During the next few weeks the new L&DMRC secretary ,Nick Harling, will be appearing in print in the Milland News and the Liphook Community Magazine, for the first time, reporting the happenings at the club.
I gave Nick a build up in my last reports, so good luck to him.
Smithdown Road has been the home of Hattons, the countrys largest model railway retailer,since the 1940’s. Just under 70 years
The road became as famous to railway modellers as Penny Lane did to Bettles fans & Binns Road of Meccano fame. (Both were close by)
Hattons & Smithdown Road became known to me first from adverts in Meccano Magazine & later from a school friend who went to Liverpool University & had a flat over Hattons!
I visited Smithdown Road once during a business trip to Liverpool in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Very basic with stock piled floor to ceiling & a copy of the latest issue of Railway Modeller hung from a substantial timber counter. (Hattons adverts even then ran to several pages in the RM & was used as the shop catalogue!)
The move has been apparently planned for some time, but has been hastened by the state of the building. They’re moving to their recently opened “distribution centre” 17 Montague Road, WA8 8FZ.
Initially there will be a temporary premises , but in April the permanent shop will be opened.
One by one all these famous model railway addresses are going. Charing Cross Road (Hamblings), London Bridge Stn Approach (Alan, Brett Cannon) & High Holborn (Bassett Lowke) & soon Hornby will be gone from Margate completely- the last to go, their visitor centre.
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
What is almost certain to be Y-O’s last public display, went off pretty well at Rotarail 2014. Minor electrical problems kept us on our toes, but the visitors – particularly one young boy,were captivated by the layout.
It could have been a sad occasion but it was an enjoyable day at a well organised, friendly show.
For the writer it was good to have long chats with old colleagues from Fareham and South Hants clubs who were also exhibiting at the show.
The following picture- featured on the N Gauge Forum, was taken by Neal Mansell – whom we thank for permission to use on this site
The crew comprised Ben, Bob, Graham , Reg and for the morning Matt-+yours truly. Thanks to them all for a long but enjoyable day.
Thanks to Nick for finding still and movies plus links and permissions
Also a short YouTube video of the layout operating at Rotarail 2014