THEY have been selling second hand books and music for a quarter of a century.

And during that time they have raised £1.6m to help the world’s poorest communities.

Now Oxfam Books and Music in Winchester is celebrating its 25th birthday with a party for the volunteers who have worked there over the years.

During the party guest of honour, travel writer John Pilkington whose talks have raised £2,160 for the Parchment Street shop, presented many of the volunteers with long service awards to celebrate their dedication to the shop.

Among those who received awards was Sonja Meldrum who has volunteered there since it opened in 1989, the same year she retired from her job of 20 years as a social worker.

The 87-year-old grandmother-of-five from Bereweeke said: “I’m very keen on books. I love handling old books and I’ve always had second hand books since I was a teenager o when this bookshop opened I was keen to volunteer.

"I’ve stayed because I love books. There’s always that feeling that you never know when something interesting or valuable will turn up.”

Area manager for Hampshire, Veronica Raymond, said: “It’s just fantastic. This shop is so successful because of the fantastic team here including good management and volunteers.

"I would just like to thank every person that’s made it so successful including shop manager Ingrid Clifford and deputy manager Anne Jales, the customers and donors.”