VINYL is, for Phil Dunn, labelled with love.

The music suitor has fulfilled a long-time ambition and opened up a record store.

Northern Rocks Vintage Vinyl, based inside Kiwi Trading in Hartlepool, sells vinyl albums and singles from across the years.

And Dunn is also passing on his knowledge and expertise when it comes to jukeboxes and record players too.

With a hefty collection at home, Northern Rocks – regulars at the old Gemini club in Hartlepool will recognise the logo – is a big extension of his personal vinyl enthusiasm.

Dunn admitted: “It’s a lifetime of work – as a record collector I’ve built up a personal collection of around 10,000 albums.

“I was finding more and more duplicates, four and five copes of some. Buying collections you tend to get duplicates and people want to sell collections rather than splitting them up.

“I have bought a lot of albums to get others I’ve wanted over the years.’’

While digital downloads are part of the instant music scene today, both that and CDs have never been on his agenda.

“It’s always been vinyl. I never got into CDs and don’t understand downloads,’’ he admitted.

“As people are rightly saying now vinyl is ‘back’ with a resurgence.

“There’s not enough record shops, but more than there was. In the 1990s I was snapping vinyl up when no-one wanted it.

“I never got the CD thing. They flatten the sound at the top and bottom end, on vinyl on a good deck you hear how it should be and was intended.

“The physical object has something about it. A download is nothing, hanging in the air.’’

Opened last weekend, Dunn, who for many years was the frontman with The Passion Killers and last year sung on stage at the Arc in Stockton with his hero Glenn Tilbrook, has been delighted with the response from North-East music lovers.

“The reaction has been unreal – we have had a really busy start with both buying and selling and you get surprised by it,’’ he said.

“You wonder what people will buy – and then end up pleasantly surprised. I had a lad come in, about 18, buying Spandau Ballet and Wham because his mam listened to them.

“The music lovers of Hartlepool and the area have come out in force and I think the town has been crying out for a place since the sad decline of John Little and The Other Record Shop.

“I spent hours and hours in there and we are carrying on his memory – I need a brown paper bag on the door to say ‘back in ten minutes’ which was his trademark!

“I will be repairing and restoring jukeboxes and record players as part of the service too, it’s something I love doing.

“This place Kiwi Trading is a goldmine, a really quirky interesting place and being in here fits the bill.’’