News & Jottings

It will come as no surprise that my News page has recorded no activity for some considerable time. Unfortunately the Covid-19 virus is still with us and any thoughts of overseas trips, with their associated lockdowns and self isolating, remain just dreams. It is almost certain that will we shall not venture out of the country until next year or until the vaccine-hogging countries have realised that spreading the vaccine around the world actually helps them as well.

The digitising of my fathers reel-to-reel tapes project has been completed and I am pleased to say that all the sounds have made their way to Peter Gibbs of SoundTracks who is picking the best out for use on his commercial CDs. Its nice to think that other people might enjoy fathers hobby and I am sure he would have been delighted to know they were reaching a wider audience.

The other on-going project was to build some 0 gauge coaches to go with my Indian WP pacific. Not being a model builder to start with it has been a challenging, but enjoyable project. A prototype from balsa wood and cardboard has been produced and I now need to start on the actual coach, in brass. This has introduced me to the world of brass etching and other methods of producing what actually is, two very simple sides and two ends. Prior to that I have to produce a CAD drawing, simple enough for those who know what they are doing! If anyone out there can offer their services, for the appropriate price of course, please let me know.

So what will the future hold for the railway collecting hobby and the world of live auctions, collectors fairs and model shows that many of us usually inhabit. Live auctions have virtually all gone on-line and enjoyed considerable success such that it is highly unlikely that any will return to the live auction. Understandable when one considers the costs and work involved with the live scene. This however will mean the death of the sales stands at these events that over the years have enhanced such events and that were an attraction for many in their own right. I believe a decision is yet to be made regarding the Tobaz collectors fairs at Burton and Chiswick but one can only hope that at least we can retain those. I really do not want to spend the rest of my time sat in front of a computer screen - but sadly thats where it all seems to be heading.

Of course, this is where my unit in the Gloucester Antique Centre can help out. This unit, along with others around the country, can at least offer the physical presence of books, railwayana and models etc, out in the real world. Not everyone wants to sit in front of a screen nervously clutching their mouse in the vain hope that someone else does not have an itchy finger. There most be, by now, so many disappointed people out there who got carried away, forgot all about the commissions, vat etc, paid way over the odds only to find that the precious item was not quite what they thought because of the description, poor images or unseen broken parts. Never has 'buyer beware' been so relevant. I can see such units where one has the ability to touch and feel the items, becoming ever more popular - providing we can get the stuff in the first place. While Ebay will loose its popularity by becoming full of real junk, re-pros and overpriced kite flyers so beware the other auctions where commission rates just to SELL items continue to rise. Remember your local dealer - he can be quite friendly!

So in the meantime the usual plea's apply, please remember me if you are downsizing, especially working timetables, ephemera and photographs etc. Always willing to travel for large quantities and it's helpful if you have lists, but happy to help out anyway. I'm just an email away. But most importantly - STAY SAFE.

I am an avid collector of Indian railway publicity, guides, books, folders, leaflets etc. In line with English railways, such publicity started with the original Indian companies, the Bombay, Baroda and Central India, the Bengal Nagpur, the East Indian etc in late Victorian times and continued up to the 1950s. I am particularly trying to obtain all the folders, like the one illustrated below, and would love to hear from anyone who has one of the following;

Big Game Shooting in India
India and the Tourist
India for the Tourist
Tourist Cars
Indian Cameos
South India
Kangra Valley