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Pair give vinyl records another spin at their Stoke Newington lending library

Elly Rendall and Sophie Austin at The Vinyl Library, Stoke Newington. Elly Rendall and Sophie Austin at The Vinyl Library, Stoke Newington.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
3:47 PM

When vinyl was eclipsed by CDs back in the 1980s, everyone thought the humble record’s days were numbered.

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Sophie Austin,left, and Elly Rendall at The Vinyl Library, Stoke Newington.Sophie Austin,left, and Elly Rendall at The Vinyl Library, Stoke Newington.

However, more than 30 years after music experts predicted its death, the 12-inch is undergoing a revival, so much so that two close friends, Elly Rendall and Sophie Austin, decided to set up a vinyl lending library in Foulden Road, Stoke Newington.

The volunteer-run archive, which opened on Monday, is the first in the UK.

Co-founder of The Vinyl Library, Elly, 27, said: “There is a revival. There are a lot of all-vinyl nights. It’s something that’s survived over the decades, whereas CDs are unlikely to come back.

“Vinyls have a completely different sound which you can’t replicate on digital. You can feel the difference. That’s what makes it addictive.”

The idea for the shop came when the women, who are DJs in their spare time, wanted to extend their record collections.

Miss Rendall said: “It was a big ask in terms of finance. We thought about going to a library and realised there were none.

“We had a vinyl stall at a car boot sale in Stoke Newington and spent a lot of time here which is why we decided to open the library in the area. We feel really connected to it.”

The pair have amassed a collection of more than 1,500 records which have been largely donated.

“The collection is really diverse,” Miss Rendall said. “We have vinyls going back to the 1930s and 1940s – with the first record type – right up to contemporary record promos that people have sent us.”

Members can borrow up to five records at a time and, if they can’t afford to join, can work at the shop in exchange for membership.

Sophie, 29, described the library as a “dream come true”. She said: “My passion is music and being able to build your own start-up is like a dream come true. The response has been amazing and that’s spurred us on.”

The pair have been inundated with interest and have been asked about opening other branches in the UK.

Elly said: “It’s a bit overwhelming. We’re just coming to terms with it. We would love to open a another one in a different part of London and hopefully in another city like Bristol. We want to make a blueprint and refine it.”

n For more information, visit The Vinyl Library facebook page or email thevinyllibrary@gmail.com.

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