Kingston’s student musicians have been left distraught after the town’s last music shop went into receivership.
A Kingston institution for half a century, Hands Music, just off Market Place in Griffin Centre, closed its doors at the end of February, with rising rents and online stores cited as the causes.
Third year music student Kirk Leonis said: “It’s a big shame that [this has happened] in a place that claims to be so focused on its music and art scenes – it really shows a lack of interest in local musicians when you take away their access to resources.”
Men were spotted clearing instruments and equipment from the shop, with its website also having been closed down. The closure news was greeted by a torrent of sad posts on social media, many recalling memories of buying a first instrument there.
The shop opened in 1966 and has provided instruments to generations of Kingston’s budding musicians.
Second year music technology student Jackson Perkins added: “I bought a guitar from there and they were always really kind and helpful, it’s a shame they shut down.
“The shop had good stock and offered advice on what I was buying and security I was receiving the right product. I’m guessing it was forced to close as the price to rent the shop was too expensive as the location was pretty good, and music shops tend to make an insecure amount of money.”
A post on the store’s Facebook page read: “It is very sad to announce but due to unforeseen circumstances we have had to cease trading.
“We would like to thank everyone that has experienced Hands Music over the past 50 years and helped make the shop the exciting, vibrant and amazing place it’s been. Keep playing, guys.”