Bridge Bookshop Ltd was established in 1972 by Alan and Rosemary Pickard when the opportunity arose to buy an old Manx cottage and shop premises on Shore Road, Port Erin. The shop was previously called Bridge Books and Art Shop but run as mainly a gift shop with a few books by a lady named Frankla Corris. Rosemary took on the running of the shop whilst Alan continued to work as a music teacher and at that time Rosemary was pregnant with Harry.
With young children to care for, Rosemary took on Joan Hook to help run the shop and Ann Potts to help with the bookkeeping. Over the years the bookshop expanded to Castletown, in Arbory Street and Castletown Square. Rosemary and Alan also tried opening an art shop across the road at Bay View House for two years in the early 80s before the quiet property market meant a retrenchment back to the original premises.
Later on, having moved out of Castletown, Rosemary decided, after numerous floods and structural problems, that the cottage and shop would have to be rebuilt. After much planning, the original shop and cottage (parts of which dated back to the 17th Century) were demolished and replaced with a new building in 1992.
Sadly, in 2009, Rosemary passed away, leaving the bookshop and cottage to her children, Harry and Rachel. The shop is now owned and run by Harry and his wife, Angela.
Harry and Angela both studied English Literature at St John’s University College in York and both have a love of books. Angela's experience of bookselling began in 1996, at Dillons the Bookstore in York and later managing a busy travel and local interest department at Dillons the Bookstore in Bradford.
We now sell local Artists’ prints from Petrina Kent, Dr Jeremy Paul, Tracy Dean, Jenny Holland and others as well as a wider range of greetings cards and gifts. We supply local schools and libraries, support World Book Day and are proud to be the partner bookseller to Manx Litfest, since its beginning in 2012. We also take our pop-up bookshop to the Southern Show, Royal Show, Tynwald Fair and Ballavartyn Christmas Fair. We also provide a pop up bookshop at Isle of Man Sporting and Dining Club events, which have included after dinner talks from John Sargeant, Kate Adie, Nigel Farrage, Martin Johnson, Kenny Dalgleish, Ken Livingstone, Ant Middleton and others and at the Three Legs Festival, where Mike Scott from The Waterboys signed copies of his autobiography.
We occasionally have book signings at the shop, which have included a TT related signing by Mick Grant, crime writer Ann Cleeves, Alan Bradley, Mark Billingham and Chris Ewan as well as supporting local authors.
In 2015 we were grateful to be the recipient of a James Patterson Grant, which allowed us to upgrade our till and stock control system, replace the carpet, including an Elmer style patchwork kids’ corner and improve our window signage. In December 2016, we took the decision to open a branch in Ramsey, Isle of Man, where the long-standing local independent bookshop had recently closed. To date, the shop has been well received and we are very much enjoying this new chapter of our business.
Who knows what the future holds, but we believe physical books are here to stay.
come and visit bridge bookshop in port erin or RAMSEY, isle of man
Shop Opening Hours
Monday to Saturday : 9.30 am - 5.30 pm Sunday : 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm (Port Erin) 11.00 am - 4.00 pm (Ramsey)
01624 833376 (Port Erin) or 01624 813374 (Ramsey)