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#1 Dec 12, 2018 6:17 pm

New Historian

The Train Set

Timothy Dowling was a friend of mine at Fitzjohn’s Primary, a rich kid who lived in this huge house on Finchley Road. Both of his parents were busy lawyers and lavished him with toys to make up for the one thing they couldn’t give him: time. They had a nanny from Poland, and one day I noticed a number tattooed on her forearm and asked her what it meant. She quickly covered it up and hurried away in silence, leaving me perplexed: what did I do now?

Timothy’s pride and joy was his train set, or rather his train room. This thing occupied an entire bedroom, and not a small bedroom like ours, it was enormous. There was every conceivable type and size of model train: engines, passenger carriages, freight cars, shunters, bowsers, stations, hills, valleys, mountains, tunnels: a whole train continent. He controlled it all from a central console in the middle of the room, while the trains went choo-chooing all around him. Being an only child he didn’t really know how to play with other kids, so usually the most I got to do was look on in wonder, only occasionally would he relent and hand me the controls. I was hooked.

I wanted a train set. I went down to Toys-Toys-Toys on Finchley Road and gawked at train sets in the window. They were awfully nice, but awfully expensive, even for the starter kits. My birthday was coming up so I put on my best smiley face and gently broached the subject with Dad.

“Daddy … (smile), can I have a train set for my birthday (bigger smile), pleeeease?” All I got was a grunt and a “We’ll see.” Which at least was better than an outright “Are you mad?”

At last my birthday came. I wasn’t so silly as to expect a present waiting for me when I awoke, Dad would only ever get around to buying your present on the day itself. That evening Dad came home with a box under his arm – a big box. And he was smiling; all good signs. I tore at the wrapping and before I could get it halfway off Dad proudly announced:

“It’s a train set!”

Yaaaay!!! I ripped open the box, revealing my gleaming new train se …


It wasn’t a train set, it was a dinky little clockwork choo-choo train with a smiley face on the front and a key on top. You wound it up and it would go for about half a lap of this little track, and then huff and puff and die. Have you ever want to cry so badly that you have to look skywards to stop the tears from falling?

*Sniff* “Thanks Daddy!”

I gathered up my train set and shuffled off to my room to “play” with it - to the background noise of both my big brothers falling over themselves laughing: Enjoy your train set, dweeb!!


#2 Dec 12, 2018 11:09 pm


Re: The Train Set

I still have the remnants of my "train set", some steam loco's, and a couple of diesels carriages, and goods wagons. I had a dedicated board, and it was OK, but if only it could have circled the room.... smile

I did at one point share them with the World, as My Dad among other things created exhibition pieces for the Great Western Region for recruitment drives etc. My train set went round and round somewhere or other for a week I think it was.

Every now and then I think about putting them on Ebay.


#3 Dec 13, 2018 8:54 am


Re: The Train Set

Someone from the Big world go pay an Air fare to come and get it?  Well ah still have every piece of Thomas The Little engine that could. My child train set.  Every piece is made of wood.  Ah must check to see if ah can some monies for it.  If ah could get ah nice price ah selling it immediately.

Thanks NH.  You know NH, Expat is taking over you role in Talkshop.  He is now the new driver of the shop.  BTW wha the hell happen to the women of the shop?  They all gone, except Vanni.


#4 Dec 13, 2018 9:24 am

New Historian

Re: The Train Set

Happy to relinquish my title to Expat (for now lol!), it's in good hands. Yeah what happen to Calypso and the gang?


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