RIP London road Maplin in Westcliff, Southend. Yes the original first store and the size of garage. When i was studying electronics all those years ago, we would often "need to visit Maplins" for a component, it had nothing to do with the variety take aways located nearby or the very good army surplus shop just further up the road.
But it was better than Tandy.
However it did go a bit strange when they tried to compete with the likes of the gadget shop and began selling everything and anything, normally powered by solar energy?
Buy your Polymorph now!!!
There were some very helpful staff in the many stores but the majority could not help when requesting components, they would invariably go on the website in store, then the internal site and come back with nothing. Best plan was to find the oldest person (normally bearded) and ask them.
RIP high street.