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Railway & Modelling Obituaries

Bob Symes


Giles

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Model World was my intro to trains so Bob had a great cross to bear on that front I'm afraid

 

Sad to hear he's gone, I'm sure he inspired many, many more like me. Frank Dyer, Peter Denny, Barry Walls, the High Dyke Crew,et al are credited as the inspiration for my interests but if Bob hadn't come up with Model World, it wouldn't have happened.

 

IIRC, they built a model of Horstead Keynes on the show, I wonder whatever happened to it?

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I too have just caught up with this sad news. Shame on the Beeb for not announcing this.

Many years ago, when I was a "Junior" member of my local model club, he paid a visit and gave a talk about railway modelling and how to film and photograph it. We were then invited to his house to visit his layout.

A Sunday afternoon saw us arriving at his house deep in the Surrey Countryside. He had a steam boiler, with whistle, in the garage that generated electricity that he sold to the national grid. This is before solar panels. The garden layout, was wonderful, and being the junior member I was not expecting to be allowed to play with any of it. Well the first thing he did was hand myself and the other junior a couple of radio control shunters and gave us the task of shunting trains out to the main line.

What a glorious afternoon that I shall always remember.

I also recall the house being full of clocks all set at different times. I asked Bob why, and he explained that when they chimed together it was deafening. Then he added with a twinkle in his eye, "but that one is the one that shows the right time."

RIP

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There was a mention on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning, but only as part of the newspaper review covering the Telegraph's article.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11379879/Bob-Symes-inventor-obituary.html 

 

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/obituaries/article4340072.ece ..which you have to pay for to read.

 

I've sent an e-mail to BBC's 'Last Word' obituary programme. One can but hope.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sad to admit but I've only just found this thread.  Bob Symes was an inspiration to me ever since seeing his 'Payerbrook and Fairlie' articles in 1958/59 Model Railway Constructor.  Even now I occasionally have a quick look at them to see how he did the overhead etc.  Then there were the times when I looked out for him in the background of 'Tomorrow's World' on the BBC where he made a lot of the special effects with Jack Kine.  Somewhere recently I've seen an article about him in a magazine which was very enlightening.

 

RIP Bob, one of a kind.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Like the proverbial train I'm frequently running late with things of importance like this.  I can't pass though without making my own tribute, late as it is: just to say, what a wonderful man he was with such warm enthusiasm.  Posting with tears welling from reading all the great comments about Bob here. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just discovered this section on the site. Very sad to hear about Bob's passing. I was wondering just a few weeks ago what had happened to him, as I've lived away from the UK for many years returning only recently.

 

I remember catching the odd repeat of Bob's railway programmes in the 80s, never expected but always a delight to see as a child. I always saw him as a 'doctor of trains' or 'magical train wizard', who could conjure up the most amazing footage, when there was so little of note on model railways at the time (and it hasn't improved much on mainstream TV since then, as far as I know). Having read this thread, I looked up his Model World programmes on YouTube. You can find all three parts on 'Model Railways' there - amazing how so much of what he preached is still 'best practice', yet some of his guests' recommendations are rather outdated (does anyone still put rubber strips under the tracks?).

 

Anyway, like others on here, I wanted to thank Bob from my heart for his commitment, humour, enthusiasm and great skill that he brought to the hobby. I had no idea that he had built the first ever 'real' diesel-electric Type 4 / class 47 for his outdoor railway - amazing with all that smoke and noise!

 

Finally, I found one official, reasonable obituary online (the Telegrah page mentioned earlier has since disappeared): http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/jan/30/bob-symes

 

Rest in peace Bob, we owe you so much.

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