THERE is no longer crosstown traffic in Walton Street but there is a new record shop.

Store boss Andy Tucker, who is opening Riverman Records there in a former Threshers’ off-licence, is hoping there will be strong footfall even if vehicles can no longer use the route.

The 59-year-old ran record stores in Henley for the past decade but has always wanted to open a shop in Oxford.

Oxford Mail:

Now he has left Henley and spent thousands of pounds renovating the former drink shop, taking out a five-year lease.

Earlier this year the county council decided to close Walton Street to traffic on a trial basis for up to 18 months.

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Mr Tucker, whose shop selling mainly second-hand vinyl records opens this week, has no objection to the traffic ban.

Oxford Mail:

He said: “From an ecological point of view I think this is sound.

“I would be quite happy if Walton Street never reopened to traffic - it used to get very clogged up.”

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Now living on a narrowboat with a permanent mooring a few minutes away from the store, Mr Tucker said Walton Street was a ‘fantastic location’.

Oxford Mail:

He added: “Lots of people have been knocking on the door asking when I am going to open.

“There has been a vinyl revival and it may have reached a plateau but business has been quite steady over the past two or three years and it is not going to disappear.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Tucker said he has a loyal following from his time trading at Henley Records and In The Groove and is hoping to win plenty of new customers.

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He added: “Once you make a connection to the physical artefact it’s a transformative experience.”

Mr Tucker acknowledged that while Truck Store in Cowley Road ‘does a great job’ there was room for competition.

He added: “I’m sure a city the size of Oxford can support another record store.”

Oxford Mail:

Fopp run by HMV closed earlier this year and the only other vinyl sellers are market traders at Gloucester Green, Oxfam in Broad Street and Blackwell’s music shop.

Mr Tucker sells second-hand albums in a wide range of genres including rock, jazz, blues and folk. He also sells singles and second-hand books.

Riverman Records will be open six days a week, Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 5.30pm.

Oxford Mail:

The store is named after a song by Nick Drake, one of Mr Tucker’s favourite singers.

The shop owner used to work in IT and while he sells a few ‘specialist’ records online he concentrates on shop sales.

READ AGAIN: Will Walton Street be closed to traffic forever

Mr Tucker said: “I’m hoping record collectors and all music fans make this place a destination - if they want to find it they will.”

The shop is expected to open on Monday.