End or an era as model business shuts down

Owner of Lancaster City Models, Steve Shorrock and his dad, Len outside the Chapel Street shop which has closed.
Owner of Lancaster City Models, Steve Shorrock and his dad, Len outside the Chapel Street shop which has closed.
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A Lancaster business has closed down after 20 years trading in the city centre.

Model railway shop Lancaster City Models, in Chapel Street, closed its doors for the final time last Friday after owner Steve Shorrock, 52, decided to call it a day.

Steve, who is originally from Lancaster but now lives in Morecambe, said the recession and his recent ill health led to his decision.

Steve started working for Charlton and Bagnall, in Damside Street, which sold fishing tackle, pet supplies and gardening equipment.

He said: “I was working at Storey’s, but I was fed up.

“I read the Lancaster Guardian and saw a job advertised for someone to sell fishing tackle.

“So I applied, and got the job, and I’ve been here ever since.

“When Peter Bagnall decided to retire, I bought the shop, with his help, in 1990.

“We changed the garden side of it to fishing tackle, and then we changed the pet side of things into a sweet shop because Wilkinson’s started affecting the business,

“I’m mad on trains and I’m a keen modeller, so I decided to put the models upstairs.

“In 2000, we moved the business to Chapel Street and concentrated solely on models.”

Steve has been helped by his father Len, 82, who he describes as his rock, and who coincidentally worked in the Chapel Street building when it was

Abbotts Stained Glass Glazers.

Steve explained why he chose to call it a day: “Out-of-town shops haven’t helped the business.

“There are far too many empty shops in Lancaster.

“I’m specialist, so I’ve been lucky that way, but now the recession is really starting to bite, people aren’t spending their money on modelling like they were.

“Mail order has done a lot of damage, as well.”

Steve added: “I’d like to thank all our customers for their support and for their kindness.

“I’ve got some wonderful customers that I’m really going to miss.

“There are too many to mention, but they know who they are.”