I was browsing my original copy of Don Boreham’s ‘Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling’, published 1962, and this advert inside the back cover caught my eye….
Well, Slaters are still very much in business, although I’d love to have Plastikard for 10/6 old money – 50p to you youngsters. But the advert below amused me. Thawpit was carbon tetrachloride, and I must admit I used it a lot as a cheaper version of Mek-Pak for welding the afore mentioned Plastikard. But that was before they discovered that it was a health hazard. But surely the worrying thing was not the health of the modeller, but the fact that you were expected to be wearing a tie for modelling and in particular for soldering. The rare occasions I wear ties, they are in more danger from gravy than from flux….
Then an envelope fell out of the book. It was a letter and postcard from Hammant & Morgan, makers of really good controllers for may years. The 3d stamp (just over 1p) had informed my father that we’d had our controller serviced for 12/6 (60p including postage). They must have done a good job, as 40 years later the same controller is still working and used for running my mini-drill and testing my modules.
Also in the envelope was this reply to a question from my father. This sort of response is all too rare in the days of email. However, those were certainly not the ‘good old days.’ Model shops had very little in them, and we were very dependant on Peco, white-metal kits, and scratch building.