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Old post office is vinyl frontier
Fans of vinyl records could soon be making tracks into the heart of rural west Oxfordshire.
In one of the more unlikely new enterprises for an old village post office, newspaperman Kevin Cheeseman has just reopened the shop at The Ridings, in Leafield, to sell second-hand discs.
Where once villagers used to come for their stamps, there are now racks with hundreds of records, from jazz and soul to Hawkwind and the Sex Pistols.
Several curious residents have already popped in to the revived shop, called Footprints Vinyl, but Mr Cheesman is confident there will soon be enthusiasts and collectors coming from far and wide.
"I've always been passion- ate about vinyl. I got my first record when I was 14 and have been collecting ever since," he said.
"There are loads of people out there who have the same interest - vinyl is massive now, so I thought now I'm nearing 50 I'd give it a go."
Mr Cheeseman has taken a two-year lease on the shop and is opening on Saturdays only for the time being, earning his wages during the week as a circulation and sales rep for Express Newspapers.
He remembers the first vinyl he bought, Son Of My Father by Chicory Tip, in the early 1970s, but his all-time favourites are anything by Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan.
Tapes and CDs pushed vinyl out of production, but in recent years it has made a comeback with DJ mixing decks and specialist albums.
"The nearest outlets for vinyl are in Oxford and Cheltenham, over 20 miles away from here. Collectors will travel any length to see a collection, so being out in the sticks is not a problem," he said.
"The shop was there, not being used, so it's good that something's being made of it," added Mr Cheeseman, who lives with his wife in Milton-under-Wychwood.
Some discs are not for sale, though, as he keeps private the records he wants to hold on to for old time's sake.
For more information, call Mr Cheeseman on 07799 855689.