Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Death and taxes

I've mentioned this before and it got a small howl of horror, however the spectre of death and modelling has raised it's head again this week. More specifically the problem of disposal. The item in question is a loft layout with some ten boards in total. Problematic enough for the widow, but a bit of a logistical nightmare for those who have offered to help.
In short no bugger wants it. Result: it has to be broken up and scrapped. You may well be saying that the poor old boy isn't alive to see it so it's OK, but is that what he really wanted to happen?

After my last mention of this people split in to two definite camps: the 'keep going and not get rid of anything' and the 'I'm being sensible and getting rid of the fat, and only keeping what I need on a sliding scale to where I think I can manage'. I will be firmly in the later at a future point.

Of course you may think that death is the only instance, by which time it doesn't matter, but what about failing health - a point where you are fully aware of things, but are unable to stop your layout being broken and dumped by a third party in front of your eyes. Time and time again I read the preamble in articles: retirement, loft, more time. Rarely does the issue of just at the time where we have more time and space we may be unable to climb the loft ladder at all. Or work out why we went up there in the first place.

I hope that's cheered everyone up...


  1. Same sad scenario exists in any hobby which involves acquiring stuff.......some of which may be unique/irreplaceable or whatever, but will surviving relatives or whoever else gets the job of disposing of it all know that?

    The big problem with the monster layout in the loft/shed/garage or wherever is that such things can rarely be left where they are or moved wholesale elsewhere because they have often been constructed with no real thought of them ever needing to be dismantled. I know that both Peter Denny's and Reddy Boston's empires have been at least partially resurrected elsewhere but those both had (and still have) dedicated bands of followers who were prepared to put in effort, time and money to save them......your average modeller with an empire is unlikely to have that advantage.

    I suppose the smaller, more portable layouts we tend to build (often reflecting a less settled lifestyle) are a bit less likely to be a burden to our offspring, mind you who judges what is worth saving and what isn't?

    I suspect that some of us perhaps view our efforts as more or less "disposable" in that when we have finished building/playing with/exhibiting them then we may either sell them on, recycle the bits to build something else or whatever. I certainly do.


  2. It's a difficult one. I've got various layouts stored in the garage including Nottery Quay. Now I know that punters enjoyed seeing it at Expong this year but I can't see me taking it out again anytime soon. I can't operate it at home so why do I keep it? Sentiment I suppose. It was my first and, probably best, layout and I just can't bear to part with it. Who knows what will happen to it after my demise?

    Chris OD

  3. A big question is, do immediate family members, i.e. those likely to become executers and therefore responsible, no of the owners wishes re disposal, value, etc. in order to proceed in the right way from both points of view, especially if said executers are 'non-enthusiasts'. We all have 'stuff' that is valuable to us personally, but tat to anyone else and likely to end up in a charity shop or even landfill. Perhaps we should all have home inventories, with possible (realistic) values and suggestions where to place them. For example, local club or specific association (i.e. 7mmNGA)second-hand officer,

  4. That does sometimes happen, certainly has a couple of times in recent years with books, etc. belonging to deceased members of our club.
    I suppose locos, stock etc. are fairly small and easy to out a value on. Layouts are a knotty problem though; they can be a very personal reflection of the builder's effort (and perhaps even personality).......especially difficult if the whole thing ends up in a skip.
    Dunno what the answer is.......