Model shop closes as firm folds
The miniature railway world has got a little smaller with the closure of a popular model shop.
The Signal Box ran in Rochester High Street for about 25 years after it was established by popular entrepreneur Trevor Taylor.
ModelZone, which took over the shop from Mr Taylor about six years ago, went into administration and the shop was due to shut for the last time on Thursday.
The end of the line for the Signal Box
David Wills, chairman of North Kent Model Railway Group, said: “Trevor worked extremely hard, built up a fantastic reputation and was very competitive on price. If you wanted a hard-to-find item, Trevor would do his best to get it in stock.
“I’m sad on two fronts, one for the hard work the staff and entrepreneurs have put in and secondly, now we’ve got to search further afield to find the items we require.”
ModelZone’s collapse already forced the closure earlier this year of its shops in Bluewater and Maidstone town centre.
Staff facing redundancy in Rochester this week said they were not allowed to speak to KentOnLine.
Administrator Richard Hawes said: “We sought to find a potential buyer for some or all of the stores, but unfortunately no viable offers have come in.
'ModelZone has been generating losses over the past few years, largely through an increase in online competition'
“ModelZone has been generating losses over the past few years, largely through an increase in online competition and having taken leases on new stores that proved to be unprofitable.”
The closure is a blow to the “forgotten” end of Rochester High Street, which received £400,000 from the EU last year to boost creative firms.
But there is a silver lining. A new shop, Regal Models, has just opened in Chatham’s Historic Dockyard.
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