Spring of 1993
I'd been with my girlfriend (later wife) about a year having met at college and then I went off to Uni. Back at home, my brother was still at school and in his final year and he had a school trip to The American Adventure Theme Park. This place was the last of the big new theme parks of the 1980's and was already in decline. On his trip he came across wall filled with ROTJ MOCs and proceeded to pick me up a couple; he had his £3 lunch money and £3 souvenir money... the MOCs were £1.99 each, so he literally starved (but for a mate giving him a bite of a sandwich) and bought me three he liked the look of.
As soon as he phoned me in London to let me know what he had bought, I made a plan with the lady... we had a beaten up 1960's Beetle and a trip to Derbyshire was not exactly a straightforward drive in that thing, but the next day I skipped Uni and having driven to London from Swindon to meet me the night before, we set off up north at the crack of dawn.
Arriving at the place, we quickly realised that we'd underfunded the trip, the entry fee was eye-watering for a student, but we had paid for petrol (4*!) and were on the door step. In we went, trying to explain all we wanted to do was visit the shop, but no, we had to buy a full price ticket each... I could see the MOC money halving before my eyes.
Straight to the main shop.. and Boom! there it was a wall, maybe 4 meters wide, 1.8 meters tall filled (to be fair a little sparsely) with ROTJ MOCs... there were though only maybe 6 different ones (an ERG (that was stapled), a piss yellow GG, a Chirpa, a Logray, a Teebo, a BBG) that my brother hadn't picked up. I of course, bought ONE OF EACH
and after a quick go on the runaway train rollercoaster (twice), we drove back to Uni.
With hindsight the whole thing was ridiculous... I had a mate at Uni that collected too, didn't cross my mind to get him any and why on earth I didn't just buy multiples anyway I can only assume that fags, hash, beer and the occasional Uni text were still my minds priorities.
I still own all of them and most of them still have the stickers too (a couple have fallen off oddly), in many ways these slightly tatty, over stickered and marked down last vestiges of SW retail are my favourite MOCs of all; if I ever sold up they (and my childhood Biker Scout) would probably be the only thing I'd just have to keep.