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Woody100

My Childhood Train Fantasy - Blown Away!

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One wonders what would happen if the whole lot was transported into the 21st Century. No, a bit far fetched, I guess. There used to be 2 large shops in London (Gamages?) that had a huge circular layout, across the first floor. You could always look on in wonderment at the sheer size of it. Very impressive as an 8 year old me. The other shop was Hamleys, now fully corporate.

 

As a funny side, I'd love to go into a recent branch of Hamleys, with the 1966 catalogue. "Excuse me, I'd like to purchase the Travelling Post Office set."

 

Ian. 

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In Glasgow it was a visit to see Santa at Lewis's , then into the toy department to see the Tri-ang Hornby layout .  It seemed big, but as a 3 or 4 year old most things were, but in reality it was probably 6*4.  Elevated section , trains running round .  Just look at the play value of these trains/minic cars as posted by the Dr . All this (and a working catenary system) in 1965!   . We have moved on in detail , but have we moved on in fun?

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I remember the Hamley's circular layout, an essential part of any family trip to London.  The shop, on Regent St, was laid out with the upper floors in the form of galleries, there being a huge circular void in the centre of the shop, perhaps 50 feet in diameter.  The railway was constructed around the gallery edge of one of the floors, first or second IIRC, and was, I thought, a very clever setup.  I think there were 8 circuits of 00, and 2 of TT at the outer edge.  The very last time I saw it was in about 1964 and N gauge had made an appearance in place of the TT and an Eggerbahn H09 as well.

 

The viewpoint was thus from the outside of a very gentle curve. 00 was 4 roads with a further pair on the 'inside' with catenary, and a pair of high level roads, also with catenary.  The inner low level roads ran to the higher level for part of the layout.  Trains ran at realistic speed and the little Eggerbahn train took about 20 minutes to complete a circuit.  It was utterly marvellous.

 

It was also a long time ago and some of my memories of the exact details might be a bit off target.

 

Cardiff's 2 rival department stores, Howell's and David Morgan's, used to feature what were probably the standard demonstration layouts, Howells' being Hornby Dublo and David Morgans' being Triang.  The Howell's layout featured a 'working' road system, a sort of slot conveyer belt set up with a range of Dinky Toys die cast cars and lorries all moving at exactly the same speed; out of scale of course but they'd at least tried...  I preferred the smaller but more interesting Hornby Dublo layout that would be set up in the basement of John Hall's, a tool shop in the Morgan Arcade.  You could have a 'go' on this one.

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21 hours ago, Legend said:

In Glasgow it was a visit to see Santa at Lewis's , then into the toy department to see the Tri-ang Hornby layout .  It seemed big, but as a 3 or 4 year old most things were, but in reality it was probably 6*4.  Elevated section , trains running round .  Just look at the play value of these trains/minic cars as posted by the Dr . All this (and a working catenary system) in 1965!   . We have moved on in detail , but have we moved on in fun?

 

The Triang/Minic layout is still my favourite train set when it appears at exhibitions, the definition of fun.

 

Mike.

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My Dad has restarted his railway modelling, sitting on the table were about a dozen boxed Triang wagons circa 1972, a kit built 1F on a Wrenn chassis, a truly awful Lima J50 and by my Dads standards a "modern"  Mailine GWR 4-6-0. All set to run on a track plan straight from the CJ Freezer small layouts book. He's 89 and in his words "doesn't want to build something he might not finish!" . Seeing the photos from various Triang Hornby would no doubt inspire him, as kid of that era I always remember trying to spot the mouse on the cover from the Cuneo editions.

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Does hamleys still sell model railways? 

Last time I was in there would have been in the 80s and it did then but very expensive 

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Best Birthday ever a Meccano  set with  a   electric motor from Hamleys  1971  pantomime at London Palladium  after  ( probably why I disliked Ronny Corbett  but had a serious crush on Clodagh Rogers )

 

Hamleys always had a terrific Meccano display

 

Nick

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43 minutes ago, russ p said:

Does hamleys still sell model railways? 

Last time I was in there would have been in the 80s and it did then but very expensive 

 

The branch in Glasgow still has Hornby . Regretably a shadow of former dept stores . I was there on Saturday and although Hamleys was busy there wasn’t much going on in the Hornby section. They had the standard table top layout under Perspex. There was one car of a Pendolino off the track and no sign of the others!  Whoever looks after this franchise or outlet needs to look after it a bit more I think.   No sign of The Great Model Railway Challenge bonus here 

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39 minutes ago, nick_bastable said:

Best Birthday ever a Meccano  set with  a   electric motor from Hamleys  1971  pantomime at London Palladium  after  ( probably why I disliked Ronny Corbett  but had a serious crush on Clodagh Rogers )

 

Hamleys always had a terrific Meccano display

 

Nick

Hi Nick,

 

Clodagh looks to be about a foot taller than Ronnie, either that or it is something to do with the camera angle !

 

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/ronnie-corbett-was-really-kind-and-so-lovely-to-me-recalls-ni-singer-clodagh-34589096.html

 

Gibbo.

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30 minutes ago, Gibbo675 said:

Hi Nick,

 

Clodagh looks to be about a foot taller than Ronnie, either that or it is something to do with the camera angle !

 

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/ronnie-corbett-was-really-kind-and-so-lovely-to-me-recalls-ni-singer-clodagh-34589096.html

 

Gibbo.

from memory even taller in heels

 

Nick

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4 hours ago, russ p said:

Does hamleys still sell model railways? 

Last time I was in there would have been in the 80s and it did then but very expensive 

The one in Cardiff has a basic range of Hornby; FS, Class 800, and basic goods trainsets, trackmats, mk1 and Collett coaches, and selection of wagons, setrack, and basic accessories.  Last time I was in there about 6 months ago they had an offer on GW liveried Colletts, about £10 off IIRC.  Scalextric is next to it, but it is in by no means a prime position in the shop and has to be looked for.  The range is better than Hobbycraft, though.

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On 06/12/2019 at 02:23, The Johnster said:

I remember the Hamley's circular layout, an essential part of any family trip to London.  The shop, on Regent St, was laid out with the upper floors in the form of galleries, there being a huge circular void in the centre of the shop, perhaps 50 feet in diameter.  The railway was constructed around the gallery edge of one of the floors, first or second IIRC, and was, I thought, a very clever setup.  I think there were 8 circuits of 00, and 2 of TT at the outer edge.  The very last time I saw it was in about 1964 and N gauge had made an appearance in place of the TT and an Eggerbahn H09 as well.

 

The viewpoint was thus from the outside of a very gentle curve. 00 was 4 roads with a further pair on the 'inside' with catenary, and a pair of high level roads, also with catenary.  The inner low level roads ran to the higher level for part of the layout.  Trains ran at realistic speed and the little Eggerbahn train took about 20 minutes to complete a circuit.  It was utterly marvellous.

 

It was also a long time ago and some of my memories of the exact details might be a bit off target.

 

Cardiff's 2 rival department stores, Howell's and David Morgan's, used to feature what were probably the standard demonstration layouts, Howells' being Hornby Dublo and David Morgans' being Triang.  The Howell's layout featured a 'working' road system, a sort of slot conveyer belt set up with a range of Dinky Toys die cast cars and lorries all moving at exactly the same speed; out of scale of course but they'd at least tried...  I preferred the smaller but more interesting Hornby Dublo layout that would be set up in the basement of John Hall's, a tool shop in the Morgan Arcade.  You could have a 'go' on this one.

 

No, you're not far off at all. I got some Lone Star 000-Lectric for Christmas in 1964, and my father made a rather good double track layout on a 6x3 single board.  It wasn't until much later, when I discovered  John Hall Tools, in Churchill Way, Cardiff. I bought a H&M Duette there, and I still have it today.

 

Ian.

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