It’s just over a year now since Hedgehog Records ceased trading in Market Street and I for one miss the shop and David Cooke, the proprietor.
Hedgehog Records was special, a record shop with a great selection of music (you name it David probably had it), a guy with great musical prowess and superb customer service (if it wasn’t in stock it would be in a couple of days) .
Hedgehog Records differed greatly from the larger stores in Ely that sell CDs because as an independent shop David had no restraints on musical policy, no head office saying what you will stock. Today’s larger stores mainly cater for the Top 40 and a core populous range of CD albums at very cheap prices but try and find a title less popular and it probably means a trip to Cambridge.
I remember David mentioning that he found it hard at times to compete with these stores as they were able to sell Top 40 releases as loss-leaders comfortably.
The one thing I remember about David Cooke was his courteous manner. He always greeted everyone who entered the shop and was always on hand to help. The shop was on 2 floors and you could always be sure to hear ‘Mind your head at the top of the stairs’ when a customer headed up the stairs to the other floor as the ceiling was somewhat lower on the second floor and hist other favourite saying was ‘It’s got to be done’.
So why did David close the shop? Well, I think he saw the future of the retail music shop changing with the arrival of digital music downloads along with websites like Amazon getting more popular and as stated, the larger stores were able to sell at a loss if needed.
David had planned to tour Europe when he shut up shop but being the workaholic he is he brought some land and is currently building a residential property.
At this time of writing the property is still unoccupied one year on.