Smithdown Road has been the home of Hattons, the countrys largest model railway retailer,since the 1940’s. Just under 70 years
The road became as famous to railway modellers as Penny Lane did to Bettles fans & Binns Road of Meccano fame. (Both were close by)
Hattons & Smithdown Road became known to me first from adverts in Meccano Magazine & later from a school friend who went to Liverpool University & had a flat over Hattons!
I visited Smithdown Road once during a business trip to Liverpool in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Very basic with stock piled floor to ceiling & a copy of the latest issue of Railway Modeller hung from a substantial timber counter. (Hattons adverts even then ran to several pages in the RM & was used as the shop catalogue!)
The move has been apparently planned for some time, but has been hastened by the state of the building. They’re moving to their recently opened “distribution centre” 17 Montague Road, WA8 8FZ.
Initially there will be a temporary premises , but in April the permanent shop will be opened.
One by one all these famous model railway addresses are going. Charing Cross Road (Hamblings), London Bridge Stn Approach (Alan, Brett Cannon) & High Holborn (Bassett Lowke) & soon Hornby will be gone from Margate completely- the last to go, their visitor centre.