HISTORY OF THE MODEL TRAM SHOP
The Model Tram Shop began life over 20 years ago when Derek Lambelle started a small shop as a service to TLRS members who were having difficulty sourcing Model Trams and components. Gradually the business grew to encompass almost anything Tram as the appetite for Tramway Modelling grew. In 2006 Derek decided that it was time to retire from the shop to concentrate on other projects so it passed to newly formed East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies. Sadly over time economics and attitude have meant that modelling as a hobby has suffered. The shop has contracted somewhat but still caters for modellers needs. From 2013 ELMTS has begun to manufacture resin kits under the ‘kitchen kits’ brand – an in joke as that is where the kits are cast. Ten years on, however, and the future looks brighter for the hobby. The advance in technology and availability of more reliable items has meant that a full package of kits, motor units, overhead etc is available once again and it is this resurgence which has prompted ELMTS to evolve once again and move to the new site The Model Tram Shop. (Any similarity with the Shop’s original name being purely coincidental!)
SO WHO IS EAST LANCS MODEL TRAMWAY SUPPLIES?
East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies is run by John Whitehouse, a modeller of some 25 years and still learning. John was Commercial Manager for Heaton Park Tramway for a number of years, as well as Operations Manager and events Manager. The fledgling Volunteer operation of Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours prompted a move west and John is now a Volunteer Guard and Driver there. During the day John works for a well known builder’s Merchant with a blue logo.
THE OBLIGATORY SHOUT OUTS
ELMTS could not have managed ten years or indeed function without the help, advice and assistance of a great many people over the years. The main guilty culprits being: Marjorie Whitehouse, Alan Kirkman, Derek Lambelle, Bob & Joan Hill, Jeremy & Janet Valentine, Mike Jaimes, James Millington, Vernon Linden, Brian Robinson of Bec Kits, len Squance, Blackpool Transport (and Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours) & Bryan Lindop (for their kind assistance and support with Blackpool projects). And of course all those modellers who have not only purchased but prompted and bullied us into doing things! And many, many more. And an extra special mention to Jim Halsall of Blackburn without whose encouragement John would never have continued modelling – and for being the very first customer of ELMTS!