Bookshop on the Heath selling up

Massively sad to hear that yet another independent shop in the village is selling up. The Bookshop on the Heath is a fantastic place. I really hope they find a buyer to continue the shop as a going concern.

Their press release is below. If anyone has any good examples of how local communities have managed to stem the exit of local businesses from their high streets, please place them in the comments.

Richard and Jasmine Platt, founding owners of the Bookshop on the Heath Ltd in Blackheath, South East London, have announced that they are selling the business in order to pursue other interests in the leisure industry.
During the past ten years, the business has won awards for excellent customer service and it has been independently rated as one of the country’s finest bookshops. From day one, it has posted excellent year-on-year profits.
There has been a bookshop in this location since 1949, making it one of the longest continually running bookshops in South London. The bookshop has become a real fixture in Blackheath Village and it has generated a tremendous local goodwill. More recently it was the setting for part of an episode of the BBC1 drama “Spooks”.
Richard says, “After a very happy and successful ten years here, we feel that the time has come for us to step back and pass on the legacy and reputation of the business to someone else. We hope that they can now also realise their dream like I did ten years ago by taking over and further developing a super little shop in a marvellous trading position. It would be lovely to think that the long tradition of bookselling could be continued by someone who shares our passion for offering fine books, maps & posters with friendly, personal service. Trade has been exceptionally good and there is also the opportunity for the new owner to develop web sales and sales of new books (children’s in particular) – areas which we have barely touched upon.”
The bookshop continues to open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and by appointment at all other times. If you are searching for a quantity of specific quality stock or you are interested in buying the whole of this successful and profitable turn-key business, please contact Richard Platt for more details on 01526 352267 or email


Filed under books, planning, politics, shops

28 responses to “Bookshop on the Heath selling up

  1. Anonymous

    Oh it’s all so depressing. Blackheath seems to be slowly dying….becoming another High Street clone. Except without a Starbucks – which I am still missing!

  2. Matthew Gough

    Mixed feelings about this. I’m very sad that a truly independent shop (not an indie-style chain) that has massive character and helps define the locale is closing, however I’ve only ever been treated snootily when I’ve been in there and I’ve several professional antiquarian book specialist friends who refuse to go there as their prices are significantly higher than similar shops elsewhere in London.

    Lets hope the new owners keep it as a going concern, but are more personable and have a more appropriate pricing policy.

  3. Jessica

    It appears they are selling their business not closing down as you might suggest. So the business that makes a profit stays just with new owners.

  4. Kate

    I really hope they can find new owners to buy the business, it would be such a shame if the shop disappeared. I do agree with Mathew Gough though, I’ve never been in a shop where the owners are so indifferent to their clients, they seemed to actively dislike having people in the shop.

  5. Ed

    Oh no! Lets hope someone will buy it

  6. Kate

    Yes I love Black Books but remember how many customers they pissed off

  7. Jacqueline

    This is really sad!
    I am a regular customer there and, as an avid reader, always find interesting books to choose, especially from their bargain paperback display. I have also found some gems on the hardback shelves over the years. The owners are always very welcoming and helpful. (Matthew and Kate, are you talking about the same bookshop?) Unless I need some advice, they tend to let me browse freely and leave me in peace, unlike some other bookshops, where you always feel some watchful eyes staring at you.
    I do hope Blackheath can keep the bookshop. This is our last culture oasis.

  8. Kim

    Age exchange should buy it

  9. Paul

    I love their retro posters, but never dare to venture inside… I did once and felt like the stanger who enters an old town western saloon…

    • Well you made a mistake then! They had a fantastic selection of kids books, and a pretty good sci-fi selection too, aside from all the more traditional historical books that you might expect in a shop like that.

  10. Sue

    It is a shame. And did people know that Blacks, the jewellers, are closing at the end of this month, after 31 years in Blackheath?

  11. Beefy

    Any idea how much they want for it…lease issues I wonder?

  12. jenty

    And Bella Vista has closed.Too many restaurants in Blackheath, but I thought this to be one of the best.

    • Anonymous

      I was very sad to be told about Bella Vista. Best restaurant in the area – and not a chain.
      I hear it will be turned into a middle Eastern restaurant.

      • Julie

        This is what I sent to a friend who lives in Blackheath….

        “Bella Vista is no more! I found this sad news on Blackheath Bugle’s blogspot. What a blow. I know the Aqua restaurant, Bromley. It was wonderful the first visit, but when four of us went the second time we were squeezed onto a table for two; after complaining, we were finally moved to another table, but the music was very loud and the service was slow. We didn’t stay for pud and have decided to wait a long while before returning to that particular branch.

        Once it opens, let’s get in quick before it goes downhill.

        This is the Bromley menu:

        Hope the links work, but if not, just copy and paste into your browsers to see their menu. Bearing in mind my own experiences, I suggest you get in quick!

        There is also a very good Thai in Bromley in the same street (much better than the one in Blackheath and the Ratchada (which is more like a café, but at restaurant prices). It’s called the Nam Thai. In fact I discovered this on the first visit to Aqua as it’s just across the road –

        Just in case you’re in Bromley. It’s a family run place.


    • We were shocked last night going to bella vista for my husbands birthday our best favourite restaurant in fact not in Blackheath only but indeed best Italian in London in our view. Strange no announcement of any relocation or if staff and chef still to be there, would want to have had their contact to chase their future relocation if any one knows please. Strange to see very successful always busy restaurant as such leave or closes, doesn’t make sense as all this is downgrading to the area. Please let me know if anyone in the Heath knows about it. Thanks. Nataly

    • Anonymous

      And now the oldest curry house in the village, the Curry Garden, is becoming a wine bar. Just what we need. But very strange that when the licence was ammended last summer it carried a condition that booze could only be sold with “substantial meals”. In other words, a restaurant licence. Now, of course, there is an application for change of use.
      See Lewisham planning appication DC/13/86005

  13. Jenty

    And yet another Estate Agent. Cluttons appear to be taking over the former Nationwide premises.

  14. Anonymous

    Thank God the fishmonger has closed. It was getting embarrassing having these kinds of shops aimed at locals. And yippee that it will become a hairdresser – as will the former Alex Neill office nearby. Not enough of those in the village.
    Not sure what Fenners will become but good riddance to another really useful local service after more than 100 years. Blackheath can’t aspire to be the hip-and-happening centre of Sarfeast London when clogged with such old-fashioned businesses. Perhaps an over-priced boutique or another hairdresser? You know it makes sense.

  15. My constant pleas for a MacDonalds still seem to be falling on deaf ears.

  16. Anonymous

    yes more estate agents, artisan bakers and coffee shops. You can never have enough of them.

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