Saturday, December 18, 2010
Hours of fun for father and son
This time next week it will be Christmas Day. Yes, the festive season is upon us again and I bet you haven't done any shopping have you ? You certainly haven't sent me a card...
Anyway, this year we have to hope that the festive period will see lots of train sets being unwrapped by eager children of all ages. Circuits of track will be hastily laid on the carpet (Note: don't do this, the fluff gets inside the locomotive and stops them working) and Flying Scotsman will be thundering round pulling its pair of coaches.
The lucky ones will get a goods set. That's far more fun as you normally get a point to allow a siding to be added. That seems to me far more fun because you can shunt a bit, explains why my layouts always have points. Maybe extra track packs will be added, a nice baseboard and then some scenery. From these tiny acorns a brand new P4 modeller will be born.
The photo above is pinched from a 1955 magazine and pretty much sums up the changes in the hobby. Father (smoking a pipe) is working with his son, who appears still to be in school uniform (apparently in the old days you never took this off during term time) on a joint model. They are building track from Peco individulay components, which are still available. The text encourages people to move beyond proprietary track and on to building your own.
Old photos like this are entertaining, that's why I've posted it, but it illustrates an important point - a hobby like this can be a great way of bringing the generations together. You just can't do this with modern technology. Were this scene from 2010, Dad would be frustrated because junior has beaten him yet again at something on the games console. They would both be wearing tracksuits as well but we let the sartorial comment pass. Eventually the son would decide he was happier playing with his mates and they would have nothing in common apart from some DNA.
So, railway modelling can save the world. It brings families together in a way few other activities can. Do your bit for the fabric of society, buy the kids a train set for Crimbo !