Sunday 30 December 2018

Christmas Reading (2)

Firstly From 40 Years Ago
Bryan Palmer attends the same church as the fbbs and he also helps at a local charity shop. Occasionally, railway-linked items are donated but are unlikely to generate much interest, so fbb gets "first refusal". Hence this intriguing volume:-
On-line copies are available dated from 1980 (as above) up to 2007, but it is not a publication that fbb has experienced before.
The idea of the books is simple; it catalogues every OO gauge locomotive available (or due for introduction) with a short description and history of the full sized 12" to the foot version.

The adverts are telling. 
Seven companies were offering British railway models.

By 1980 Triang had taken over Hornby and assumed the name; also with Triang were the old diecast Hornby Dublo locos, marketed as Wrenn.

Jouef (French) and Lima (Italian) were absorbed by Hornby; most Airfix (GMR) models were also taken over by Hornby whilst Mainline sort-of became Bachmann who now own the Liliput brand.

Most of today's models are produced in China and something of a growth industry is models produced exclusively for retailers like Rails of Sheffield and Hattons of Widnes. These are sometimes partnership deals with existing companies, sometimes commissioned direct from China.

Either way, most of the locos shown in this 1980 book can still be bought today, either as new re-tooled models or on the second-hand market.

Beatties was a Riches to Rags tale.
Started by its founder, Colonel Beattie, the name was taken over on his retirement; and a small shop in Southgate, London grew into a chain of 60 toy stores by 1990. In our volume a new branch was announced to open in Liverpool. But, ten years later, the company was in trouble and by 2001 it had disappeared.

As can be gathered from their advert, Hornby were making much of their model of the APT (Advanced Passenger Train).
The "real thing" article was supremely optimistic.

Six pre-production electric sets (APT-P) will be used between London Euston and Glasgow.

British Rail expect full production to commence shortly.

It is hoped to construct some seventy sets to replace loco-hauled trains by the mid 1980s.

Initial trains were not a success.

The first runs along the London-Glasgow route took place in December 1981. The result was a media circus when every problem large or small received front-page coverage and the entire project derided as an example of BR's incompetence. The trains were withdrawn from service again by the end of the month, to the great amusement of the press.

The APT project was cancelled in 1986.

Plans for a production version, APT-S, were abandoned, and the three APT-Ps ran for just over a year before being withdrawn again over the winter of 1985/6. Two of the three sets were broken up, and parts of the third sent to the National Railway Museum where it joined the APT-E. The patents for the APT's tilt system were sold to Fiat.

The Hornby Model does appear on second-hand sites from time to time.
Despite the cancellation, many of the APT's claims to fame materialised with the Virgin Pendolino, ironically with the Fiat tilting train technology sold by BR!

This interesting little book is packed with useful background information and will expand the real-world knowledge of many a OO layout builder.

And the book cost fbb a massive 0p!

Thanks Bryan.
Yet again, the "wise men" narrative has accumulate so much clutter that its real meaning is lost in a morass of soppy twaddle.

These men were the nearest thing to scientists that you could have in a few years BC. Yes, they "studied the stars" as astrologists, seek to find meaning; BUT, in so doing, they and many like them discovered so much that we would now call astronomy.

The astrological pattern of the stars led them to recognise something very significant astronomically. A powerful star )a message from God rather than anything that we can now identify) drew them to the new "King".
But their gifts lead back inexorably to the prophets of 500+ year previously. Their gifts recognised that the 2-year-old toddle was, indeed, God's given Messiah.

GOLD : A King, eternal in heaven ...
INCENSE : A priest as an intermediary between Man and God ...

MYRRH : for embalming dead bodies!
The destiny of the child was to open up the way to heaven through forgiveness, bought with his willing self-sacrifice to pay the prescribed punishment price for sinfulness.

The Messiah would complete all that was necessary to "save" mankind. All mankind has to do is to accept the true CHRISTmas gift through faith.
 Christmas reading blog 3 : Monday 31st December 


  1. Wrenn only had a brief association with Triang, being independent again (according to Wikipedia) by 1971. They continued to sell the former Hornby Dublo diecast range - which were massively more expensive than their plastic compatriots.

  2. Mention of Colonel Beattie brings back memories. Around 50 years ago, I went to his shop in Southgate in the company of a reverend gentleman who was one of his best clients. So good a customer was he, that we were treated to lunch by the Colonel!