IN THE SIXTIES, there were at least six antiquarian/second-hand bookshops in Hampstead village. Two or three of them were in Flask Walk, a quaint passageway leading northeast from Hampstead High Street. Now, there is only one in Hampstead (apart from an Oxfam bookshop), and that is Keith Fawkes’s store on Flask Walk… currently, the last of the breed.
The amiable Mr Fawkes established his shop in 1964 when there were already a few dealers of second-hand books in the village. Over the years, he has branched out into antiques and bric-a-brac whilst retaining his well-stocked bookshop. It is a treasure house of interesting books, all packed into lines of shelving separated by corridors so narrow that it is difficult for one person to squeeze past another.
Very kindly, Keith Fawkes and his bookstore manager, Sam, have agreed to display and sell a few copies of my new book about Hampstead, “Beneath a Wide Sky: Hampstead and its Environs”, which is also available from Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09R2WRK92). While researching my book, Keith provided me with some information about another former Hampstead antiquarian bookseller, the illustrious Francis Norman, about whom I will relate more in a future post. Keith is acknowledged in my book.
So, next time that you are in Hampstead, do take a stroll along Flask Walk and look in at Keith Fawkes before having a pint in the nearby Flask pub, also mentioned in my book.