351 - The Model Shop

Previously a drapers, the Model Shop emerged at No.351 around 1968. When it closed down is not known.

It was different in style to Max Williams toy and model shop, as Andy Parsons recalls: "I feel that I can recall a model shop that I would frequent with my grandfather somewhere opposite and in between Seneca and Salisbury Streets. In the early Seventies, pre-Starsky and Hutch, I would often climb into his homebuilt sidecar, lovingly attached to a BSA, and travel down from Bourne Road to this emporium to obtain bits and pieces for Grampsie's projects.

It was one of those 'proper' model shops in that it was geared more toward radio control train sets and scratch-building than plastic boxed kits and in that regard it was slightly intimidating to a boy of six or seven. An omnipresent odour of engine grease and electricity, albeit in miniature, greeted nostrils. A rack of assorted balsa wood planks outside regularly tempted us in, supplying various materials, usually in order to complete a motorised boat or aircraft that would be tested at some point in the marvellous park behind.

On more than one occasion, I am sure that I would be treated to a cheap rubber band powered aircraft as 'Gramps' perused craft knives, enamel paints and richly smelling glues. A variety of Meccano project guides, encouraging the creation of robots and battleships that a child could climb into, adorned one wall's shelving, whilst ingenious flying machines made from hardened tissue paper stretched over stickwood skeletons hung above our heads.

Whatever the name of this store, it was a magical and exciting place to visit when Max Williams just seemed that little bit too far away. Even in a motorbike and sidecar."


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