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                                       C&L to have new ownership
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 4 Mar 2017 13:04
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Press release from C&L: http://www.finescale.org.uk
 
The business would seem to be returning to its roots as a cottage industry supplying track builders.
 
The 15.2mm 4-SF / 00-SF / 00-BF check gauges are currently showing in stock, which is not always the case. If you are intending to build in 00, now might be a good time to order them, rather than wait until the business changes are under way. See:

 http://www.finescale.org.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=346_375_376&product_id=8776

Martin.
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2nd message | this message only posted: 4 Mar 2017 20:56
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from:
madscientist
 

 

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very very unclear, whats to happen , bad day for track builders
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3rd message | this message only posted: 4 Mar 2017 21:21
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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madscientist wrote: very very unclear, whats to happen , bad day for track buildersHi David,

Not necessarily, everything depends on who the new owner is. It's wait and see time.

On the other hand, this will be the 5th owner of the company. Hopefully it will have a more stable future in these new hands. Peco has been in the same family for 70 years!

regards,

Martin.

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4th message | this message only posted: 6 Mar 2017 18:18
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madscientist
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: madscientist wrote: very very unclear, whats to happen , bad day for track buildersHi David, Not necessarily, everything depends on who the new owner is. It's wait and see time. On the other hand, this will be the 5th owner of the company. Hopefully it will have a more stable future in these new hands. Peco has been in the same family for 70 years! regards, MartinWe have been told that the business will close at the end of April if negotiations are unsuccessful. :( that was a statement from one of the employees on the Scalefour forum, not a great way to end all of this 
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5th message | this message only posted: 6 Mar 2017 19:02
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Martin Wynne
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madscientist wrote:We have been told that the business will close at the end of April if negotiations are unsuccessful. :(Hi Dave,

The press release reads far more optimistic than that (updated yesterday):

 http://www.finescale.org.uk

from which:
The owner of C&L Finescale Modelling Ltd, Pete Llewellyn said:
    “
I am very pleased that having been looking for a buyer for some time,
     it has been agreed that the business will carry on under new ownership."

Martin.

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6th message | this message only posted: 6 Mar 2017 20:49
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from:
madscientist
 

 

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maybe, but " cottage industry " sounds like its going into someones bedroom !
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7th message | this message only posted: 6 Mar 2017 22:22
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Nigel Brown
 

 

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If I was dependent on C&L bits and pieces think I'd be quite worried. Cottage industry rather implies that it'll go back to one or two people trying to run it, which before kept on having problems.It's big enough that it really needs 4 or 5 people minimum, who can cover for each other in things like holidays, illnesses, shows and so on. It's a business with several facets, and to succeed really needs to be run like one.

Nigel

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8th message | this message only posted: 6 Mar 2017 23:31
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DaveJ61
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I agree with Nigel, the company is too big to be run as a cottage industry. It will be a huge couple of steps backwards.

David

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9th message | this message only posted: 10 Mar 2017 02:07
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DerekStuart
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I must say that I am in agreement with Martin. The CL website is specifically asking people to ignore rumours. Pete has always been straight with people and we should trust him now.

Whilst I share the concerns of others about future supply, I am quite surprised to see no comments on any forums (that I've seen) wishing Pete well for the future (esp. with his back) and noting how much he has done to advance the hobby.

As for cottage industry- yes there are some that have really mucked things up, most don't and I can think of excellent kit producers, etch detailing kits and so on from cottage suppliers that are all honest, hard working and so on.

Although CL appears profitable, I would hazard a guess that it's not massively so and that to ensure its continued survival it may need to downsize and if that means we have to accept slower ordering due to less staff then that's better than closure, surely.
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10th message | this message only posted: 10 Mar 2017 06:40
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Godfrey Earnshaw
 

 

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DerekStuart wrote: ....., I am quite surprised to see no comments on any forums (that I've seen) wishing Pete well for the future (esp. with his back) and noting how much he has done to advance the hobby.
I was going to be sarcastic but I think if you read this it might help:
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/112517-cl-finescale-%E2%80%93-owner-pete-llewellyn-to-stand-down/

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11th message | this message only posted: 10 Mar 2017 10:01
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from:
madscientist
 

 

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Pete has received many messages of goodwill including from me over the past while,

The issue isn't really about C&L. Per se , it's the security of supply of key components like track , gauges , chairs , and wheels

One only has to read the history of the P4 movement. To see the risks associated with single supplier products
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12th message | this message only posted: 10 Mar 2017 13:24
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Nigel Brown
 

 

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Godfrey Earnshaw wrote: DerekStuart wrote: ....., I am quite surprised to see no comments on any forums (that I've seen) wishing Pete well for the future (esp. with his back) and noting how much he has done to advance the hobby.
I was going to be sarcastic but I think if you read this it might help:
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/112517-cl-finescale-%E2%80%93-owner-pete-llewellyn-to-stand-down/
That was last summer. Seems that things have gone in quite a different direction from what Pete envisaged then.

Depends what cottage industry means. It really depends on the demands of the particular range of products a business produces which determines what it needs to be successful. High Level and Branchlines, for example, are successful one-man bands. With C&L the core business involves a high degree of in-house production  and the question is how many people does it need to keep that production going while handling the mail order side, plus enquiries and attending shows.

Nigel                                     

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13th message | this message only posted: 10 Mar 2017 17:05
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madscientist
 

 

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Nigel Brown wrote: Godfrey Earnshaw wrote: DerekStuart wrote: ....., I am quite surprised to see no comments on any forums (that I've seen) wishing Pete well for the future (esp. with his back) and noting how much he has done to advance the hobby.
I was going to be sarcastic but I think if you read this it might help:
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/112517-cl-finescale-%E2%80%93-owner-pete-llewellyn-to-stand-down/
That was last summer. Seems that things have gone in quite a different direction from what Pete envisaged then.

Depends what cottage industry means. It really depends on the demands of the particular range of products a business produces which determines what it needs to be successful. High Level and Branchlines, for example, are successful one-man bands. With C&L the core business involves a high degree of in-house production  and the question is how many people does it need to keep that production going while handling the mail order side, plus enquiries and attending shows.

Nigel                                     
Do c&l do In house moulding then ? 
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14th message | this message only posted: 10 Mar 2017 17:06
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Hayfield
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DerekStuart wrote: I must say that I am in agreement with Martin. The CL website is specifically asking people to ignore rumours. Pete has always been straight with people and we should trust him now.

Whilst I share the concerns of others about future supply, I am quite surprised to see no comments on any forums (that I've seen) wishing Pete well for the future (esp. with his back) and noting how much he has done to advance the hobby.

As for cottage industry- yes there are some that have really mucked things up, most don't and I can think of excellent kit producers, etch detailing kits and so on from cottage suppliers that are all honest, hard working and so on.

Although CL appears profitable, I would hazard a guess that it's not massively so and that to ensure its continued survival it may need to downsize and if that means we have to accept slower ordering due to less staff then that's better than closure, surely.
Derek
I think you are spot on with this reply, personally I think the biggest mill stone round the neck of the business was the premises. I am certain with an owner concentrating on the core business (C&L and Exactoscale track) from a much smaller unit specialising in mail order and presence at appropriate shows the brand could be profitable and perhaps even developed

A great pity from the point of the staff who will be loosing their jobs and I wish them well, but the lease is coming to an end and Peters health is such that he cannot run the business

The stand will be at Alley Pally at the end of the month (Orders to be picked up must be in by Monday next week) and I think it will also be at Railex in May 

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15th message | this message only posted: 11 Mar 2017 10:35
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Hayfield
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madscientist wrote: Nigel Brown wrote: Godfrey Earnshaw wrote: DerekStuart wrote: ....., I am quite surprised to see no comments on any forums (that I've seen) wishing Pete well for the future (esp. with his back) and noting how much he has done to advance the hobby.
I was going to be sarcastic but I think if you read this it might help:
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/112517-cl-finescale-%E2%80%93-owner-pete-llewellyn-to-stand-down/
That was last summer. Seems that things have gone in quite a different direction from what Pete envisaged then.

Depends what cottage industry means. It really depends on the demands of the particular range of products a business produces which determines what it needs to be successful. High Level and Branchlines, for example, are successful one-man bands. With C&L the core business involves a high degree of in-house production  and the question is how many people does it need to keep that production going while handling the mail order side, plus enquiries and attending shows.

Nigel                                     
Do c&l do In house moulding then ? 
No, all moulding is done by a specialist company
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16th message | this message only posted: 11 Mar 2017 10:46
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Hayfield
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Just a quick heads up, I placed an order yesterday with C&L to be picked up at Alley Pally. A reasonably comprehensive selection of Exactoscale track parts and just received confirmation that the order has been picked (all in stock) and will be ready for me to pick up at Alley Pally

Can I suggest that anyone requiring track parts (or anything else for that matter) places an order by  9am Tuesday 14th March 2017 for collection at Alley Pally, especially if attending on the Sunday. Its the small stand that will be there, so the items in stock is much reduced, plus with the impending change of ownership I would expect sales will be higher than normal. BUT unless other arrangements are made Phil has limited room on his van


So to avoid disappointment, place your orders over this weekend


John

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17th message | this message only posted: 11 Mar 2017 21:27
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Rob Manchester
 

 

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I ordered from the C&L website on Tuesday and by lunchtime Wednesday the courier was knocking on the door with the package. It will be a shame if we loose the easy ordering and great service that Pete and his staff offer but the continued availability of the track building items is very important.

Even a 'cottage industry' can supply customers via Email requests and a Paypal invoice without having a proper website and extensive advertising. The availability of the components is the important thing. I am not personally worried that a new owner will downsize the product range as most of the non-track items are available elsewhere ( apart from Carr's ).

All the best to Pete and the C&L 'family'

Rob


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18th message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 12:16
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from:
Hayfield
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There seems to be quite a lot of speculation which may not be either correct or helpful.
All that has been said is that the business is changing hands in May/June, with sales commencing on June the 1st. Plus the unit is closing on the 29th of April (from Memory) so there will be a period when parts are unavailable in between. Except for shows in Farnham, Derby, Bracknell and Aylesbury where I guess only pre-orders prior to 29th of April can be picked up, so stocks may be limited towards the end of each show

Also the currant website will close, I guess Peter has no idea what system will be put in place by the new owners. Having said that I expect the new owners will want to be up and running ASAP, as there is nothing better than having cash flow at the start of a new venture.

I also see Carrs products have been sold to Phoenix Paints


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19th message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 13:26
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DerekStuart
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Godfrey Earnshaw wrote: DerekStuart wrote: ....., I am quite surprised to see no comments on any forums (that I've seen) wishing Pete well for the future (esp. with his back) and noting how much he has done to advance the hobby.
I was going to be sarcastic but I think if you read this it might help:
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/112517-cl-finescale-%E2%80%93-owner-pete-llewellyn-to-stand-down/
As much as I like 'the other place' and have a genuinely high regard for its originator/admin, I do avoid RMVV lest the thread should end up at a debate about supra-National organisations of a European location or hotel owners turned President. (or perhaps the political arguments ended when I left- that's more likely)

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20th message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 13:29
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Borg-Rail
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I think we have a bit more detail. In Pete's statements, he tells that as there won't be retail premises, PECO etc will not be supplied, other than what stock is transferred. He also says that he has a detailed knowledge of both C&L and Exactoscale ranges and has been a modeller for many years.

Also the exhibition stand wll be continuing.

Speculate if you wish, probably not helpful, I too have had a little bet with myself on who it might be but I am probably totally wrong.

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21st message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 13:47
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DerekStuart
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Mr Hayfield,
I am sure we all appreciate your updated news and reasoned overview of the situation.

People are worrying due to a few examples of new owners failing, because the original owner WAS the business and only he had the specialist knowledge to fabricate parts.

All the hard design work in this case has already been done and the actual production contracted out. What CLE needs now is someone with basic commercial common sense.

People may be forgetting that C&L-E has already had a change of owner. Pete has done a hell of a good job of driving the company forward commercially and if the new owner(s) just keep doing what he has done then it stands a fighting chance.

The other thing to remember that sets CL&E apart from other sales of companies is that it seems to have a very strong order book. They may have to downsize their property, possibly increase prices and take a little longer to deliver, but there's a good business there if they follow Pete's guidance.
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22nd message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 13:55
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Martin Wynne
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DerekStuart wrote:People may be forgetting that C&L-E has already had a change of owner.Hi Derek,

In fact the current owner is the 4th, and the new owner will be the 5th.

My reading of the situation is that having failed to find a buyer to continue the company in its present form, it will be returning to something similar to what it was before Brian Lewis acquired it.

Like Stephen I have had a bet with myself as to who might want to do that. :)

Martin.

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23rd message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 14:20
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DerekStuart
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So Mr Hayfield, Borg Rail and Prof. Wynne all seem fairly upbeat. That's good enough for me.

One can only hope though that the new owner is not one who believes the internet is evil and that customers should order by post using a cheque with enquiries being by stamped addressed envelope.
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24th message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 14:33
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from:
Godfrey Earnshaw
 

 

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This is becoming more amusing by the minute;

First we get all the worriers, "The end of the world is nigh".

Then we get the, "OMG what if it falls into the wrong hands".

Then we have secret guesses as to who may be the purchaser but no names are suggested, so they don't know.

Now we have confidence because three "respected" guessers are upbeat. However, there is doubt in case it reverts to post and cheques.

Let's get real guys it's either sold or it's not to an unknown person who may be good, bad or indifferent.

One thing is sure the Earth won't stop turning and track will continue to be hand made by those who wish to.

How does the phrase go, "Don't cross your bridges until you come to them".
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25th message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 14:36
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from:
Martin Wynne
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DerekStuart wrote: One can only hope though that the new owner is not one who believes the internet is evil and that customers should order by post using a cheque with enquiries being by stamped addressed envelope.Not evil, but a damn nuisance if you are trying to be a one-man manufacturing cottage industry.

My guess (nothing more than that) is that there will be online ordering of some sort, but not necessarily next-day delivery.

I have seen such hobby/businesses advertise "orders are despatched on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month" or something similar.

And having been there I can fully understand - a milling machine can't just be left to answer the phone, respond to an email, or dash to the post office with an armful of jiffy bags.

Martin.

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26th message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 14:42
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DerekStuart
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Godfrey Earnshaw wrote: This is becoming more amusing by the minute;

First we get all the worriers, "The end of the world is nigh".

Then we get the, "OMG what if it falls into the wrong hands".

Then we have secret guesses as to who may be the purchaser but no names are suggested, so they don't know.

Now we have confidence because three "respected" guessers are upbeat. However, there is doubt in case it reverts to post and cheques.

Let's get real guys it's either sold or it's not to an unknown person who may be good, bad or indifferent.

One thing is sure the Earth won't stop turning and track will continue to be hand made by those who wish to.

How does the phrase go, "Don't cross your bridges until you come to them".
Don't bite, lads... Don't bite.

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27th message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 14:48
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from:
Godfrey Earnshaw
 

 

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You already have Derek.

Now it's just about how far you swallow the hook.

With friendly greetings

Godders (aka JR Hartley, author of Fly Fishing))
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Borg-Rail
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Worst case scenario is that the deal doesn't go ahead. Rail of some sort (not Hi-Ni) is available elsewhere, alternatives for flexible track already exist (except for P4), so that really just leaves the chairs. Some 3D printed chairs are already available but probably a more costly option. It would be more inconvenient and costly, not being "Life as we know it" but someone would probably seize the opportunity.
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29th message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 14:57
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from:
DerekStuart
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Godfrey Earnshaw wrote: You already have Derek.

Now it's just about how far you swallow the hook.

With friendly greetings

Godders (aka JR Hartley, author of Fly Fishing))
No. Not at all. If you read my comments I was suggesting that fish stop worrying about the rumours of worms on hooks and that no one (I had seen) had considered the welfare of the fisherman.

I then went on to suggest that three well known fishermen were respected and that we should note that they seemed fairly relaxed about fishing in the future.

My only comment that could in any way be considered slightly contradictory is noting in a 'cast away' manner is that I hoped the fish monger doesn't shun the internet and accept fish sales by cheque only.

Nice try Mr Godders.

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from:
Martin Wynne
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Let's avoid metadata on Templot Club. We can safely leave that to RMweb. :)

(posts about other posts)

Martin.

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31st message | this message only posted: 12 Mar 2017 21:07
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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DerekStuart wrote: One can only hope though that the new owner is not one who believes the internet is evilWho needs a computer?



Martin.

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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Martin,

That should have been made 'Video of the week'

Some important points are raised by it :

What does the lady breaking up the Humbugs with a wallpaper brush think about all day ?

When did they upgrade to the desk calculator ?

How can sweets taste so good when they start off looking like some kind of industrial effluent ?

Rob ( glad I have my dinner before watching )



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Rob Manchester
 

 

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A competitor for the Black Country sweet factory.




Rob



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madscientist
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: DerekStuart wrote: One can only hope though that the new owner is not one who believes the internet is evil and that customers should order by post using a cheque with enquiries being by stamped addressed envelope.Not evil, but a damn nuisance if you are trying to be a one-man manufacturing cottage industry.

My guess (nothing more than that) is that there will be online ordering of some sort, but not necessarily next-day delivery.

I have seen such hobby/businesses advertise "orders are despatched on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month" or something similar.

And having been there I can fully understand - a milling machine can't just be left to answer the phone, respond to an email, or dash to the post office with an armful of jiffy bags.

Martin.
The old adage here being " This would be a great business if it wasn't for all the customers !!"
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Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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The speculation is over as the official announcement is on the C&L website today.
Tony W.

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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Thanks Tony.

I lost my bet. :)

Martin.

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from:
Borg-Rail
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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I didn't lose!! Wish I'd had some money on it! I thought it was the most likely outcome from what Pete had said. Detailed knowledge etc and stand at shows continuing etc. :D
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Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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DerekStuart wrote: So Mr Hayfield, Borg Rail and Prof. Wynne all seem fairly upbeat. That's good enough for me.

One can only hope though that the new owner is not one who believes the internet is evil and that customers should order by post using a cheque with enquiries being by stamped addressed envelope.
Derek
Firstly let me thank you for being so polite 

I had been slightly in the loop as to the sale but the outcome was very surprising and in my opinion beneficial to those like me who use the items. Phil has been running the C&L trade stands for quite a while, initially the small, then a slightly beefed up small one when the main stand ceased to operate

Not spoken with Phil yet but will be assisting him at the weekend, where no doubt he will be more than happy to answer any questions. The website also looks to be transferred in the deal, I guess the initial statement was a bit vague as I guess details were to be finalised and there will be a period of transition between the new and old owners.

Phil has run the small stand very professionally and once he has transferred and set up the business will quickly get on top of the mail order side



 

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madscientist
 

 

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Sounds good
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