Read Online - Viva Brighton

talking shop
Magazine Brighton
Photos by Lizzie Lower
Like vinyl but print
What is Magazine Brighton? We’re a shop
ton Bear style, when my father put me on the train
stocking independent magazines. Basically, if you
and instructed a stranger to look out for me until
can get it in WH Smith, then we won’t stock it
my aunt met me at Brighton station. I moved here
(except Monocle). We have around 200 titles at any
around ten years ago and knew immediately that
one time and over 4000 on our database, and we’re
Brighton could support a shop like this. In my
always open to new suggestions. Our titles cover
previous work life I had the great fortune to travel
arts & culture, current affairs, fashion, design &
extensively and would always seek out a shop like
photography, gender, physical activity and travel,
this wherever I went. Finding those shops always
and all are published by passionate people from all
led me to discovering great places that celebrated
over the world. We wanted to create the space for
difference. Brighton is a place that gets difference.
the magazines to be seen and a place for people to
What’s your favourite title? It’s impossible to
enjoy them.
pick favourites but Paracetamol, written by my
Why magazines? It all started when I was nine
granddaughter’s friend Constance, reminds me of
and ran the Medway Gazette with my friends Mick
my younger self. And Dumbo Feather, an Australian
and John. We printed 45 copies fortnightly, which
magazine about obscure but super-interesting
we sold for a penny ha’penny. Our biggest coup
people who never get written about, is up there.
came when Mick’s sister - who was secretary of the
Who buys what magazine? The people who
Liberace Fan Club – gave us his UK tour dates
come into the shop are all interesting but it’s
before anyone else. Obviously we held the front
impossible to predict who will buy what. Kinfolk
page; we did things properly back then, with green
and The Gentlewoman are popular but Puss Puss – a
visors and braces. We scooped the Daily Mirror by
magazine about fashion and cats that I thought
a couple of weeks and it’s still one of my top-five
might be too obscure - has sold out and people
life achievements. I’ve loved magazines ever since.
seek out new titles all of the time. My son-in-law
The independent print movement has really taken
aptly describes what we’re doing as ‘like vinyl but
off in all its gorgeousness over the past 15 years
print’. We appeal to the type of person who gets
and around a decade ago, when I put down my
vinyl; who gets micro-breweries and real bread.
successful-but-bonkers business life, I asked myself
Lots of Brightonians get that.
what I really wanted to do and the answer was this.
Martin Skelton interviewed by Lizzie Lower
Why Brighton? I came here as a child, Padding-
22 Trafalgar Street,