A Bookish Week Off: The Testament of Arkadia

I thought I’d veer off bookish titles for this post, as Tuesday 1 July wasn’t the occasion of a lengthy book-hunting trip for me. In fact I only got as far as Walsall in the morning, due to having to attend a committee meeting of the Walsall Writers’ Circle in the afternoon (I’m the Vice Chairman), so I did the rounds of the Walsall town centre charity shops looking for SF books as I occasionally do, usually without much success.

My favourite shopping ‘centre’ in Walsall is the quaint and surprisingly well-preserved Victorian Arcade off Bradford Street.  And that, of course, is where The Testament of Arkadia comes in – geddit? It’s the title of a Space: 1999 TV show episode (you knew that really, didn’t you?).

The Arcade is full of attractive little specialist shops (and a big Works remainder bookshop), with several newish tenants recently encouraged to move in by special business rates by Walsall Council.  And, just opposite the excellent Bennetts sci-fi shop, is an Acorns Hospice charity shop.

Four Bagged Bradburys at Acorns Hospice Walsall shop

It was here that I was fortunate enough to bag four apparently unread Ray Bradbury paperbacks – quite a surprise, bearing in mind the usually mundane content of such shops!

This is in fact just a typical charity shop with the usual mix of second-hand clothes, books, dvds and nick-nacks, and I don’t usually come across much of personal interest there or in the many other charity shops in Walsall but I was in the right place at the right time on this occasion and I bought all four Bradbury books for a fiver – it’s all in a good cause, after all!

And the moral of the story is, it pays to keep your eyes open, you never know what will turn up next…

Stuart Williams

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