Monday, December 05, 2016

Sad News

2016 has not been a great year has it; today I found out old friend and long-time Employer Dave Hewins had passed away last month.

Dave ran the local model shop, for more or less the entirety of my life.  I first went in the store as an awestruck seven year old, and came out with my first box of Matchbox Commandos.  The damage was done and from thence onward D Hewins Models and Hobbies was the place to be allowed to spend time on a shopping trip to town, as I grew older and could travel to town alone, the only place you actually wanted to go.  As much as a social retreat as anything.

Down the passage to a world of wonders. and retro shopkeeping...
I got to know Dave over time, kinda hard not to when you loiter in his shop for two-three hours at a time, and in due course he offered me a temporary job covering Saturdays in the summer.  That temporary work carried on for about thirteen years.

Dave knew his trade, but was astute enough to hire staff whose interests covered his gaps in knowledge, so there was Pat and his knowledge of Radio Control and shipbuilding, Alan's knowledge of Diecast and Railway (to back up Dave's) and a succession of us Young un's to cover The roleplaying games, fantasy models and other oddball stuff.  I had a bonus of being obsessed with model kits and knowing my history too.  Dave got into wargaming through running his shop, and I think he appreciated shared interests in the staff beyond the professional benefits, It gave more to talk about in the quiet hours...

As a man he was a shopkeeper in the classic 'Arkwrights' mould (We even persisted with an 'Open All Hours' style till long after the show had concluded), he may never have made staff rich but he looked out for them.  As a gamer, he was the sort who you had to watch like a hawk, notorious for rolling his dice when you weren't looking, yet never for arguing.  I can't say I had many games against him, save for big group events, but we did play the odd one or two over the years.  After I left my home town I would return to the shop periodically to catch up with him and the other old-timers, find out how it was all going.  Pleasingly the store weathered the internet age and soldiered on.  I last saw him about five years ago at a wargames show, we caught up on how the business was, how his family was.

I counted the man as a friend.  Indirectly he led to me meeting many of my friends from that time and place.  He was more of an influence than I care to imagine!

68 is too young in this day and age.

He'll be missed.


  1. Nice tribute to a friend and associate now gone.
    My condolences.

  2. Thanks for sharing this great story. I can only imagine had sad you must feel right now.

  3. Painful as it is for you right now there must be a wonderful collection of memories of your friend which hopefully will make things a bit easier over time.

  4. Sorry to hear that. I've only been in Grimsby once (in 2012) and discovered Hewins. Great shop and I've no doubt it was Mr Hewins I talked to when I was in there (I even blogged about it). A sad loss. WW