The Vaults - expanding London's radical bookshop

A Politics project 5 Caledonian Road, London, United Kingdom

Housmans, London's premiere radical bookshop, is expanding and we need your help!

UPDATE: We have reached our £3,000 target, but any donations you make now will still be put to use in making the Vaults a reality - there's so much to do! Thank you :) 


Housmans Bookshop is expanding and we need your help!

This November, we'll be celebrating Housmans Bookshop's 70th Birthday, and we'd like to say a huge thank you to everybody that has supported us over the years. Housmans, one of London's last remaining radical bookshops, is now embarking on an ambitious project to expand the shop into the basement of our building - an area known as The Vaults. 

We want to use the improved space downstairs to expand our fiction and arts section. This will allow us to develop our politics section upstairs, meaning more books suited for all your radical political needs! 

 About the shop

Housmans’ roots are in the British peace and pacifist movements of the 1930s. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Laurence Housman, a writer and playwright, had the idea for a permanent bookshop, stocked with materials that promoted peace, human rights and the anti-war movement. A few years later, a generous donation allowed for the purchase of 5 Caledonian Road, and the Housmans we know today found its home. (Read more about the shop's history here!) Since then, Housmans has continued to provide books, news, leaflets, magazines and other resources, as well as an events and meeting space, all with the intention of supporting the struggle for a more just and peaceful society. But we haven't survived this long without some fights along the way, and we wouldn’t be here without your continued support.


Why we need your help

We've raised £20,000 ourselves towards this project, and we need your help to guarantee its success. There are a lot of set-up costs associated with the expansion, and to make sure can do it properly, we need to raise some extra funds.

If we reach our fundraising target, we will, importantly, be able to develop our book stock. But the expansion of Housmans is significant on a larger scale. A few years ago independent bookshops in the UK were closing at a rate of two a week. Though the closures have since slowed down, last year alone 57 independent bookshops shut down[1], and the future of many remain under threat. Housmans, one of the few remaining radical independent bookshops, has fought many battles over the years to remain open, but with this expansion, and with your support, we hope to make the shop stronger and more secure than ever.

The money raised with this fundraiser will help us to expand our book stock and further develop our political section, so that we can better represent the full range of radical and progressive political movements in the UK and abroad. Downstairs in The Vaults, meanwhile, we'll be able to stock a much expanded range of fiction, poetry, children's books, graphic novels, and other arts-realted subjects, especially those with a radical edge, providing a new and unique central London home for alternative writing.

The money will also help us to install new fixtures in the shop, such as new shelves and light fittings, redecorate and give Housmans a much-needed bit of a sprucing up, and take on more paid staff (we've been understaffed for quite a while now!).


Thank you!

Your donation helps to support both radical politics and independent bookselling!

Feel free to come in anytime and ask us how the project is going, and don't forget that we have a great events programme, a book club, and lots more going on throughout the year.

Thank you so much for your support and we hope to see you soon!