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Friday, 23 January 2015

Bob Symes: 6 May 1924 - 19 January 2015 (aged 90)

I don't think anyone else did as much to bring model making to the masses on TV than Bob Symes. A 10 part series no less in the 1970s including 3 parts dedicated to model railways - his own hobby. It was through this series that I first became aware of this enthusiastic gentlemen instantly recognisable by his head and beard of white hair he sported almost since that time.

I saw him in the flesh when he exhibited his models at the Hexagon theatre in Reading, which must have been about the same time.

He fronted many programmes and shorts on model railways including 'A Lineside Look At Model Railways', which appeared on TV and later 'Another Lineside Look at Model Railways' available on VHS tape, which I bought.

More recently his work has appeared on YouTube and that is worth a search to view them.

Only today I learned that he was president of the Astolat Model Railway Club, whose exhibition I visited only 2 days before he passed away.

I am reminded of one of his expressions that was repeated more than once. About viewing layouts he said "I like to get right down to eye level for a realistic view" and this was epitomised in a photograph of him in this Chris Nevard posting.

Bob Symes never knew me but he touched my life.



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