here, here, here, and here).
So having finally retrieved my trains from my parents loft I can now show you the model that started it all. I received this model as a Christmas present from my parents way back in 1982. Unfortunately, as you will know if you've read the previous parts of this tale, I was too ill (a bout of childhood asthma) to actually move off the chair and play with it.
Given that it's at least 15 years since I last ran any of my model trains I was amazed that after a few drops of oil and a little light greasing Flying Scotsman pulled away from the station. I'm not sure if it's able to go quite as fast as it once did, but that might be down to the controller I'm using (I'm not overly impressed by Hornby's new starter controller but I'll leave that for a future post). The important thing is that it's running well enough to be enjoyed.
Having now taken it apart to give it a long over due clean (something I don't think it's ever had) I can tell you that it's a Hornby R.855 model. According to Hornby Railways Collector Guide this model was last included in the catalogue in 1977, so I'm guessing that either it had been sat around in a model shop for a while or it was bought second-hand. The second-hand option is more likely as I know that's how we obtained a number of the other locomotives and also I can't ever remember there being a box with it. Either way it was a wonderful present. I can't imagine that many people have a childhood Christmas present that they still really enjoy playing with 30 years later!