Popmaster winner to open vinyl record store at The Maltings in Oakham
The resurgence of vinyl among music fans has prompted a husband and wife to follow their dream and open a record shop.
Dean Poole is stepping down from his role as care manager for Rutland County Council to open Rocka-Buy Records in Oakham with wife Gaynor.
The shop, based in the Maltings, will open on Saturday, May 29 to buy and sell new and second-hand vinyl records, without a CD in sight.
The business will be a real family affair involving all three sons and daughter Elsie.
Chris will help run the shop alongside Rutland Guitar School, while Daniel will create artwork and help with the digital side of the business, and Jordan will promote the shop on social media.
They collected the shop keys just last week, but the idea has been a lifelong goal put on fast-forward by the pandemic.
“This has always been on the cards for us, but it's come sooner than we thought because Covid has kicked everything into touch,” said Gaynor.
“It has made people look at life differently. Life is too short, and if you’re in a position to make a change there’s no use in waiting.”
Dean added: “Chris found the venue and we fell in love with it.
“We will mainly stock second-hand records with the odd new record. You are only as good as your stock and although we have enough to start with, we definitely need more so will be buying collections."
Former chef Dean moved the family to Oakham in 2007 to open a restaurant on Burghley Road.
After almost 30 years in the kitchen, he moved into the care sector in 2011 after a day volunteering at a centre for adults with learning difficulties at Market Overton.
However, the effect of Covid on care homes meant a rewarding job became a traumatic one.
“It has been heartbreaking - I have come home most nights in tears," Dean added.
"I have been a music obsessive, but it has been my escapism."
His eclectic taste will be mirrored in the shop which will sell all genres from soul, Motown and pop, to R&B and heavy metal, with a particular leaning towards The Beatles.
Dean’s harvesting of music trivia has twice made him a winner on Radio 2’s long-running Popmaster quiz.
On his 2002 debut on Ken Bruce’s daily mid-morning quiz, he won with a perfect score of 39 points, earning a place in the annual Popmaster Chmpions League where he finished second.
“My dad was a DJ and a big record collector and he passed it on to me and I have just collected, collected, collected," Dean said.
“If we didn’t buy a shop we would have to reinforce the floors because we've got so much weight in the house."
In the days of digital streaming of music, the vinyl revival among young music lovers may be surprising to some, but not to Dean.
“I got mis-sold the policy when CDs came out and bought into the myth they were better quality, but soon learned it was all just a gimmick," he explained.
“There’s nothing better than the tangibility of holding something that someone has produced."
Gaynor added: “I think the younger generation, and our boys especially, are really keen on vinyl again.
"It skipped a generation, but there is a new generation of vinyl lovers.”