George Marrin founded G & D I Marrin in 1946 with his wife Doris Irene Marrin. As a young man, he had first come to Folkestone as a Private, serving in the First World War, passing through like millions of others on his way to the trenches in France. After the war, George had a career in the Civil Service and later returned to Folkestone after the Second World War on the advice of his Doctor who recommended sea air. 

While the shop initially began selling new books with only some second hand, George’s love for antiquarian books grew, and he would soon found Kipps Bookshop in Hythe. The success of this, fuelled by his natural enthusiasm for the rare book trade, led him to quickly expand into another shop in Canterbury. However, the 1950’s was not kind to small booksellers, and by the end of the decade, George returned to selling books on a much smaller scale. 

In 1962 George and Doris were offered premises on the ground floor of elegant Victorian townhouse 149 Sandgate Road, where Marrin’s Bookshop remains to this day. When the upper floors became vacant a few years later, George, Doris and their two boys John and Patrick, moved in. 

In this idyllic location in the centre of Folkestone both family and business thrived. The mild air breathed on leisurely walks along the picturesque Leas revitalised George’s health and over the years he took enormous pleasure in passing on his knowledge to both of his sons. Indeed he would become something of a renowned authority on local history, and both he and Doris, now a teacher, were beloved members of their community. Thrilled by the discovery of a valuable treasure, George would often remark to his son during auctions or appraisals, “Better than working isn’t it!” – and with this tremendous passion for the rare book trade, George would continue to run the shop until 1986, his 90th birthday! 

After George’s passing in October 1991, his sons continued his legacy, and Doris was proud to help in the shop after her own retirement from teaching, making many friends among George’s customers. She would pass ten years after George in July 2001. 

While John moved away from the town a short time later, he remains in the book trade, issuing Great War catalogues and specialising in books on the military, gardening, horticulture and fishing. For John’s contact details please contact us on patrick@marrinbook.co.uk.

Patrick meanwhile, is the Proprietor of Marrin’s Bookshop, which over the decades has built an impeccable reputation for the quality of stock and integrity of practice.

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