The floating plant and book shop on a 76 year old boat that’s bringing people together at Leeds Dock

There’s a brand new book shop in town – but it’s unlike anything we have in the city.

Having only opened a few short months ago, Hold Fast is a book and plant store that champions independent artists, local authors all onboard an old coal boat called Marjorie R.

Hop aboard every Thursday – Sunday at Leeds Dock and uncover a whole new world hidden from plain sight.

boat with sign that says 'hold fast book shop'.
Image: The Hoot Leeds

Inside you’ll find a huge selection of hand picked books. Choose from second hand novels priced at less than a cup of coffee, non fiction celebrating unsung heroes and local writers alike, as well as selection of stunning classics and contemporary ficton.

But this is far from just a book shop.

Also stocking a large selection of house plants with adorable names – yes, each one has a unique name, so that “customers will love the plants as much as we do”, says a sign above the wheel.

plant called nigel.
Images: The Hoot Leeds
boat on water.

Owners Chris and Victoria Bonner support a whole community and support network inside these walls in any way possible. The walls are lined with work from local artists, and the owners can tell you all about the student illustrators and locals that have spent time creating the prints in store.

Humbled by the company of regulars who come in to catch up and recommending newcomers to check out the other independents at the Docks (which helped us to discover a new coffee spot on our visit), these guys are truly wonderful company, and make you feel right at home inside Hold Fast.

people stood facing camera.
Images: The Hoot Leeds
person reading.

And there’s probably good reason.

The boat itself, Marjorie R, was actually inhabited by the couple for around six years before deciding to transform their home into a book shop.

The idea was that by creating a public service, the boat would be looked after and protected in the future – and there’s glimpses of every decade of the boat’s 70-something year life all around.

You’ll find cosy corners by the fireplace, which would have once warmed the entire living quarters, homage to its former days as a coal transporter in the strong frames and even photographs of the original Majorie, whom the boat was named after are on display.

This is the perfect place to grab a new read, spend time escaping from the everyday in a truly unique setting.

There’s a real community feel about the place, with talks from local authors and Chris and Victoria welcome anyone in to spend hours pouring over their hand picked selection of new and preloved books.

Read More:

Open every Thursday- Sunday, this has got to be one of, if not the, coolest bookshop in the city – but it’s much more than that, it’s a true independent that’s keeping the spirit of locality, hospitality and sustainability alive in the city.

Feature Image – The Hoot Leeds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts