Tuesday, 6 September 2016


Once upon a time, in a faraway country called The
Past, there was a shop named MODATOYS.  I don't think
that was its sole name during its entire lifespan, as a nagging
voice tells me it was also christened TOYTOWN at one stage
and maybe even something else at another.  However, as I
remember it as Modatoys, that's how I'll refer to it now.
(It also sold books, games, and other things.)

The shop opened in the early '70s (if not earlier) and
was around until the late '80s (if not later), and I still have
several items I bought from the place over the years.  A pair
of mini-binoculars (with compass and mirror), The WIND In
The WILLOWS (a hardback and a paperback), TOAD Of
MEN (and its sequel, Three Little Grey Men GO

I also have a TWIKI figure from BUCK ROGERS,
a couple of red paintbrushes, two chess sets & boards (dif-
ferent sizes), and perhaps one or two other things.  Oh, and the
paperback book you can see at the top of this post - ALICE'S
ADVENTURES In WONDERLAND.  I bought it on a mag-
nificently hot summer's afternoon in 1973 or '74 (so I'd still
have been a schoolboy), and one glance takes me back
to that time quicker than Dr. WHO's TARDIS.

When I leaf through its pages, the shop still exists, my
demolished schools yet stand in their prime, and the 'new
town' in which I live is exactly as it was back then - smaller,
brighter, cleaner, newer.  Everything is as it was, even if only
for a few fleeting moments, but oh, what welcome moments
they are.  I wish I could show you the interior colour photo-
graphs in the book, but I can't open it wide enough to
scan without damaging, and that would never do.

Readers, do you have a book or item that serves the
purpose of a time machine and takes you right back to an
earlier era from which you're loath to depart?  Why not tell
your fellow Criv-ites about it in the comments section?  Go
on - it's good to share.  So here's to The Past - some-
times it's the only thing to look forward to!


Philip Crawley said...

For me it would be issue 5 of the Silver Surfer. On browsing through the self same issue (not a reprint) I am instantly transported back to the early 70s and it's as if I am seated on the floor of the second-hand book shop again leafing through the pages prior to handing over the coins to pay for it. One of the clearest memories I have from the days of my youth in terms of purchases. A close runner up would be my first book on Horror Movies, a thick hardback by Carlos Clarens (still in pretty good nick considering its age now, as it sits on the shelf behind me as I type). It being my first ever hardcover book aquisition makes it doubly memorable. Took me ages before I could take more than a fleeting look at the picture of Lon Chaney as the Phantom - one scary face to the younger me. I'm sure there are more but these two spring readily to mind for transporting me back to their places of purchase.

Kid said...

It's amazing that certain things have the power to transport our minds back to the times (and sometimes even the moment) that we bought them, isn't it, PC? I've got loads of things like that, in some cases the originals, in others, replacements (not that it seems to affect the effect), and as I've said many a time before, after burying my head in a book or comic, I find myself momentarily surprised when I look up from the pages and find myself NOT in the room or house I lived in when I first read it. Strange, eh?

Oscar Dowson said...

For me, it's Airfix kits that conjour up childhood rather than comics - which conjour up unromantic RS MColls. But Airgix kits and their classic box art take me right back to John Brownlee's toyshop in Cambuslang. All my kits, all my toy guns and caps came from here. First place I was ever such a regular customer that I could get things on tick and pay later - Revell's 1/48 scale F14 Tomcat! Here I bought my Dinkys and Corgis. Happy days. I wish I had a picture of the place!

Kid said...

One may exist somewhere, OD, so have a go at tracking one down. I remember seeing (but not buying) the Airfix kit of James Bond & Oddjob in a shop called (of all things) The Garden Pet Shop back in the '60s. Can't think of one without thinking of the other. Airfix reissued it back around 1999, but it was in a different box. I've got pictures of the original 'though, and will make a facsimile one day. (When I get around to building the model.)

Phil S said...

My old Raleigh bicycle reminds me I used to ride to the newsagent and pick up my weekly comics. Plus an occasional ice cream.

Kid said...

So you've still got the bicycle, Phil?

Phil S said...

Naaa and I should have kept it.

Kid said...

Track down a replacement on eBay and reunite with your youth.

John Pitt said...

That statement from the Likely Lads has never been more true than now, in these times!

Kid said...

It's always applicable to people of a certain age, JP. Just about everyone grows into it.

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