Best model shop in the UK?

What do you want from a model railway shop?
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alex3410
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Best model shop in the UK?

Postby alex3410 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:15 pm

While i was looking up the possibility of going to Hattons (4hours on the train and £85!) i was just wondering what the best railway model shop in the UK was

I know its going to be subjective but thought it was an interesting question! so what's your vote?

old potts line
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby old potts line » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:23 pm

Save your time and money its not worth that amount of time or money. You would be disappointed.

old potts line
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby old potts line » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:25 pm

My vote would go to Hereford model centre

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alex3410
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby alex3410 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:28 pm

I liked the idea of going but trust me time / price has put me off :lol:

was hoping to find something a bit closer

b308
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby b308 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:29 pm

Depends what you want to buy... A box shifter like Hattons is just about useless for me... My local shop (Tennants in Halesowen) is far better as they stock all the bits and pieces I use plus books, secondhand, etc., etc... But I wouldn't know if they were the "best", there could be one I don't know of!!

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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby Lofty » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:54 pm

For a 'proper' model shop, the best I have been to is 53a Models in Hull, I spent ages browsing and rummaging through their items.

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby flying scotsman123 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:19 pm

Cheltenham model shop - new and used stuff, used reasonably priced (mostly), sell all sorts of odds and ends as well, railway books, plus general models like airfix and revell. They will happily let you test things before you buy them in front of you, right on the counter so no faffing. brilliant shop (apart from the well known man with the greasy hair...) I tend to visit every time I go into town and normally come out with something, one week a £2.00 wagon, the next a £40 king!
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Steamy
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby Steamy » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:49 pm

Parrs model railway shop in Lowestoft.
Excellent service, and quite big as well
I see stupid people....

b308
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby b308 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:14 pm

Went into Cheltenham MS a week or two back and was very disappointed, not a patch on what it was ten years ago. I doubt I'll bother again.
Last edited by b308 on Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

biker
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby biker » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:41 pm

Topp trains in Stafford informative, pleasant,a bit on the small side but well stocked,plenty of free parking,free coffee and a natter what more can a man ask Ho!!and the prices ain't bad either

wharf lane
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby wharf lane » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:55 am

didn't know we had a model shop in Stafford again, I will have to pop in

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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:21 pm

I think it would be very difficult and also downright unfair to try and deem a model shop as being the "best", it is almost as impossible as setting up these stupid league tables for schools and hospitals. You have many variables to consider, is this a big outfit (boxshifter)with plenty of staff or a one man shop, what is the local market conditions (a lot or a few modellers within reasonable travelling distance), what turnover can the shop sustain, does it have (or can it afford to have) a presence in the modelling press and online communities. I did have a friend who foolishly attempted to open a model shop in a large central Scottish town which had no previous model shop. The business failed in less of a year because of the fairly restrictive conditions of business imposed by the major model companies (Hornby, Dapol, Peco, Bachmann) and just downright lack of footfall in the shop despite trying very hard to make a go of it. It is not a venture I would like to try!! Due to the relative scarcity of modellers in Scotland it seems to be very difficult for a shop to operate, and very few if any specialise purely in railways as they need to diversify into radio control cars, planes and boats to keep themselves in business, you therefore get what the market can sustain. I am very envious of the English towns that have a well stocked model shop, but hey ho, you have to make do with what you have got.

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b308
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby b308 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:42 pm

You could do a "best for me" award, but that would be the only way it would be fair. As I said earlier the box shifters like Hattons are of very little use to me, though many would say they were the "best" for them...

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amsie
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby amsie » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:38 pm

I went to Hattons once when I was visiting my in-laws up North. A major disappointment as already mentioned. A few locos on show in glass cabinets in a run down shop.

I heard it might have changed since then.

For a local shop, my favourite is Jon Dutfields Chelmsford, loads of bits and pieces you can easily spend half a day in there browsing, a good old fashioned model railway shop.

luckymucklebackit sadly theres not that many of them in Essex nowdays, certainly not in my part of Essex. There used to be some good ones including Rikatrack in Southend but that's long gone and as you say, recent attempts to open model railway shops locally have failed.

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alex3410
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Re: Best model shop in the UK?

Postby alex3410 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:50 pm

thanks all for the replies, the main reason i was asking was to find one close by that i could visit on my days off before Christmas, I remember my dad taking me to one in Sawbridgeworth which was huge (i was little so might have been smaller then i think!) and i used to really enjoy wandering around so was trying to find a similar shop

I have been to Jon Dutfields a few times, really nice selection if a little claustrophobic :lol:

the problem i have with shops like his though is i cant see what's in the boxes - its fine for those of us who know what's what but i tend to need to see the item to identify it, the result with them all stacked up is i have to spend allot of time looking through what's there - all of the time the other half is getting more and more fed up :lol:

my favourite shop so far i think is The Train Shop in Scarborough, this is because all of the locos where out in a glass cabinet and you could have a good clear look at what was on offer, they also had a large selection and good prices

the other benefit of the cabinet was also my other half was looking which gave me more time in the shop :lol:

closer to home Rays Rails has a glass cabinet which is really nice just not as large of a selection but it is a smaller shop

but in summary - i was not looking to name X as the best more looking for your opinions and recommendations


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