Sad day as Harrogate rail station loses its newsagents

Harrogate's best-known, award-winning newsagents which has prospered at the railway station for 30 years has been forced to close by the times we live in.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 9:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 9:08 am
Harrogate newsagent Brian Moses: "Customers have been saddened by the decision to close, they have been really supportive and understand the situation."

With passengers numbers still so low during the coronavirus pandemic despite the easing of lockdown and the lease in this prime spot up for renewal, owner Brian Moses has taken the decision to retire after three decades of success.

It will obviously be a sad loss not only to his regular customers but to Harrogate railway station itself.

Mr Moses said he had been touched by a small flood of 'thank yous' from regular customers who appreciated the shop's efforts to stock the world's newspapers and magazines and a lot more over the last 30 years!

He said: "Customers have been saddened by the decision to close, they have been really supportive and understand the situation.

"We have received loads of thank you and retirement cards and all have stated how we will be missed."

It was in April 1990 that Mr Moses first opened up The Bookstall tucked in near the main ticket barrier on the concourse at Harrogate Railway Station on Station Parade.

Such was the hard work of Brian and his son Paul, that they won the UK’s top newsagent award at a glittering ceremony in London in 2016.

Mr Moses said: "My proudest moment was being voted the top newsagent in the UK in November 2016 and also being runner-up in the Harrogate Tourism awards in 2013.

"It showed we were doing things right, both Paul and myself."

But the decline of the general economic climate for newspapers this year, in particular, during the pandemic and the lockdown made it seem the right time to take the decision to retire .

Mr Moses said he was now fearful for the future of both Harrogate town centre and newsagents like his unless rents and rates changed for businesses.

He said: "I personally have great concerns about the future of papers and newsagents in general.

"Under 45s don’t buy newspapers or magazines; they prefer mobiles and computers whereas older people prefer print in hand.

"The town centre in my opinion is going to struggle as I believe many more businesses will not survive due to high rents and rate, even though there have been no rates this year for many businesses."

Mr Moses said he had decided to retire, so to take in a new lease at increased rent had not been not an option.

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