Colchester store scoops BBA’s regional best independent bookshop title

Red Lion Books founders Sarah and Peter Donaldson. Picture: RED LION BOOKS

Red Lion Books founders Sarah and Peter Donaldson. Picture: RED LION BOOKS - Credit: Red Lion Books

A Colchester book store is celebrating after being shortlisted for a national award.

Sarah Donaldson, owner of Red Lion Books. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Sarah Donaldson, owner of Red Lion Books. Picture: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Archant

Red Lion Books has been shortlisted for Independent Bookshop of the Year at the British Book Awards (BBA), after scooping the award for best independent bookshop in South-East England.

It will now compete with seven other regional winners for the national title, and a cheque for £5,000 towards improvements, which will be revealed at an awards event in London on May 14.

Owners Sarah and Peter Donaldsons said they were “thrilled” at the accolade.

“It is such a boost to have our hard work recognised,” they said.

Peter Donaldson of Red Lion Books, Colchester. Picture: CLIFFORD HICKS

Peter Donaldson of Red Lion Books, Colchester. Picture: CLIFFORD HICKS


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“We enjoy sharing our enthusiasm for books with our customers through the year and have been overwhelmed by the expressions of support and congratulations we’ve received.

“We’re so pleased now just for our name to be ‘in the hat’ for the national award along with the other regional winners - all of them fantastic, dedicated, characterful shops serving their communities with creativity, passion and pride.”

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Red Lion Books was chosen for the regional prize by a panel of expert judges, who read testimonials by local customers who submitted online to the BBA website.

Founded in 1978 by the Donaldsons, the store boasts four different book clubs, a gallery space for artworks, and organises many author events throughout the year. 2017 highlights have included ‘civilised Saturday’, a day where customers were served sherry while getting on with their Christmas shopping, and an event with Sarah Perry which raised £890 for Read Easy UK.

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