Biblio-Text: Pleasures of Past Times / Tim Bryars

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 106 months ago
Biblio-Text: Pleasures of Past Times / Tim Bryars
Tim Bryars: maps are just so much more photogenic for the ground floor
Tim Bryars: maps are just so much more photogenic for the ground floor
Tim Bryars: a version of an old children's map of London, complete with nursery rhymes
Tim Bryars: a version of an old children's map of London, complete with nursery rhymes
Tim Bryars: beautiful fireplace with an old Tube map hanging in pride of place
Tim Bryars: beautiful fireplace with an old Tube map hanging in pride of place
Tim Bryars: this bookcase contains a six volume, first edition, set of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, worth £17,500
Tim Bryars: this bookcase contains a six volume, first edition, set of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, worth £17,500
Tim Bryars: told you
Tim Bryars: told you
Tim Bryars: this book is over 230 years old, and look at it; it's immaculate
Tim Bryars: this book is over 230 years old, and look at it; it's immaculate
Pleasures of Past Times: old theatrical playbills and stars long gone
Pleasures of Past Times: old theatrical playbills and stars long gone
Pleasures of Past Times: ephemera of the theatrical kind
Pleasures of Past Times: ephemera of the theatrical kind
Pleasures of Past Times: hang out among theatre's greats
Pleasures of Past Times: hang out among theatre's greats
Pleasures of Past Times: it's like a treaure trove in here
Pleasures of Past Times: it's like a treaure trove in here

Continuing our amble around Cecil Court's independent bookshops

David Drummond has been running Pleasures of Past Times for over 40 years, and become a bit of a legend. He specialises in books and ephemera (programmes, playbills, postcards) about the performing arts, and is so loved amongst the theatrical crowd that when Simon Callow heard about Cecil Court's troubles with business rates he rushed off to write an angry piece in the Guardian. He's not the only lauded friend of the shop: Julian Barnes, Beryl Bainbridge and Cameron Mackintosh are also campaigning. No doubt if Sirs Alec Guinness, Rex Harrison and John Gielgud were still alive they would also be fighting Drummond's corner. You, however, should feel under no compulsion to do anything more strenuous than to spend a happy hour rummaging through his treasures.

We know a lot of people feel a bit intimidated about going into rare bookshops, worried the owners will chase them out with sticks if they dare approach the goods with their sticky little fingers. If this sounds like you, we recommend a visit to Tim Bryars. He stocks antiquarian books, maps and prints - plenty of them about London, and he wastes no time sharing his enthusiasm with anyone who walks in. He's also currently got in a beautiful first edition of Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in the original six volumes, on sale at a whopping £17,500, but also has books and folding maps for the price of a new hardback thriller. And we think we know which we'd prefer.

Pleasures of Past Times, 11 Cecil Court / Tim Bryars, 8 Cecil Court, WC2N. Map after the jump, images author's own. Know a good bookshop? Email us at londonist (@) gmail.com.

Other posts:

Introduction

Marchpane / Goldsboro Books

Travis & Emery / Watkins

Motor Books


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Last Updated 01 July 2009