Probably my favourite record shop bag is this one from the long gone ‘Centre of Music’ in Cardigan. The shop was first located in the centre of town I believe, on the site of what is now The Original Factory Shop, before moving to Pendre and finally closing in the early 1980s.I met Mani’s Son Gethin back in 2010 when I was exhibiting some work in the Guildhall Gallery in the town centre. The exhibition was part of a project about local chapels and their history and we chatted about his father who I had heard used to record various local chapel’s Cymanfa Ganu events (Choir festivals) direct to disc before the advent of tape recorders. He told me about how they had built the first radio in their village and how they placed the earpiece (no speakers in those days) in a large ceramic bowl and gathered around to listen, and how his mother was deeply suspicious of who and where the voices they heard were.
He returned later in the week bringing me a CD of recordings his father had made in local chapels, a vintage bag from the shop and a blank unused record (which has lived on my kitchen wall since).
Another local music shop no longer trading is Swales in Haverfordwest. Trading into the 90s I remember it was one of the best record shops in the area as well as selling instruments and sheet music too. Visit http://www.britishrecordshoparchive.org/swales.html for a great selection of photos from there. The founder and namesake Robert Joffre Swales, known as “Joffre”, was awarded an MBE in 1975 for his services to music in the town for over 50 years. As well as playing in a number of bands and teaching music he set up an instrument rental scheme at Swales, allowing those less well off members of the community the opportunity to enjoy learning and playing an instrument.
These last ones I know very little or nothing about, the Dales bag came (with a record in) from a charity shop in Fishguard I think, the others were gifts from my good friend Flo Fflach.