RPM discs – Wingate
When Steve suggested we travel to Wingate for our next blog I have to confess I had to google it. Wingate is apparently a former pit village in County Durham. The village is fairly typical with one main road running through flanked by 19th century cottages, post war dwellings and more recent housing.
I was hoping this jaunt wasn’t going to turn into a weird episode of a League of Gentlemen. This is definitely not the place you would expect to find a record shop but as you drive into the village don’t blink or you might miss it.
RPM discs has lots of parking outside it’s around a 30 minutes drive from Middlesbrough and actually quite a nice journey.
Howard Church and Mark Wilcox took ownership of the shop in 2019. It was used as a place to store the previous owner’s singles for sale on his singles only website. The business evolved into a physical record store in 2015 and has a world wide reputation.
Howard was manning the shop but co-owner Mark will feature in a future blog so watch this space.
Howard has retired from his “real” job and I got the impression that this new venture was a labour of love. With a steady flow of customers, private collections to value and the online singles site to update there’s always plenty to do.
While Steve and I were in the shop 3 or 4 customers came in and a private collection was left for valuation.
Howard told me his musical preferences have evolved over the years from glam rock to 70’s rock and bit of punk but now he would describe his music taste as very eclectic. Steve was chatting to a customer I heard the words AC/DC, Nick Cave and Family Guy so I switched my ears off and did some crate digging.
I found plenty of choice, all genres catered for, very reasonably priced and all nicely layed out and catalogued. This is definitely as it says on their logo a real record store.
Behind Howard near the counter there are literally thousands of 7 inch singles and he told me they once sold a punk single by Chaos a 1983 Philippines pressing for £850 that’s a good days work.
He’ll play you any of the stock on what he calls his workhorse Hi-Fi consisting of Limit deck, Denon Amp and Tannoy Speakers.
Howard Church’s Five vinyl records you can’t live without
1. Joni Mitchell – Blue
2. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
3. Pavlov’s Dog – Pampered Menial
4. Patti Smith – Horses
5. Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Howard’s selection for the Press on Vinyl collection
Red House Painters – Ocean Beach
Steve’s selection – Kristin Hersh – Wyatt at the Coyote Palace
Neil’s selection – Nick Drake – Pink Moon
Despite my initial reservations I really enjoyed this trip and although we were not “local” we were given a warm welcome.
P.S. Definitely not a local shop for local people
P.P.S. Steve’s still chatting to the hapless customer I’ll go back for him one day.
Check out more Vinyl Odyssey here