Monday, 25 March 2013

Vivien Thompson

When I was very small I used to get two books out from Lewes library: Boyd's Narrow Gauge Railways in Mid Wales and the above. Part of the library burn down a few years ago and both books disappeared, but while I bought the Boyd quite quickly, the above has evaded me... that is until yesterday when due to a comment here, a young chap (usually known as 'Spitfire Goggles' on the interweb) presented me with a copy that he'd found.
The book is full of strange terminology such as 'thou' and 'plasticard' which was baffling to the 11 year old me, as were the amazing photos of model buildings that weren't Superquick. The 49 year old me sees a very dated style of working, which being written in 1971, it is. She even admits that she still uses tube poly-cement against the advice of contemporaries who are urging her to use bottle solvent. Dated it my be, but like a John Ahearn book there are words of wisdom applicable to now so I'd say worth picking up, or if you've got splendid mates like I have, they'll pick it up for you.


  1. Aparently this was never a big seller. The dated content and dreary cover certainly didn't help it. I've got a copy and you've inspired me to go and have another look.

  2. I remember reading her Eastbourne article in the Modeller around April '71, I was really into Edwardian prototypes, so it knocked my socks off. I thought even then that her writing was non-pc, the way she said stuff like "I left the children to play while I scribed another side of the station" lol! It must have been difficult to be a female modeller back then. She is still modelling, by the way, she was in the Modeller with her rendition of "Eridge".

  3. I remember as a teen seeing her models and we were very sexist about it then, but now even our Granddaughter 'has a go' although 5 year olds' weathering can be a bit - ahem - 'generous', but her and her older brother will happily work the layout without WW3 breaking out. Long may that continue. I'd love to see what Vivien is doing now btw.