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Gallery: Blackpool Record Fair

Record dealers from around the North of England are heading to the Waterloo Music Bar on Saturday 12th August to sell an eclectic mix of Vinyl LPs, 45s and music memorabilia. Jill Reidy popped along to a previous event with her camera and found everything from Cliff Richard to Kiss

The Waterloo Music bar is a well-known local venue for fans looking for a good night out with a live band. I’ve lived in Blackpool for over 40 years but have never actually ventured in, so when I turn up on Saturday morning to photograph the annual Blackpool Record Fair, I’m not sure what to expect.

What I find is a pub that loves its music. Memorabilia covers every surface, floor to – and including – ceiling.  The sellers are just finishing setting up and each stall is a sea of vinyls, CDs, tapes and badges. Each box is meticulously labelled by name or genre, and it’s clear that this is an event not only for the casual buyer but also for the serious collector. A canvas Cliff Richard presides over one side of a stall, whilst the seller busies himself, sorting out boxes and answering questions from enthusiastic customers. 

As a photographer I’m slightly concerned about the light. It’s very dark in the bar, with the odd spotlight, which makes for a great moody atmosphere, but pretty grainy images without a flash. And the flash is still on my kitchen table. I have a wander around, resisting the urge to flick through a box of old Beatles LPs, and start to capture some images. The atmosphere is friendly, with banter between stall holders, and more serious conversations with collectors intent on finding that one elusive vinyl. As I’m about to leave, one of the stall holders informs me proudly that the event has been taking place for ten years now.  Looking at the faces of those hunched over boxes, I can see why it’s such a serious business for those who love listening to their music in any form. 

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