Female-run Chesterfield record store rides the crest of the vinyl revival
Record shops are back in fashion - and Chesterfield has its very own temple to the turntable.
Tall Bird Records on Soresby Street has now been going three and a half years.
And now its owner, Maria Harris, is attracting attention as one of a small but growing number of female vinyl entrepreneurs.
Maria, 53, said: “I suppose I am quite a rare breed.
“Vinyl is generally a very male preserve but it can also be a selling point.
“On balance the majority of my customers are men but there are more and more women who come in as well.”
Maria set up shop in 2013 after the town’s much-loved former record store - Hudson’s - closed its doors.
“I wanted there to be a place for people to buy records,” explained Maria.
“The idea of living in a place without a record shop greatly displeased me.
“And there was a gap in the market.”
Since she opened her Soresby Street premises, Maria says Tall Bird has been growing ‘year on year’.
“We are fortunate to have ridden the crest of the vinyl wave,” she says.
“In the last few years it has really come back - vinyl was the gift to give last Christmas.
“It also allows people to deal with a real human being - and have something in their hand that they have paid cash for.”
A big reason behind this ‘vinyl revival’ is the annual Record Store Day - which celebrates its tenth anniversary on April 22.
The records released on the day are highly collectible and only available in independent record shops.
An official launch of this year’s release list will take place at a special ‘in store’ event at Tall Bird next Tuesday, March 21 from 5.30pm.
“We’ve got My Pleasure - who is a Chesterfield based musician - playing live and there will be free food and drink as well.
“It’s an opportunity to look at the list and tell me what they are interested in buying on the day.
“People queued all night last year so we’re expecting a good turn out this year as well.”
“There is a lot of grumbling on Facebook about there being nothing in Chesterfield but people certainly come to us from outside the town.”
As if to prove the point, one of Maria’s customers - Trevor Sullivan from Dronfield - says he comes to the store as it is better than those in Sheffield.
“Maria’s descriptions are more honest. The prices are very fair and the collection is excellent.”
Another happy customer.