A SECOND-HAND book shop is preparing to reopen its doors less than two months after a fire destroyed its premises and 400,000 books.

Berwyn Books lost more than £1million worth of rare and second-hand books in a huge fire at its warehouse in Buckley in November.

Amongst the books lost were many unique and historic works - including a book signed by Queen Victoria and a first edition of the Radio Times from 1923.

The National Wales: The first ever edition of the Radio Times was amongst the items lost in the fire. The first ever edition of the Radio Times was amongst the items lost in the fire.

But the public has rallied to help the business rise from the ashes by donating about 15,000 books to date.

New co-owner Katrina Matthews said some changes had been made, after the original owner took a step back.

"Myself and a few colleagues said we'll start a new business, keep the name quite similar but be a separate legal entity. Hence we've changed to The Berwyn Bookshop," she said.

Co-owner Emma Littler said: "Myself and Katrina and our staff were really lucky that everybody was of the same opinion that we wanted to continue this.

"Having that support from our community and customers and family really spurred us on to do that."

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Katrina added that the publicity generated in the wake of the fire had led to major donations of books, which have been housed in various locations while a search was under way for a permanent home.

"They've been stored everywhere you can think of," she said.

"Buckley Football Club had two big shipping containers full of book donations, Lester's Farm Shop (in Drury) helped. They're also all in my conservatory, in my lounge, in my nan's garage, in my colleague's garage. They're just everywhere, so my home is now a bookshop and not an actual home."

They will now be sold from Caffi Isa community centre in Mynydd Isa after the business was offered use of the facility by its owner, Sara Parker.

"Sara is our fairy godmother, we can't thank her enough," Emma said.

"Not only has she jeopardised space for her business by providing storage for us, she also provided us a lifeline in terms of our new shop. We're incredibly thankful and it's taken the pressure off. The space is just perfect."

The National Wales: Caffi Isa (Source - Google Street View)Caffi Isa (Source - Google Street View)

Before the new-look bookshop opens its doors on February 5, the hard work has begun to get the stock on display and ready for sale.

Staff have appealed for donations of fixtures and fittings, boxes and bookcases.

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