Our inner child sometime yearns for the chance to look again at yesteryear memorabilia but the opportunity rarely shows itself. However, sometimes, by chance, that childhood dream becomes reality. When researching Peggy Nisbet’s dolls for my blog, I came across a secret hoard of railwayana. I say secret as there is no mention of the collection in the museum’s guide and what’s even more startling is it is the railway enthusiasts Holy Grail of model railways, the pre-war Hornby 00 series!
The fine detailing of wagons, coaches, trains, stations, figures etc are exquisite and the designs so lovingly fashioned that the photos do not do them justice.
Here’s a short recap of the pre and post war history of Hornby.
Hornby was at first a tradename for the railway productions of Meccano Ltd and based in Liverpool, which released its first train, a clockwork 0 gauge (1:48) model, in 1920. Large numbers of Hornby trains were exported to Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Scandinavia.
Meccano introduced its 00 trains in 1938 under the name ‘Hornby Dublo’. The locomotives were diecast metal, and the carriages and wagons were generally made of tinplate.
The range expanded quickly, but was curtailed from 1940 due to World War II, production being completely suspended in 1942. Production resumed after the war but did not reach full capacity until 1948. Clockwork models were not produced in 00 scale after the war.
The museum closes on the 18th April so there is not much time to see the collection in Clara’s cottage but if you can get there you will surly see one of the finest exhibitions of a Classic Hornby train set in the country. Follow the links below for more information.