WHEN Douglas Fennell started a charity bookshop, he thought it would be a "nine-day wonder".
But five years and 30,000 books later, the stall at Sanderstead railway station is still steaming ahead and has raised an incredible £20,000 for Diabetes UK.
Mr Fennell, 67, who has type 2 diabetes, started the shop while working at the station in 2008. But what started as a way to raise a bit of cash has become a serious source of income for the charity.
Mr Fennell, of Meadway, Coulsdon, said: "You have to give credit to everyone involved. The employees and customers at the station have turned the stall into a big success.
"The best thing is, once people are done with their books, they bring them back and they can be sold again."
The books, which start at just 20p, range from Jackie Collins novels to genuine antiques. Mr Fennell gave a cautious estimate of the stall having sold over 30,000 books since it started.
He also said some rare books have been sold for up to £40 but that bestsellers are the titles that fly off the shelves.
Mr Fennell added: "A few years ago, The Da Vinci Code was particularly popular, but now it's probably Fifty Shades Of Grey – although I haven't read it!"
The bookworm, along with his colleague Pauline Giles, came up with the idea as a practical way of helping interaction with rail users.
He said: "I know a lot of people are always moaning about clutter, so we thought this was a good way of getting rid of some and raising a bit of cash at the same time."
Formerly in the motor trade, Mr Fennell retired in 2011 after seven years at the station and now enjoys his retirement at home with his wife Jenny.
He added: "When I retired I was given a card by a regular customer, thanking me for running Sanderstead Library as well as selling train tickets."
Station employees have continued Mr Fennell's good work and the stall is making more money than ever.
Diabetes UK president Richard Lane visited the station to collect the sizeable cheque and to present Douglas with a certificate.
Mr Lane said: "It is a fantastic achievement to have raised over £20,000 so far."
If the 30,000 books sold were laid out flat, they would extend all the way from Sanderstead Station to Selhurst Park.