We can trace our origins back to the partnership of Jack Beaumont and D. H. Clarke in the late 1940s. These gentlemen amassed a large stock of books and magazines and traded in Enfield, north of London.
By the mid 1950s Jack ran the business as Beaumont Aviation Literature from his home in Russell Lane, Enfield, later moving to a shop nearby at 2A Ridge Avenue, Winchmore Hill and began to devote himself full time to the enterprise.
Although there was not the vast range of titles on the subject that we are accustomed to today, trade was brisk with Putnam and MacDonald titles that are rarities today.
In 1964 Jack moved the business to 11 Bath Street, London EC1. Jack opened the new shop six days a week with Phillip Jarrett as his assistant. The shop became a Mecca and meeting place for enthusiasts, some club meetings taking place down in the cellar amid the thousands of magazine back issues.
With the expiry of the lease in 1974, we moved to Holloway Road, North London and about that time changed our name to The Aviation Bookshop. Jack retired in 1989 and sold the business to his manager, David Hatherell. Jack Beaumont died in June 2000.
The business continue to prosper and David, who had been in the business since 1964, continued as the working proprietor until his retirement in 2003 when he sold the business to his able assistant, Simon Watson, the new boy, who’d had a mere 16 years experience at the time.
2004 saw the latest development in the history of the business with a move out of London to Kent. We believe that the newly refurbished shop premises close to Tunbridge Wells station, with multi-story car park facilities directly opposite (see map below), should prove more convenient for the majority of our regular visitors.
The new millenium may bring many changes and we plan to expand our long established tradition of supplying books, magazines, videos, multimedia and photos on aviation, in all its many aspects, from around the world.
We continue to be at the service of all aviation enthusiasts and hope that our expertise may be of help.