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Silica Shop (UK)

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Only guy I can't say I got on with was Errol, he was up his own arse just because he had written an ST game, good old Noel Daniel had a few games under his belt but was as nice as can be and still is a lovely bloke to this day.

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Hi guys 

This brings back memories, I used to visit the shop during lunch breaks and after school. I ended up working as tech. support in the office behind the shop. I used to run the Atari Helpline with Richard Hawes and Alan Knight. I didn't join the religious foundation but had fun discussing Theology in the kitchen with them. The 100 free software titles we copied using 4 happy drives, we always had archiver drives in there too. The software companies used to give us their latest games to see if we could break the copy protection. 

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https://archive.org/details/tv-gamer-magazine

 

There was a mag called TV Gamer which I used to get. Think I got a VCS about 1982.  My girlfriend got me it (wow those were the days when women would buy me something) and I got the magazine a week afterwards.  My eyes glazed over at all of the games they reviewed.  Then joy of joys there was a shop that sold Atari 2600.  I was living in Glasgow.  Eventually I moved down to London.  When in London, I went to Sidcup a couple of times via London Bridge to visit the holy grail of Silica Shop.  Later on there was one in Selfridges which I used to go to and the one in Tottenham Court Road.  Neither were as good as Sidcup. As someone else said the problem with SS was that there were a host of other stores in TCR and well it just started to fall behind.  One day I walked up to it and it was gone.  A huge part of my Atari life just vanished.  So it is good to remember the past. So good.

I later had an Atari 800xl, then a Atari 7800 then a Jaguar.  The Jag being the pinnacle as far as I am concerned.

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The second I think about the old days, Silica in Sidcup always jumps to mind, I went many times but not as much as I would have liked because we relied on my brother to take me there in his mini metro. Sadly, being in the car felt like one of those disaster film rides where the driver is watching everything but the road, was a truly worrying experience. As said, the TCR versions were nowhere near as good as the Sidcup branch but thanks to them and Atari user I got to meet my old friend Noel Daniel who wrote Sidewinder and Thunderfox, so if you were in the Selfridges store and saw an Asian staff member with glasses, that was Noel, lovely guy, there was also a big black guy named Errol who wrote Foundations Waste on the ST (and Amiga) also there at the same time, quite the hotbed of game production.

 

A shame they didn't match the Sidcup experience, but that was a tough act to follow, walking in there on a Saturday was just like how I'd imagine an 8 bit heaven would be like, arcade and original game noises everywhere, people not needing to worry if they were 2M apart and just machines with the games we grew up with everywhere....Bliss..

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, bloodreptile said:

https://archive.org/details/tv-gamer-magazine

 

There was a mag called TV Gamer which I used to get. Think I got a VCS about 1982.  My girlfriend got me it (wow those were the days when women would buy me something) and I got the magazine a week afterwards.  My eyes glazed over at all of the games they reviewed.  Then joy of joys there was a shop that sold Atari 2600.  I was living in Glasgow.  Eventually I moved down to London.  When in London, I went to Sidcup a couple of times via London Bridge to visit the holy grail of Silica Shop.  Later on there was one in Selfridges which I used to go to and the one in Tottenham Court Road.  Neither were as good as Sidcup. As someone else said the problem with SS was that there were a host of other stores in TCR and well it just started to fall behind.  One day I walked up to it and it was gone.  A huge part of my Atari life just vanished.  So it is good to remember the past. So good.

I later had an Atari 800xl, then a Atari 7800 then a Jaguar.  The Jag being the pinnacle as far as I am concerned.

I like your enthusiasm for the Jag, I bought mine mail order from SS as I live ooop norf. Games were the problem sadly, there were some real duffers. I used to be on SS’s mailing list so used to get the catalog. 

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I had a Saturday job in Silica Shop in Sidcup aged 16 from 1985 to about 1990. Earnt about £10 a day (spent half in McDs) but the best job ever, remember a Summer in the warehouse and the odd help out on Selfridges.  Just found my old Silica tie and wondered if there was anything on the internet about them. I sold hundreds of STs and Amiga, still remember a lot of the codes. Lent my huge 8 but collection to my cousin and he sold

it.  Old Saturday lads get in touch!

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Hi Martin,

 

Do you know anything about the special back door service that was going on at the selfridges shop where a customer would ask a certain member of staff for a computer etc and they would meet them at the back door and then got a hefty discount..

 

I wonder if it was the spotty bloke who ran a warez BBS, I can't remember his handle, think it was splatt...

 

Just wondered if you heard about the going on and what Silica did when they found out..

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On 7/19/2021 at 12:52 PM, Mclaneinc said:

Hi Martin,

 

Do you know anything about the special back door service that was going on at the selfridges shop where a customer would ask a certain member of staff for a computer etc and they would meet them at the back door and then got a hefty discount..

 

I wonder if it was the spotty bloke who ran a warez BBS, I can't remember his handle, think it was splatt...

 

Just wondered if you heard about the going on and what Silica did when they found out..

I would have loved an ST. Or a trashy QL.  With a little work that could have been the next big British computer.  In steps Sugar with his Amstrad brand and out goes the QL.   Yeah I wish I had know about that.  Selfridges is very secure.  They still have concessions or at least they did before this our apocalypse. 

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On 7/7/2021 at 12:16 PM, Vyper68 said:

I like your enthusiasm for the Jag, I bought mine mail order from SS as I live ooop norf. Games were the problem sadly, there were some real duffers. I used to be on SS’s mailing list so used to get the catalog. 

The great Jag games, Tempest 2k (much better than tempest 4k), Doom, AVP, Superburnout, Iron Soldier, Cybermorph (I loved it), the Okay Trevor McFur (I liked it, was a bit hard but better than any shooter on the megadrive), Raiden Trad, Kasumi Ninja (the Scots connection, what is under me kilt? A fireball of course. ) Pinball, Skiing game (forget what its called), the bad, Chequered flag, yep it runs better than Virtua racing on the saturn and the megadrive but some of the tracks were awful, Club drive (a tech demo like hard driving),  Oh Defender 2000 was good as well.   Plus Wolfenstein and Cannon Fodder/Syndicate.  It was a system people loved to hate.  I thought it was way better than the Sega Saturn.   Though back then I loved Atari so much.

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9 hours ago, bloodreptile said:

I would have loved an ST. Or a trashy QL.  With a little work that could have been the next big British computer.  In steps Sugar with his Amstrad brand and out goes the QL.   Yeah I wish I had know about that.  Selfridges is very secure.  They still have concessions or at least they did before this our apocalypse. 

It was quite a well known operation going on there, I never took advantage of it despite knowing about it. I'm not very easy with very illegal stuff, I can bet the day I walked up to get something it would be the day the scam was found out, and I get carted away...Not worth the risk..

 

I've always wondered what happened internally when it did get rumbled, from the stories I heard it wasn't on a small scale..

 

Still I have my memories of Silica Sidcup to cheer me up, we all have shops from our past when the 8 bit was at its height that were just incredibly good memories of wonderful computing times...Now its all box shifting by parcel...

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