Sunday, 16 March 2008

Tanked Up

This isn't what you'd expect to come across on a very muddy walk in remote countryside, but it happened this afternoon. I am under pain of death not to reveal its whereabouts; suffice it to say it's just about the most fabulous collection of Hornby 00 gauge models I've ever seen. At least when what I was actually expecting to discover were holes in the ground made by Vikings. It reminded me of two things. 1) I have a train set, the most vital parts of which, viz: the locomotives and rolling stock, have somehow steamed-off into oblivion somewhere in an over-stocked garage, and b) what a great thing it was when commodities like oils were transported by rail, instead of by over-sized road tankers demolishing villages because their SatNavs told them to. And not only that, the railways did it in such great style. When I was a boy (hard to believe, I know) I took great comfort in hearing wagons like these being shunted about in the nearest goods yard, a reminder to a child afraid to go to sleep that there was actually someone out there, still awake. Shell Oils, Palethorpes Sausages, Cadbury's Cocoa. The stuff of dreams.

12 comments:

Boring Being said...

See Also: When I could post a letter from London to my parents in Yorkshire, knowing- if I cared to think about it, and I usually did - that it would be sorted in the Royal Mail's own carriage on the its way North that very night. No doubt by blokes called Alec or Mick with mugs of tea within easy easy reach. Now my greeting cards are ferried North in a Scania. Can't imagine Auden eulogising on that.

*edit* I've just been told that the Royal Mail reversed its 2004 decision to can its Travelling Post Office. Joy unbounded.

Peter Ashley said...

The news about the Royal Mail and TPO's is indeed worthy of rejoicing. Let's hope the rolling stock is still in RM livery and not painted grey with a navy stripe saying RailMail (4U).

FP said...

Bulk oil is still carried about the country by train, in trainloads of several tens of thousands of tons a time.

Many of the liveries on Hornby wagons, particularly the more colourful ones, were invented by Hornby rather than being inspired by any real wagon.

Tommy 3 jags said...

Peter, does 'fp' know more about trains than what you does? Anyway there are a lot of 'no profiles' turning up these days. Come on chaps, expose yourselves!

Peter Ashley said...

Ah. Railways. Always a minefield. FP is right of course, oil is still carried by rail, in incredibly dull and dirty tankers. And yes, Hornby appropriated many non-freight liveries, but there were some very genuine, well-lettered and brightly coloured wagons. One has only to think of the classic Royal Daylight oil wagons.

Lord Carrot said...

We have a large 0 gauge layout in the attic of the stable block at Carrot Court. fp is right, Hornby were very adventurous with there paint jobs, Weetabix springs to mind. All very jolly though.

Justin Savage said...

The son of a friend of mine inherited a wonderful Hornby Dublo set a few Christmases ago. It arrived in a proper wooden trunk, untouched since it was last brought home at the end of term. A term, by the way, that ended at least forty years ago. The engines were a little tired and needed work. Not needing much of an excuse to get involved, I found a proper shop, in Ealing, that arranged to have the motors re-wound. 'Mallard' went like stink on its return.

I was particularly transported by the action of the transformer: that crunchy, emery-cloth feel as you move the nice chrome lever round the dial, and the evocative smell of hot dust.

Pass me a plain-chocolate digestive Dear, and a cup of tea while I get the fluff off the contacts. Nurse!

Peter Ashley said...

Of note, for closet afficianados of this kind of thing, is that on this model railway all the track was that Hornby three line stuff, with tin-printed ballast. Station buildings were the contemporary Art Deco metal cream buildings with orange roofs, based on the Southern I would think. And then there was...

Peter Ashley said...

Of course I should have said "three-rail" not line. Beat me with a rolled-up Meccano Magazine.

warmpommybeer said...

G'Day

..thanks for your gracious and prompt reply ...unlike the one from tommy3jags whom Im a tad concerned about to tell you the truth (I have updated my profile in answer to his request)..bless him...the "4 miles to Griffith's tea" enamel signs are long gone mores the pity

I LOVE Penfolds ...but it really isnt the best wine in these fair lands..vegemite ...yuk ...did you know the Pa will but Ma Mite story?


and the Dame Edna lookalike is way off ...Ive got the cutest little Philipino darlin' ever here with me tonight ...dynamite...Phwoar!!!

Ill just ask this once ...did you know about the rail gauge catastrophe here in Australia ...I think you probably do ...however if I get any positive responses I will expand ..well gutwise I do that anyway ..but you know what I mean

Peter Ashley said...

Please tell us about Australian rail gauges, rain gauges, brain gauges, anything you like. It was bound to be a cock-up as you hadn't got a top-hatted Brunel to blow cigar smoke out over the problem

Peter Ashley said...

Watch it lads and Camilla. I've just read Warmpommy Whasnames profile. Some giveaway chinks in his armour, can't place him yet but anyone who puts both Deighton and Hoskins in his book-likes needs regarding with suspicion. His / her photo's familiar too, looks like Ron Combo after eating his bedtime boot polish sandwiches.