Phil’s Workbench: April 2021

A really unhappy put up to begin the week. Saturday saw the final trading day of Gee Dee Models in Nottingham.

I’d not planned to visit, dashing to the closing down sale of any mannequin shop appears a bit ghoulish, but I was invited to have a look round by one of many people serving to clear the decks – and that i reasoned they had enjoyed a few of my cash in earlier years.

That might sound unusual, however I really cannot stand folks who’ve refused at hand over cash till there is a stonking nice sale on. Model shops are an endangered breed. Deserve our assist. No-one is getting wealthy working one, however they supply a helpful service for our group. This does not imply the odd packet of observe pins or pot of paint, however these huge-ticket items too. Maybe it can save you a few quid on-line, however what’s the larger cost?

I digress. The shelves were wanting fairly naked when i arrived, but there were bargains to be had and that i bagged just a few after my tour and a free cup of tea. The place is huge, with considerable storage as well as a generous gross sales ground. There have been a couple of surprises found when digging to the again of the cupboards, a great mannequin store builds up a nice mattress of odd things over time which might be nuggets of gold to a certain type of modeller.

The very first branch opened in 1946 so we are speaking about a business with 73 years of buying and selling, solely closing on the retirement of the owner now into his 80s – who dropped in to see the final closure.

The photo above comes from the Gee Dee web site, nicely value a look for pictures displaying a very good mannequin store in its heyday.

Among the goodies discovered were some “Joy Club” playing cards utilized by shoppers within the 1960s to save up for objects. You’ll are available in and pay your cash into the financial savings scheme and eventually be able to afford the Hornby Dublo locomotive or Aerokits boat you desired. At one level there were 4000 members, all records being painstakingly recorded by hand – no computer systems in these days!

Gee Dee was a correct, conventional store protecting all branches of the model-making interest. Railways, radio control boats/planes/cars, plastic kits and marine parts sale diecast collectables stuffed the shelves in all scales. The practice space may need been mostly OO and N, however 7mm and G scale were additionally effectively represented.

I remember my first go to again within the mid-1980s. My dad and that i had taken the train to the Nottingham present, it being (appropriately) prompt as one to go to by our new mannequin railway club colleagues. After having fun with the occasion and a hearty chip-based mostly meal on the ice rink the place it was held (the lady serving seemed to contemplate a bag of frozen chips equalled two parts) we walked to the shop and were in heaven.

Just a few years later, when constructing Melbridge Dock and needing some boat hinge fittings for the scratchbuilt Clyde Puffers, we dropped in and had been allowed to raid a stack of tiny plastic drawers in one of many cabinets. I’ve never seen such an array of mannequin boat fitting in a store since. Some of those we purchased are probably still in our drawers because it was a protracted way to journey, so we stocked up!

Every go to to Nottingham since has centred on a visit. Much as I like the town, it is great to have a focal point and that i by no means left empty-handed.

Sadly, this has all come to an finish. The shutters came down. The lights had been turned off. Those shelves still have goodies on them, although there were more spaces at closing time than when the doors opened.

I went for a beer with the workers afterwards. Obviously, they will miss the place, many having labored there for years and all being modelmakers themselves. Everyone appeared in good spirits despite the occasion.

The people of Nottingham can have misplaced one thing necessary too. Some will call me silly and sentimental, after all, we’ve got the Internet so who needs a bodily shop when you’ll be able to order your newest Bachby locomotive sat in your pants at residence?

Places like Gee Dee are more than simply a shop for purchasing issues. Peter, the boss, explained that if you need to talk football, you’ll be able to go to any pub. If you need to speak model railways (or boats or planes) you cannot try this.

Maybe you might be lucky enough to belong to a membership to sate your want to chat, however for a lot of people, this is not an option. In a great model shop, you can focus on the belongings you make, the passion you love, and no-one thinks you are weird. Because if you are weird, so is everyone else in there. If you are you looking for more info about boat cleat – – stop by the page. A minimum of we will be bizarre collectively.

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