Selling Donated Books in Aid of Charities

Pitlochry Station Bookshop grew from a small idea into a thriving supporter of charities in a surprisingly short time.

Small beginnings

In 2005 local Councillor, the late Eleanor Howie, published a letter in NewsRound North asking if anyone had ideas for the regeneration of unused buildings on the station as part of ScotRail’s “Adopt a Station” scheme.  Elizabeth Templeton, with Priscilla Lorimer of the Station Liaison committee, replied with a suggestion of selling second-hand books to raise money for charity.

The scheme was so small that no one expected it to become a long term, serious enterprise. A box or two of books on the platform or in the waiting room for a few Saturdays one summer and autumn would be manned initially by Priscilla Lorimer and Nancy Cameron.

ScotRail steps in

Then ScotRail stepped in and offered the old John Menzies newspaper kiosk and some storage space.   

As more and more people donated books the premises became inadequate and once again, ScotRail came to the rescue, offering an adjoining room. The two main rooms were opened up to form the present professional-looking bookshop with the old kiosk as a store and window display.

Continuing to grow

The team of volunteers has grown, the numbers of books donated has exceeded everyone’s wildest dreams while the sums raised for charity have increased each year. By summer 2013 more than £100,000 had been raised and distributed.

The bookshop has also found other opportunities for fund raising. Local farmer, Peter Guinan, has provided free undercover space for several seasons at the Logierait Country Market; Annie Hibberd of Pitlochry Festival Theatre has encouraged a particularly successful book stall during the Winter Words Festivals; some of the donated books have been so valuable that they have been sold separately to raise substantial additional funds.  

The bookshop’s success is all due to the hard work of the committee and the volunteers, all of them still working without payment, so that most money raised can go to the great work of our charities.

(l to r) Councillor Eleanor Howie, Mary Dickson (ScotRail managing director), Priscilla Lorimer and Mandi Lewis at the opening of what would become Pitlochry Station Bookshop on 18 October 2005.

Ken Nichol, chairman of Pitlochry Station Bookshop, presents a cheque to Sally Cameron, Head of Fundraising at Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance. (September 2013)

The Story of Pitlochry Station Bookshop