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Author Topic: Forgotten past- The Drum  (Read 140 times)

martin goddard

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Forgotten past- The Drum
« on: July 30, 2020, 09:28:24 PM »
The Drum was a  shop in Towcester.
Northamptonshire.
East Midlands.
Proprietor John Green and his son Mick.
Approx 1985-1997 (??)

At the front a "normal" gaming shop selling Games Workshop, historical stuff from Essex and Chariot et al. Plus of course paints and modelling supplies.
No gaming tables , which was normal for games shops at  that time.

Out the back was a resin production facility within a set of wooden sheds. This is where they produce a great range of buildings and scenery. Anyone remember those lovely 15mm SCW buldings we used on the PP games? They were commissioned and made by the Drum.
The Drum also did the resin casting of the first PP Hammerin Iron ships.

The Drum also made that marvellous long bridge  (15mm) in sections that included a section with a gatehouse on it.

Mick used to travel to Europe in the pre-single market days.
He would arrive in France on a Friday, in order to pay VAT on everything he had in the van.
Then trade at the weekend.
He then had to wait until the Monday in order to claim back the VAT on stuff that he had not sold.
Hence not many UK traders went to European shows. Maybe this will be the case again n te near future if UK leaves the single market?

Mick did most of the UK shows too.

Upstairs was the sculptor of Front rank miniatures (Alec Brown). His room overlooked the pavement to the shop's front.

John Green sat down one night and died of a heart attack. A very nice man indeed.
His son, Mick decided against carrying on with the shop and closed it down within weeks of John's death (the landlords were a bit unpleasant; expected Mick to pay  a lot of cash out even though John was the lease holder).

I used to visit the shop about 5 times a year.
As with many wargames ventures it is now forgotten.



martin

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Forgotten past- The Drum
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 10:36:48 PM »
That is an interesting historical piece, Martin - thanks for posting!

Simon

Smiley Miley 66

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Re: Forgotten past- The Drum
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 04:42:57 AM »
I remember the Drum, from the shows back then.Never know there was a shop and  the Background behind it all.
Pre single Market, pre internet and mobile phones/computers. We forget what it was like back then.
Miles

Rittervonbek

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Re: Forgotten past- The Drum
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 11:31:05 AM »
Does anyone remember "The Model tracker " in Cardiff?

Mike6t3

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Re: Forgotten past- The Drum
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 11:59:39 AM »
I remember The Drum well. I used to visit it fairly often back in the day as it was about an hours drive away. I went to visit one day and found it had gone 😥. I didn't know the reason why but sad to hear about the owner.

Sometimes after visiting The Drum I drove to The Guardroom at Dunstable. Anyone remember that one ?

Mike

Panzer21

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Re: Forgotten past- The Drum
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 01:28:38 PM »
Never made it to the Drum; my exploration of Wargames shops was limited to:
The Toytub in Edinburgh
Tabletop Games in Nottingham
The Little Soldier in York
The Keep in Devizes

Way before then Newcastle had The Model Shop which for a brief period had a wargames section and Corbitts a very dodgy miltaria shop that stocked 2nd hand painted figures. For a real adventure you could head out to Whitley Bay for The Kiosk. Description exactly matched what was probably a newsagents kiosk on the station. Opened about once a week, so you could have a wasted journey. Sold Minifigs.
A few years later there was a short lived dedicated War games shop near Byker Bridge.

What characterised all of them was generally absence of stock;"we have 3 of those, I can order the other 47 for you" as well as variable attitudes to customer service.
To some, you were an inconvenience who barely merited the time of day.....until you had been a few times and spent some money. Some even that didn't matter!

In addition, I've been to  Chez Martin and the Foundry which don't have the excuse of lack of stock.
I recall Tabletop Games used to cast on demand; it was that which got him closed down as he didn't have a license from the local council! Moved to the coast and died not long after.

Youngsters today....mutter.....don't know they're born....mutter, mutter....postal orders.....carving figures out of soap........;-)
Neil

Antioch (Bob)

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Re: Forgotten past- The Drum
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 02:01:46 PM »
Well i *think* I did some mail order with the Drum, back in the day.  From here everything (90%) was mail order (remember writing a letter) somewhere. The concept of a local gaming convention was a radical new idea & in our case involved no dealers.

Bob