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Railway & Modelling Obituaries

Rod Bellis


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I am saddened to report the death of Rod Bellis, last month. He was 71 and had been struggling with health problems for many years.


Rod will be best known to people as the friendly and helpful chap who worked in model shops (Firstly D C Evans and later TAG Models) in Doncaster for many years. I first met Rod in 1979, when he invited me along to visit the model railway club, the "Danum Formil Society" and it was there that I made many friendships that have lasted 40 years, although we have lost a few along the way.


He also built models to commission under the name "Highland Models" and he also carried out repairs and work such as renumbering RTR locos if shop customers wanted something different.


There were also a few exhibition layouts that Rod built and showed, including Cromarty (Highland Railway in EM) and Ayerbwygwnonyen (I hope I spelled that something like it should be) which was a GWR layout in O Gauge.


He was a good friend for many years and a most generous sort. If ever I went into the shop for something that they either didn't stock, or were awaiting deliveries, he would often produce the required parts from his own personal stock and not accept payment or replacement. We also spent many enjoyable weekends in the early 1980s driving around in his old Scimitar, photographing the railway scene. happy days and treasured memories.


Rod's funeral will be held at Doncaster Crematorium on Thursday 30th January at 2.00pm, should anybody wish to attend.


We believe that Rod may have had a number of kits or models belonging to other people in his workshop, either for construction, repair or suchlike. At some point, a start will be made on sorting these out but he wasn't the best record keeper, having a super memory for things. So it may be that notes on ownership or contact details may be hard to find. If there is anybody out there who thinks that there may be something belonging to them to be returned, please PM me and when the opportunity arises, I will see what can be found.


Tony Gee 

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I am very saddened to hear about the loss of Rod. Thanks for the information Tony.


He became my Model Railway father figure, initially when I was a youngster and he was at DC Evans and TAGS (near the station). He used to give my Dad advice on expanding the first layout I had. When I returned to this crazy world about 11 years ago, we rekindled our friendship and his advice and knowledge helped me to build the layout I have today. He must have spent many an hour wiring up points, soldering stuff together and repairing loco's for me....not forgetting assembling the Hornby Pylon set on a spare afternoon! Always offered me a staff discount, parking spot at the front of the shop on Nether Hall Road plus a cup of tea when we were having a laugh with the staff at TAGs.


Once, Rod tried to talk me into going for a sales rep job and put me in touch with the also much missed legend and former Bachmann Rep Steve Chantry. Thankfully Steve and I talked more about cricket than modelling so it never went any further. I can only imagine the amount of abuse i would have got from some people on here if that had progressed! But they were always able to share information which educated me immeasurably in how the industry was progressing and roughly when models were on their way!


I believe Rod was heavily involved in the layout that graced the Beaulieu Motor Museum for many years, had links to Perth and also taught Pete Waterman a trick or two (He gave me a signed copy of his book).


I will try my utmost to attend Rose Hill on the 30th to pay my respects.


God bless you Rod and condolences to your nearest and dearest.

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Very sorry to hear this Tony.  I've wondered how he was on several occasions over the past year or two as I hadn't seen him around at local shows, especially Wakefield where he was a past member.  I'll circulate the sad news around the club and see if people wish to attend the funeral.


RIP Rod.

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I also first met Rod through visiting D C Evans and TAG Models. We subsequently became friends and I operated his exhibition layouts on a regular basis. One year at Bentley exhibition he introduced me to the late George Morris and I was invited to operate George's GWR layout. I was never a GWR fan but I wil be forever grateful to Rod for the introduction which lead to many happy years operating , in my opinion, the best layout ever built for anybody interested in operating. This introduction also enabled me to meet many other skilled modellers and to operate their layouts. I had lost touch with Rod in recent years but I remember he was always helpful and had an endless supply of tall stories. Rest in peace Rod.

Tony L.

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