Last week saw the final end of the story that is Hattons. For years, they have been the go-to supplier for many modellers. In some ways they were the "Hoover" of the trade as their name was the first one to come to mind when anyone though of a big model railway business, or to use the term "box-shifter". Even though there are plenty doing the same job, their name just stuck.
Anyway, they made the best of the last few weeks in an effort to clear out the warehouse. This is a very tidy closure, with no-one left out of pocket. No shutting the doors, and walking away here!
I'm not a fan of trawling though businesses as they run-down. It all seems a bit distasteful, picking over the carcass as people are losing their jobs, as though cheap toy trains are the most important thing in the world. That's probably just me being a bit over-sensitive, and if the stuff is for sale, I can't really criticise those who choose to snap up those bargains.
I wasn't totally imune. Daily emails encouraging me to pay one last visit eventually took me to the site, and I bought one of the more numerous items - a Dapol O gauge Terrier.
All those childhood visits to the K&ESR obviously influenced me, as it's a class I really like. The quirky Victorian design appeals, expecially the cab roof. Recently, I was admiring an example operating on the club O gauge layout, and thinking, I must order some lining and numbers. It just looked lovely.
Being practical, I'm only ever going to build tiny O gauge layouts (Cue next week being asked to build a mahoosive 7mm scale station...) so I'm sure a Terrier will find a use one day. And if it doesn't, well, it cost less than many OO locos.
Anyway, thank you Hattons for all your service to the model railway community.