Jump to content

Most model shops in one town/city


ianmacc
 Share

Recommended Posts

9 hours ago, Georgeconna said:

Tunbridge Wells had a smattering of Model Shops.

 

There was a very good general model railway shop about two thirds of the way down Camden Road until probably c1980. Ballards were latecomers to the topic I think, always being builders' merchants that I remember.

 

Also in Camden Road one of the newsagents was a Hornby Dublo and Dinky agency in a small way. My father managed another shop nearby for a while, and was pally with said newsagent, which is how I got an HD train-set as a birthday present the day I was born! The guy had a really excellent HD layout of his own "out the back", and its struck me since that he possibly had the agency more for the fun of it than the profit in it.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, caradoc said:

Oxford had, for many years, specialist retailers with Howes in Broad St (now moved to the wilds of Kidlington and no longer interested in model railways) and the Railway Bookshop/Motor Books at the Green Road roundabout, now gone. Plus various other shops selling Triang/Hornby; Boswells, Risings in Summertown, other shops on the Iffley Road and the High Street near a Covered Market entrance. Also all gone now. 

 

Even small towns had decent model shops, in the early 1980s visiting friends at Winslow I bought an Airfix 31 and Peco points. But it's a vicious circle, with fewer shops more of us turn to the ease of online shopping, so there are even fewer shops. 

 

I went to motorbooks for years, then they sold it and it was briefly orange model world, but judging by the assistants people skills when I tried that , I’m not surprised it didn’t last .

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, rob D2 said:

judging by the assistants people skills when I tried that,  I’m not surprised it didn’t last .

 

I only went there once and got the same impression too. Losing Motor Books was a real blow as it was within easy cycling, or slightly longer walking, distance from where I grew up ! 

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Small shout-out for York, which,  when I was getting interested in the hobby in the early 1970s, had three model shops in the city centre within 5 mins walk of each other. 
 

E Precious in Low Petergate (a proper old fashioned full service toy shop with a specialist model railway counter - now a Bella Italia); E&P Barkers Minster Gates Model Shop in Minster Gates (directly opposite the Rose Window South Transept of York Minster - more kit & components orientated - now a fancy tea seller) and Monk Bar Model Shop, in Goodramgate adjacent to Monk Bar in the bar walls (old-style full service model shop with a large model railway section - happily still going and my bricks & mortar dealer of choice.).

 

If one didn’t have something, one of the others would!

 

At various times since then others have opened in the city centre - P&S Hobbies & Models on Fossgate (model aircraft & large scale railways - still open); Cutty Blacks in Walmgate (shop now closed but still trading on eBay I think); and a model aircraft plus Lima railways shop that existed in the now demolished Davygate arcade sometime between the late 1970s & early 1980s whose name I can’t remember.

 

Not bad for a city of (then) 100,000 people. Perhaps not surprising in view of York’s railway heritage, as all these shops lived largely off local trade, not tourists, who weren’t really much of a thing in York until the late 1970s, amazing though that seems now. All down to the NRM putting York on every tour operators map after it opened, followed soon after by the Jorvik Viking dig hype.

 

Ah, memories.  Now I live in Darlington which no longer has a single model railway shop despite its history...

 

Richard T

  • Like 5
  • Friendly/supportive 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Oxford also had a shop on the parade at Headington Roundabout for a few years, maybe less than ten years ago. i bought some very good S/H things in there.

 

That was the Railway Bookshop/Motor Books/Orange Model World, although I think it's been gone for longer than ten years now. I used the Green Road Roundabout for its location, which is a local name and possibly not even used nowadays. 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, RichardT said:

Small shout-out for York, which,  when I was getting interested in the hobby in the early 1970s, had three model shops in the city centre within 5 mins walk of each other. 
 

E Precious in Low Petergate (a proper old fashioned full service toy shop with a specialist model railway counter - now a Bella Italia); E&P Barkers Minster Gates Model Shop in Minster Gates (directly opposite the Rose Window South Transept of York Minster - more kit & components orientated - now a fancy tea seller) and Monk Bar Model Shop, in Goodramgate adjacent to Monk Bar in the bar walls (old-style full service model shop with a large model railway section - happily still going and my bricks & mortar dealer of choice.).

 

If one didn’t have something, one of the others would!

 

At various times since then others have opened in the city centre - P&S Hobbies & Models on Fossgate (model aircraft & large scale railways - still open); Cutty Blacks in Walmgate (shop now closed but still trading on eBay I think); and a model aircraft plus Lima railways shop that existed in the now demolished Davygate arcade sometime between the late 1970s & early 1980s whose name I can’t remember.

 

Not bad for a city of (then) 100,000 people. Perhaps not surprising in view of York’s railway heritage, as all these shops lived largely off local trade, not tourists, who weren’t really much of a thing in York until the late 1970s, amazing though that seems now. All down to the NRM putting York on every tour operators map after it opened, followed soon after by the Jorvik Viking dig hype.

 

Ah, memories.  Now I live in Darlington which no longer has a single model railway shop despite its history...

 

Richard T

Before the world changed I worked in York and used monk bar and cutty blacks frequently as they didn’t overlap too much stock wise. Monk bar was perfect for mainstream models and cutty blacks had a lot of obscure stock and second hand items too. 
 

On a day trip there in the late 1980s I remember a model shop on micklegate too.

 

Darlington is like Doncaster. Railway towns and model railway shop ghost towns.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ianmacc said:

On a day trip there in the late 1980s I remember a model shop on micklegate too.

 

Darlington is like Doncaster. Railway towns and model railway shop ghost towns

Yes - now you mention it I do remember the one on Micklegate, although not the name. I only went in once (was living & working down south in the late 1980s/early 90s) but I remember they had a good stock of good condition unmade vintage Airfix/Kitmaster kits. (EDIT: thanks St Enodoc for supplying the name whilst I was typing!)

 

So, Doncaster too eh? The old C&G Models (?) on Parkgate in Darlington is now carved up into offices & small shops.  Luckily (in normal times) there are six trains an hour from Darlo Bank Top to York, taking 25/30 mins, so I can still get to Monk Bar Models quickly.

 

RT

Edited by RichardT
All the right words, but not necessarily in the right order
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ianmacc said:

cutty blacks had a lot of obscure stock and second hand items too. 

Another memory jogger that - “Bulmers Selling Service” just outside Monk Bar and also on Bishopthorpe Road used in its heyday to have a lot of second hand stock - 00 & N.  Their business model was to sell  your stuff on 10% commission, so always worth seeing what they could get for it, as if it didn’t sell you just took it back.  Bishopthorpe Road shop closed yonks ago, probably now a yummy mummy cafe given what “Bishy Road” has become. The Monk Bar branch closed when the last Bulmer retired, & inevitably for York is now holiday flats.

 

(That’s enough York reminiscences. Ed.)

 

RT

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 17/12/2020 at 21:03, RichardT said:

Another memory jogger that - “Bulmers Selling Service” just outside Monk Bar and also on Bishopthorpe Road used in its heyday to have a lot of second hand stock - 00 & N.  Their business model was to sell  your stuff on 10% commission, so always worth seeing what they could get for it, as if it didn’t sell you just took it back.  Bishopthorpe Road shop closed yonks ago, probably now a yummy mummy cafe given what “Bishy Road” has become. The Monk Bar branch closed when the last Bulmer retired, & inevitably for York is now holiday flats.

 

(That’s enough York reminiscences. Ed.)

 

RT

I remember that shop as just having a few triang bits in the window in the early 90s literally a few doors up from monk bar model shop.  It only closed in 2016 looking online.  It wasn’t even on my radar even though I worked in York at the time so it obviously had no railway stock by then. 
 

There was a small model railway trader in York antiques centre (also made exquisite Christmas themed model railway vehicles that I think are now sold on eBay. Didn’t reopen after lockdown one in the spring of 2020. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 17/12/2020 at 20:53, RichardT said:

Yes - now you mention it I do remember the one on Micklegate, although not the name. I only went in once (was living & working down south in the late 1980s/early 90s) but I remember they had a good stock of good condition unmade vintage Airfix/Kitmaster kits. (EDIT: thanks St Enodoc for supplying the name whilst I was typing!)

 

 

RT

Reading your post got me thinking that there were at one time two shops in the Micklegate area, on opposite sides of the road. Walking out of the City Centre the shop that became Puffers (I think it had an earlier trade name which I can't recall) was on the right and had quite a large frontage.

On the left side of the road was the other more compact shop to which I think you are referring, a veritable Aladdin's cave of vintage kits, diecasts and everything to appeal to the 'Collector'. I recall discovering this shop by chance at the end of a holiday in York when funds were very much depleted and promising myself a return visit with a view to a substantial spend. When I next visited York the shop had sadly gone. 

In more recent years there was a large shop selling all manner of railway memorabilia including second hand models if you took the more direct route from the railway station towards Micklegate.

I discovered Monk Bar Models in the late 1960s and still make a bee line for  the shop whenever I can visit York.

 

John

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Brit70053 said:

Reading your post got me thinking that there were at one time two shops in the Micklegate area, on opposite sides of the road. Walking out of the City Centre the shop that became Puffers (I think it had an earlier trade name which I can't recall) was on the right and had quite a large frontage.

On the left side of the road was the other more compact shop to which I think you are referring, a veritable Aladdin's cave of vintage kits, diecasts and everything to appeal to the 'Collector'. I recall discovering this shop by chance at the end of a holiday in York when funds were very much depleted and promising myself a return visit with a view to a substantial spend. When I next visited York the shop had sadly gone. 

In more recent years there was a large shop selling all manner of railway memorabilia including second hand models if you took the more direct route from the railway station towards Micklegate.

I discovered Monk Bar Models in the late 1960s and still make a bee line for  the shop whenever I can visit York.

 

John

Monk Bar models obviously has the right formula as it has seen so many of its peers arrive and depart in the city since it was founded. 

  • Like 2
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Kidderminster has had its fair share, unfortunately not all open at the same time

 

In the 70s

 

There was a small shop in Lea St, at the far end from the station. No idea of the name but I did get my first N gauge layout bought for me from there. Simple oval, one loop, one siding and a tunnel. 

 

There was also the toy dept at the Co-Op (bought a Hornby VDA in there for £1.75 and maybe a Lima Deltic for £9.99 )

 

At around the same time we had Playmates toy shop in Blackwell St and Zodiac Toys (IIRC in the Roland Hill Centre)

 

There was a model shop in the 80s  (IIRC PR models) on the Rifle Range Estate which was mostly remote control and planes but good for paints, a model railway shop in one of the small shop units at the  the Cattle Market that was short lived (bought some Gloy CR blue paint there once)

 

More recently we have Footplate, the SVR station and for a brief period a model kit shop in the Swan Centre.

 

So only two at the moment (or one specialist if you prefer). The most we had was possibly three at once.

 

 

Andy

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 15/12/2020 at 17:57, 40F said:

 

There was another one on Gloucester Road, the owner of which boasted " I am going to give every one a run for their money and some competition" --------- he did not last long.

Nobby`s Hobbies was the slot car specialist Model Highways was Model Railways and Kits. There was also one on North Street Bedminster who was mainly kits, the name of which escapes me 

The short lived one on Gloster Rd was an outpost of Howes of Oxford, some kind of franchise IIRC.  As you say. didn't last long.  Nowadays only Antics remain with a very limited range of stock  We do however have an excellent shop just a short bus ride away in Portishead. (bought quite a bit there)

 

Edited by D6975
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Carlisle must be a contender for the most model shops in a fairly small city over the the years. From the late 1960s onwards, I can recall:

- Woolworths and Binns department store selling model kits and Triang-Hornby respectively

- a shop on the now demolished West Walls that sold models and electrical goods [Peters ?]

- a newsagents just by the entrance to the covered market that sold Airfix kits (I remember buying the old ACW figure sets from there)

- a model and toy shop by the now demolished old bus station that  in the  early 1970s, it had a factory supplied  Triang-Hornby display layout in a glass case. This shop eventually became a branch of Beatties and went the same way as the rest of the chain.

- a model shop in now demolished  Lanes [can you see a pattern here ?!] - Boot Lane or Globe Lane- that sold model kits

- Palace Cycles on Botchergate

-The Clydesdale also on Botchergate that sold models and records

- The Military Room in two locations.

- A branch of Keith O'Laughlins from Kendal who sold Airfix/GMR and Palitoy/Mainline in the late 1970s-early 1980s.

- A very short lived model railway and bookshop shop on the crescent opposite Carlisle Citadel station

- The excellent C&M Models, now the only model shop left in the city.

Edited by CKPR
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, D6975 said:

The short lived one on Gloucester Road was an outpost of Howes of Oxford, some kind of franchise IIRC.  As you say. didn't last long.  Nowadays only Antics remain with a very limited range of stock  We do however have an excellent shop just a short bus ride away in Portishead. (bought quite a bit there)

 

Howes took over the Model Highways shop from the owner who brought it from Ivor Tozer who moved to Cheddar to open an ice cream and gift shop. the short lived shop on Gloucester Road was further up towards Horfield on the left on a corner. It did not last long a couple of years I think. Al`s Hobbies [ R/C ] was also briefly on  Gloucester Road before moving to Filton Avenue. Also now closed. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, 40F said:

Howes took over the Model Highways shop from the owner who brought it from Ivor Tozer who moved to Cheddar to open an ice cream and gift shop. the short lived shop on Gloucester Road was further up towards Horfield on the left on a corner. It did not last long a couple of years I think. Al`s Hobbies [ R/C ] was also briefly on  Gloucester Road before moving to Filton Avenue. Also now closed. 

I used to regularly visit Model Highways in my lunchtime in the 1980s (worked in Filton, and I could easily park my motorcycle right outside or near the shop). After it was taken over by Howes, I never ever saw it open - the shutters were always down. Nobbies Hobbies was almost opposite, but only stocked some current Hornby, IIRC.

Baileys Dailes (run by John Baggott who was involved with the Brunel Model Railway Exhibitions) was a goldmine for many things, and as for Max Williams, wow, what didn't he have? if he didn't have it in stock and you just asked about it, he'd get it in especially for you!

Only went to Trains in Bemmy the once. Total waste of time, the proprietor was totally disinterested.

Antics, which used to be very good for railways, while they are still in Fairfax Street, they don't stock that many railway items these days, but is OK for materials and tools.

In recent years, the now closed Richards Railways in Yatton was a very good but tiny shop, almost 100% railways (just the small bit of Airfix and Scalextric for a short while). 

Beatties was OK for a browse, but they went over to kits, diecast, R/C and toys, with railways being hidden upstairs, mostly current Hornby.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 17/12/2020 at 21:53, RichardT said:

The old C&G Models (?) on Parkgate in Darlington is now carved up into offices & small shops

 

RT

I remember C&G well - the proprietor, George, lived in the next village to me, just outside Durham. It was an Aladdin's Cave of goodies :)

 

Mark

  • Like 2
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, MarkC said:

I remember C&G well - the proprietor, George, lived in the next village to me, just outside Durham. It was an Aladdin's Cave of goodies :)

 

Mark

 

The real Aladdins cave's were the lockups in Dragonville, there were more than George let on.

I always think of him this time of year as his last show was Preston in January 2008. He was clearly unwell as I had to do all the driving.

  • Like 1
  • Friendly/supportive 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 16/12/2020 at 18:05, Nearholmer said:

 

There was a very good general model railway shop about two thirds of the way down Camden Road until probably c1980. Ballards were latecomers to the topic I think, always being builders' merchants that I remember.

 

 

When did Ballard's finish? Oddly enough it's one of the model shops I never visited during the 20-odd years I lived in Kent, but I recall them doing a series of Dapol commissions of local PO wagons in the early 2000's, and I definitely mail-ordered at least a couple of these from them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Invicta said:

 

When did Ballard's finish? Oddly enough it's one of the model shops I never visited during the 20-odd years I lived in Kent, but I recall them doing a series of Dapol commissions of local PO wagons in the early 2000's, and I definitely mail-ordered at least a couple of these from them.

It was a Ballards RTP (Round the Pole) I always Hankered for, alas it never came, Just the catalogue!

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...