This weekend sees the twice annual gathering of fans of the Hornby marque in Scotland.
With a 1964 cut-off point for both Hornby Dublo and Hornby O-gauge, the membership is an ageing one, but age hasn’t dimmed the enthusiasm with which members of the Scottish section of the Hornby Railway Collectors Association approach the hobby.
Meeting in Menstrie, which is fairly central for those travelling, displays and layouts are set up in the morning, with one specialising in 1920s Hornby Series, another in the electric Hornby of the 1930s a third in the much smaller Hornby Dublo from the 1950s and 1960s.
Just as in any hobby, there are even further specialisations, most of which is over the head of the general public.
One of the founders of the Scottish group, local collector Dale Smith, is still regarded as one of the “young ones” at almost sixty.
His theme for this event is “Tanks and Tankers through the Decades”.
This will include No 2 special 4-4-2T which were used for both passenger and freight duties.
One particular loco in Dale’s collection is a 1929, clockwork, LMS, maroon loco which is virtually unused in its original box.
Although a common enough loco there are two notes written on the box which make it interesting.
The top of the box states that the loco was bought for William Dickson of in 1929 and that does square up with the contents of the box.
A second inscription on the underside of the box notes that William was lost at sea to enemy action in 1940.
Since the loco was bought from a dealer and not the immediate family, there is no way of knowing if these notes are genuine and not just something knocked up by a subsequent seller to increase its appeal.
However, Dale has kept it in his collection for almost thirty years and, will show the loco and box at the HRCA event on Saturday.
Other tank locos will be shown with a wide range of tanker wagons, both oil and milk tankers, again from the 1920s and 1930s.
For some, the Menstrie HRCA meetings are the only chance to see each other for train running and a blether which is why they are looked forward very eagerly. Others, such as Dale and his stall assistant Dave Woods from Dunblane, can be seen at all of the Scottish collector’s swap meets and at HRCA events in the north of England.
For anyone interested in the subject, Dale has HRCA application forms and is happy to advise members of the public about there own collections and disposal. Telephone 01575-574128 any evening.