Saturday, 12 December 2015

Weekend (Expensive?) Oddments

 First - a Puzzle Picture 
Sent in by our Northampton correspondent, he invites us to identify what we are looking at. Answer at the close of this blog.

 How Much??!! 
at this time of the year, January magazines adorn the newsstands. Which means advertisers and writers are squeezing the last drop of news and sale prospects out of the advert-overload pages. fbb subscribes to Hornby Magazine (only because it came with a good special offer!) and there are several items which caught your author's eye.

Many of our readers will be familiar with the firm "Oxford" ...
... based as its name suggest in Swansea! the make a huge range of die-cast model cars in various scales, but particularly to match 00 model railways. fbb has one on his layout ...
... namely a Walls Ice Cream van; but they have dozens (hundreds?) more.
but they have just ventured into model railways with the launch of an Adams Radial Tank. It's a lovely model ...
... retailing at a lovely £99.95 which by today's standards is cheap (?) for a model of such quality. Readers will remember that these locos, at 12 inches to the foot scale, trundled happily up and doen the Lyme Regis branch for many years.
but elsewher in the magazine is a report of the models planned by Hornby for 2012. And those plans include ...
... and Adams Radial Tank - pre-order price £120. But maybe you are looking to spend a bit more on your self-adminstered Christmas goody? How about £650?

Danish firm Heljan is a growing player in the UK model railway market and its latest offering is a model of a Class 60 diesel.
The £650 price tag still seems pricey even when you realise this of the "O" gauge. For those if us old enough to have owned a Hornby "O" gauge tinplate set with coaches ...
... and a working tipper truck which was very exciting ...
... the presently available ready to run "O" models are in a different world.

But £650 is a bit steep even for Christmas. But how about £400? Still a bit on the "ouch" side ...
... especially when you learn that this monstrous impost is for somethink akin to a "bog standard" OO gauge model in the current Hornby cataloge for £94 (which is rough enough in fbb's ancient eyes.)
But the £400 version is from Dapol and includes
authentic recorded sound
factory fitted working headlamps
loco driver and firman
etched fire irons
etched name plates
metal body
sychronised real smoke

the compannr blurb says
Due for release in March 2016, the DAPOL L.N.E.R. A4 class locomotives is the first in a new series setting a new benchmark for 00 gauge models, breaking boundaries and offering exciting, realistic operation with features not seen before in this scale. All variants in the series are genuine working models incorporating simple to use features and with the exceptional attention to detail expected in a collectors grade model. Each model in this series will offer the confidence of mind of a Dapol No Quibble 2 Year parts and labour warranty.

But £400?.

 Christmas Jumpers Aberdeen Style 

First Bus is very keen on its uniform, so we are told, striving to keep their drivers smart and courteous, so we are told. But rules are to be relaxed in Aberdeen.
So, in return for a donation to a local Aberdonian Childrens' Charity that lads and lasses at the wheel may dress seasonally. Nice idea!

Pity none of the jumpers have anything to do with Christmas!
But surely Santa Claus is St Nicholas.

Oh, yes, indeedy. BUT ...
St. Nicholas was born sometime circa 280 in Patara, Lycia, an area that is part of present-day Turkey. He lost both of his parents as a young man and reportedly used his inheritance to help the poor and sick. A devout Christian, he later served as bishop of Myra, a city that is now called Demre.

One story tells how during a terrible famine, a malicious butcher lured three little children into his house, where he killed them, placing their remains in a barrel to cure, planning to sell them off as ham. Nicholas, visiting the region to care for the hungry, not only saw through the butcher's horrific crime but also resurrected the three boys from the barrel by his prayers.

After the good Saints demise, stories grew up (mostly unsubstantiated) of his love for children and his gifts to the local youff.

And that's it!

Oh yes, and his "Saints Day" is December 6th.

In fact there is not a single shred of evidence to link Nicholas with Christmas.

Better to focus on a proper gift!

Christ our Lord and our King
O what a gift, what a wonderful gift,
Who can tell the wonders of the Lord.
Let us open our eyes, our ears and our hearts,
It is Christ the Lord it is He.

In the stillness of the night,
when the world was asleep,
The Almighty's Word leaped down
He came to Mary, He came to us,
Christ came to the land of Galilee.

Whoops Nearly Forgot
That Puzzle Picture
Northampton Tourist Information Office's helpful display of public transport information. "If we put stuff on the shelves, people only come in and take it!"
     Next bus/rail blog : Sunday 13th December  


  1. Its a real bugbear of mine when public transport information is hidden away like its some sort of dirty magazine.

    Its a bus timetable, not a copy of playboy (Although Best Impressions do seem to use very attractive women in stock photos these days)

  2. I really believe it is easier to get hold of class A drugs on some areas than it is to get public transport leaflets