Monthly Archives: March 2020

Important update – 30/03/20

Temporary suspension of all orders

Today we received news which will impact heavily upon Red Lion Books. 

Our trusted main supplier has temporarily suspended the delivery of all books and so, it is with great sadness, that we have taken the difficult decision not to accept any new orders – with immediate effect.  

We were not given any notice of our supplier’s warehouse closing but we respect how fast changing the world is at the moment and that the safety and well-being of their workforce is paramount.

We will be working hard to clear all outstanding orders over the coming days so that any existing orders should be processed (or refunded).  If you have made payment for a subscription package of books due to arrive in May or June we will contact you separately and make relevant refunds.

We have continued over the past few weeks to do our very best to provide our usual high quality of service, reacting to challenges as we received them, with good humour, hard work and a dash of creative thinking  – but this current news is a challenge we are unable to overcome.  We will keep you updated as and when new opportunities arise which might allow us to satisfy your orders once again.

Thank you for the support you have shown to us and other independent bookshops. It has really kept us motivated.  Your enormous enthusiasm and loyalty to the shop have moved us and for that, we are extremely grateful.

Temporary closure of Red Lion Books

  • We are still taking orders
  • Email is the only way to contact us at present
  • We can accept the National Book Tokens
  • Delivery is £1.50 or free for orders over £20
  • We are introducing an online shop – please be patient with us
  • We are looking at ways to host online book clubs
  • We are setting up monthly subscription packages
  • We are using social media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

22nd March 2020

Dear Customers

We look forward to seeing you all again post coronavirus

Every day the situation has been changing and we have been constantly reviewing how Red Lion Books should react. Now, due to the accelerating spread of coronavirus, from Monday 23rd March we will be closing the shop.

We love to see our shop full and we know how much visiting the shop to browse and buy means to our customers. Your support over the last couple of weeks has been exceptional. But the shop is a small enclosed space and it is impossible to practise appropriate social distancing. So, for the health and safety of our staff, customers and the wider community our doors will be closed until the situation eases.

If you have an order with us, please email or ring us on 01206 578584 to arrange a convenient time for you to collect or for us to deliver.

We are planning to maintain our customer order service and working to find the best ways for us to supply books to you while the shop is closed as well as online book clubs.

We are also setting up monthly subscription packages, please email us to let us know if this is of interest using reference SUBSCRIPTION

We aim to keep in touch through social media with updates and with news of new releases. Please email us with any requests you have to

We thank you for your overwhelming support to date and send you our very best and heartfelt wishes.  Keep safe.

Please be patient with us!

We love our customers as much as we love our books which is why we have spent over 4 decades welcoming you through our doors.

During this strange and unprecedented period, we are looking at ways to make our website more interactive – until everybody is safe to visit us again.

It may take some time! Until then please email us at with any requests and keep popping back here to see how we are getting on.

Virus update. We are still open.

As the Covid-19 situation escalates here is an update to let you know how Red Lion Books is approaching the many and rapidly changing challenges posed by the virus.

Of primary concern is, of course, the health of our customers and our booksellers as well as the wider community. Like everyone, we’ve stepped up all of our internal cleaning procedures, regularly sanitising surfaces such as counters, computer keyboards, doors and payment equipment.    

As long as it is possible, we will keep our doors open and welcome customers to our shop.  Face to face contact with our customers and personal service is so important to our independent bookselling style, and so, with these extra precautions in place, for now we remain open as usual for you to come for advice, recommendations and to browse and (we hope) buy!

Our event space downstairs is small and enclosed and so reluctantly, we have had to cancel events scheduled for March including our ‘Local Authors Evening’ on Wednesday 18th which we know many people were looking forward to.

 If you are self-isolating at home, because you are unwell yourself or out of concern for others, we are able to deliver books to your home. If you live in or close to Colchester we are setting up a bicycle courier service to hand deliver your orders. And we have a ‘direct from the warehouse’ home delivery system which can send books to anywhere in the country quickly and cheaply.

Our website includes descriptions of many books including small scale local interest titles. It does not currently include a complete searchable database. But we do have quick access to around half a million titles so please ring or email with your requests.

We thank all our customers for the amazing support you have given us through the 40 plus years we have been selling books in Colchester. And we thank you for your continuing support which will help see us through these difficult and confusing times.

Secret Colchester

It is so easy to overlook the interesting things we walk past every day,

For instance, the pillar box just outside our shop is really a rather special large capacity, double aperture George V model!  One of a good many rare pillar boxes amongst the 107 located around Colchester.

During the last war London’s first line of defence against a possible invasion force centred on Colchester. Known as the Colchester Stop Line, the town became a heavily fortified anti-tank ‘island’. Many of the defences can still be seen. There are concrete blocks peeping from the shrubbery of front gardens in Old Heath Road and others clearly visible beneath the trees in Castle Park.

Look up at Jumbo and see 15 bricks carved with the initials of the Water Works Committee members. They are 30 feet high as a result of a badly organised and much delayed foundation stone laying ceremony!

In the rocks of the roman wall there are some ammonite fossils dating from the Jurassic period 100 million years ago.

Packed with pictures, this book highlights Colchester’s fascinating hidden secrets and should set you off on a fresh exploration of our town’ s rich history.

Amberley paperback, £14.99