End of an era as Focus Sounds in Waterlooville closes down

Focus Sounds''''Picture: Jeff Travis.
Focus Sounds''''Picture: Jeff Travis.
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IT was a mecca for music-lovers across the area where they spent hours flipping through the vinyl.

But after 40 years, a much-loved record shop in Waterlooville has closed.

Focus Sounds in London Close opened for the last time on Saturday and scores of people made one last trip to their favourite haunt.

Locals spoke of their sadness yesterday at the closure.

Mark Bradburn, 53, a regular at the nearby pub, The Wellington, said: ‘I bought my first record there in 1970-something. It sold films as well.

‘There was nothing that man could not get.

‘He was the most knowledgeable you could ever come across. It’s a real shame.’

Shopper Lorraine Murdoch, 57, said: ‘It’s sad they are going.’

Waterlooville resident Maxwell Bailey said: ‘At this end of Waterlooville, the only thing that seems to work now is services like estate agents and banks. There’s not many retail shops.’

The News business editor Emma Judd, 33, from Denmead, used to work in the shop.

She said: ‘For a long time it was the place to go to buy new music releases, and loads of DJs used to go there for their vinyl.

‘Long before websites like Amazon came along it was a place where you could go in, ask for an obscure record, and if they didn’t have it, they’d order it for you.

‘It did a roaring trade in second-hand CDs and videos, as well as video rentals.

‘I was lucky enough to work there for a short time while I was at college – a job a lot of my friends envied me for – and will always have fond memories of flipping through the vinyl box after college.’

The shop was run by the Butler brothers, Steve and Rick.

Several messages have been left on online blogs.

Tony Richardson said: ‘I was gutted when I found this out, popped in there on Saturday just to wish Steve luck and it was clear it was an emotional day for him.

‘Good luck Steve and a big thank you for unknowingly providing the soundtrack to my youth.’

Amanda Mayne wrote: ‘Met my husband Steve and made life-long friends here. Had a blast and now it’s going.

‘Sad for me and sad for Waterlooville.’

Steve Butler, who was not available to speak to The News, wrote on the blog: ‘Thank you very much for all the kind words. I don’t want to close but sadly have no choice. Thanks again.’