Lee-on-the-Solent bookshop’s ‘phenomenal’ Harry Potter event welcomes young book lovers to magical Diagon Alley scene as High Street transformed

A HIGH street was transformed into a magical scene from the pages of the Harry Potter stories.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 4:30 pm

The Book Shop in Lee-on-the-Solent hosted a big Harry Potter book night as the High Street became Diagon Alley.

Children in their fancy dress Hogwarts robes were welcomed at Platform 9 3/4 by favourite characters from the book series on Thursday.

Sarah Veal, shop owner, said: ‘It went really well, the children were fantastic and the parents were great.

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Sarah Veal (48), Jazmine Woodward (22), Kieran Slade (18), Shania Erdman (24), Barbara Veal (74) and Jessica Elshaw (16, seated) prepare for Harry Potter night outside of the outside of The Book Shop in Lee-On-The-Solent. Picture: Mike Cooter (240621)
Sarah Veal (48), Jazmine Woodward (22), Kieran Slade (18), Shania Erdman (24), Barbara Veal (74) and Jessica Elshaw (16, seated) prepare for Harry Potter night outside of the outside of The Book Shop in Lee-On-The-Solent. Picture: Mike Cooter (240621)

‘We’re trying to bring books alive for the children and the Harry Potter book night really did that.

‘The knowledge of the books the children have is quite incredible - you know they’re the real fans.’

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The event was part of the bookshop’s celebrations for Independent Bookshop Week, which takes place from June 19 to 26 and is organised by the Booksellers Association.

Two sessions for different age groups were hosted by The Book Shop as youngsters enjoyed a quiz, games, and goodie bags.

The quiz asked questions about details from the books to encourage children to get reading rather than just rely on their knowledge of the films.

Several shops on the High Street took part in the event by transforming into well-known locations in the books.

The Book Shop became Flourish and Blotts Bookseller, The Wine Bank turned into Gringotts Wizarding Bank, mannequins in the Rowan’s Hospice were dressed to turn the shop front into Madam Malkin’s robe shop, the Royal British Legion was the Hog’s Head pub, and Lee Fruit and Veg became the Weasley’s joke shop.

Sarah added: ‘Other High Street shops let us dress their windows - everyone got involved.

‘All the businesses got involved, it was a roaring success. They really came together to produce a phenomenal result.

‘I want to thank everyone - all the businesses that came together and helped us make this vision a reality. All the helpers - I had six team leaders and six shopkeepers, all my staff.

‘My partner also dressed up as Hagrid and he really stole the show.’

The Book Shop’s Independent Bookshop week celebrations continue today as author Christine Lawrence visits to do a book signing.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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