Downham Market shop owner’s 50 year connection with iconic 60s album

LEWKS owner Lawrence Welham dressing up as Sgt Pepper to celebrate 50th anniversary special release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
LEWKS owner Lawrence Welham dressing up as Sgt Pepper to celebrate 50th anniversary special release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

It is 50 years since a West Norfolk shop manager bought one of the most iconic albums of all-time, but last week the tables were turned when he sold the anniversary edition to customers.

It was in London in 1967 when Lawrence Welham bought The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and half a century later he is now selling the record to shoppers at LEWKS in Downham.

LEWKS owner Lawrence Welham dressing up as Sgt Pepper to celebrate 50th anniversary special release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

LEWKS owner Lawrence Welham dressing up as Sgt Pepper to celebrate 50th anniversary special release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Last Friday, Mr Welham donned his own Sgt Pepper costume to coincide with the re-release of the album on its 50th anniversary.

He said: “I can remember getting really excited on the day it came out. I left work and went to the local record shop to buy it.

“Sgt. Pepper was a groundbreaking album. The flow of the songs, the artwork, the whole concept was something totally different.

“People bought it just because it was such a desirable album.

“I would never have imagined 50 years later I would be selling it in Norfolk.”

Special anniversary editions of the album were released last week to mark the landmark occasion for the album.

The most popular of these have been the editions including video footage, Mr Welham said.

“A lot of people have come into the shop for the Sgt Pepper album – there has been a lot of publicity for the 50th anniversary.

“Especially for the special editions, with a DVD or a blu-ray – they sell more than you would expect, as people know it’s going to be a limited run.”

Asked what made him decide to don a Sgt Pepper costume on the day of the release, he said: “It was the LEWKS 60s/70s/80s disco last week, and I grew the moustache for that – this was only a few days later, and seeing as I had the Sgt Pepper costume hanging in my wardrobe, I thought ‘let’s get that on’.

“Most people have twigged it straight away – one lady even asked for a photo! I’ve had several comments from people but they have always been smiling.”