Still mad for models after all these years
Jamie Casey takes a trip down memory lane when he visits a business specialising in farm toys and models
I recently visited the Mad for Models store in Carlow, and it was a real trip down memory lane. I have fond memories of producing model farms as a child. Every conceivable household item became a prop on the impromptu farm that sprung up on the sitting room floor, much to my mother's dismay.
The Mad for Models store is located in Palatine, Carlow and is a huge attraction for anybody interested in farm toys or, indeed, those who are more serious about rare collector models.
With over 850 items in stock, and access to almost any model produced, owner Tommy Fennelly is a knowledgeable man on the subject and his enthusiasm for all things model -related was clear.
Tommy began collecting and restoring vintage tractors in 1989, and soon became well known in the surrounding counties.
"People associated me with vintage tractors, and started asking me if I could source models for them," he says.
In 1999, Mr Fennelly and his wife Madeline saw a business opening, and decided to take the plunge.
As is the case with many new businesses, it was intended to be a part-time job for Mr Fennelly alone, but as the business grew and developed they quickly realised that they needed all hands on deck in a full-time role to keep the customers supplied.
While many businesses nowadays push for online sales to reduce staffing and stocking costs, online business accounts for just 10pc of Mad for Models' sales and that's how Tommy wants to keep it.