We all know that the best things in life are free – yet some people still labour under the misapprehension that, just because something is free, it must be worthless.
Nothing could be further from the truth as far as The Railway Magazine Guide to Modelling is concerned, and readers and advertisers alike rightly expect the publication to be of the best editorial quality possible.
Over the past three months I‘ve seen the sheer enthusiasm of the team that puts RMM (as we abbreviate the title) together, and I’m proud to be a part of it. It’s just coming up to 4am as I write these words from home.
There’s a lovely cool breeze coming in through the open window of my upstairs office, and along with the bleating of lambs in the fields, I can already hear the first birdsong of the new day.
When I’ve finished this comment piece I’ll go downstairs for a cup of tea before starting work on a new Metcalfe N-gauge kit that’s featured in this issue. After a bit of breakfast, I’ll drive over to nearby hilltop premises where a refurbished stable has been set aside for our 8ft x 4ft N-gauge ‘St Ann’s Cove’ modelling project, and photograph the construction of the baseboard.
Railways have been a part of my life since early childhood, when Dad sometimes took me, on a little bicycle seat, to see the trains on the West Coast Main Line, and waving to the passing drivers was an essential part of the experience.
To my particular generation, the sounds of distant whistles and clanking buffers could be heard day and night, and my first Ian Allan ‘ABC’ – London Midland Region, of course – was a revelation that ultimately led, much later in life, to becoming fortunate enough to edit and even launch magazines about railways old and new.
But it was only after a former Great Central J10 0-6-0 (with its lovely flowerpot chimney) drifted through Padgate station on the old Cheshire Lines system with a short goods train that I realised no numbers in my little book began with a six!
Some time went by until a visit to the local W H Smith’s revealed Eastern & North Eastern Region ‘ABC’s as well as those covering locomotives on the Western and Southern Regions.
The penny had dropped at last – and before I was even out of short trousers, I regularly cycled the 40-mile return journey on my Hercules Popular (each revolution of the crank being an imaginary ‘six beats to the bar’) from home to Chester General station, where I knew some lovely Great Western locomotives would be waiting.
Maybe it’s such memories that spur many of us into taking up railway modelling in the first place (and later eras are equally fascinating), so why not let us know about it?
Readers’ letters are the heart and soul of any successful publication, and just because we’re free doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear your views on every aspect of railway modelling and, where relevant, the full-sized railways past and present on which our hobby is based.
Which gauge do you prefer; which era do you model; do you operate your layouts the old-fashioned way, or can’t get enough of the new technology?
And what would you like to see more of in RMM?
We’re ready and waiting…