Recently I’ve noticed postings in a number of model railway forums complaining about the price of new releases. Everything, they say, is now going through the roof compared with three or four years ago and the hobby is becoming unaffordable. Well, some models are particularly expensive: Heljan’s OO Garratt could set you back over £300 if you sourced it via eBay, and the planned release of Bachmann’s OO Blue Pullman is eye-wateringly pitched at nearly £500. But is everything else really that expensive and, if so, compared to just what else?
The answer is relative obviously and dependant upon what each of us can afford. However, pondering it awhile I compared current prices with those of the mid-50s to see what that told me...
In 1957, the purchase of a Trix Twin [shocking !] D49 tender loco would have cost around £3/9/6 – that’s nearly £77 today. That at a time when the average weekly gross income was £13 [c.£275 today]. So, a tender loco for very roughly a quarter of your weekly gross income [perhaps a third when tax was deducted].
Today, a comparable loco, Hornby’s Railroad D49, could recently be sourced for £75. A similar cost, but at a time whenthe average weekly wage is c. £495. You could buy at least six-and-a-half with that ! Comparatively cheaper over half a century on but does this really tell us anything? I’d suggest it does, but only that we have enjoyed cheap models for decades and the world has caught us up. The days of the £100+ locos are here to stay but with them has come huge changes in terms of quality, detail and variety. You pays yer money...
THE CLUB APRIL OUTING
Remember, this is on the 12th. April. Last month’s newsletter gave the details but this is a reminder to be certain that you have now paid in full or you risk losing your seat – the coach may well be over- subscribed. If you have yet to pay, please contact David Williams [on Thursday night or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org] urgently to establish that you still have a place.
On the 12th, the coach will depart promptly from FOYD at 7.30am with a 5.00pm departure from Cheltenham to return home.
Don’t forget – the closing date for entries has now been put back to the 28th. April with judging [and an open night with buffet] taking place on the 29th.
I’ve been asked to clarify a point on the diorama category – dioramas should be static models rather than moving or remote controlled scenes.
Just two items this month:
• A welcome to new member Kyle Chambers [Sketty] and
• Nick Kerslake is now the Membership Secretary, taking over this duty from Noel Blows. If you don’t know who Nick is [and that seems unlikely...], have a look for his photo on the membership board.
DAPOL WAGON COMMISSION
This was featured with a photograph of the prototype in the last newsletter. The artwork for the wagon has now been signed off and the model is ready for production. No delivery date has been advised yet however and so watch this space. You’ll all be the first to know !
The pricing structure for these limited edition models is as follows:
- O gauge: Members £40, Non-members £45
- OO gauge: Members £10, Non-members £12
- N gauge: Members £10, Non-members £12
The new rota was circulated sometime ago and copies have been posted on the various club noticeboards. Please be sure that you check when your turn arises: on a number of occasions recently members have not been present to undertake their duty and had not arranged for cover.
A number of new reviews in the ‘Blog’ section of the club’s website are worth looking at. These include:
• Hornby’s new ‘OO’ gauge ‘Bow- ended’ Collett coaches
• Heljan’s ‘O’ gauge Class 53 ‘Falcon’ loco
• Peco’s latest OO9 coaching stock
Do remember, if you have any articles or kit builds that you would like to see featured and made available to a wider audience, contact Gwion Davies, the website manager. We need your input to help keep the site dynamic.
The track plans and budgets for ‘Kingston’ [the new O gauge build] and the as-yet un- named OO gauge layout have been agreed and track laying can now commence.
Draft agreement on the Shedmasters for each of the club’s layouts has also been agreed although some tightening up of roles and responsibilities has yet to be finalised. Once these discussions have been completed, a full list will be placed on the club’s main noticeboard.
For further information on the Shedmasters’ roles, see last month’s newsletter.
CLUB FIRE/EVACUATION PROCEDURE
With 300 Carmarthen Road having activities over three floors and many users in the building at any one time, the lack of appropriate emergency procedures was raised as a concern by our club many months ago.
The club took advice from a qualified fire officer and, following a great deal of discussion and some site visits, our own Fire Protection Procedures are very nearly complete. When ready, copies will be posted on the club’s noticeboards and individual members provided with their own copies. This should take place in the near future.
It will be necessary also to hold occasional fire drills: before these happen, the club
will ensure that all members understand what is required of them at such times.
- April 12th - Club excursion – Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
- April 28th - Last submission of models for modelling competition
- April 29th - Open night and judging of modelling competition
- July 9th - FOYD Summer Fête
- October 1st & 2nd - SRMG Annual Exhibition at the NWM
Best wishes all!