On this day in 1956

The Gauge O Guild came into existence on this day 61 years ago as a result of the fear that the “senior scale” would not survive without such an organisation.

It is now the largest single scale organisation in the world with around 6000 members. Similar organisations now exist in France & Germany with much the same aims.

After some very lean times the scale has gone through a huge renaissance in recent years with Heljan, Dapol and Oxford providing a range of RTR products for the British market at reasonable prices. Numerous smaller players have also been adding to the number of locos and rolling stock in RTR- mainly suitable for smaller layouts.

Happy Birthday GOG

Recent Anniversaries

Yesterday- 14th May

Railway preservation- The first operating railway company in the world to be taken over by a volunteer preservation society- Talyllyn 1951

Today- 15th May

Birth of Frank Hornby in Liverpool 1863

Inventor of Meccano construction “toy” and founder of the company of the same name, who’s products included Hornby Trains, Dinky Toys & Hornby Dublo

Congratulations to Model Railroader

……….On reaching 1000 editions.

I like the new look too!

The longest continuously running model railway magazine in the UK is the Railway Modeller which was originally introduced by Ian Allan in  1949 but was sold quite quickly thereafter to Peco Publications where it has remained ever since.

The earliest UK magazine was Model Railway News, which started publication in 1925 but changed name in Sept. 1971, to Model Railways 1971 to Sept. 1984; then Your Model Railway Oct 1984 to June 1987, before reverting to Model Railways July 1987 and finally ceasing publication in February 1994.

Ian Allan exits railway publishing

The company whose founder “invented” train spotting  back in the 1940’s, by publishing the ABC spotter books, has formally announced that it is withdrawing from railway book publishing.

Although sad, the announcement is not unexpected, as the company has progressively divested itself of  its formerly extensive transport magazine titles, including even its last foray into model railway magazines- Hornby Magazine. In times past it also published Railway Modeller (bought by Peco in the late 40’s/early 50’s and still going strong) & Model Railway Constructor, bought as part of the Railway World acquisition in 1960, closed  in 1987.

The year ahead in the hobby

Well we’ve had the news from Bachmann & Hornby and it looks like the model bubble has belatedly burst and we are back to more modest (& realistic?) programmes of new models…

I was also updated by Hattons on delivery dates & prices- lengthened & up, about sums up the news.

And in the real world, this is the year of Brexit, when perhaps the slogans of my childhood will return- “export or die”   & “your favourite models may be in short supply as we  concentrate on export orders”

On second thoughts they won’t return, as at least in the model railway world, nobody except good old Peco & a few others,  makes anything in the UK any more. Perhaps the latter slogan will be reworded to “your favourite model will be in short supply because we can’t afford to get it manufactured in China and we can’t remember how to make them in the UK”

I must dig out those old “Model Railway News” to refresh myself on old style modelling involving cereal packets & toilet roll tubes…

Happy days are here again!

Duchess of Atholl returns

With every item of news, we seem to be returning to the  depressing  late 1940’s/ early 1950’s austerity and the divisive attitudes of that period.

The announcement that Hornby are to produce a 21st century model  of the LMS Duchess of Atholl locomotive, is brighter news, bringing back  some good memories of that time. Memories of the Hornby Dublo loco of the same name – one of the high points of my  model railway childhood. Together with Sir Nigel Gresley in LNER livery of Garter Blue, these were Hornby Dublo’s finest, even though the models themselves came out just before WW2. It would take H-D some years to produce them in British Railways livery.

Although I loved these models, I never saw the originals- it was a life of M-7’s and “Spam Cans” on my part of the real railway!