My wife and daughter took a 3 week trip to England (and a short overnight train trip to Paris) back in August. The trip was an adventure for her, her Mom (who is a UK native), and my daughter - but I'm not going into any of that here.
However, I bring it up because my wonderful wife asked me before leaving if there were any game stores that she should stop by to pick up some games for me!!!!
Well, I only knew about one game store specifically off the top of my head: Shire Games
I'm sure there are others and I might have spent time researching more stores, but I knew they probably weren't going to be making a lot of stops for games AND when I looked on Google Maps, I saw it was directly on their way from Shillington to the Liverpool/Blackpool area (a route they were already planning on taking), so it was perfect!
Plus, I had ordered from them a couple of times in the past and found Nick, the owner, to be quite friendly. I even sent a note to him to ask for detailed information on finding the store and other information about the area. His response was very helpful!
Anyhow, they arrived at the store (which is upstairs) sometime early in their trip on a weekday:
Front of the building (store on the 2nd floor) and my daughter in front of the door leading up
Nick happened to be coming DOWNSTAIRS while they were going up, apparently off to the Post Office. Well, I presume he recognized them as my family (due to my heads-up email - he probably doesn't get too many Americans wandering in) and was very kind to go back up and help them out (although I presume he would have done this anyway being the awesome bloke he is) for a good amount of time while my wife hemmed and hawed about what to get, despite me sending a detailed list of my interests based on the online listings.
I figured she'd get one or two games that weren't too big (to fit into luggage) and not too expensive (since she always loves a bargain). I had focused mainly on sale items that I knew were harder to get or were just great deals but of course she had to consider every option!
While she was deciding what to get, my daughter snapped a bunch of photos so that I could see what the store was like. It looked like a lovely homey feeling sort of place, granted filled with only tables, chairs, and lots and lots of games
These are shots of the first room you come into. Looks like a shipment had come in recently!
Main first room, Nick and my wife discussing options
A closeup of one table near the entrance, A shot from the front area looking back toward the game room/game shelve areas
Going further into the store you can see there are 3 main rooms, one off to the left, one to the right (both with blue walls) and one furthest back (with red walls)
Rooms off the the left and off to the right
You can see the rooms on the left are on the street facing side and have lots of natural light as well. The room on the right is on the darker side, although all rooms seem to have been outfitted with lots of ceiling spot lights to get good lighting all around.
The red room, with lots of games newly arriving and waiting to be stocked onto the shelves.
For some reason when imagining Shire Games in my head I was thinking a darker cave-like environment on the first floor of some older building. Yes, it looks like an older building here, but its certainly not a dark cave! I have to say if I lived in or near Stoke-on-Trent I'd definitely be popping into Nick's store for some gaming goodness on a regular basis as it seems very inviting and comfortable.
And, finally, here is Nick, the friendly bloke himself:
Nick of Shire Games
I also enjoy Nick's weekly newsletters because they are both informative (he gives brief descriptions of the latest games he has coming in, plus a review of a game that was played that week) and entertaining (jokes and anecdotes of some kind).
Thanks Nick for the friendly service and helping my wife out when she came visiting!
Join me in my cozy little back room filled with games! Ooh and ah at some new releases. Learn about some more recent games. Or, look back at some older and classic games. From Euros to Ameritrash, kids games to grown-up games, easy to intense - nothing much is ignored in Matt's Board Game Back Room! (Updates will be cross-posted from my blogspot blog - click my Blogger microbadge to go there now)
- [+] Dice rolls