In August 2014, the Drake family were en route to the Lake District on a lovely bank holiday weekend and stopped off in Penrith.

Wordsworth Bookshop & Coffee House, Penrith.

Obviously, the need for a cafe and a coffee was high priority, but better still that combo with books was stumbled upon. The Wordsworth Cafe and Bookshop was discovered (sadly no longer there). Upon leaving, having had a chat with the owners, Mel and Richard had a discussion about how “that could be the sort of thing we could do”. December 2014 and seemingly this discussion was a regular one as Matthew, our son, pointed out, so subconsciously it seemed that owning a bookshop was a thing.

In January 2015 Richard informed his head of department of the intention to leave teaching and he set about trying to work out “where do you buy lots of books from?” Fortunately, their soon to be fairy godmother, Adrienne, and Gardners Books provided the answer and after several crazy ideas such as “we could buy a bus” we found a place. A WHOLE 12 square metres in what used to be Blacketts on Stockton High Street.

Blacketts, Stockton High Street
The original DRAKE!

And so on September 22nd 2015 DRAKE – The Bookshop opened its “doors” to the public and immediately had the books christened with champagne (thanks Lou). From that day forward we have never looked back. Stockton Council, B Supplied, Gardners Books, The Booksellers Association, Chicken and Frog Bookshop to name but a few were incredibly helpful in the early days (and still are) and since then so many people have helped to make us look professional and competent!

In October 2016 we moved to our current home on Silver Street where we have been happily at home until March 2020, when a satellite DRAKE was hastily built on the dining room table!

DRAKE – The Bookshop, 2016

From the outset we have had the idea of a sense of community at our heart and although that is a little tricky in the literal sense of the word as 2020 rolls on, we are so thrilled at just how close to so many people’s hearts we are and how much everyone wants to help to keep us going.

We will still be around to open the doors when it is safe to do so and we will make sure that inside those doors is a safe place (like there always has been). It might be a slightly different looking safe place, but it will still have community at its heart and will still be there for you. AND, one day, it will be the cosy place we can all gather again, and we look forward to sharing that time with you.

Scroll to top