2 High Street, Sandown - a little history of Martin's Library

2 High Street, Sandown, for most of the 20th century, this was Martin’s Library.

Martin’s Library was established in Sandown about 1878 by William Beavan Martin. Another branch opened in Shanklin about 1886. The circulating library had a large and constant supply of books for all readers (over 4,000), London periodicals, and a special department of books for juvenile readers.

The store was also a pianoforte and music warehouse, with pianos (for sale, hire purchase and rental), together with American organs, violins, guitars, banjos with all accessories and sheet music.

Mr Martin also held a stock of general stationery, fancy goods, artists materials and was able to print all kinds of stationery and booklets.

At the time, Martin was hailed for his policy of half day closing on a Wednesday which allowed his assistants ‘a real half-holiday’, in 1894 he was believed to be the only tradesman in Sandown or Shanklin who did this, and customers were apparently in full support.

William Martin died in 1900 and both shops were later run by Wavell H Martin.

Please read more about the history of Sandown shops with more shop illustrations on our page Sandown History.

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