Ian Allan the “inventor” of train spotting dies aged 93

The man who thought up and published the ABC books of engine numbers, the bible of schoolboy railway enthusiasts from 1943, has died.

Hard to imagine now, but in the 40’s and 50’s railway platforms were crowded with young boys, youths and men attempting to “cop” (get the number of ) every engine that passed through a particular station, or every one of a particular class of loco or any combination. All were clutching their copy of Ian Allan’s latest ABC, a pencil and a 1d platform ticket + an OXO tin (“this tin makes an ideal lunchbox”) of sandwiches and home-made cake prepared by Mum.

Never before or since could an all embracing hobby cost so little and be enjoyed by so many.

Of course it led these spotters on to – model railways, railway travel, volunteering on the burgeoning railway heritage sector, railway photography, railway history and many to employment in the railway industry. Ian Allan’s company published books and magazines that covered all these interests plus equivalents covering buses, trams, aircraft, lorries and cars.

I, and hundreds of thousands of my generation, am immensely grateful to Ian Allan for  giving us a lifetime of hobbies full of interest and fun. RIP

Last Friday evening at the club

An early arrival for the “Southern layout team”, who wanted to get on with test running of the station area, to prove the last bit of electrics  and then position the platform. Both were accomplished ( Grahams had his fill of electrics for the time being!). Andrew & Eric got on in double quick time to postion the edges of the platform using specially cut stripwood for the edges and support for the platform surface.

The platform faces will be stone style with card forming the surface.

Track colouring & ballasting will come next.

On F/Strasse the track problem in the fiddle yard, that caused some horrific derailments at Model Trains in Petersfield was tackled, involving some fettling of a point and adding weight to the a light leading bogie on the locomotive involved. Hopefully this will have completely resolved the problem, although David might still have scars to his stock and wallet!

Forthcoming events

We shall be showing a small layout at the local church fete on Sunday 12th July– Milland Valley Memorial Hall (MVMH), Iping Road, Milland GU30 7NA
Kanjiyama will be on display at the International N Gauge Show, 12th/13th September , Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, Fosse Way, Nr Leamington Spa, CV31 1XN
Model Trains in the Valley  Club Open Day Sunday 25th October at the MVMH- Iping Road, Milland GU307NA

Hobby News – New ex L&SWR carriages from Hornby

I seem to have missed these in previous announcements

Kernow are indicating they are open for pre-orders 4 ex L&SWR 48’ compartment stock as rebuilt by  Maunsell as 58’ non corridor

R4717 3rd class

R4718  6 compt. Lav. Composite

R4719       ditto 3rd class

R4720   9 compt.  Lav. 3rd Class

These are good for SR ex L&SWR branch line and main line stopping trains Good for Axmouth & South Kensington layouts

During 2016 delivery £39.99 each

Not shown on Hattons site yet

Good day ~playing trains at Model Trains in Petersfield event

IMG_5283We had an early start this morning (7am) to load Martin H & my car from the club store at MVMH. David P & Ben R assisted and then went on to load Buroklammer into  Ben & Davids cars

Matt was there at the hall with doors already unlocked at 7.30ish Most layouts were up and operational by 9.

There was a flow of visitors at 10am when we opened, which continued until midday, but with the lovely weather in the afternoon numbers never recovered.

Everybody, members and visitors alike seemed to enjoy themselves, which is the way to judge such an event. All layouts performed well. Attendance was down on last year, but it looks like financially we covered our costs (S/H sales were fairly good)- all subject to Graham checking things out!

Philipa did an excellent job on the refreshments and David our “new” Chairman presented her with some flowers as a small token of our appreciation .

We  closed at 4pm and were packed & loaded by just gone 5pm. We were able to unload at MVMH prompt at 6pm with the last Ballet Class leaving.

All in all a good day.

Good Luck to Nick with him wearing the organiser hat for Model Trains in the Valley on 25th October in MVMH