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Unsung Heroes

As you may know, we are celebrating our 20th Birthday. As part of the celebrations we have produced a publication which looks back and forward and all around at life at The Hambledon. And part of life here has always been the lovely people who help behind the scenes.

See Our Unsung Heroes ►

What is an Unsung Hero?

Much of our work in the shop is done, sensibly enough on the shop floor. You will always find most of us working away in front of or behind the counters: selling things; making things look pretty; pricing stock; paying bills; playing on our phones. We are very much the Sung Heroes. You can see what we do every day of the week. An Unsung Hero very rarely gets credit for what he or she does. Often it's not a hugely glamorous seeming job but is an essential service in the smooth running of a store. We thought the Birthday Publication was an ideal way to cheer the contribution of these people.

The Story

We needed to find a photographer to shoot the story. The initial idea was to create a studio space within The Hambledon and invite our Heroes to pose in a neutral setting, with something from their work which suggested what they did. But in the end we felt it was important to take some of our magazine photography away from 10 The Square, to venture into the great outdoors. And so we approached documentary photographer, and all round absolutely lovely man, Matthew Andrews, to shoot Unsung Heroes in real life places of work. Matthew has previously worked with The Arts Council, Antony Gormley Studio, Pentagram and The Wall Street Journal. We felt very lucky to get him.

The Heroes

Mark from MS Ball has been cleaning our windows every week for 20 years. Until he turned up to be photographed, we had never actually met him. His days start very early, and ours don't. Dave, who runs the Original Flower Stall, is a much more familiar figure to any of you who live in Winchester. He's something of a city icon, has been selling us flowers for years and proved a very willing model. Billy and Vicky Lao are the alterations duo from The Oriental Tailor. Any hem or tuck or nip or new zip or lengthen or shorten has invariably been done by their skilled hands. Sarsen Press print our Pocket Guides. This is another Winchester institution. Rosie helps us with our digital strategy, which essentially means she sets us challenging homework and we think of dog eating based excuses. Anything going in or out of the building has been carried by one of our amazing crew of couriers. The shop wouldn't run without the occasional injection of caffeine for which we thank all the local coffee shops, but in particular the lovely Laura from Coffee Lab. And finally, our extremely heartfelt thanks to Phil the Cardboard (he does have a surname). Here is a generous, friendly man who is a real friend of the shop, lugging industrial quantities of recycling to his commodious lorry.

The Publication

This story, and all the others included in the publication, are available to read online. To find a real, actual paper copy, come in store.