Nervous Records, in Hinckley, still on track after 35 years
Scores of record shops have disappeared from the high street over the years – but one self-proclaimed vinyl junkie is celebrating 35 years in business.
Household names such as HMV, Virgin, Our Price and Zavvi have all suffered with the rise of the internet and found the going too tough.
Not Nervous Records, which has been selling vinyl in The Lawns, Hinckley, since 1978.
Owner Gordon Hayes hailed its survival as one for the underdog.
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"Think small and aim low's always been my motto," said the 60-year-old, whose shop nestles in the middle of a row of terraced houses.
"I came along at just the right time. Punk had been going for a year or two when I opened in 1978 and that time was also the birth of the independent label.
"At the time, there were several other record shops in Hinckley, selling predominantly top 40 singles and best-selling albums.
"So I thought I'd leave that side of it to them and I'd do the alternative route."
A large majority of Gordon's stock is now made up of second-hand LPs.
"The most popular era, fortunately for me, is the 60s and 70s – bands such as the Beatles, the Stones, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin – all the kind of stuff I grew up listening to.
"Twenty years ago, this place was rammed with schoolkids every lunchtime looking through the racks but that's all gone now, sadly.
"But I've still got a hardcore of fellow vinyl junkies I suppose – guys of between 40 and 60 – all wanting their weekly or monthly fix.
"It's pretty much a collector's market these days. Your average, bog-standard albums, your Phil Collins, you'd be lucky to get £1 each for.
"Whereas Beatles first pressings... you're looking at up to £300 if you get them in good condition."
Gordon said he got no pleasure from seeing other record shops go to the wall.
"It's sad," he said. "Especially a lot of the smaller, independent shops.
"The thing that's got me by is I keep things very simple. I have no wife or kids to support.
"I believe in living frugally and within your means.
"If I fail, its only me who'll suffer. It's not so easy for others.
"Mind, I've got less sympathy for HMV. Their slogan used to be Top Dog for Music but they're not anymore.
"After squeezing out independent stores it's their turn now. What goes around, comes around."
Gordon said an increase in vinyl sales in the past five years has been offset by a sharp decrease in CDs – and he is not sure how long it will last. I'm afraid I don't see a long-term future for vinyl," he said.
"It's still a niche market and the guys who buy vinyl are a dying breed.
"I would say another five years, maybe. But I do hope I'm wrong.
"This isn't just a job, its my social life in many ways and I'd like to be able to make a living out of it for a long time to come."
Nervous Records is open from 11am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays.