Friday, March 15, 2019

Railmail wagon

One for the extinct model shops collection - a Graham Farish OO gauge wagon in Railmail livery.

Younger modellers will be surprised that Grafar produced in OO, the name now being attached to N gauge exclusively. They did, producing locos (including a Black 5 with an amazing mechanism in the tender), coaches and wagons.

According to the Interweb, Railmail was the biggest model railway mail-order box-shifters in the late 1970s and early 80s but went bust in 1986.

Can anyone confirm this?  Other than seeing adverts in old magazines, I don't remember the firm at all but would like to know more. 

6 comments:

Fifteenflatout said...

If my memory serves me correctly Graham Farish produced an extensive range of 00 gauge turnouts, diamond crossings and slips. Their logo consisted of a micrometer and a vernier caliper forming the initials 'G F'.

One disadvantage of their points etc., was that you had to have an external lever to operate and hold the switch blades in the desired position.

Regards, Geoff

Luke Stevens said...

I only visited "Railmail of Watford" once but my Dad got quite a bit of stuff from them. One odd thing was that they would charge you for an item when you ordered it. Not good business practice but it did mean that when the Lima cl 20's finally arrived dad had paid the initial advertised price which was half what the RRP ended up! But the still owe us for a Mainline Manor in BR black that they never delivered so things pretty much balanced out :)

Grahame Every said...

I patronised Railmail quite a bit in the early '80s. They were particularly cheap for Peco track and points as I recall. Their address was in Watford, and I visited them once, being in the area for something else. Typical small shop front with an enormous storage and mailing organisation behind. I also remember being seduced by free gifts of digital watches (latest thing then!) which lasted as long as the battery. I suppose they were the precursors of Rails and Hattons, I have only satisfactory memories of them. Happy days!

Andy York said...

Railmail were one of the most prominent names in the advertising pages back then, or at least one with a high page count. The pricing wars would be, literally, suicidal as most of the names from that time are long gone. Only one significant one remains. We still see it today where many customers today have little interest beyond getting something at the lowest price caring little where they'll be able to get all their 'bits' from in future. Pricing is even more volatile and reactionary now thanks to the 'net hence initial discounting restrictions placed on them by the manufacturers; waiting to see what the street price of something was through mag pages back then seems somewhat archaic now.

Anonymous said...

I worked as a Saturday sales assistant at the Watford branch of Beatties in the late 1990s. The owner of Rail Mail (a scots guy) would sometimes turn up and buy our stock to fulfill orders. at the wholesale rate i am sure. Their shop was in Vicarage Road parade on the way to Watford FC. It is now a Portugese restaurant and bar!

Anonymous said...

I worked as a Saturday sales assistant at the Watford branch of Beatties in the late 1990s. The owner of Rail Mail (a scots guy) would sometimes turn up and buy our stock to fulfill orders. at the wholesale rate i am sure. Their shop was in Vicarage Road parade on the way to Watford FC. It is now a Portugese restaurant and bar!