THE story of a Barnstaple record store has been featured in a new book celebrating the UK s last few remaining independent music retailers. Solo Music, is among just 50 record shops visited by author Graham Jones, who has amassed a fantastic collection of

THE story of a Barnstaple record store has been featured in a new book celebrating the UK's last few remaining independent music retailers.

Solo Music, is among just 50 record shops visited by author Graham Jones, who has amassed a fantastic collection of anecdotes on his travels around the record shops of Britain.

His book, The Last Shop Standing, is a tribute to the shops that are still surviving opposition from supermarkets and the growing popularity of music downloading.

With record shops said to be closing at the rate of oneevery three days, the Boutport Street shop is one of only a few hundred UK independent music retailers thought to be still in business.

The business was established in 1989 by Maggie Garratt and Penny Keen with the opening of a flagship store in Truro. Subsequent shops soon opened in Barnstaple, Exeter and Salisbury and up until 2008, the business was the largest independently owned chain of record shops in the South West. Today, Solo, now trades solely from its Barnstaple outlet, concentrating on selling folk, blues, jazz, world and classical and leaving the supermarkets to cater for the pop and rock fans.

"It's been difficult downsizing four shops to one, but despite numerous setbacks, we are still going and our enthusiasm for music remains undiminished," Maggie told the Gazette.

"It's been a funny and at times whacky business to be in but I have always enjoyed it and still do. I'm a fan of all good music and that is what we try to provide here; I really enjoy trying to track down obscure albums.