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As it feels like the start of the modelling season (ExpoEM North next week, etc), I found myself thinking of 'Modelling the old-time railways' by Edward Beal first published in 1955 but re-issued in 2009. I picked up a copy c.1983-4 in a bookshop in Bath (along with a set of MRN from 1949-1956, which naturally had a review of Beal's book in it) and it was probably instrumental in my move to modelling the pre-grouping era.  Thing is, I've found myself going back to Beal's lovely old book over the past thirty years as it's a marvellous if somewhat random potpurri of prototype information, sketches and drawings (the LNWR iron ore hopper wagon in a previous post was built to the Ross Pochin drawing on p138) and I was musing about whether there is is anything similar that would get people into pre-grouping modelling, the more so given the superb RTR pre-grouping engines being produced by Bachmann et al these days. I did buy David Jenkinson's 'Modelling Historic Railways' when it was published, but I found it very disappointing in comparison to Beal's  book as it was very theoretical, which was all the more surprising as I always found David Jenkinson to be a very practical and informative author in his magazine articles. To date, I don't think there is anything comparable to 'Modelling the old-time railways' and I'm going to have a brew and leaf through it again on this wet Bank Holiday when I could be doing the splashers on M&CR No.7 (and should be varnishing our new towel rail...).

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Edited by CKPR
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I'd better put in a plug for the Cumbrian Railways Association as we will be at ExpoEM North, 12th-13th September at Partington Sports Village, Chapel Lane, Partington, Manchester, where you can see  Ross Pochin's and Bill Shillcock's Furness Rly models and hopefully 'High Blaithwaite' on the CRA stand.

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I have 3* copies of the 1955 edition, I wasn't aware it had been re-printed though.
A few years ago there were murmer's within the LNWR Society about doing an updated version, I think Philip Millard was the main voice.  But as we know, there's nothing out there yet.
The book features the original Aylesbury and early Buckinghams to start with, plus of course the Madder Valley and Bryant's 2mm scale 'Drambuie'.  The drawings are an inspiration. 

 

Of course most if not all the line Society's now have regular mags etc., but back in the 1950's this was almost all there was that dealt seriously with pre-grouping, although of course that had only been over 33 years before (1923), we are now 60 years on since the book was printed.

 

* The first one I had was ex. Winchester Library when they had a book sale in 1958.... It appears I was the frequent borrower up till then, the other 2 are less well thumbed, no loose pages etc., from regular reference.

Edited by Penlan
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You will be able to see some of the buildings on that book cover at the weekend of EXPO EM North as they are now on Leighton Buzzard. That photo brings home how much the new Leighton Buzzard was built to be like the old Buckingham.

 

As a confirmed pre-group modeller I have mixed feelings about making it too popular. One of the reasons I chose to go down that route was that I didn't want my models to look like the ones that everybody else has.

 

So please can we keep the great joy of modelling our railways when there were at their most wonderful as "our" little secret?

 

That is a bit tongue in cheek but I really do feel that if loads of other people started producing Great Central models that I would probably choose something even more obscure (such as the LD&ECR or the MS&LR).

 

That is probably a highly selfish view but when I go to a show and see perhaps one pre-grouping layout if I am lucky, I seem to appreciate it all the more.

 

Tony

Edited by t-b-g
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In the eighties I modelled 80s freight. I liked it because there was hardly any RTR, and what there was needed a lot of work (Hornby Speedlink stuff). I got put off it when everything started becoming available.

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It is quite re-assuring to know that it isn't just me!

 

I had to console myself when Bachmann brought out their "Butler Henderson" by reminding myself that it is actually a modern image loco as it is very much in preserved condition. The GC liveried O4 was bit iffy, being incorect in a number of aspects for pure GC condition. Then they spoiled it with the Collectors Club "Pom-pom" which is simply gorgeous and I couldn't resist.

 

Funnily enough, that one is still in its box awaiting a possible conversion to EM while the 2 Denny versions on Buckingham and my kit built one have been out doing all the work.

 

It may stay there as although it is a lovely thing, I would rather see a less than perfect model that somebody has built rather than a perfect RTR version any day of the week.

 

The Coal Tanlk is another example. If it comes out in "proper" LNWR condition, then we may weaken and get one for "Narrow Road" but somehow it just doesn't seem right!.

 

Tony

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It would have to get unbelievably popular to cover a period of 90 odd years, and almost countless companies all with their individual characters. If one company or period gets too popular for someone's liking, there will be plenty more to choose from. Enough interest to get trade support for some of the common features, like people, road vehicles and infrastructure that could be found in many places would be a big help.

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Model the G&SWR like me and you are virtually the only one doing so. RTR highly unlikely and kits almost like hens teeth. That said the G&SWR Assn have a 7 mm kit for a cattle van out st Telford next weekend.

 

Ian.

Call the G&SWR obscure ? You've got wagon kits and a loco kit ! (I know, I've built one). We M&CR modellers can only dream of a having a wagon kit - even the old Model Wagon Co. passed us over !

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Not strictly pre-grouping, as it was never grouped, but spent its life being pre-nationailsation, but I won't complain if a few more Kent & East Sussex Railway RTR items appear in 7mm, to accompany the Dapol Terrier. Or any other Colonel Stephens railway. At the right price!

 

I doubt if much broad gauge RTR will appear, so another of my interests is pretty safe from over exploitation!

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If you are worried about RTR "competing" with your interests, why not try S?

 

I think that is a lovely scale and I have thought about it once or twice but I am too heavily committed to EM to give it up now. Putting my involvement with Buckingham aside, I have several pre-grouping exhibition layouts, a dozen or more GCR locos either complete or under way and a collection of dozens of unbuilt kits.

 

I do enjoy scratchbuilding but my output isn't fast enough for me build the types of layout I would like in S. There are just about enough GCR kits in 4mm scale to form the basis of a decent sized layout if you can track them down.

 

One of my favourite exhibition layouts for many years has been East Lynn. Pre-grouping GER and S Scale too. Something like that would suit my just nicely but I would need to live well beyond 3 score years and ten to finish something like that.

 

But I do agree 100% that nobody working in S is ever going to have to worry about being upstaged by RTR products and if I was 35 years younger I would seriously consider it.

 

Tony

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 there's always the Rowrah & Kelton Fell...

 

Funny you should mention the Rowah & Kelton Fell I have a model of the R&KF Neilson 0-4-0ST thats in the SRPS museum http://www.srpsmuseum.org.uk/10001.htm seen here with a truck converted to a tender, unpainted and waiting for its handrails and other details to be added 19crew.jpg

Edited by BlueLightning
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......and if I was 35 years younger I would seriously consider it.

..... 35 years ago, agreed, but 50 years ago (aged 22), I don't think my mind would be on Model Railways   :nono:

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The interesting thing is that Trevor knows "Wicken" to have inspired quite a few to have a go at S: it was a very achievable size of layout. Lots of people admire East Lynn, but many of them find the prospect of such a commitment daunting. Trevor now worries about putting people off...

 

 

I saw Trevor's new layout a week or two ago and it's back to the size of Wicken so in the achievable bracket again.    All the track is down and working and a good start has been made on the buildings so it might be appearing on the exhibition circuit in the not too distant future.

 

Jim.

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I'm not as fussy as some of you. If Dapol want to produce a 7mm scale GCR 6A or 6C, I'll bite their hands off. But it's about as likely as me winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.

 

I can't but think that the Dapol LBSC terrier may be a spur to some to model the LBSC though. Plenty of supporting kits available.

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If you are worried about RTR "competing" with your interests, why not try S?

Here's a thought if you want to be REALLY different!

Try H0 scale instead?

At least you can get a head start with track? But, everything else is pretty much DIY or, get very lucky! (I've recently acquired a Taff Vale 0-6-0 that is gorgeous!).

Cheers,

John E.

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