Saturday, January 20, 2007

The woman who revolutionised UK book distribution

"Woolworths Group plc announces that its Entertainment wholesaling subsidiary, Entertainment UK Limited, has today reached agreement with the majority Bertram shareholders on the terms of the acquisition of Bertram by EUK at a cost of approximately £29 million for the equity."

Grumpy Old Bookman's 19 January reference to
Woolworths taking over Bertram
[scroll down to the para headed "Woolworths? Books?"] reminded me of that remarkable woman, Elsie Bertram MBE, whom I met on several occasions when we lived in Norfolk, not far from Norwich, the city where Bertram started and prospered.

If you've never heard of Elsie, seen on the left with HRH Prince Charles, read the Guardian obit

"Elsie Bertram, who has died aged 91, revolutionised book distribution in the United Kingdom, and left an indelible impression on the book trade. Yet her own home was devoid of books and when, not long ago, she was interviewed and asked about her reading habits, she said that she had once read a collection of short stories but could not remember the title. To her, books were a product to be distributed as fast and as efficiently as possible."

There's another obit in The Independent

You may also want to look at The Norwich and Norfolk Diabetes Trust founded in 1987 by Mrs Bertram and Dr Richard Greenwood, a local diabetes specialist.


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