Medlantic Hi-Tech, Market Bosworth
By Damien McFerran - 26 Apr, 2006
In these days of identikit air-conditioned GAME stores, it's hard to believe that the traditional independent games retailers ever existed. With the overpowering smell of body odor and the rather haphazard approach to stock control, the indies of the early 90's had so much more character than the stores we have today. You never knew what import gems were hiding in their smelly interiors.
However, Medlantic Hi Tech was something of a curiosity, even in the early 90's. Primarily a mail-order firm, they operated out of the quaint town of Market Bosworth, near Hinckley, Leicestershire. Before visiting the store I was impressed with their depth of stock indicated by the advert in Mean Machines. However nothing prepared me for the actual store itself.
The first time I visited it with my dad, we pulled up at the address quoted in the advert (10 Church Street) and were puzzled to find it was a cul-de-sac containing a church (shown in one of the photos) and a few old houses. Checking the street number, we discovered that the store was in the back garden of a one of the houses. Sheepishly walking round the side of the house (with the impression that we were trespassing) we clapped eyes on the ‘store'. It was nothing more than a shed! Stepping inside we discovered a desk, an electric heater and most importantly wall-to-wall import games. The chap who ran the store still lived with his parents I believe, and they had allowed him to have the ‘store' in his back garden.
Although the setting was unusual, the range of stock was outstanding. All the latest SNES, Megadrive, PC Engine, Gameboy and PC Engine imports were up for grabs. Although the business was obviously centered around the mail-order side of things (there was always a huge stack of games in jiffy bags on the counter), there were shelves of games to be investigated by those customers brave enough to pay them a visit.
The fact that the shop was in such a beautiful location (see photos Market Bosworth is a lovely place) only added to the appeal of visiting it. I've no idea what happened to the store in the end, but if anyone knows then please get in touch!