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I bought a sample pack of JV 25kv catenary from them in the late 1980s,I wish I'd bought more.

 

         Ray. 

 

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I think they might have been the UK importer for jv catenary, vaguely remember magazine ads for it. Hadley Hobbies had a lot of "continental" models, lots of Trix etc.  in showcases, very impressive (and expensive but they were in the city...)   I've got a Lima class 47 and 40 from them, must have been towards the end of   Lima UK models.

The guy from the original shop was around but I think the person really behind the bigger shop also had something to do with the London Toy and Model Museum, long gone,  which was once in Craven Hill.  Only went there once,  interesting and they had a 2 1/2 gauge electrically powered railway outdoors.

 

Bill

 

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43 minutes ago, sagaguy said:

I bought a sample pack of JV 25kv catenary from them in the late 1980s,I wish I'd bought more.

 

         Ray. 

 

 

It was certainly still available in France quite recently. Can look into it for you if you want. May even have a few items somewhere but probably 1.5kV whereas you probably want 25kV.

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1 hour ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

It was certainly still available in France quite recently. Can look into it for you if you want. May even have a few items somewhere but probably 1.5kV whereas you probably want 25kV.

Thanks,it`s ok,i now model Hornby Dublo 3 rail these days with Trix & Triang EM1s & 2s with Trix catenary.The JV looked quite good for 25kv,in fact it was the only 25kv model at the time even if i did get shouted down on here years ago by alleging it was overscale & rubbish.Since it was the only catenary around at the time,to this day,i still don`t know what the poster was on about,however,it was a long time ago.It`s a company called Marno over here that still apparently sells it although it is now quite expensive but it is an oasis in a sea of few products.

 

                   Cheers,Ray.

20170907_125444.jpg

Edited by sagaguy
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I remember the shop in the 1970s we used to call 'Mrs Alf's' in Blackburn opposite King George's Hall, can't remember it's proper name, then there was Mercers in Northgate and Harry Welch in Preston, plus Wolstenholme Handicrafts in Accrington which we used to call Wolstencrafts Handyholmes, for a short time we had a model shop in Stacksteads near Bacup which I think was part of a newsagents - all gone now.

 

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On 18/02/2020 at 18:03, railroadbill said:

I think they might have been the UK importer for jv catenary, vaguely remember magazine ads for it. Hadley Hobbies had a lot of "continental" models, lots of Trix etc.  in showcases, very impressive (and expensive but they were in the city...)   I've got a Lima class 47 and 40 from them, must have been towards the end of   Lima UK models.

The guy from the original shop was around but I think the person really behind the bigger shop also had something to do with the London Toy and Model Museum, long gone,  which was once in Craven Hill.  Only went there once,  interesting and they had a 2 1/2 gauge electrically powered railway outdoors.

 

Bill

 

That would probably be Alan Levy who went on to publish the New Cavendish book range & later the founder of ACE trains,i have one of their spamcans in my cabinet,excellent model.The railway in the back when i went there several tims was a multigauge layout with live steam,electric & possibly clockwork.I had a long chat with the chap operating it but i don`t know his name.

                      Ray.

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On 11 February 2020 at 20:21, burgundy said:

St Leonards on Sea meant Hammonds on the seafront in Marine Court. They had a penny in the slot double track model railway in the front window and a penny slot for each track. Almost all of my blue boxed Hornby Dublo came from there. 

Best wishes 

Eric 

Yes Eric, I remember it well. It had several pennies from me or at least my grandparents who lived in St.Leonards. Used to go spotting @ Warrior Square station whenever I was down visiting them.

Cheers.

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On 06/02/2020 at 19:46, ianmacc said:

 

Beatties..... By the time I discovered them in the 90s they were the National chain you describe.  Remember their branches in Manchester, Altrincham and Blackpool and actually have a few Beatties carrier bags still. To modellers (and a lot of the general public) over 40 a legendary name but to the mainstream public almost forgotten entirely. 

 

On 05/02/2020 at 23:51, pippindoo said:

Worked for BEATTIES in Leeds for almost 18 years, when I started they had 4 shops, when I left they had 72! The model railway memories from back then!.....

 

Hi pippindoo,

I worked in Beatties Newcastle Upon Tyne branch, 1979 - 1988.  The company had about seventeen shops then, so we'll have met.  I'm guessing who you might be, but I'm open to surprises!  Yes, many memories from those days; quite a few happy ones but retail life was never an ideal existence, at least not for me with young kids growing up and them doing things which were almost always on Saturdays when we would be working in the shop. 

ianmacc,

I have just one of those Beattie bags still - I keep my Peco point templates in it!  There were various sizes, all very useful, although no thought of recycling back then.  I remember one time, somehow we practically run out entirely.  Then Mike, our Area Manager, arrived, saying he'd got some bags for us.  Whoops - they were only the very large ones, which we used to put the Tamiya radio control car kits in.  The look on people's faces when they bought something like Model Railroader and you'd put it in one of those!  

 

Another thing about Beatties was the shop hours which were the 'old' hours as I termed them: 9am - 6pm, Monday to Saturday.  When the computerised tills were installed in the mid-eighties you couldn't cash up the last till, until the doors closed at 6pm.  Then the cashing up, initializing the tills for the next day and banking the takings in the night safe could sometimes add anything from 20 - 45 minutes beyond closing time each day, even longer at Christmas.  No extra pay for that; it was what you were there to do.    

 

Many more memories, but that'll do for now.

 

Steve.

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On 06/03/2020 at 14:26, steve22 said:

 

 

Hi pippindoo,

I worked in Beatties Newcastle Upon Tyne branch, 1979 - 1988.  The company had about seventeen shops then, so we'll have met.  I'm guessing who you might be, but I'm open to surprises!  Yes, many memories from those days; quite a few happy ones but retail life was never an ideal existence, at least not for me with young kids growing up and them doing things which were almost always on Saturdays when we would be working in the shop. 

ianmacc,

I have just one of those Beattie bags still - I keep my Peco point templates in it!  There were various sizes, all very useful, although no thought of recycling back then.  I remember one time, somehow we practically run out entirely.  Then Mike, our Area Manager, arrived, saying he'd got some bags for us.  Whoops - they were only the very large ones, which we used to put the Tamiya radio control car kits in.  The look on people's faces when they bought something like Model Railroader and you'd put it in one of those!  

 

Another thing about Beatties was the shop hours which were the 'old' hours as I termed them: 9am - 6pm, Monday to Saturday.  When the computerised tills were installed in the mid-eighties you couldn't cash up the last till, until the doors closed at 6pm.  Then the cashing up, initializing the tills for the next day and banking the takings in the night safe could sometimes add anything from 20 - 45 minutes beyond closing time each day, even longer at Christmas.  No extra pay for that; it was what you were there to do.    

 

Many more memories, but that'll do for now.

 

Steve.

Hi Steve......I bet you served me many many times as a spotty teenager! Loved that shop. Don't suppose you have any photos of the shop/staff from back in the day?

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3 hours ago, blueeighties said:

Hi Steve......I bet you served me many many times as a spotty teenager! Loved that shop. 

 

Me too.  Back in the day, we also had Northumbria Models on Waterloo Street and the model shop on what is now St James Boulevard, many happy hours spent in all 3...

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Earlier there was Alfreds & Warner on Blackett Street and two branches of Boydells—one on Blackett Street that moved to Gallowgate and one on New Bridge Street that moved into the Eldon Square mall (and was later taken over by Beatties). 
 

Boydells was a local chain with a number of other shops in the area.

 

All gone now...

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Evening all. 
1st memories of a model shop for me would be the one near Hull Paragon station in the early 1980’s we were always taken in there as a treat on the bi-monthly shopping trip from the wilds of the East Riding. I remember the shop had centre island of glass fronted cabinets and shelves to the ceiling. There was also a layout in the toy section of either Debenhams or Binns next to the cafe on the 1st floor.

In the mid eighties we moved to Leicester where I discovered The Signal Box in the basement of an old fashioned department store in Wigston. Here I got to know Malcom Godfrey (his main shop was in Coalville) and continued to be a regular customer when he moved the shop to Oadby. 
Other shops in Leicester I found after we moved was Norcol Models on Braunstone Gate and a shop on Aylestone Road (both sadly long gone along with Apex Craft) 

Malcolm combined both shops together and relocated the business to Anstey. Sadly Malcom passed away several years ago but the shop is now in the hands of Martin and his team. The shop is going from strength to strength and long may it do so. 
 

Bill. 

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I liked Eams in Reading, it also had  a Trents and another I can't remember, eventually I discovered Howes in oxford too 

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Two in the Oldham area got my early money - Roscoes "The Handymans Shop"  - DIY plus Model Railways - which was originally on the corner of Shaw Road and Lees Road lights, in the late 70s moving up to Moorside on Huddersfield Road.  A pokey place but a treasure trove of models and modelling materials at the back, baseboard wood and tops to the front!

 

But then there was the daddy, Norman Wissenden's on Chew Valley Road, Greenfield. Known to all as the home of the Saddleworth Surcharge you paid top dollar for RTR. Discount was anathema. But then if you left it long enough you'd get a bargain because once Norman had priced the stock, especially the detailing bits in the large drawers in his showroom, they stayed at that price! Norman was a real gent, kettle was always on and there was always a good bit of chat going on. Norman lived up on the moors at Th' heights above Delph, next to the Royal Oak, and was a great supporter of Dobcross Brass band. His occasional assistant, Harry Maden who lived just down the road from the shop was also a fellow member of Rochdale MRG, a good modeller of buildings, who taught me a lot including a very useful beer quaffing trick he used to use in his RAF days. Sadly both no longer with us. nor as of last week is his local, the Royal Oak.

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2 hours ago, owentherail said:

I liked Eams in Reading, it also had  a Trents and another I can't remember, eventually I discovered Howes in oxford too 

Chatham Street Models under the the Multi story Carpark and SEA which were electrical repair shop that also sold Lima and some White Metal detail kits such as 3 and 4 aspect signals from I think W&T. Trents (later Beatties) also had a smaller shop at Meadway Precinct in Tilehurst.

For a While you also had On the RIght Tracks which was at the Hospital end of Watlington Street.

 

It was good to have options back then!

 

Cheers Trailrage

 

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On 07/02/2020 at 12:20, sagaguy said:

Another shop in N.London was Howell Dimmock in Lordship Lane,Tottenham. It was a partnership between Dudley Dimmock of Graham Farish  & Chris Crawley. I don't think it lasted for too Long. Chris then opened a small shop on the corner of Lordship Lane & Bruce Grove, about 200 yards from the original shop. 

 

          Ray. 

 

Mention of Chris Crawley reminded me of the two locations he had after moving to Lincolnshire, firstly in a filling station at Irby in the Marsh and subsequently in an outbuilding of the former Railway Hotel at Firsby Junction. Both were pretty unconventional locations, the Firsby one more of a warehouse workshop for producing kits than a shop.

 

I think he’d taken on a number of whitemetal kit ranges by that stage, Nu-Cast among them, and had also  been in North Lincs at one point after leaving London. He also acquired some of the stock when Kings Cross closed, on one visit I remember seeing a number of the kit built buses and coaches that had previously adorned the cabinets at York Way.
 

He was big into road vehicle kits and somewhere I still have one of the A4 catalogues he produced in the pre-Oxford/ EFE days. 
 

I think Dave must have passed away in the early 2000s, my final contact with them was with his daughter in 2008 after I’d acquired a number of Westward kits that had appeared on eBay. I went across to collect them and she said they were disposing of the remaining stock, this must have been more than a decade after the shop had ceased trading.

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Thank you for all your memories.

 

I received a Hornby Dublo EDG17 0-6-2 tank goods train set, B.R. as a birthday present in 1955 which included an EDBX 1/2 Straight Half Rail with Roadway.  My mother thought it was funny that Hornby Dublo put this in the set as people would want to buy a level crossing to go with it.

 

In the summer we went on holiday to Greatstone on Sea and we visited Model land at New Romney Station. My parents had a job to get me out of there because I enjoyed watching their 0 gauge layout so much.

 

They bought me a D1 Level Crossing there for 9s 6d which I have still got.

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As several others have mentioned, Max Williams in Bristol was a true Alladin's cave. It was still open (but only just) in 1990 as I was frequently in the area for work and I recall finding several sought-after books which were out of print.

What prompted me to comment was a discovery in my electronics box today searching for something for the new layout!

20200509_152621.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On 09/02/2020 at 22:19, Mrhoppity said:

The model shop I remember is H.A. Blunt & Son in Fretherne Road, Welwyn Garden City. 

 

Yeah, Blunts was my local shop too during the '60s and early '70's. Les Binge was the manager, memorable for the brown dust coat he usually wore. The shop was small, but well stocked, especially with Triang-Hornby and Airfix, and Les was always willing to order stuff, including spare parts and other small items. Les had been made an honorary member of Welwyn Garden City MRC, and members were supposed to to be entitled to a small discount at the shop, but I remember usually being refused for various reasons. Over the years I must have spent most of my pocket money, and later earnings from my Saturday job flogging radios and TVs at Welwyn Department Store, at Blunts.

 

Other shops I've frequented over the years, which may jog a few memories for someone, included:

 

Model Railways, York Way,  Kings Cross - convenient for a quick run up from WGC, and my usual first choice for kits and small detailing parts.

Hamblings, Cecil Court, off Charing Cross Road - never my favourite shop. Most stock was locked away, limiting opportunities for browsing, and it always seemed to be a bit of a chore for them to open up the cupboards to get anything out.

W&H, New Cavendish Street, Marylebone - A big supplier, of course, for smaller retailers. Their annual catalogue used to list a wide variety of kits, parts and materials for mail order. The shop is now occupied by David Mellor cutlery and tableware, but the distinctive frontage remains unaltered.

Beatties, Southgate - I used to spend time here browsing the well-stocked secondhand outlet for Christmas or Birthday presents.

Wheels of Steel, Grays Antique Market, off Oxford Street - For my money, the best secondhand market ever. I used to do a lot of buying and selling with Jeff Williams, and have come away with some really interesting items, especially half-built kit bashed locos and rolling stock, many of which are still packed away in my attic awaiting me getting round to finishing them: an Ivatt Atlantic from a Hornby B12, a 4-LAV electric unit from Ian Kirk parts, a BR Griddle Car and an RKB from Replica Buffet Restaurant Cars to name but a few. A sad day when Jeff decided to finish.

 

For me, the point about traditional model shops was that you could drop in, browse around and come out on impulse with a load of items you never knew you wanted, or in some cases, even knew existed. It's difficult to replicate this experience on line, and although I suppose searching "kit built" or "scratch built" on eBay goes some way towards it, for me it simply isn't the same. There are still some old fashioned shops around, and they are in my opinion well worth supporting while they're still here.

 

Edited by 602Squadron
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17 minutes ago, 602Squadron said:

Wheels of Steel, Grays Antique Market, off Oxford Street - For my money, the best secondhand market ever. I used to do quite a lot of buying and selling with Jeff Williams, and have come way with some really interesting items, especially half-built kit bashed locos and rolling stock, many of which are still packed away in my attic awaiting me getting round to finishing them: an Ivatt Atlantic from a Hornby B12, a 4-LAV electric unit from Ian Kirk parts, a BR Griddle Car and an RKB from Replica Buffet Restaurant Cars to name but a few. A sad day when Jeff decided to finish.

I would agree that Wheels of Steel was a sad loss, even more so as I understand his website is now gone as well. The best purchase I made from Jeff was a Hornby Dublo 2 rail EMU in beautiful condition along with two coaches suitable for being used as centre cars to make a four car unit.

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Amongst my old catalogues I have an ERG for scratchbuilders and several W&H for Nostalgia.

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Posted (edited)

In the eighties I worked at the Research Centre at Northwick Park so I used to spend a lot of time at Puffers (Chris Parrish who could be really friendly or really grumpy, Dave King and John Redrupp) or sometimes Harrow Model Shop, but until they started doing the Underground models I never found it that interesting.

 

However I also spent a lot of time doing work at Watford General Hospital, so during lunch time wandered to the town centre via Vicarage Road Precinct. In the precinct was one of the original discounters, who used to advertise in the likes of the "Constructor", but I can't think of the name. [edit: have just remembered it was called RailMail full of boxes of Hornby, Lima, Airfix and Mainline]

 

Previous posters have mentioned Kings Cross. I used to do some work in conjunction with hospitals in that area, so often traveled up to that station, and used it as an excuse to pay a visit to Kings Cross/Eames. it was noticeable that you were often approached by the ladies of the area when walking to the shop, but they ignored you if you were carrying one of their plastic bags. Not sure whether it was because they thought you had spent all your money, or because you were a railway modeller youhad no interest in what they had to offer :)

Edited by RogerTE
remebered name of shop

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You got the same around Finsbury Park where I lived for a time when I first moved to London, so it might be a Great Northern thing.  Asking if they would take a cheque put them off, although if they are still around now they probably all have card readers.

[IPW]

 

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