Meet the Staff
This page is designed to further improve our customer-staff relationship. Each member of our team would like their own little space by way of introduction and to explain what they take pride in doing at Hattons Model Railways.
A page such as this would not feel quite right without the introduction of this man. Norman Hatton founded the business way back in 1946, and passed away in late August 2005 at the grand old age of 87. Norman worked nearly full time in the shop right up until his 86th year, sharing his experiences with the younger members of staff and our regular customers
Norman had a razor sharp brain and business sense unfaltering since his younger days! Our picture shows him packing orders in the old shop a few years ago. Whilst modelling the very same shop coat he bought brand new with his coupons for opening day.
ex Managing Director
Keith Hatton was born in 1959, and died, aged 48, during September 2008. At the time of his death, Keith had been responsible for Hattons emergence as the leading independent retailer, in the sector which we operate in.
He is missed by all the staff and customers who came into contact with him during his reign as the leader of our firm, and it will be some time before we adjust to his loss. We would like to thank all those who have supported us during the difficult time following his death, and appreciate the kind emails and letters of condolence we have received.
Keith was a unique and dynamic man, who led from the front. His knowledge and experience were undoubted, as was the commitment which he gave to the firm, for over 30 years.
Christine Hatton is the owner and Chair of Hattons Model Railways. She has worked for the firm for over 20 years, and many of our customers will have been served and assisted by her.
Following the death of her brother Keith, in 2008, Christine has stepped up to the mantle, to take over the reins of running the firm. She has a great deal to contend with, given the size of our firm, the number of products we stock (approx 6000), the number of staff we have (57 as of Nov 08), and the number of places where we advertise (16 magazine titles and 4 websites).
Christine is determined for the growth and development of the business to continue in the manner it had done, before the death of her father Norman, and brother Keith. We accept that this will be a difficult task, but are determined that it will provide the best tribute to Norman and Keiths memory.
Richard works with the Retail, Warehouse & Office leaders, to help take charge of the long-term direction of the firm. He was a customer of ours until the age of 13, then rejoined us in 1999 to help develop our online commerce systems. After a spell away, he returned in October 2003 to take general charge of the firms development
Talent and Process Manager
Paul works very hard to ensure our customers have the best possible experience with Hattons. He joined the company in 2006, working part time whilst studying English and Philosophy at university, and has been here ever since. Paul is originally from St. Helens ,and is a fan of St. Helens Rugby League Club - especially when they’re doing well. Paul also admits to having an unhealthy interest in fine food and wine - though he confines their intake to outside of work hours!
Stakeholder Information and Communication
Graeme Hogg has been working in Hattons since January 2003 and is the man in charge of advert production and various other matters.
We’re glad to have his rough and calloused hands back at the Hattons IT command centre where he deals with complex computer problems with cold and calculated efficiency.
Deputy Despatch Team Leader
Deputy Despatch Team Leader
Peter seems to thrive on hard work and always appears to be doing more than one job at one time usually everyone elses. Bearing this in mind there is never a sign of a grumble when we ask him for help. Peter too is a keen athlete but with a gammy leg. Finally a tip for all you fans of the sport of kings. Always back any other Gee Gee than Peters tips!
Simon Rigert Harnden
Here is Simon Rigert-Harden. Simon has been with us since Christmas 2002 when he started part time as a 15 year old schoolboy and showed sufficient maturity to take overall charge of the till and order entry point at weekends and occasional weekdays when still only 17. Known as Rigger to his friends. In 2005 he moved into part of our old shop which had been converted into a flat, but the messiness was left behind as he has now moved up the housing ladder.
Inventory Deputy Team Leader
If you need a job doing, you can always rely on Robbie. He was working so fast today he had to be chased around the stock room in order to grab this rare picture opportunity! Robbies mum had to dig out his birth certificate in order to get him into secondary school, after his Mach 3 went blunt.
Gareth lists his hobbies as including walking, therefore he will gets lots of practise whilst collecting all the items for your orders!
Contact Centre Team Leader
Conor is responsible for the day to day running of our contact centre. He looks after the training and recruitments for all the members of this team, as well as answering a few phone calls himself. He has been a permanent member of the Hattons’ team since December 2010 and in that time has developed a keen interest in the hobby and hopes to have a layout of his own one day. Conor’s other interests are music, close up magic and travel.
David is our Retail Specialist and patiently answers our every question about railways and modelling, which are often prefaced by a loud cry of ‘DAVE!’ David has a passion for aircraft and railways, and works hard preserving locos as a volunteer in the diesel department of the East Lancashire Railway. He is also a keen modeller, specialising in 1/72nd, 1/48th and 1/35th scale Military vehicles, aircraft and figures. David also finds time for his love of history, and actively takes part in WWII re-enactments as a German ‘Fallschirmjager’ or paratrooper. What David doesn’t know about modelling isn’t worth knowing but luckily he shares his expertise, as well as updates about his recent projects, on his blog at davemodelblog.blogspot.com.
John joined our products team in 2009. Before working at Hattons, John managed a hobby store for 18 years and also had his own retail franchise for a number of years.
John is responsible for maintaining the display in our shop and when not doing this he can be found sharing his vast railway knowledge with customers and other members of staff.
John is a keen railway modeller and has a small layout based on a Freightliner diesel depot. He is a member of the Merseyside Model Railway Society and recently acted as floor manager for an exhibition.
In his spare time John enjoys activities such as walking, driving and watching most sports.
Kev gained his excellent customer service skills whilst working for a bank, before realising that this was not were his passions lay, and instead decided to use those skills working for Hatton’s. Kev studied History at university - but for some reason doesn’t like it when you ask him the exact date of every historical event you can think of!
Product Support Team
Bryan has a keen interest in Railways and buses, and was a regular face in the shop before he joined us on the other side of the counter! Bryan has a large modern image layout at home, with more DMU's and EMU's than anyone really needs. Wiring point motors, signals and lamps has been how Bryan has spent many evening recently. We have no idea where Bryan also keeps his collection of over 300+ die-cast buses, varying from Corgi to Creative Master. He is also interested in theatre and performing arts particularly enjoying musicals, and has seen them all at least twice!
Paul is one of the longest serving part-time members of staff, having joined us during his halcyon sixth-form days. He's all grown up now, and is currently studying for his Master's degree in International Relations at the University of Liverpool. In his spare time, Paul likes to play the guitar and mandolin, cook with exotic ingredients and read forbidden literature. He can often be found cycling the 9-mile round trip to work, getting splashed by inconsiderate drivers.
Product Support Team
John is one of our resident experts. He has a keen interest in modelling particularly constructing dioramas, and frequently has to resist spending his wages on Airfix models. John also has a Railway Layout which he constructed himself using some of the skills he acquired during the three years spent studying Engineering at college. The layout also belongs to his brother Mark, and sharing a layout has obviously given the brothers good practice with working together, as we have not had any sibling brawls yet! John is also a member of the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society, as well as the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society, and enjoys studying History. His main focus is railways and their engineers, as well as some military history.
Product Support Team
Mark is not only interested in model railways, but also the real things, which is shown in his vast knowledge of both. He shares a layout with his brother, John, but is also an enthusiast of buses and trams, particularly the Blackpool Tramway. Mark has pursued his interests by joining the East Lancashire Railway and the Merseyside Bus Club - and working for Hatton’s of course. He is also a very active person, and enjoys swimming, driving and beating people at pool.
Born in Cumbria and raised by shepherds, Morgan is yet another of our musically talented contingent. He can play guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin and drums. He’s also a vintage comedy fan, enjoying the Marx brothers and Laurel & Hardy in particular. Morgan is keen reader with his favourite genre being detective fiction. We’ve detected that he’s an all round top bloke.
Collectively, our staff have amassed quite a few qualifications but only Anne is qualified as a Yoga Instructor after training in Kerala, South India. She is also an experienced Complementary Therapist, specialising in Reflexology. Anne has fond memories of watching the film 'The Railway Children' as a child and in the near future she would love to fulfill her ambition of riding on the Orient Express.
Lucy is currently studying for an MA in Classics and will shortly be commencing a PhD in the same subject. Lucy may have the highest profile TV appearance of our staff roster; an episode of ‘This Morning’ as a child, starring as the narrator in a nativity production shot at the Albert Dock. After 21 years of living in guilt, Lucy finally became a vegetarian in 2008. All animals are now safe in her presence, as are bottles of Fanta, which Lucy is barred from drinking as it makes her giddy.
Contact Centre Deputy Team Leader
Darren joined us in September 2013 and quickly became very popular by bringing in lots of food from home. Unfortunately not much of this finds its way to our customers due to other members of the team. Darren enjoys cooking and taking his dog for a walk with his family. He's been to South Korea and Mongolia, and handles the daily voyage between Widnes and Liverpool daily.
Pre Owned Team Leader
Dave Martin joined the Hattons team in September 2013 as a Retail Specialist and is more than happy to share his model railway knowledge with both his fellow employees and anyone else who will listen. He now runs our Pre-Owned Department and recently became head of the Hattons Terrible Jokes group but has amassed such a collection already he cannot offer cash-for-jokes any more! He can usually be found trawling through lists or appearing in advertisements in model railway mags. Dave is originally from Manchester and has managed to co-exist with a mostly Liverpudlian workforce without obtaining any major injuries.
Showroom Deputy Team Leader
John can often be found on our front counter helping our customers and making sure everything is ship-shape in store. It's usually John's fault that we run out of milk from offering cups of tea to so many customers! John has previously worked in banking and schools, and now broadens his model railway knowledge on a daily basis.
Katie works in our contact centre and when she is not here spends her time baking. We’ve sampled many of her recipes from gingerbread to Candy Corona Cupcakes and it’s always a welcome sight to see her arrive with a box of goodies in the morning. To counteract all the cakes Katie is also a member of the Liverpool Roller Birds. When not skating or baking she enjoys relaxing with some good sci-fi, especially Dr Who, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.
Our resident linguist of Las Regiones de España, Sophie has just completed her degree in - you guessed it - Spanish. Having spent a year living in Madrid and travelling around Spain, Sophie is fluent in Spanish, Catalan and Basque. In her spare time, she plays guitar but - trust us - it’s her perfect scouse accent that will be music to your ears.
Steph has just finished her BA in English and Politics and is due to begin her Masters studying - wait for it - criminal deviance in American crime novels of the 1940s.
As well as breezing the title of Hatton’s most brilliantly niche bookworm, Steph loves old black and white films - especially those with Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis.
It’s not all sardonic crime melodrama and ubiquitous cigarettes, though. Steph is currently in half marathon training, hoping to complete the whole shebang sometime soon. Preferably in a nice holiday location, though. Why run a marathon at home, when you can run one in New York?
Chelsea joined us at the end of September 2014 fresh from running the security at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She’ll be working on the phones taking your orders here though so won’t get the chance to rugby tackle any potential streakers even though she’s perfectly capable of doing this. At home she is kept busy by “Alfie” her pet shih tzu who looks more like an Ewok.
A self proclaimed geek, when not Larping around Matt spends his free time reading fantasy novels, playing online multi-player games and painting wargaming miniatures. However, “free time” is a bit of a luxury for Matt with his 3 year old daughter and a son on the way.
Natalie moved to Liverpool from Morecambe to complete her English degree. She started working for Hattons in October 2014 after deciding not to return to the bright lights of Morecambe. She is interested in anything to do with food but is a particular fan of cheese. A keen baker Natalie is always willing to bring her latest recipes to the shop for everyone to enjoy.
Amy has a huge interest in health and fitness, and has worked in a gym in Leeds before joining Hatton's. When Amy arrived we all had to swap the cakes and pasties for fruit and granola, so on her days off the rest of the staff take the opportunity to make the store like Willy Wonkers Chocolate Factory. Amy helps our shop, telephone and online customers.
Contact Centre Assistant
Contact Centre Assistant
Andrew’s passions lie with motorbikes and computers - he knows the ins and outs of the machines so well he can strip an engine out of a bike within an hour. His love of motorbikes is matched only by his addition to Branston Pickle. His claim to fame is his TV appearance during the fuel protests, proudly displaying his sign reading “Cut the tax Tony.” Andy’s party piece involves dislocating his own shoulder and putting it back into place with a loud POP , a unique talent which can be used to amaze or horrify depending on what the situation calls for.
Andy’s interest in machines makes him pretty good at any repairs. He has a workshop which apparently looks quite like Doc Brown’s in ‘Back to the Future’. He probably could make a time machine but he’s paid to fix trains so any other projects are on his own time!
Andy also enjoys going to festivals and gigs (on his rocket cycle).
Showroom Deputy Team Leader
Christine was raised in the Rhineland region of Germany and, having studied German and English, became a German teacher. In her spare time, Christine likes learning languages, practicing her ukulele and travelling to new places.
Preferring planes to trains, Christine loves travelling Europe. She came to Liverpool in 2008 and enjoyed the Capital of Culture celebrations so much that she decided to stay (meeting someone special may have also played a part). She still can’t take to the Beatles though.
Back Office Assistant
Stock Movement and Office Support Administrator
Paul joined us in 2014 and can be found either in the photo studio taking hundreds of photographs a week for our website, or behind the wheel of our van moving stock between our sites.