Fighting 15s and Gladiator Miniatures remain open for business as we enter the fifth week of lockdown in the UK. Orders are being processed and, where applicable, cast as quickly as possible, but Fighting 15s is experiencing high demand and is still behind on casting as a result of the storm damage to our workshop earlier this year.
There are restrictions as to where Fighting 15s can send orders, but the countries where most of our business goes still have mail connections, so orders are still being dispatched to the UK, EU, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. Anywhere else is blocked by the shopping cart.
All post is taking far longer than usual to arrive. Within the UK, orders sent by first class post may take more than a working week to arrive for some areas. To any customer who has not yet received their order, please be patient: Royal Mail does not have the staff levels it usually has, and the workload going through the mail system is at Christmas levels.
Unlike some businesses that have switched to tracked delivery only, Fighting 15s has switched to untracked delivery so that mail staff can simply pop orders through a letterbox. There seems no point charging a customer for tracked service and not being able properly to deliver it (because it will of necessity be signed for by the postie), nor in increasing the risk to us or others by making it necessary to queue at a post office counter to send tracked post.
My wife, Janet, has been identified as a vulnerable, high-risk person, and has not been outside the front gate for four weeks. She is working from home, doing her work for the Isle of Wight’s ambulance service in safety. Part of Fighting 15s’ approach to sending orders is decided by the need to minimise risk to her.
On the plus side, the workshop is now reroofed and the contents and structure are now drying out. They’re drying out naturally because the contractor appointed by the insurer cannot come out to do the job. Four weeks of dry weather have been very useful. The electrics will only be sorted out once life returns to normal and an electrician can be brought in.
The new casting area is workable, if a bit cramped, and has to double up as our resin casting area and our photography area. At best, it is possible to do only one of those things there a day.
So, in short, the postal system is up the creek, our working conditions are not ideal and we’re still working around the chaos caused by the storms in February, and family safety is a key consideration. Please be patient if orders take longer than usual to be processed and to arrive.