Tears on the tracks at end of a model era as shop set to close after 45 years

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THE end of the line is fast approaching for a shop which has served model rail and craft kit enthusiasts for almost half-a-century.

Business is being scaled down at the Model and Craft Centre on Dewsbury Road, Wakefield, as owner Stuart Buckley prepares to retire after 45 years.

Mr Buckley, 60, expects to close for the final time next month after all remaining miniature rolling stock has been sold off.

He has been unable to sell the once thriving business as a going concern as the recession, and changing tastes, have taken their toll on the model and craft industry.

Mr Buckley, said: “We have customers who came in as children who now come in with their grandchildren.

“People have expressed shock at sadness when they hear we are closing. Customers are almost crying in their beer. I didn’t expect there to be such a strength of feeling.”

Customer of 20 years and model rail enthusiast Chris Standring, 51, of Normanton, said: “It is a tragic shame. It has been a vital shop to get all the supplies we need four our hobby. It will be a very sad day when it closes.”

Mr Buckley said: “When I started in 1968 our customers were aged from five years old to 85. Gradually our customers have got older and older and now I would say the vast bulk of them are retired people. Interests have moved on. At one time, fathers and sons built models together.”