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The first shop in this now defunct chain was in Liverpool and opened by the Elsley family in 1933, but they later opened a branch at 19 Bridge Street,and later moving, in 1978, to 12 Bridge Street, once home to the Cowper family with its notable crypt. The original Chester shop was quite delapidated and had a cobbled floor.

As well as being a book-seller, the business also ran a lending library and soon expanded with branches in Wallasey, Colwyn Bay and Ellesmere Port. Another Chester branch was actually opened in the Odeon building in Northgate Street: now (2019) home to the public library as part of Storyhouse. In 1950 a banch was opened in Stafford and was soon followed by branches in Wolverhampton, Bangor and Newcastle.

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