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Andy Y

C&L Finescale

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C&L Finescale – owner Pete Llewellyn to stand down

 

Customers of C&L may be aware that Pete has suffered chronic back pain. This resulted from an unsuccessful operation in 2004 to repair 3 discs in his lower back which forced him into early medical retirement, followed by seven years when he was unable to work. He gradually improved and was able to purchase C&L 5 years ago. Since then, C&L has seen a doubling in size, but the additional workload has resulted in a gradual deterioration in Pete’s condition.

 

Following medical advice that his long term health will be adversely affected if he carries on as now, Pete has decided that he has no option but to call time on his ownership of C&L. He is hopeful that he can pass the C&L baton on to a new owner and so ensure the continuing supply of the many specialist products that C&L offer the railway modeller.

 

In the meantime it will be business as usual, with C&L attending its booked Exhibitions/Shows and continuing to offer over 3,000 products via its re-vamped website at www.finescale.org.uk

 

Pete commented: “It is such a shame that I have to step down at this point as I had planned to continue with C&L for another 7 or 8 years. However it would be madness to do so and then spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, having not listened to medical advice. Whilst I am extremely disappointed to be leaving the business, I will do all I can to offer support to a new owner to help ensure that C&L continues as it has for the last 30 plus years”.

 

“The search for a new owner has commenced. I am hopeful that I can interest someone who is willing to take on the role of owner/manager of C&L. The current staff are all very experienced and with the right new leadership C&L could continue to operate from its current premises near Bristol with very little change. Developments in IT mean that many aspects of management could be handled remotely, which could widen the pool of potential owners”.

 

Potential purchasers can contact Pete for further information by emailing [email protected]

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Fingers crossed he finds a suitable purchaser soon (and they continue to trade from the very convenient Bristol shop!)

Edited by The Fatadder

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I hope an owner can be found too - if I could convince the bank to lend me the money I'd give it a go, although I'm not really a manager-type, but a business like this is valuable to the hobby and it would be a great shame if it were lost.

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Pete has my sympathies as I'm going through very similar circumstances

I hope he can secure a buyer soon.

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As a chronic back pain sufferer (amongst other things), he has my sympathies. Hopefully a buyer who shares the vision to take the company forward can be found, and not a buyer who will sit on the product lines with little effort put in as that'd be a real shame with the valuable resource they provide.

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I think that all on here will wish Pete well for the future.

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I hope an owner can be found too - if I could convince the bank to lend me the money I'd give it a go, although I'm not really a manager-type, but a business like this is valuable to the hobby and it would be a great shame if it were lost.

 

Me too as i'm wanting to start a business,  I don't even want to think about the capital needed to be raised though :S

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Good that a buyer has been found.

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Apparently the Carrs side of the business is still waiting for a buyer though...

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It is good and bad news, good that C&L products will still be available and obviously bad news for those made redundant. Small consolation but I would like to thank Pete and his staff, particularly the stand staff for the service they have given at shows over the years. I hope both the new owner and the staff do well in the future.

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It is good and bad news, good that C&L products will still be available and obviously bad news for those made redundant. Small consolation but I would like to thank Pete and his staff, particularly the stand staff for the service they have given at shows over the years. I hope both the new owner and the staff do well in the future.

 

Indeed. Always had great service from the stand.

 

Hopefully the Carrs range will find an owner. The C&L range will be rather pared down in terms of stock,  but that seemingly is to effect the Peco stock etc, which is a good and bad thing, as they were rather competive on the Ratio items.

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Good fortune to you Roy and Luke and very many thanks for the excellent service.

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I share everyone's relief that these products future has been secured, and regret that despite every effort to the contrary several folk have lost their jobs

 

On reflection from the little I know, the business reverting back to a small cottage industry format both attending shows and supplying via mail order is a far more sustainable business model and hopefully one which will keep unit costs down. 

 

A big thanks to Peter and the staff and good luck to the new owners

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Sad news to lose the shop (and more so the brilliant staff)

 

Was told about it when I popped in on Monday for track (something I will sorely miss). Suspect i will be back in again next week to buy a very large bottle of green label and enough ballast to finish Brent just in case Carrs is lost...

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Will we still be able to order online?

 

Brian

From the press release.

 

Last website orders are 29th April on the existing site, after that it is up to the new owners.

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Like many others I have enjoyed excellent service from C&L and seen the business change and grow over the years. Personally I think the business took a wrong turn trying to compete with the mainstream sellers on 'non core' business products, however I guess this was the direction Pete wanted to go in trying to build the business. It would appear that it's now returning back to it's origins as a cottage industry. Where this goes with prices and supply is difficult to predict however, and despite recent product increases, it will be difficult to match the current operation.  As others have commented unfortunately it's the staff who are now the losers - but isn't that always the case. 

 

Wishing the new owners success and hope the excellent website and ordering process continues.

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Not having an online ordering facility in this day and age is tantamount to committing commercial suicide. Even if it drops back to 'cottage industry' status, there won't be enough sales purely from shows and phone/post only mail orders to keep the business going.

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Not having an online ordering facility in this day and age is tantamount to committing commercial suicide. Even if it drops back to 'cottage industry' status, there won't be enough sales purely from shows and phone/post only mail orders to keep the business going.

Blimey give the new owners a chance,  The ink isn't even dry on any contract yet.

 

I'm sure they've thought about the direction they're going to take as they're already looking to slim the operation down to it's core of track components. Just how much is needed to survive as a cottage industry only they'll know.

 

I wish Pete all the best, I did think while building 'Sandy' that I was his own personal pension plan but the service and product are top notch.

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I'm sure they've thought about the direction they're going to take as they're already looking to slim the operation down to it's core of track components. 

 

That's what the statement reads like, so does it signal the end of the rolling stock components?

I know that the loco suspension components appear in at least one other manufacturer's kits, and some of us would regret the reduction in options in sourcing wheels.

 

The Nim.

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Not having an online ordering facility in this day and age is tantamount to committing commercial suicide. Even if it drops back to 'cottage industry' status, there won't be enough sales purely from shows and phone/post only mail orders to keep the business going.

 

To take your post line by line:

 

1. While an online presence is often useful and beneficial to a company, it is most certainly not a given that a company with no such presence will fail

2. How do you know? What access do you have to the company's current business data and the financial plans of the new owner going forward?

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There is nothing inherently wrong in small scale cottage industry, and as many have observed over recent years this country has done wonders for small businesses. Trouble is they were once big businesses !

 

To encourage vital sales to newer, tech savvy, modellers an online service is critical. To those under a certain age the days of phone calls and posting orders by snail mail are long gone.

Edited by purplepiepete
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Despite what the press release says I feel a mounting sense of panic buying descending upon us!

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Perhaps we should think less about our own hobby needs and should more than spare a thought for Roy, Luke (the manager) Jenny and Jim who have had the rug pulled from under their feet.

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