithies said it was also nice to have a social environment to work in, as he and his wife often work by themselves from home.
Family Jewel Records is looking for people who want to sell their vinyl records. Contact Grant Smithies on 022 362 0304.