Over the Bank Holiday myself and Robin took advantage of the barmy weather to pay a visit to Spirit Games in Burton on Trent. I had never been before but heard great things about its Aladdin's Cave type quality and stockist of old school wargaming gems.
The shop is deceptively large and stretches into a back area along a corridor of hundreds of fantasy Reaper Miniatures figures (a popular choice apparently). In the 'Wargaming Room' I found what I was looking in for in the shape of hundreds or possibly thousands of 15mm Essex miniatures and others. After standing a bit bug eyed for ten minutes I dived in and found boxes of Seven Years War and AWI stuff I needed. Although a problem came about when it was revealed by a helpful store assistant that I needed to scrabble around with a pen and cross off my purchases from a stock list contained in each box. Also seeking out specific figures involved cross referencing them against a pile of catalogues on the side ("what?? No electronic stock system??" I grumbled to myself). After informing Robin I may be sometime I jumped back into things to get what I needed. For me, this sort of delving brings out all kinds of rewards if you persist long enough. Literally hidden underneath a set of draws were several trays of lovely old Hinchliffe models that immediately filled me with heady nostalgia and an urge to get out my credit card.
After sorting out my 15mm armies I then let myself wander a bit around the room, randomly rooting in boxes and peering up at shelves. Robin came back with his Reaper Minis and immediately pointed upwards to a couple of boxes of aircraft and exclaimed "bloody hell, they were deleted years ago!". We both laughed when we also noted that the prices hadn't been changed to reflect their current collectability.
If you're passing through Burton on Trent (the brewery is a tourist hot spot if you're into that) Spirit Games is worth poking around in. However, if you're expecting orderly stock and consumer ease then it's probably not your thing. Especially if you've got a bad back or a dust allergy. Speaking on my own behalf I loved it!!