Monday, February 23, 2015

When model railways were fun

 
Working through a pile of books, I found this Gamages catalogue from the 1950s. It's interesting to see how efforts to sell out hobby have changed.
 
The catalogue isn't just a listing of products, there's editorial on the pages too. I wonder how many people were tempted by the heading on page 2, "Control your own 'Clapham Junction'...Build your own Airport. A hobby to last your lifetime..."
 
It all sounds so much fun.
 
Likewise, the advert for the famous Gamages model railway mentions, "Topical interest is maintained by the addition of an ATOMIC STATION , a new neighbour to our already famous model SPACE STATION."

 
I know all this stuff would give serious modellers an attack of the vapours, but maybe did this attract children to model railways without the need to infantalise things with Thomas and Co.? Was the thrill in the engineering - a source of wonder that has long since palled as people are separated from understanding how things work.
 
Or is it just me that wonders what the Atomic Station and Space Station looked like?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My parents took my sister and I to see the Christmas lights in london several times in the 50's and to see the Gamages model railway and were impressed.

rustynutsandbolts said...

My parents took my sister and I to see the Christmas lights in london several times in the 50's and to see the Gamages model railway and were impressed.

Duncan Young said...

Never went, too far away but had a treasured catalogue which had panels with real trains too!

Anonymous said...

It really does look fun. For a while now due to having no income or previously very low income I have seen how todays commercialism has destroyed the fun aspect of model railways. I converted to DCC before most did, but now have left it alone and my heart has left the 00 gauge scene. It all became about who has put the most money into their hobby rather then who had the best creative methods. I started to move to 7mm narrow gauge to keep modelling, with everything being kit built (Easier then one assumes with cheap (Not really cheap enough!) resin kits) or scratchbuilt. Most wagons are scratchbuilt. And it is so much fun! Forget rivit counting. I am making a railway here. A toy railway! Not really a toy but you get the drift! How to keep modelling on the cheap? I can make wagons for just over the price of a pair of wheels. Wow. Wheels are not cheap today! Having said that I can still make them at the moment for just over a pound each. Couplings? Well. I adapt drawing pins and paper clips to form a centre buffered type. Chassis are either made from wood or scrap code 100 rail offcuts. Bodies either tea sturers or lollypop sticks or for metal...Old tin can (Genuine rust!) Fun!!