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Looking through my collection many of the price labels are still on the boxes and I can vaguely remember buying each item.

 

I started buying track and rolling stock with my pocket money from toy shops like the Childrens' Shop in Orpington and later on I was a frequent visitor to Hobbytime of West Wickham. In London I bought a few items from Hamblings and Beatties.

 

When I moved to Worthing I often bought models from the Engine Shed which later moved to Ford, from Hobbyhorse and Beatties at Brighton.

 

I used to call in and buy models from places I visited like Pecorama at Beer, the Monkbar at York and the Cheltenham Model Centre.

 

Now I am at Swanage I buy models from the Swanage Station shop or the Swanage Model Centre. I also buy a lot of items by mail order from Hattons, Kernow and Rails.

 

I wonder if other members have any interesting memories of these and other shops.

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One of the most extraordinary model shops I used to travel quite some distance to visit was the old Harrow Model Shop, mostly for the purchase of their cast white metal London Underground stock kits.  There was a very knowledgeable elderly chap, Norman I think his name was, behind the counter.  I always got the impression what he didn't know wasn't worth knowing!

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Probably we all have a good recollection of model shops.  I can just remember the red Hornby Series boxes prewar and the later Hornby Trains in the same red after the war when I was old enough to figure out where the trains came from.  Over the years, I have always wondered that the price, in pencil on one end were written by the same hand as they all looked so similar.  A lot of times the Hornby trains were sold as an adjunct to the other business of the shop, usually bicycles or electrical parts, which in my case was their downfall as eventually I sold the trains and bought a bike with the profits!:(

 

Brian.

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Ray Rippon & Sons Leigh on Sea Essex, was also a model and bike shop. Son Doug running the model part of the business and his brother the bikes. Purchased my first LG kit built Thompson carriages from Doug and the carriages still look excellent on the layout nearly 50 years later!

 

Paul

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Folk might like to know there is a thread started in 2013 on a similar theme under:-  Model Shop Guide, 'Gone But Not Forgotten'. Many recollections and much nostalgia if that's your taste.

 

Regards,

                 John

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Ray Rippon was also the best place to buy pre-cut copperclad sleepers in 00-gauge, for building home-made copperclad trackwork. I'm not sure whether they actually manufactured them or bought them in from someone else, as the product didn't re-appear elsewhere after they closed down.

 

I still have some of these components left and last year made some more trackwork for my new layout. The copperclad sleeper strip was still in pristine condition some 30+ years after purchase!

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I posted in the original thread but it wouldn't hurt to contribute afresh here I suppose as the old one has gone adrift somewhat in recent times...

 

Being Eastleigh based I started out with Dave Cleal of Mainly Trains firstly on Hursley Road and later in the Central Precinct until he upped sticks and disappeared to Watchet.

This would have been in the mid/late 80's and coincided with a tempory loss of interest in the hobby as I was around school leaving age with its myriad distractions that we all later come to regret indulging in to some degree... :D

My layout was dismantled and the mostly Hornby/Lima stock was stored in the loft, pending eventual disposal on eBay years later aside from a Mainline 66xx tank engine that I still have for sentimental reasons.

 

Come 2003 or so I was freshly returned from travelling around Australia and quite by chance saw an advert for the new Hornby Class 50's which served to reignite my interest...after a while I stumbled across Trevor Salt of The Old Toy Shop in Portswood (Southampton) who had moved up from his original Northam shop, Initially I found him slightly arkward to deal with sometimes but the shop was just how I liked so I persevered and ended up becoming a regular visitor which seemed to bring out a bit of chat & banter...sadly the shop overheads apparently became too much and I turned up one day to find it devoid of trains and being converted into a Polish deli/shop!

I believe Trevor is still trading at shows etc but have not seen him for some years...

 

Recently I haven't been buying as much as my loco collecting habit has slowed up due to running out of cabinet space and thoughts turn to building a small layout of sorts to run the things on...seems sensible?

To this end I have started visiting AC Models just down the road in central Eastleigh...early days yet but initial impressions are very good with an excellent selection of stock and the staff seem to know their products very well.

Edited by Bert Cheese
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22 hours ago, 4railsman said:

Ray Rippon was also the best place to buy pre-cut copperclad sleepers in 00-gauge, for building home-made points

Doug also used to sell point templates, I still use these and have the original film work as they were drawn by my father-in-law, Fred Blackman, later of Mallard Models fame!

 

Paul

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On 08/03/2019 at 07:57, PaulG said:

Ray Rippon & Sons Leigh on Sea Essex, was also a model and bike shop. Son Doug running the model part of the business and his brother the bikes. Purchased my first LG kit built Thompson carriages from Doug and the carriages still look excellent on the layout nearly 50 years later!

 

Paul

Just a couple of miles away from Leigh on Sea at Prittlewell was Rickatrack run by Richard Noyce, a true model railway enthusiast, who shared a shop with his parents Stan and Dorothy who had a photographic and pharmaceutical supply business.  Richard's model railway shop was full of those hard to get bits, and he always had a good selection of second-hand in the window.  Customers were often treated to a mug of tea and a biscuit resulting in lengthy visits, and usually exiting with a lighter wallet!  Happy memories of those days.

 

Sadly, Richard passed away too young at the age of 60 after a few years of bad health.  His son, Gary, who briefly took over the business after his father's death also passed away in his 30's from hereditary health problems. 

 

Alas the shop is no more - Google street view now shows the whole terrace of shops derelict and boarded up. :(

Edited by cravensdmufan
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The editorial of the latest HMRS magazine is about model shops, apparently a rewrite of a piece in Scalefour news in 2015.  It makes the point that many provided kits and scratch build components, some even having their own product lines. Hobbytime for example had its BSL coach range. I never aspired to such things in those days but it was a marvellous shop to visit. It must have had its fair share of RTR but my hazy memory of it is as a 'making things' shop. 

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Who remembers Duggleby's in Hull? Corner of Princes Avenue opposite Botanic Gardens station.

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1 hour ago, micknich2003 said:

Who remembers Duggleby's in Hull? Corner of Princes Avenue opposite Botanic Gardens station.

 

Remember it very well Mick, used to get my copy of Railway Modeller there every month.....as well as TT bits and pieces that I could afford with pocket money back then. 

Ken was still around too some of the time.

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I've been trying to use up stuff from my 'stores' rather than spend money on new items, and am surprised by how much I still have with "R&D Models" price labels on.  R&D Models used to be in Cambridge, at various addresses over the years but finally I think in Burleigh Street, but I moved away from there 17 years ago, and they closed sometime after that.  Perhaps I was keeping them going!  The items I find are mostly things like sheets of Plastikard, but recently I've also been using D&S Models etched and cast signal components, some of which also have "R&D Models" on them.  Tell kids today that you could buy stuff like that in High Street model shops and they won't believe you!

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Growing up in Oxford in the 1970s we had, as well as the 'proper' model shops, Howes in Broad St and the Railway Book Shop at the Green Road roundabout, other retailers who sold Hornby, such as Boswells in the city centre (still there although sadly no longer stocking model railways) and Risings in Summertown.  One Xmas I asked, as part of my presents, for a Hornby isolating track, and was given a whole box of them which Risings had sold us for the price of one ! My Mum made me take it back.........

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19 minutes ago, pete55 said:

 

Remember it very well Mick, used to get my copy of Railway Modeller there every month.....as well as TT bits and pieces that I could afford with pocket money back then. 

Ken was still around too some of the time.

Ken, died about six years ago, for a time he had his own shop.

 Here's a view from the shop doorway.

 

BOTANIC Hardy Thurs 2 3 67.jpg

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33 minutes ago, micknich2003 said:

Ken, died about six years ago, for a time he had his own shop.

 Here's a view from the shop doorway.

 

BOTANIC Hardy Thurs 2 3 67.jpg

 

That brings back memories!

Bobby on point duty in his little podium box!

Yes, remember Ken's shop too, off Buckingham Street down Holderness Road. Went there a few times too.

Edited by pete55

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On 07/03/2019 at 22:27, John M Upton said:

One of the most extraordinary model shops I used to travel quite some distance to visit was the old Harrow Model Shop, mostly for the purchase of their cast white metal London Underground stock kits.  There was a very knowledgeable elderly chap, Norman I think his name was, behind the counter.  I always got the impression what he didn't know wasn't worth knowing!

 

I also have good memories of the shop in Harrow.

 

In the late 1950s I lived in Vaughan Road, roughly halfway between Harrow on the Hill and West Harrow Underground stations and was within walking distance of the shop. Pocket money was saved and some good secondhand Tri-ang items were obtained. I can also remember laying in bed at night and listening to shunting taking place in the goods yard which was behind our house over on the North side of the Met tracks, more or less behind the model shop.

 

John

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22 hours ago, Pteremy said:

Hobbytime for example had its BSL coach range. I never aspired to such things in those days but it was a marvellous shop to visit. It must have had its fair share of RTR but my hazy memory of it is as a 'making things' shop. 

Hobbytime had a fair share of ready to run items. I bought some Hornby Dublo nylon wheels so I could convert my 3-rail rolling stock to 2-rail. The manager said he had so many he used to throw them away.  I did make a BSL Maunsell pull-push set that I bought from Hobbytime. 

 

I remember that Hobbytime had some Peco yard lengths of track hanging from the ceiling so they did not get bent. The shop also had a Trix Flying Scotsman on display in the shop window. I used to admire it but it was too expensive for me and I did not expect it to run on the Swanage Railway that I was modelling although it will be running on the Swanage Railway next week.

 

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14 minutes ago, Robin Brasher said:

Hobbytime had a fair share of ready to run items. I bought some Hornby Dublo nylon wheels so I could convert my 3-rail rolling stock to 2-rail. The manager said he had so many he used to throw them away.  I did make a BSL Maunsell pull-push set that I bought from Hobbytime. 

 

I remember that Hobbytime had some Peco yard lengths of track hanging from the ceiling so they did not get bent. The shop also had a Trix Flying Scotsman on display in the shop window. I used to admire it but it was too expensive for me and I did not expect it to run on the Swanage Railway that I was modelling although it will be running on the Swanage Railway next week.

 

 

I lived in West Wickham in the 1970s and spent a lot of time in Hobbytime. Denis Hextall who owned it was always very helpful with good advice. They did do r-t-r but most of the shop was dedicated to other bits and pieces.

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On 07/03/2019 at 22:27, John M Upton said:

One of the most extraordinary model shops I used to travel quite some distance to visit was the old Harrow Model Shop, mostly for the purchase of their cast white metal London Underground stock kits.  There was a very knowledgeable elderly chap, Norman I think his name was, behind the counter.  I always got the impression what he didn't know wasn't worth knowing!

The Model Shop in Harrow was on St Ann's Road, opposite the same owner's Toy Shop. He relocated the Model Shop to larger premises on Station Road in around 1978 which will be the one you remember. The Railway Department was run by the redoubtable Norman, a kindly chap assisted by the older and much grumpier Arthur. Norman also I believe ran a model railway club which ran 3 rail 00 with full signalling and bell codes - as I got to know him I became aware that for him Dublo and Wrenn (which the Harrow Model Shop stocked right up until the end of production in 1992) were 'proper' models rather than the later plastic stuff which he didn't personally have much truck with. 

 

In the early 80s I regularly used to cover both the Harrow Model Shop and Puffers of Kenton in a single visit - they were about a 15 minute walk apart. 

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Pete, here's one for you, Duggleby's shop front with myself and Yvonne stood in the doorway and also the advert for the latest "Railway Modeller.

DUGGLEBY'S c1967.jpg

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Thanks Mick, and with Botanic signal box over the road reflected in the window.

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The model shop in Harrow was originally in what appeared to be an old railway coal office by the bridge over the Met line at the north end of Harrow on the Hill station before moving to St. Ann's road. it was very small. This was probably the late fifties/early sixties, after  I moved to Harrow.  Before that I lived within walking distance of   Taylor & McKenna   in Harlesden who were one of the major model railway retailers at the time.. Everything from Kits and bits to rtr,  Quite a shop!

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T&M grew to a chain of toy/model shops, and locally to where I live they kept the flame of ‘proper model shops’ burning until probably c1990, in a location where rents climbed to sky-high levels very quickly. They eventually succumbed, of course!

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There was a toy shop in Guildhall Street, Folkestone, then name of which escapes me. But in the basement there was the model railway emporium. I spent happy times there, spending my pocket money.

 

But my happiest memory was, as a 10 or 11-year old boy, going to the counter, and the genial old man serving smiling down saying "what can I do for sir?"

 

He called me 'sir'! I was so made up with that! :)

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