Tuesday 20 November 2012

Crick's Corner, Highgate

What could have been available at Crick's Corner? Why was only the lower part of this ghost sign painted over? Why was a rectangle painted black? Unfortunately, with the original sign now covered by at least two coats of paint, only very few traces of letters can be seen. Certainly not enough to be able to come up with some words. Perhaps if the sun is at a particular angle more could be seen?

Still, thanks to some documents available online, it appears that in the 1920s (and certainly before) this was Albert Crick's bookshop and lending library. Indeed, in 1920, several acrimonious letters were exchanged between A. Crick and an anonymous contributor in the pages of The Publishers' Circular and Booksellers' Record of British and Foreign Literature regarding financial aspects of the bookselling business, and in particular the generation of profit.

Copies from 1937 of the same trade journal also show that by then Albert Crick also owned Crick's Library at 11a, Swains Lane. Notices published that year indicate he was selling ex-library books withdrawn from circulation. His main address remained 80, Dartmouth Park Hill though.

This second shop was still open in 1950 according to Clegg's International Directory of the World's Book Trade but there is no mention of it after that date. As for the original Crick's Corner, it is last mentioned in 1937.

Crick's Corner

Location: Bickerton Road / Pictures taken in November 2012

1 comment:

firangi said...

Thank you so much for telling me about Crick's Corner - I had been wondering for years where the name came from. I think this old sign was hidden by a more recent signboard until a few years ago. Mr Patel tells me that his shop will be under renovation, starting in a few weeks time, so this old sign may well disappear forever. Andrew Whitehead