The Old Worcester Book-worms

  • 8 May 2019
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Mention was originally made of James Coombs in Old Worcester People and Places, Volume 1 p.29. Edward Corbett wrote of him: 'James Coombs, l remember was a local institutional; a big framed man of somewhat ungainly carriage, who kept a book-shop chiefly second-hand, on the west side of the High Street about half way between the Old Bank and the Guildhall; a shop which itself looked 'second hand', with a old fashioned window, slightly bowed, from which every vestige of paint had faded, and small panes obscured by immemorial dust'.

There in rivalry, a charming old book-worm himself, was John Grainger's shop in the Foregate. Bookworms, largely clerical, foregathered  every, morning to examine the latest 'finds' and to discuss the events and rumours of the day; and from these gossips, Coombs corresponded to magazines- odds and ends of literary and antiquarian lore.