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Here's looking at you

Mikkel

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It was the winter of 1997 and I was in London for the Watford show. Or to be honest: My life was a bit of a mess, and I was trying to escape from some difficult decisions that had to be made.

 

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I had arrived a day early and was staying in a cheap and gloomy hotel not far from Paddington. The idea was to spend the day touring the model shops around London, but things were not going well: The weather was cold and windy, the shops were uninspiring and I couldn’t escape my own thoughts.

 

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So I caught a train down to Eastbourne. The warm carriage and gentle rocking of the train lifted my spirits a little. In Eastbourne I stood on the empty pier for a long time and tried to clear my head.

 

 

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Then I walked over to the Train Times model shop to see what was on offer. I saw her almost immediately, and I knew I had to have her.

 

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Sitting on a shelf was a 633 class loco, slightly scarred by life and hardly glamorous. Yet beautiful in her own way and longing to be loved.

 

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I bought her and walked out into the streets of Eastbourne, feeling a little lighter. On the train back to the chaos of London, I finally made those difficult decisions.

 

...

 

So that was the story of the day I bought No. 643. I'm telling it here because I've just sold the loco, and I thought she deserved a proper goodbye. She'll be going off to another man now, but that's how it had to be. Here's looking at you, kid ;-)

 

 

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Any idea about 643's origins Mikkel? And why was she carrying 635 (I think) or the rear buffer beam?

 

Nick

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Lovely story, as always Mikkel. I'm glad that the decisions became clearer for you.... rattling along at high speed in a 4-VEP often did that for me too - in the winter, don't sit by the draughty doors.

 

Don't suppose you're over for this year's Watford show?

Jon

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So you could say that the mist condensed for you, then? :) Sorry...

 

By the way, nearly all the hotels in Paddington were cheap and gloomy... The Europa, Suffolk Gardens ... both places advertised a full English breakfast. It came on a side plate (I sausage, three bits of mushroom and an egg..., and you could have that or cornflakes...

 

As Jon said - glad that it sorted itself into a semblance of order; and grateful your energies are directed here :)

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of all the model shops in all the towns in all the world you chose to walk into Train Times...

 

Another great entry Mikkel...and nice touch to see the model in B+W too.

 

Lets hope the new owner treats it as well as you obviously did...

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A nice little tale Mikkel. Like you I have or am selling some locos that have been part of my life for years and it is sad to see them go. But life moves on and the clear out will focus my attention on what's left.

 

Keep up your good work.

 

Jim

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Yep, the loco has no. 635 on the buffer beams, but she's always been No. 643 to me as I gave her those plates soon after we met. Just never got around to renumbering it (in 15 years, beat that! :rolleyes:). Will sort it later this evening so the buyer won't have to bother with her split personality!

 

Not quite sure whether it's an M&L kit or the later Gibson version, but it's Portescap powered and a very good runner. Don't know who built it - probably someone on here!

 

Sadly not going for this year's Watford show. I remember on that occasion seeing the excellent Lambourn layout that was doing the circuit in those days. I have a feeling I ought to remember who owned it, but I forget.

 

What was it about Paddington hotels?! I remember that type of breakfast very well! Haven't been to any for a long time though, I wonder if it's all fancy boutique hotels now (well actually that would be OK!)

 

I agree it's sad to be selling off stock when they are your old "friends". But funds are much needed and in that situatution it seems odd to have a bunch of valuable locos sitting in a drawer.

 

Anyway, we'll always have Eastbourne B)

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Hi Mikkel

 

How did you come to find 'Train Times'? I used to live in Eastbourne & know the current proprietor (Trevor) and his predecessor Ken Morton. Trevor's a great bloke despite his prediliction for US modelling. Ken was sometimes very difficult to get on with - and tight as a ducks ---- on ice! He had 2 40-watt bulbs (no shades) - one each side of the shop. If he had to go from one side to the other, he'd switch one out before putting the other on. *BUT* he was one of the finest ship modellers I've met. I had the privilege of going to his house on the outskirts of Eastbourne where he'd built ship models from 'The Age Of Sail' that would grace the National Maritime Museum.

 

One was a model of Charles II's royal yacht 'The Mary'. The gunports on the ship were decorated in gold leaf. On Kens they were cast in solid 9ct gold... He did all his own patternmaking and casting including bronze cannon, ships' bells etc.

 

Regrettably he passed away just as I moved from Eastbourn in the early 80's. With no surviving relatives I often wonder what became of those models....

 

As you say, it's always sad to dispose of models - but think of what a friend of mine calls 'transferred affection' - the model that replaces 643 will always be a remembrance of her.

 

BTW - if you're ever coming this way again, just shout. We've got spare bedrooms!

 

Regs

 

Ian

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Yep, the loco has no. 635 on the buffer beams, but she's always been No. 643 to me as I gave her those plates soon after we met...

And there was me thinking this might be a mystery worthy of Sam Spade...

 

Nick

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I remember a return to Eastbourne in the winter of 1977 with a 4 vep crawling along by Berwick in the dark sending electric arc flashes out across the snowy fields, as the driver tried to keep the train moving with a frozen third rail. Your story brought that memory back to me, well done!

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Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. What a beautiful little model and it's obvious that as far as modeling the GWR is concerned I've an awful long way to go!

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I remember a return to Eastbourne in the winter of 1977 with a 4 vep crawling along by Berwick in the dark sending electric arc flashes out across the snowy fields, as the driver tried to keep the train moving with a frozen third rail.

 

Matthew, that's a very evocative description in just a few words. Easy to imagine it. Thanks for sharing.

 

as far as modeling the GWR is concerned I've an awful long way to go!

 

Barrow Hill would look pretty good stocked with GWR locos! You've already got the Dean Single in there :-)

 

And there was me thinking this might be a mystery worthy of Sam Spade

 

Sam Spade and railway modelling, not the most obvious of combinations! But then again....

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp7130Bjec4

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I used to live in Eastbourne & know the current proprietor (Trevor) and his predecessor Ken Morton.

 

Hi Ian, I don't know who it would have been in '97, but I remember getting friendly service there - and I think there was more than one light bulb :-). The ship models sound fascinating. At that time there was also another large modelling shop in Eastbourne, with a second-floor layout exhibition. Judging by Google, maybe it was the one that is now a Modelzone? Thanks for the offer of staying, sadly no plans to go any time soon though, need to pay some bills!

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What a beautiful blog entry. There's something hopelessly and wonderfully romantic about our hobby, in terms of the attachments we make to our locomotives, our layouts and their quirks.

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Sadly not going for this year's Watford show. I remember on that occasion seeing the excellent Lambourn layout that was doing the circuit in those days. I have a feeling I ought to remember who owned it, but I forget.

 

I wonder if the owner was Ian Harrison, an excellent P4 modeller who is still very active in the Mid-Devon Finescale Group...?

 

Lovely story, Mikkel, thanks for sharing that.

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There's something hopelessly and wonderfully romantic about our hobby, in terms of the attachments we make to our locomotives, our layouts and their quirks.

 

Very true. Strictly speaking, it's all totally irrational. Which is probably a major reason that it's so satisfying?!

 

I wonder if the owner was Ian Harrison, an excellent P4 modeller who is still very active in the Mid-Devon Finescale Group...?

 

That could be, Captain. Although a quick search shows a feature in MRJ in 1988, which is 9 years earlier: http://www.modelrailwayjournal.com/issue.php?s=23

Of course, that's not a long time in layout building terms! :-)

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