At just eight years old, Paul Angel was the proud winner of a bookshop voucher, after writing a poem at school.

Little did he know, when he carefully selected a children's picture atlas at Gullivers Bookshop in Wimborne, that he would end up running the store with his family.

The business has gone from strength to strength and is now celebrating both its 50th anniversary and winning the Independent Bookshop of the Year 2019 for the South West region in The British Book Awards.

It could well have been that very first visit that began a lifelong partnership between the shop and the Angel family.

Paul worked at Gullivers on Saturdays as a teenager and, when he left the area to go travelling, his mum, Anne, took his place.

"Eventually we all ended up working here," smiles Paul, "although mum pretty much runs the shop."

Anne became a partner in the business in 2005, with the family taking over the shop in 2011. It is now run by three generations of Angels - Anne and Malcolm; their children Paul and Jane, and grandchildren Sunny, Herbie and Beth.

The Angels are not the only family with a special connection to Gullivers, which is so-named as the shop was initially located in Lilliput when it was started in 1969 by original owners Liz and Michael Welch.

"We've been here long enough to see children go from their first book, right through to the teen books at the front of the shop", says Paul, who spent time working as a web designer and consultant before joining the family business.

"My sister Jane really built up the children's side. Lots of children bring their parents in and a lot of them are excited about the books.

"It's lovely seeing people come in and hearing their comments."

Despite a temporary decline in book sales, with a surge in digital business, Paul, whose family also owns Westbourne Bookshop and Wimborne's Square Records, says there has been a recent resurgence in the industry.

"We rode it out and came out the other side," he smiles.

Gullivers Bookshop and Westbourne Bookshop are taking part in Independent Bookshop Week, which runs from June 15 to 22, with a number of events and special offers.

Gullivers Bookshop, High Street, Wimborne 01202 882677