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 re
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 Managing Director 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 reigns 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.
Business Development Manager
Paul is our Retail Manager, and as such works very hard to ensure our customers have the best possible experience with Hattons. He joined the company five years ago, 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!
Lesley has two degrees and a masters! She is responsible for finding space for our many new products and she can now bend space with her mind.
Lesley is a keen sports fan and enjoys watching Rugby Union and Formula 1 in particular. Due to Sky’s monopolisation of televised sport, Lesley has to watch in the pub.
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.
Back Office Assistant
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.
Conor is a talented musician -so talented in fact that his band, Major Major, have played at Glastonbury twice. He often brightens up the shop with his singing - we even once considered placing him outside the shop to sing the ‘Locomotion’ and attract customers! Conor is also our resident magician (every good model centre has one!), whose specialities include table magic and disappearing at lunch time. Conor is also a George Formby fan and is very keen to meet customers from all over the world.
Gemma studied Physical Geography at the University of Liverpool before proving she was so clever she could achieve a masters degree. It was whilst studying for her masters in Environment and Climate Change that Gemma joined the Hatton’s world, and liked it so much she stayed on full time after graduating. Outside of work Gemma enjoys curling up with a good book, particularly Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. She is also a keen traveller, and in the last year has ticked Rome, Barcelona and Germany off her list of places to visit. Gemma’s claim to railway fame is her Eurostar journey on the way to the German Christmas markets. She also gained first hand experience of the German rail network whilst in the country - don’t worry though, she did manage to find time to do some shopping during all this research!
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.
Alex joined the company after completing her degree in Psychology. She is a member of a glee club (but don’t ask her to sing) and is very crafty … by which I mean she enjoys arts and crafts of course! Alex enjoys sewing and knitting, and her favourite food is goats cheese. She is always ready to greet customers with a friendly smile - as long as you don’t ask her to sing.
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!
Bryan is one of the newer members of staff in our Retail team and has a keen interest in Railways and buses. Bryan was a regular face in the shop before he joined us on the other side of the counter! He is also interested in theatre and performing arts particularly enjoying musicals. One of his favourites is Ghost the Musical.
Having joined back in 2007, Michael is one of our longest serving members of part time staff. Back then, he was a young innocent boy struggling to make his way in the world. Now he's a young, not-so-innocent-but-still-dashingly-good-looking man studying for a degree in Psychology. When he isn't studying the inner workings of the mind or the inner workings of model locomotives; Michael is forging a career in the comedy business performing his own musical stand-up routine; and has just returned from his first show at the Edinburgh Fringe, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Dara O'Brien, Norman Lovett and Tim Vine while he was there. He often breaks into song in the shop as he can never find the right key. Get it? No? Never mind.
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.
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.
Luise is one of our newest members of the team, who joined us just before the Christmas rush and is now a permanent member of staff.
Before moving to Liverpool and joining us, Luise lived in Newquay, Cornwall, where she enjoyed living in a seaside town, but managed to avoid the surfing.
Originally from South Yorkshire, Luise has fond memories of her visits to the National Railway Museum in York with family on a regular basis.
In her spare time Luise reads and writes a lot, volunteers with several arts organisations, loves to visit family and go on adventures with friends.
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.
Dave or “David Martin” to his friends is the new poster boy for Diesel locos. And what he doesn’t know about this hobby can be written on a pin head with a pneumatic drill. He joined our team as a Retail Specialist in September 2013 and is currently adjusting to the harsh merseyside climate - he’s originally from sunny Manchester
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.
He has studied as an electrical engineer, and has since returned to work at Hattons.
Gareth lists his hobbies as including walking, therefore he will gets lots of practise whilst collecting all the items for your orders!
Introducing Peter Warburton. Peter is the post-room supervisor. This is who we all come to when we need some questions answered and Peter Walsh is too busy (always). 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!
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.
Is on a gap year, ready to go Oxford Brooks where he will be studying Astro Physics.
Chris is a keen sports man and enjoys Football, Tennis, Pool and lifting pints of beer to his mouth. Chris is also a big Everton fan and is a regular fixture at Goodison Park where they have the largest selection of pies in the Premier League.
Chris can also be spotted around the night spots of Liverpool ‘living it up’ before his career in science calls.
He enhances the staff in the stock room’s lives by singing them hundreds of different songs from every genre of music conceivable. Sadly he only knows the first line to each but he’s always roughly in tune.