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Discworld Emporium steps back in time

By Blackmore Vale Magazine  |  Posted: December 16, 2011

  • Bernard Pearson (right) and restoration builder Gordon Champion outside the restored shop front of The Discworld Emporium in Wincanton

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ONE of Somerset's most famous shops has been restored to its former glory to mark its tenth anniversary.

The facade of The Discworld Emporium on Wincanton's High Street now looks as it did in 1907. Master craftsmen, father and son team Gordon and Jeremy Champion used an old photograph for reference to ensure the restoration was true to the shop's history.

Bearnard Pearson of The Discworld Emporium said: "Gordon and his team have done a fine job, turning a nondescript shop front into a work of art. It is an amalgam of some of the finest craftsmanship you will see in the world."

Removal of the old shop front revealed some historical gems, including a cigarette packet from 1900 and the remains of a newspaper printed in 1851.

Working from the photograph of the premises when it was a watchmakers' shop more than 100 years ago, Gordon and Jeremy produced all the joinery for the restoration in their West Hill workshop. The works took four months to complete.

"It was a very interesting job and it's great to see it finished. It's wonderful to be able to make a mark like this in the town," Mr Champion said.

The Discworld Emporium opened in 2001 and is a celebration of the works of author Sir Terry Pratchett. More than 700 fans from across the globe recently flocked to the town to celebrate the completion of the restoration at the shop's annual Hogswatch weekend. The event raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Mr Pearson revealed that he and his Discworld Emporium business partners, wife Isobel Pearson, Reb Voice and Ian Mitchell have secured a deal to produce a series of four new books with Terry Pratchett. The titles will be based in a fictional city twinned with Wincanton, which the team is now busy creating.

"On the outside our home is being rebuilt and on the inside we are building a new city. It is so circular that it's almost magical," Mr Pearson added.

An official celebration to mark the restoration of The Discworld Emporium will be held in April next year, and will be attended by Sir Terry Pratchett.

Mathew Manning


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