Beckside Books, est'd 2007, is a 2nd hand and antiquarian bookshop tucked away in a central but quiet part of the historic town of Penrith, N.Cumbria, just 5 minutes drive from the Lake District national park.
The 18th century listed building has housed a bookshop of one sort or another for 30 of the last 43 years. However, originally it was part of a terrace with small yards at the rear and then went on to become the bus drivers' restroom before the bus station was relocated. It overlooks the peaceful gardens of St Andrew's Church and the 'Giant's Grave', legendary burial place of Owen Caesarius, 10th century King of Cumbria. The church is well worth a visit while you're here, with its 13th century tower, 17th century font and 18th century clock.
If you need even more reasons to visit our wonderful, vibrant Cumbrian town or can't decide when to come then click here.
14,000 very reasonably priced books
A selection of teas and coffees
1st floor toilet
Free parking ~ Gift vouchers
A long search for an image to use as a logo eventually turned up a wonderful drawing of a girl sitting reading under a tree. It was the perfect image, although it would have to be cropped to just the girl reading as the image in its entirety did not work well as a logo.
The image had been scanned from a book onto a website but unfortunately the owner of the website was unable to remember where she had taken it from. After days of searching the internet the nearest we could get was that it may have come from a Blackie's annual c.1920's and possibly by children's book illustrator A H Watson.
The style certainly bears a resemblance to that of Alice Helena Watson, who happens to have been born just 30 miles away in Cockermouth. After trying a number angles, including looking at every Blackie annual we came across that might contain her illustrations, contacting surviving publishers she had worked with and looking for living family members, I finally gave up hope of getting any further. If you're able to shed any light on the source of the original image then please do let us know!