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Captain Kernow

A new railway bookshop opens in Bath!

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Those of you who know Simon Castens from his exhibition appearances with the Titfield Thunderbolt book stand, will be pleased to know that he is opening a new railway bookshop in Bath this coming Saturday, 13th November 2010. More information can be found here: http://titfield.co.uk/

 

A number of major railway publishing companies have been very supportive and it looks as if Simon is going to carry the full range of these publishers, such as Millstream, Wild Swan, Oakwood Press etc., plus good stocks of most other major railway publishers. He also has a good stock of quality second hand railway titles.

 

In addition to the books, Simon will also carry a stock of modelling supplies - a small range at first but hopefully growing, including Peco products and general craft modelling supplies.

 

An opening event will be held this Saturday 13/11/10 and has been mentioned by Neil elsewhere on this forum, because he will be taking 'Shell Island' to the shop for the event, this being the last public appearance by this lovely little layout. Other modelling items, including some gauge 1 models by Simon and others, will also be on display, and 'nibbles' will be served at lunchtime!

 

Author Jeffery Grayer will be there on Saturday, signing copies of his new book 'Sabotaged & Defeated Revisited'.

 

Simon hopes in the future to also hold other events, such as modellers workshops, book signings and specialist displays.

 

The shop will be open as follows:

 

Sunday and Monday Closed

 

Tuesday to Thursday 10.00am to 5.30pm

 

Friday (late opening 10.00am to 6.30pm

 

Saturday 10.00am to 5.30pm

 

Never one to miss a free sausage on a stick, I shall be there on Saturday and hope to see as many others as can make it!

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Great news! I've missed Simon's little bookshop since he closed at the canal basin, and even though he has an interesting website, you can't beat a real bookshop, can you? Might even be able to get along there on opening day. Free on-street parking maybe, but Bath's notorious for parking, even though this is on the edge of town. Small shoppers car park just round the corner by the look of it though, but as it's only a '1 hour stay', that won't be long enough! :huh:

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Free on-street parking maybe, but Bath's notorious for parking, even though this is on the edge of town. Small shoppers car park just round the corner by the look of it though, but as it's only a '1 hour stay', that won't be long enough! :huh:

There is unrestricted parking within a radius of 200/300 yards in residential roads, if you are really stuck - probably just check Google!

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Hi folks,

 

Over the last few years I have made occasional orders from Simon; all books have been in perfect condition, promptly dispatched and well-packaged.  A nice touch is the handwritten thank-you note.

 

He's recently changed his image as rather than a film poster card of the 'Titfield Thunderbolt' it's a selfie of Simon in 'Denis the Menace' mode. :scared:

 

No connection with the business other than as a very satisfied customer.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

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Hi folks,

 

Over the last few years I have made occasional orders from Simon; all books have been in perfect condition, promptly dispatched and well-packaged.  A nice touch is the handwritten thank-you note.

 

He's recently changed his image as rather than a film poster card of the 'Titfield Thunderbolt' it's a selfie of Simon in 'Denis the Menace' mode. :scared:

 

No connection with the business other than as a very satisfied customer.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

I would concur with this post...I have no association with Simon or the Titfield Thunderbolt.

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Some of us have fond memories of Whiteman's - all my early railway book shopping came from there. The railway section was downstairs, a real Aladdin's cave it was.

 

I felt the final break from Bath when I heard it had shut.

 

Of course the new bookshop is not "in" Bath, but in Larkhall, and is actually easier to get to.

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@ Tim, yes it was a magical place, for a while I worked just across the road so I was always in there during lunch hours if the weather was poor. I got paid on Fridays so it was a ritual to go there and purchase a book. I got to know an older gentleman ( well to me back then) by the name of Andy I once purchased a book via mail order from another company years previous and I just mentioned to him that my cover had arrived all torn and the original supplier wouldn’t help, about a week or so later I had a brand new dust jacket free of charge. Its service like that which keeps me loyal to certain companies and away from faceless giants like Amazon. I do use Abebooks a lot though.

 

Andy

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Whiteman's, sadly, had a long slow decline. I too used to work in Bath and would often pause at the window to scan (and often purchase) the latest titles during my lunch break walk, but in later days the shop was a pale shadow of it's former self.  

 

Simon's shop in contrast has seen a rapid growth in stock since it opened (can it really be almost four years!) an extra shelf has been added to the top of the book shelves and the counter area has shrunk and moved to allow more space for yet more books, and an interesting selection of model railway items.

 

A replacement for Whiteman's? Possibly, but I think Titfield has a wider range of railway books, with more of the smaller publishers stocked. More of an advance than a straight replacement. 

 

I've no connection with the shop other than as an occasional customer and partaker of Simon's tea and biscuits!
 

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Whiteman's, sadly, had a long slow decline. I too used to work in Bath and would often pause at the window to scan (and often purchase) the latest titles during my lunch break walk, but in later days the shop was a pale shadow of it's former self.  

 

Simon's shop in contrast has seen a rapid growth in stock since it opened (can it really be almost four years!) an extra shelf has been added to the top of the book shelves and the counter area has shrunk and moved to allow more space for yet more books, and an interesting selection of model railway items.

 

A replacement for Whiteman's? Possibly, but I think Titfield has a wider range of railway books, with more of the smaller publishers stocked. More of an advance than a straight replacement. 

 

I've no connection with the shop other than as an occasional customer and partaker of Simon's tea and biscuits!

 

Blimey, I reckon that's worth a custard cream or two...

 

I'll get on to the catering department, just as soon as I've sorted out that twit in marketing :lol:

 

On the subject of Whitemans, I was the Saturday boy there in 1976 after Captain Kernow departed for University - it sure beat clearing tables at Littlewoods! 

 

It was a great place, mainly under the ownership of Tim Graham who sold the business in 2001, and for whom I did quite a bit of work in the shop over the intervening years.

 

I like to think that my place is actually better for railway books (as Adrian kindly observed), although I can't offer the maps, military, aeronautical, etc ranges that Whitemans had back in the day.

 

I miss it too.

 

It never did mail order though, least of all to Florida :no:

 

Simon

Edited by Not Jeremy
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Would you mail order to Florida? Or hand deliver lol

I don't mind hand-delivering, if Simon is happy to pay the air fare...

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I don't mind hand-delivering, if Simon is happy to pay the air fare...

Could be risky - foreign sausages tend not to be very good and I doubt they have the right weather in Florida to grow decent parsnips ;)

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Hi again,

 

Once again both me and my better half are impressed by the service form Simon & co.  Ordered some books on a Friday night, and they arrived in perfect condition, well packaged, etc on Thursday morning.  The personal touch of a written thank-you card really impressed my wife.  New artwork too!

 

As before, I have no connection with thi business other than as a satisfied customer.

 

Regards,

 

Alex.

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That is impressive, they arrived before you ordered them!

 


"Ordered some books on a Friday night, and they arrived in perfect condition, well packaged, etc on Thursday morning."
 
 
 
Edited as it didn't quote Alex well.

 

Edited by Tim V

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D'oh!

 

Ordered: Friday 27th July (late at night)

Arrived: Thursday 2nd August

 

I must learn to pay attention when doing this!

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Just to flag up a change to my business hours.

 

As from the end of June, the Titfield Thunderbolt Bookshop will be opening for just one day per week.

 

The opening day will be Friday and  opening hours will be 10.00 am until 6.30pm, so finishing an hour later than "normal".

 

The fundamental reason for this change is to facilitate my devoting more time and energy to publishing side of my activities and Wild Swan Books.

 

Trade supplies of Wild Swan books and the retail mail order business and website will continue unabated and it is likely that this side of operations will see an improvement , I have several new ideas I intend to try out.

 

For anyone who can not make a Friday and who is travelling especially, then I will be able to open the shop by appointment. I will be in residence at the premises and so the telephone will still be manned as it is now.

 

Notwithstanding all of the above, it is true to say that sales through the shop, after an initial period of growth, have been declining in recent years, which also informs my decision to cut down my opening hours. I think that the withdrawal from secondhand sales in 2015 didn't help the shop and I'm sure I get lots of things wrong, but for all that I do think that things have changed and are changing, calling into question the viability of specialist shops such as this. Against this I think the shop is fairly well known, and I do have a lot of regular customers (thank you to all of you) and I do stress that this is NOT a complaint against the world of enthusiasts, members of RMweb, or anyone else for that matter.

 

In the light of all the above I am genuinely interested in any comments, thoughts, feedback or anything else the RMweb community might light to offer regarding any of the above.

 

Right, with this post I have just completed my last regular Saturday in the shop, time to knock off for a beer with a good friend I think - cheers!

 

Simon Castens

 

 

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Evening Simon.  

 

I totally understand your decision and whilst there may be a few who are put out one would hope that adjustments are made and any visits to the shop are rescheduled for Friday. 

 

The vital thing for me is that I still receive my postcard with my book when I order via mail order. 

 

I would go so far as to say that I order a book to receive my postcard..........

 

Anyhow, like yourself, Simon I'm off for a beer.....or two.....

 

I therefore propose a toast........To our magnificent generals, General Gordon and General Booth.

 

 

Rob. 

 

 

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I really appreciate your position Simon.

 

I have to say, I have always been very impressed with your mail order service and look forward to the postcard with my book(s).

 

Enjoy a beer.

 

Nick.

 

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2 hours ago, NHY 581 said:

The vital thing for me is that I still receive my postcard with my book when I order via mail order. 

 

 

20 minutes ago, Brinkly said:

and look forward to the postcard with my book(s).

 

What's the matter with you two?! :P :P

 

Last time I got a post card, it just had some random old bloke in a book shop on it!

 

I think we should have post cards with pretty little Pecketts or some such.

 

Plus a free ice cream with every book sent through the post.

 

 

 

 

 

But notwithstanding that, the very best of luck to Simon with the new arrangements. Perhaps we could all have an RMWeb meet-up in the shop on a Wednesday and make it worth his while by purchasing a lot of books, whilst drinking his hot beverages.

 

I trust the settee will still be there.

 

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I shall look forward to that Wednesday, CK.................I will need advance notice due to work but by jove,  I like it!!

 

I shall bring cake!!

 

Rob. 

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21 hours ago, Captain Kernow said:

But notwithstanding that, the very best of luck to Simon with the new arrangements. Perhaps we could all have an RMWeb meet-up in the shop on a Wednesday and make it worth his while by purchasing a lot of books, whilst drinking his hot beverages.

 

I trust the settee will still be there.

 

Now there's an idea, should wind up the Guv'nor!

 

Can't go yet, Squire's not here!

Can't go yet, Squire's here!

 

Where's my booooooooook ...

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On ‎24‎/‎09‎/‎2014 at 10:47, lakeview770 said:

@ Tim, yes it was a magical place, for a while I worked just across the road so I was always in there during lunch hours if the weather was poor. I got paid on Fridays so it was a ritual to go there and purchase a book. I got to know an older gentleman ( well to me back then) by the name of Andy I once purchased a book via mail order from another company years previous and I just mentioned to him that my cover had arrived all torn and the original supplier wouldn’t help, about a week or so later I had a brand new dust jacket free of charge. Its service like that which keeps me loyal to certain companies and away from faceless giants like Amazon. I do use Abebooks a lot though.

 

Andy

 

A new book shop is news everywhere so it is to be wished success.  Bath has at least a guaranteed customer base with all its visitors if only they would buy a book as they pass through.  It is a big enough city with an intellectual population to whom a bookshop is usually an asset along with many other shopping attractions that my wife can vouch for.  There once was a Hamleys that sadly disappeared and a Weatherstones where I once bought books on holidays.  As books got bigger and better I gave up  as they were adding too much baggage, which was getting more and more expensive and we were getting older and older, so 'post free' became an incentive especially as our travelling back home has been reduced over the years.:(

    Brian.

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