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Graham Walters

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Andover, UK
  • Interests
    Football, Model Railways, Photography,Computers & the Internet,
    I've just taken on the role of Layout Planner for my clubs exhibitions.

    NGS Membership No: 26013

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  1. From experience I can say that the demise in hobby and shopd selling model railway products are many fold, the nternet is but one. Others include the advancement in electronic entertainment lack of space in new homes, rooms are not big enough, and attics are not strong enough. Cost is another factor, From what I've seen of customers that came in my shop the hobby is literally dying, I would say the average age of the few cutomers I had was well into the 60's, and I had only two or three regulars aged under 15. i was told I was more expensve than certain shops in Liverp
  2. It would appear that people were right, opening a model shop selling model railway products was a bad move. As of 3pm today [21/11/2019] Test Valley Models has stopped selling dedicated model railway products, instead we will be concentrating on the less demanding markets in out business, namely plastic kits and wargaming. I would through this coloum like to thank anyone who has patronised the shop over the past 3.5 years, sadly it wasn't enough to warrant us continuing to stock loco's, rolling stock, or in fact anything to do solely with model railways.
  3. When it takes three days for a modeller to airbrush 12 OO huts, you have to wonder if he has the right skills to do the job, or was he using the right paints ! I was impressed with the BB team, and the steampunk version has some nice quirky bits but Tonbridge was IMO what most people think the hobby is, and gave a totally wrong perception of it. It's still not 'must switch on TV' for me, and I cannot put my finger on why it isn't
  4. It's prime time, Friday night railway modelling on a terrestrial channel. Not often you see that written about Channel 5
  5. Finally caught it on catchup this evening, mixed views really, It was good to see the rules being upheld, the 'Captain' from Missenden came across as smug more than arrogant, thinking they had won it before it even started. In the time allowed both of those who stuck to the rules IMO did very well, Porthcawl probably failed due more to the quantity of things they tried to build in, whereas Strangers went for the effective "diorama" type layout. For me it will remain a catch up program around modelling and other programs, but I expect I will watch the whole series.
  6. There seems to be a large difference of opinion, so here ar some answers to a few questions raised. We do as a business giv a discount if a customer spends a large amount with us in one purchase, margins are better on some things than others, buying a box of track is cheaper than buying odd lengths, and we do make customers aware of this On locos we do list and price at RRP, perhaps we shouldn't and make the money on the accessories, but that's another debate. Bulk buying by Hattons and others, this is a a lot of smoke and mirrors, Hornby tell us smaller traders that thet do not give Ha
  7. Running a model shop is not easy, running a model shop that sells model railway items is even harder, why is it that if a plastic kit builder comes into my shop he chooses the kit, come tot he counter, he may add some glue, sanding sticks and paint to his purchase, total the goods up, tell him the cost and out comes the cash or the card, he walks away after maybe a brief chat as happy as a sand boy. The same goes for people who buy model aircraft, wargames, or the dolls house ladies that buy the scenics. But the railway modeler is always the one who asks 'any discount' why ? Why do th
  8. That is so good to hear Ian, I hate to say but I think you an exception, rather than a rule, but well done or letting the lad 'have a go'
  9. That is a not strictly true, there were only three exhibits not connected with modelrailways, or railways in general, The Andover Dolls House Club and South Hants Model Car Club, both of these have been attending the show for a great number of years, the only addition was a group from Andover Table Top Gamers, demonstrating table top gaming. In defence of the club, the show is advertised as a Modelex, not a purely 'Model Railway' show. In an age when the hobby is in crisis and sales are down, Hornby amost hitting the wall every year, I feel it is a little unfair to criticise a club for thin
  10. To say the move didn't go without a hitch would be a lie. We are now settled in the Chantry Centre in the heart of Andover. The carpet tiles turned up a week late, which meant that we were unable to install any shelving on the floor, half of the lights in the unit had failed, and as the ceiling is quite high we needed to get an electrician in to sort things out for us. We missed our planned re-opening on the May Bank holiday weekend, but we were just ready to open the following Friday, 1st June, after a lot of help from friends and customers doing everything from putting stock on s
  11. !!!WE ARE MOVING !!! Our growth continues, after two years at our present site on the outskirts of Andover, we have taken the plunge to move into the town centre ! The new shop is a lot easier to find being in the main shopping centre in Andover, we have even more floor and wall space for stock. Add to that I have at last found a new investor in the business who has peldged at least £25k to buy railway stock ! !!!EVEN MORE !!! We have Brian, a qualified carpenter who is now building our baseboards, ( we have two types available) Kevin a fully experienced repairs person who can fit chips t
  12. Sorry to report that our website with Prestashop has been hacked once again, not really a malicious hacking, they just saw fit to delete all the product pages, so everything is now returning a 404 error. Because this is the second time in six months and the protection we installed failed once again, we have now decided to go with a hosted platform, as such we are rebuilding the website, and adding the stock once again. The new website address in http://testvalleymodels.co.uk. The checkout page is of course SSL secured
  13. A few months ago a customer asked us to build him a version of Inglenook Sidings on a 4' x 2' board, some thing we were a little nervous about as we had never build baseboards for any one before, we took it headlong invested some time and built the layout with a panel mounted controller and some scenics, to our delight the customer was delighted with our efforts. Whilst building that layout we were asked to build more, we have just finished the largest we have taken on at 17' x 6', after a few teething problems, we have again delivered it and the customer is delighted. We now have three m
  14. For various reasons I refuse to comment, but the general feeling I've had from customers in the shop is mixed, the majority seem to think there have been better shows at Andover.
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