I thought the best place to start was a bit of background as to why you should trust us to sell army surplus and militaria to you.
Both my & Trevor’s background has been in retailing, and between us we log up over 50 years in total. I am a 3rd generation shopkeeper. My grandfather started a DIY shop in Tottenham just after the war and this rapidly expanded to a second shop in Freezywater, Enfield. (Just off the M25 / A10 junction, although we were there first!). My dad ran this shop, along with his brother for most of his adult life and I dont ever remember a time when the shop wasn’t part of our conversation at dinner or a place to ‘pop to’. I spent many happy hours there as a child visiting and then when I was more useful, I worked there during my school holidays and Saturdays.
It was a great learning curve and enabled me to know, not only one end of a saw from another, but how to help customers, take orders and address problems. We had a huge core base of regular customers, who would ‘pop up for a chat’ and buy a box of screws, and then business customers, who just got they wanted and were away.
We got to know our regulars and developed friendships that have lasted many decades. I have bought this ethos into the business with Trevor and now we too have many long standing customers who ‘just pop in’ to check in what’s new aswell as those customers who are in a rush and just get what is needed. I hope we serve both equally well.
Trevor’s background was also in retail, starting at John Lewis for several years where he benefited from learning their excellent customer facing approaches. Then in the mid 1980’s his brother asked him to manage his camping shop in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. Trevor took over management dealing again with customers and also with ordering and assessing stock and keeping up with current trends and new designs and liaising with wholesalers. Sadly this shop ceased trading in the early 90’s but for Trevor this was a catalyst to start his own business.
So on 24th October 1994, having used his redundancy money to buy some stock from the army surplus wholesalers he had got to know during his time at the camping shop, he did his first market.
It was perhaps inevitable that, after some while running a successful market stall, we would move on to opening our own business premises, and in 2004 we combined moving up to the beautiful Scottish Borders to build a lifestyle that fitted in with our growing family, with setting up in our present shop in Coldstream. Coldstream is a thriving town with good local trade & regular tourists, and famous, of course as the home of the Coldstream Guards.
That all seems like a long time ago, but the experience I, Helen, and Trevor brought to the business from our previous retail involvement proved invaluable.
But why should you trust us to sell army surplus? The simple answer is a combination of Trevor’s retail experience and connections with the army surplus wholesalers from the camping shop, but most of all because he is a veteran. He is a third generation soldier in his family and has a wonderful heritage of serving in the armed forces.
Trevor served in Her majesties Royal Horse Artillery for nearly 6 years during the 80’s and experienced first hand how the clothing and equipment felt and was used ‘in the field’. So he is well qualified to advise on which items of army surplus would be best for your situation. He takes time to listen to what you are doing and get a real sense of what you are planning so he can fully advise and make suggestions, if you require, of items and alternatives.
The time in the army, and previous years in scouts, eventually as a scout leader, started a love of the outdoors, and as time went on, his own family of 4 rough sons took him walking, hiking and camping trips around the country, during which time he was able to field test the latest army surplus equipment and clothing and keep up to date with current issue supplies.
Over the years, a fledgling interest in WW1 & 2 military history has developed into a speciality of its own and we now have a wide selection of British & European war militaria for sale in the shop from Trevor’s own private collection & to view in our micro museum
So if you are thinking of visiting us please do pop in for a browse round & a chat or just for a quick visit for that specific item.
Over the 25 years Walk This Way Army Surplus has been in business we have developed a great relationship with many more people than we could ever have imagined and we get new and unusual things coming into the shop all the time. The stock is always changing and being added to. So if you cant see what you are looking for on the website…we might still have it somewhere!So just ask. Happy to help.
July: we’ll give you some hints as to great military places to visit in and around the Scottish Borders. Hopefully ‘Covid Lockdown’ will have been relaxed by then and we can all get out and about.
August: Trevor will discuss different types of camouflage in August. (If you can wait that long!)