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Hornby: A Model World


Phil Parker
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1 hour ago, GWR8700 said:

Well to be honest I will take their peer reviewed papers and the experience of businesses which have trialled (and subsequently moved to a shorter working week because of productivity and employee well being improvements) a 4 day week over your abject dismissal any day.

What branch of industry or office work did the studies pertain to?

Only because simple maths says that in transport, halving the average hours from 60-plus to 32 is going to halve the distance that can be travelled/goods can be moved. Hardly "improving productivity", is it?

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34 minutes ago, F-UnitMad said:

What branch of industry or office work did the studies pertain to?

Only because simple maths says that in transport, halving the average hours from 60-plus to 32 is going to halve the distance that can be travelled/goods can be moved. Hardly "improving productivity", is it?

As a thought, might better conditions/shorter hours help with retention? I understand that several road haulage firms have had concerns about the number of drivers leaving the industry.

 

Of course, there are also political/philosophical considerations which could be used to advocate a shorter working week (do we believe that people have a right to a decent quality of life, both in terms of having enough (food, shelter, etc.) to survive and sufficient time to persue personal goals (education, hobbies, sports, social interaction, etc.) which make survival worthwhile. These are getting even further away from the scope of the thread though...

 

To return to topic, I have enjoyed the programme, and in particular I'm glad about how diverse the material was. A brilliant demonstration that there is something for everyone in this hobby, and hopefully it will get a few people involved.

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On 19/12/2021 at 19:22, Dunsignalling said:

Though quite how one would increase productivity among lorry drivers, other than by letting them drive faster, might be a good question. 

 

Ultimately, supply and demand will decide, and the prices of what is carried will increase to cover the cost.

 

I am old enough to remember friends with Class I HGV licences doing very nicely and having enough time off to enjoy it. EU membership with "Freedom of Movement" put an end to that in general haulage. Now that's over, persuading UK nationals to replace the cheap incomers will not only require better wages but better working conditions and shorter hours too. 

 

Of course, I'm joking, whatever the politicians say, they will devise ways to keep wages down....  

 

 John

 

On 19/12/2021 at 19:24, F-UnitMad said:

What branch of industry or office work did the studies pertain to?

Only because simple maths says that in transport, halving the average hours from 60-plus to 32 is going to halve the distance that can be travelled/goods can be moved. Hardly "improving productivity", is it?

 

I can't quite remember how we got on to that one specific job to be honest.  I don't believe that as yet there have been any specific studies relating to road haulage and a shorter working week.

In relation to a shorter working week and wages.  Supply and demand applies to wages too.  If you reduce the supply of labour, the value of that Labour increases.

 

if you want to read more about the impact of shorter working hours I would suggest some of the following links and 'having a google'.  I would be wary of any arguments people use against a 4 day week that were also used against a 5 day week over a century ago...

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-57724779

https://www.economicsobservatory.com/what-might-be-the-effects-of-a-four-day-working-week

https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/work/four-day-work-week-trial-productivity-increase-1118522

 

In answer to the last point about politicians wanting to keep wages down.  Well, that rather depends on which politicians you elect doesn't it?  If the country keeps voting for politicians committed to supply side economics and neoliberalism then yes, wages will remain low.

Edited by GWR8700
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7 minutes ago, GWR8700 said:

 

In answer to the last point about politicians wanting to keep wages down.  Well, that rather depends on which politicians you elect doesn't it?

 

I've been around long enough to notice there's not a great deal of difference when push comes to shove.

 

They all want to keep prices down for the sacred consumer and bearing down on the wages of those who get their hands dirty ensures that happens, usually to the disproportionate benefit of those who don't....

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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1 minute ago, Dunsignalling said:

I've been around long enough to notice there's not a great deal of difference when push comes to shove.

 

They all want to keep prices down for the sacred consumer and bearing down on the wages of those who get their hands dirty ensures that happens, usually to the disproportionate benefit of those who don't....

 

John

 

I certainly agree most politicians are awful and in the throes of those who they accept donations from.

I think one of the reasons we haven't yet had a cut in working hours is because of a concern it could lead to an increase in wages!

Those who want to keep wages down though should be wary as it will only hurt economic growth if we (consumers) have no money to spend!

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3 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

If you reduce the supply of truck drivers, what you get is shortages in the shops!! As being currently demonstrated in the real world...

So we have to address the issues causing the shortage of truck dtivers. The demographic of the drivers we do have has been ageing for years, which suggests that the job is unattractive to new entrants. It was only attractive to people from EU accession countries because it compared favourably with doing the same thing at home; Brexit removed most of that group, the pandemic a load more, and the six-month permits currently on offer don't seem to be tempting all that many to return.

 

Without making the profession more attractive to new entrants from within the UK, the problem is only going to get worse as older drivers retire. Not just remuneration, but structuring the work to reduce the periods spent away from home, and providing civilised facilities for drivers when they have to be.

 

None of that is going to happen overnight, or without financial cost to the end user, the consumer. Our current administration is not going to do anything that might look like an effective reversal of a key plank of its Brexit strategy, so we're probably stuck with the difficulties for some time.

 

It took us decades to dovetail our economy into the EU structure and adjusting haulage, and many other industries, to leaving it isn't going to be completed in a couple of years.

 

We can't say we weren't warned but, equally, going back in won't be politically doable for at least a generation, and we will have to play the cards we have dealt ourselves.

 

John

 

 

 

Edited by Dunsignalling
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I haven't got a clue what this has to do with Hornby but as far as reductions in working hours are concerned the economics are very straightfoward and are well illustrated by what happened in the railway industry in Britain in the years of state ownership (if not previously)

 

1. If hours are reduced and basic pay is unaltered the cost of each hour worked obviously increases.

2. If the amount of work required to be done is unchanged then you will need more people to do - a vivid illustration of this was the reduction to a 40 hour week on BR in the 1950s which meant that if the level of operations remained the same then additional staff were required to cover the extra Rest Days which accumulated as a result of the shorter working week and the fact that these additional staff might also require rest days.

3. Increasing leave allowances has a similar effect to Item 2 as more people are required to cover those who are on leave.  BR in fact solved part of this problem at one increase in leave allowances by requiring the time off to be taken between Christmas and New Year when - increasingly in industry and other jobs - other companies were partially closing down thus reducing demands for rail transport.

4.  As a consequence of Items 2 & 3  if the additional relief staff required cannot be recruited (at times a major problem for BR) those who have just received a shorter basic working week could be needed to work overtime and rest days which are paid at enhanced rates.  (An interesting area for study as comparing the cost of overtime etc with the cost of employing additional people can produce some unexpected results although they are hardly relevant if you can't actually recruit people).

5. Overtime/additional hours working has another effect because if basic pay compares poorly with outside industry not only is recruitment difficult but many people are prepared to work additional hours in order to achieve a higher income.   This is a classic problem with national rates of pay which of themselves cannot possibly take account of locally competitive wage rates and might actually be very attractive in some areas but the opposite in others.  A classic example on the WR was Oxford where the motor industry paid comparatively high wages although on the assembly line jobs it was more boredom because of the repetitive nature of the work and this even hit the higher paid skilled jobs such as Signalmen and produced the situation where some people would move back and forth every couple of years or so between a railway job and a job on the assembly line at Cowley.

 

Now maybe back to Hornby (and an end to politics in this thread)?

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13 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

If you reduce the supply of truck drivers, what you get is shortages in the shops!! As being currently demonstrated in the real world...

That is also down to issues with customs.  Have wages also not increased in that sector over the past year to encourage more people into that role? 

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1 hour ago, The Stationmaster said:

 As a consequence of Items 2 & 3  if the additional relief staff required cannot be recruited (at times a major problem for BR) those who have just received a shorter basic working week could be needed to work overtime and rest days which are paid at enhanced rates.

 

In my BR office, at one reduction in the working week (IIRC from 37 to 36 hours) there was no attempt to recruit additional staff, instead every 8 weeks an 8-hour shift which had previously been part of the working week became overtime, in this case every other Sunday night. Staff were still obliged to work the shift as it was rostered O/T, so the end result for the staff was no more time off (but more pay), and for BR higher cost for the same amount of work, with absolutely no increase in productivity whatsoever.  

 

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14 minutes ago, GWR8700 said:

That is also down to issues with customs.  Have wages also not increased in that sector over the past year to encourage more people into that role? 

 

:offtopic: Its not just wages!

 

As many a trucker will attest there is:-

 

(1) A massive shortage of HGV parking in this country.

(2) What HGV parking there is tends to be either a basic lay-by with no facilities (other than a hedge) or a place which charges the earth for mediocre / poor facilities and food.

 

As ever the 'hands off' approach of Government and a reliance on the 'market to provide' has shown to be woefully inadequate which contrasts starkly with the situation just across the channel.

Edited by phil-b259
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One of the wonders of rmweb is that you can have a topic about Hornby trains on television and you end up with a discussion about the pay and conditions of HGV drovers.

 

Looking at the television programmes it looks like the premises at Westwood are in a pleasant location by a sandy beach at Margate. I visited Hornby's headquarters a few years ago and I went to Ramsgate by train and then to Westwood by bus.  The factory was near an out of town shopping area about two miles south of the beach at Margate. I enjoyed my visit and my memories included a rebuilt Bulleid Pacific with a train on the 00 gauge layout, a Scalextric race track and a display of Airfix kits in dioramas. The staff in their red jumpers seemed very friendly.

 

At the time I was staying with my mother in Eastbourne and it was a bit of a treck to Westwood but to visit it from Swanage, where I live, would involve an overnight stop at Westwood, possibly at the Travel Inn. I wonder how many subscribers to rmweb have visited Hornby at Westwood and what they have thought of their exhibition.

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2 hours ago, Robin Brasher said:

One of the wonders of rmweb is that you can have a topic about Hornby trains on television and you end up with a discussion about the pay and conditions of HGV drovers.

 

Looking at the television programmes it looks like the premises at Westwood are in a pleasant location by a sandy beach at Margate. I visited Hornby's headquarters a few years ago and I went to Ramsgate by train and then to Westwood by bus.  The factory was near an out of town shopping area about two miles south of the beach at Margate. I enjoyed my visit and my memories included a rebuilt Bulleid Pacific with a train on the 00 gauge layout, a Scalextric race track and a display of Airfix kits in dioramas. The staff in their red jumpers seemed very friendly.

 

At the time I was staying with my mother in Eastbourne and it was a bit of a treck to Westwood but to visit it from Swanage, where I live, would involve an overnight stop at Westwood, possibly at the Travel Inn. I wonder how many subscribers to rmweb have visited Hornby at Westwood and what they have thought of their exhibition.

 Wouldn’t 2 miles south of Margate Beach be very wet?   Sorry Robin . Couldn’t resist it 

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8 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

Nope. More likely in the middle of Westwood Cross shopping centre.

 

Margate is on the north coast of Kent.

 

Note the Westwood. Any connection to Lord Westwood?

 

 

Jason

The chap who was Chairman of Newcastle United in the 1980s?  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Westwood,_2nd_Baron_Westwood

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16 minutes ago, Fat Controller said:

The chap who was Chairman of Newcastle United in the 1980s?  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Westwood,_2nd_Baron_Westwood

 

I believe so. He was also chairman of Hornby during the 1970s and the origin of the model Lord Westwood.

 

http://www.hornbyguide.com/item_details.asp?itemid=60

 

Must admit at the time Newcastle United weren't even on my radar. They were a Second Division club. Seems dodgy owners isn't a new thing at Newcastle, they've had quite a few over the years.

 

 

 

Jason

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55 minutes ago, Legend said:

 Wouldn’t 2 miles south of Margate Beach be very wet?   Sorry Robin . Couldn’t resist it 

 

43 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

Nope. More likely in the middle of Westwood Cross shopping centre.

 

Margate is on the north coast of Kent.

Jason

I didn't want to state the screaming obvious earlier, but Jason is right. The beach is north of the town. Due south is on land, at least until Dover. ;)

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17 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

 

I didn't want to state the screaming obvious earlier, but Jason is right. The beach is north of the town. Due south is on land, at least until Dover. ;)

 Cheers . I thought Margate was on south coast . Teaches me not to be such a Smart Ass ! 

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Something I may have missed and apologies if it is referred to earlier as I couldn't find it?

 

  • The 'steam' units featured in the intro, was that cut from the series or did I miss it some how?
  • Or is that to be revealed Jan 10th ;) ?

 

Otherwise an enjoyable series, has it's faults, but as do all series you can't please everyone all the time. Just good to see the hobby getting air time on TV and commendable the way the new generation of the Hornby team got to show their excellent results.

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6 minutes ago, martyn11post said:

Something I may have missed and apologies if it is referred to earlier as I couldn't find it?

 

  • The 'steam' units featured in the intro, was that cut from the series or did I miss it some how?
  • Or is that to be revealed Jan 10th ;) ?

 

Otherwise an enjoyable series, has it's faults, but as do all series you can't please everyone all the time. Just good to see the hobby getting air time on TV and commendable the way the new generation of the Hornby team got to show their excellent results.

 

It was featured in one of the early episodes IIRC and has nothing to do with the forthcoming announcement.

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