In Other Words Book Shop Plymouth

In Other Words Bookshop which opened on Mutley Plain in 1982 by Prudence de Villiers and her partner Gay Jones, broke new ground in Plymouth when it opened by selling a wide range of literature including anti-war, environmental and gay and lesbian titles – literature which was generally unavailable in most bookshops at that time.

“In the early days, we’d find ourselves talking to mostly younger people who were worried about their sexuality and wanted reassurance and wanted to be able to discuss it. And so, yes, there was a certain amount of tea and sympathy and you know, we would sort of sit down and chat. And I think that provided – you know, I know that was helpful to people, a number of people and so on”.

In Other Words Bookshop was a focal point for Plymouth’s few but determined radical activists for 25 years. It closed in 2007 having been open for 25 years as the couple were unable to compete with big business and internet competition.  The views of many Plymothians about the closure of the shop are summed up in the following quote:

“My own views are that it’s a huge loss since the shop has gone and it was a wonderful ‘hub’ really, with a lot of fun and laughter and access to things and information and people.”

In 1995 Gay wrote an article for the Allfellas newsletter after celebrating the shops 13th birthday – in it she talks about difficult trading conditions and the demise of the Net Book Agreement.

She also said “We are also home of PG Europe a mail order and wholesale service that imported Gay Rainbow accessories with ‘leather pride goods’ being a speciality.”

Read the Allfellas 1995 Autumn Newsletter

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