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Ian Hargrave

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About Ian Hargrave

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  1. Kitty would be mortified to hear such vitriol poured out in her name,good soul that she was. Apart from which the family was left without an heir....almost anyway...the nearest now located in a South Africa.. For a diverting twist on this after Covid 19 and after ScotRail have ...bless them.....their tracks made safe,take the Highland Mainline north and alight at Blair Atholl. Walk a mile through the most glorious Highland scenery and up an avenue of trees to reach the castle,white and turreted in the sunshine made famous by a royal visit.,that of Victoria & Albert.,now made famous by the tv series where an episode was filmed. Go round the castle and learn about the real Duchess of Atholl.Her life might surprise you. Then continue up over Druimochter....a great rail journey. Off topic ,,,maybe ....but it’s been thundery weather ?
  2. Maybe not uneventful. The Luftwaffe gave nearby Swansea a very nasty time during the Blitz.c 1941/42.Both my late parents vividly recalled the sky aglow and the roar and noise of the raids. We lived just 20 miles away. Around the same time,my mother worked as a district nurse across the valley...a duty she performed by cycling from patient to patient..My father prior to joining up,worked as an office clerk at a pipeworks on the near side.This factory had circular kilns which if viewed from an aircraft resembled oil storage tanks. One morning Dad heard from his office desk an unhealthily recognisable aircraft engine sound.He immediately went outside and saw in the sky above the valley a twin engined plane with black crosses under its wings which seemed to be circling with intent. Rushing to his telephone,he contacted the police to give warning.There had been no siren warning.This was a lone aircraft,obviously lost and intent on jettisoning its bomb load before heading for the safety of its home base,probably northern France.The officer on the other end of the phone stubbornly refused to believe Dad,accusing him of making a nuisance of himself....after all they’d received no reports of any enemy aircraft in the area..Dad of course was pointedly concerned about where its bomb aimer was sighting. The conversation was interrupted by the whistle of the bomb load and the crash of explosions.Fritz was inaccurate....fortunately for my father and the pipeworks. Most of the load landed harmlessly on the opposite side of the valley ,save one.That demolished a house where a few minutes hence my mother had been attending a patient.The blast knocked her off her bike but miraculously she was unscathed. But for a matter of good timing,I might never have been posting this. The lone raider had given himself away by a clumsy manoeuvre.and didn’t make it home.being too easy a prey for the then alerted RAF.
  3. An absence of transparency and at present lack of concern for the difficulties this has caused..... not,it must be said,for the first time....doesn’t cause me any sympathetic leaning towards Hornby. Don’t forget those who have lost out financially on a sale due to orders remaining unfulfilled and the abrupt manner in which it was handled. Meanwhile,enjoy the Duchess.
  4. Heard from one dealer that Hornby are short on supply,so the above may well be correct .
  5. in theory yes. Received email 16:58 stating to be delivered TODAY 10th....joint DPD Hornby .However DPD “au contraire” state they haven’t got it yet and will inform me when it’s left their local depot,usually by 11:00 am.Muddledom is alive and resident somewhere in Kent .
  6. All of which should have been properly thought through months ago when the order books were opened. Why the sudden change of strategy ? If nothing else this is ....yet again....a PR disaster .Are they really that disadvantaged by cash flow that the model is available to buy on their website at full rrp the same day that they are informing retailers their allocation is cut without notice ? Do also bear in mind that some shops may already have asked their disappointed customers for a deposit How many smaller dealers will be able to afford stock of a £250 model in numbers to make commercial sense across the board I wonder. Still,we wait to see.
  7. John,I think you are right. My term for the ‘fore n’aft’ cap worn by most RAF servicemen at the time,so I stand rightly corrected. Mine spent a period overseas in India in 1944/5 not a cushy posting considering the climate and conditions but better than most.Being then in his late 30’s,he was given a job working with touring concert parties and variety artists sent over to entertain the troops and on the local “official “ radio which had the grand title of Radio SEAC......South East Asia Command. And yes,I remember the basket under the stairs.My mother called it a Moses Basket.Fortunately,it was never tested.
  8. Like the airman.Perfect representation of a postwar era. That figure with the addition of a shoulder slung kitbag is my first memory image of my father returning home from overseas service in 1945.I hadn’t seem him for a long time,so I watched this figure advancing down the road towards me ,RAF kepi on head,and when recognition finally dawned all I could respond was...”Oh, I thought it was you “... Some things never leave your visual memory.This won’t.
  9. We are asked when viewing The Engine Shed to take into account that these images may not be a true representation of the final product out of the box.However,given the current delivery difficulties of this unique model ,this is hardly a reassuring presentation for a prospective buyer. But really there is scant threat to Hornby’s reputation with regard to the quality of the model because it’s so scarce that its presence is ephemeral to the extent that only an infinitesimal number of us will be in any position to post ...or even image.....any critique. In “the blink of an eye” it will be gone no longer a blot on the landscape of our imagination.
  10. To that extent,if I were to be billed for c £250 for that ,I would mind a great deal. Just how have they managed to cobble that one together ? Let’s be charitable and call it a pre production sample ......we wish.
  11. Which makes nonsense of their claims that they were going to improve their working relationship with the retail trade after an almost complete breakdown several years ago. Now it’s back to have your cake and eat it . If a retailer orders in good faith and that order is accepted,you are demonstrating a lack of good faith and trust and reneging on a trading promise. Direct purchase is for those who want the goods at any price.Fine .Most do not want the inevitable increase in price that accompanies it. What does occur now after a day of shock horror for a number of retailers and disappointed prospective purchasers is that it will be useful to see when the van brings the boxes to the door of our model shops exactly who gets what and how many. Will reasoning apply to the reduction in numbers or will it be a rule of thumb reduction right across the board ? Will eBay traders get their quota ? It appears from the justified protests of Rails customers and from Rails email posted here that their particular order book must have been a sizeable one.I imagine Hattons to be likewise.Maybe a pruning here.of numbers ..apologies for tha analogy. However Widnes Model Centre is a small trader,so that hypothesis doesn’t fit . How on earth was this allowed to happen yet again at the same time as a they are being praised for the production of the Tom Moore special ?
  12. Redefines the word cynical.Now we start looking over on eBay for those with an eye for an “investment “. The way of the world,including Hornby’s.
  13. Brits also worked the MML between St.Pancras and Leeds.I have a sighting of 70044 at Sheffield Midland on a St.Pancras bound express in September 1961,probably substituting for a failed Sulzer Peak.
  14. This working also saw Longsight EE Type 4 (aka Class 40 )and Metrovic CoBo in multiple from Derby btw.
  15. In a perfect world I’m afraid. Margins are too tight for Plan B, I suspect.
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