London SE1 community website

Woolfson & Tay bookshop, cafe and gallery opens in Bermondsey Square

London SE1 website team

Bermondsey Square's new bookshop opened its doors to the public on Saturday morning.

Woolfson & Tay
Woolfson & Tay
Val Shawcross AM with proprietors Shivaun Woolfson and Frances Tay
Magic cakes
Visitors on the opening day enjoyed W&T magic cakes from Konditor & Cook

Local residents Shivaun Woolfson and Frances Tay have opened a shop which will do much more than just sell books.

The store will host exhibitions, creative workshops and events as well as serving coffee and Konditor & Cook cakes.

Simon Hughes MP, Cllr Tim McNally and London Assembly member Val Shawcross all dropped in during the opening celebrations which featured singer/songwriter Edwina Hayes and children's entertainer Rabbie Kadhim.

The idea for the shop was born from Living Imprint, a not-for profit company that Shivaun and Frances founded two years ago, which was dedicated to putting on events, exhibitions, seminars, talks and related activities.

Their first project, 'Surviving History', focused on the life stories of elderly survivors of the Holocaust in Lithuania, and resulted in an award-winning film and multi-media exhibition which travelled to Dublin, Vilnius, South Africa and around the UK.

Shivaun is a writer and lecturer with a special interest in life history writing, research and practice. Frances is a business development consultant. She has worked for the British Council and edited a lifestyle and entertainment magazine.

Woolfson & Tay's first exhibition is Truth & Lies, a selection of Jillian Edelstein's photography from four years on the road with South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The exhibition will be launched on Tuesday with a special event featuring Janet Suzman and Paul Herzberg.

On Thursday Tim Butcher will be giving a talk and signing copies of his new book Chasing The Devil.

Woolfson & Tay is the first new bookshop in SE1 since the closure of Crockatt & Powell in Waterloo. The new Bermondsey shop means that, together with the Riverside Bookshop, SE1 now has two independent bookstores selling new general interest titles.

With the opening of the bookshop all the ground floor units at Bermondsey Square are now occupied. Woolfson & Tay joins Sainsbury's Local, Del'Aziz, Shortwave Cinema, Vitrine Gallery and the Bermondsey Square Hotel around the market square.

• The shop is located at 12 Bermondsey Square and is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-7pm; Sunday 11am-3pm

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
Related forum discussions
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.