In Dartmouth, England, the Harbor Bookshop has long been an important destination for fans of Winnie the Pooh. The bookstore was once owned by the real-life Christopher Robin. Now, unfortunately, it is set to close in September, a victim of rising rental rates and a change in how people buy books these days.
Rowland Abram, who currently owns the shop with his wife, explained his reasons for closing to the BBC:
“There are various reasons. The book trade has undergone extraordinary changes in 15 years. Rent and rates have also gone up enormously, and we just can’t afford to pay them. We’ve had such fabulous staff who have helped us all these years and wonderful customers in Dartmouth but there’s nothing else we can do.”
Despite the shop’s popularity as a tourist destination, the real Christopher Robin Milne was embarrassed by all of the attention. Andrea Saunders, one of his former employees, told the BBC:
“Americans used to come – obviously they’d heard the Winnie the Pooh stories – and they were very keen to meet Christopher Robin. They used to come in and say: ‘Is Christopher Robin here today?’ and Christopher would scuttle away and say ‘I’m not in, I’m not in.’ He would hide away upstairs and we’d have to say we were sorry but he wasn’t working.”
If you want to see the bookshop, along with other Winnie the Pooh-related stops like Ashdown Forest (100 Acre Wood) near Hartfield, you’ll need to get a passport, quick. The shop is set to close its doors forever next month, though efforts are currently underway to try to save it.
Getting a passport generally takes about 6 weeks for normal processing and 3 weeks for expedited processing. To get a passport more quickly, you can either make an appointment at one of the nation’s 24 regional passport agencies or use a private expediting company like RushMyPassport. We help you get your passport, quick, by personally delivering your application to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours.
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