Local hobby store Chester Model Centre recently received an unusual enquiry from Bangalore in South India.
The customer, Arun Swaminathan, was seeking a specific and hard-to-find edition of a model plane to include in his collection dedicated to his late uncle. A highly decorated pilot in the Indian Air Force, Commander Padmanabha Gautam flew the English Electric Canberra during the course of his distinguished career, and it was this particular plane that Mr. Swaminathan sought.
Chester Model Centre’s owner, Paul Boyland, commented:
“We’ve been running our independent shop in Chester for over 10 years now and we couldn’t do it without so much local support. In fact, we’ve known some of our customers for decades – longer than we’ve been on the high street.”
Mr. Boyland added, however, that the modelling community was a global network and that he had been only too happy to help track down the model of Canberra plane for his overseas customer. The request arrived initially via email, with Mr. Swaminathan expressing gratitude in advance for the assistance Chester Model Centre could provide.
He explained that his uncle had died in a crash in 1972 and that he was engaged in writing a biography of the ace pilot. He mentioned that the model would have pride of place in his memorial collection, as he often visited the HAL Museum in Bangalore to stand by a Canberra on display.
Chester Model Shop can be found 71 to 73 Bridge Street Row East.