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Published on March 17th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

Award for Who-ray!

Our good friends the Who-ray! shop in Stockton-on-Tees has recently won a local business award, confirming success in their first year of trading.

Operating both as a bricks and mortar store and on online business, ‘Who-ray!’, opened July 2010 in Silver Street, Stockton-on-Tees (that’s the North East of England, around 40 miles south of Newcastle) has won the Retail Award in Teesside’s Best New Business Awards.

Now after several invites I finally dropped in on Who-ray! for the first time last week and was impressed to see a wide range of Doctor Who merchandise and collectables, both from the present series and stretching back in time through the Doctor’s previous incarnations; the store stocks other TV/film-related toys, action figures and collectables from Star Wars, Star Trek etc, and a selection of alternative gift choices, including candles, bath bombs, textiles and ranges in both ethnic and retro styles. It really is a great shop, and the proprietors Martin and Brian make you feel welcome.

Nearby stores include a local video games shop and the legendary Stockton Modeller, one of the north’s longest-running model shops.

Who-ray! has attended Newcastle’s Doctor Who convention ‘Dimensions’ as dealers for the past two years, and has plans to host its own mini-convention in Stockton.  Who-ray! has already had in-store invasions by Daleks, and by Star Wars characters, as part of its commitment to hold charity fundraising events.

Who-ray!’s proprietors, Martin Shipley and Brian Burr, commented:

“Winning this award proves there is a demand for more independent shops – this is the future for High Streets across Britain, offering specialist expertise, personalised customer focus, and a unique shopping experience, which can be lacking in out-of-town retail parks and hypermarkets.

We hope that our success may inspire other fledgling entrepreneurs, who are needed to play a part in the ongoing regeneration of Stockton Town Centre.  As Doctor Who enthusiasts, we feel that regeneration is something we know all about!”

Well done to Who-ray! – and look forward to more news featuring their great store in the next few days…

You can find out more about Who-ray! by visiting their website at shop.who-ray.co.uk, and you’ll also find them on Facebook.

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.



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