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A Short History of Marrin's Bookshop

George Marrin (1896-1991) founded the firm of G & D I Marrin in 1946 with Doris Irene Marrin (1916-2001) when forced to take early retirement from the Civil Service due to ill health

He had been advised to move away from London and after trips to the coast, settled on Folkestone and opened his first shop here in 1948, at that time selling new books, with some second hand. Four years later he moved to Hythe to found Kipps Bookshop and indulge his first love of antiquarian and second-hand books, prints and maps. With help from his brother Charles he expanded to Canterbury where he ran another shop.

The 1950's were hard times for the small bookseller and after some retrenching he decided to sell the shops and continue bookselling from home. In 1962 George and Doris were offered the ground floor of the premises in Folkestone which the business occupies today. In 1970 the upper floors became vacant and George and Doris and their two boys John and Patrick, moved in.

The family and the bookshop thrived in the elegant Victorian house situated in the centre of town and just off the Leas, Folkestone's famous cliff-top walk. The mild air of Folkestone was good for George's health and he finally retired in 1986 on his 90th birthday. He continued to enjoy living above the shop he loved until he died in 1991. Doris, who had been for some time retired from teaching, began helping John and Patrick, who were now running the business. She was a great asset and made many friends among George's customers until her death in July 2001.

In December 2003, in order for John to be near his in-laws, the partnership was amicably dissolved and John moved the First World War side of the business to new premises in Ford, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, where he will continue to issue Great War catalogues and specialize in books on gardening, horticulture and fishing. He can be contacted by telephone on 01890 820500, by fax on 01890 820770 or by email at

Antiquarian Booksellers Association
Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association