Saturday, 28 November 2020

Saturday ramble


It can't have escaped many people's notice that Roy Link passed away this week. regulars will know that I have been a fan over the years and that one particular piece of his artwork has featured here possibly more than it has anywhere else before or since. I first encountered Roy when he was working at Pecorama though I didn't realise who he was then and didn't make the connection until a lot later. His illustration work for RM  covered perhaps a decade and included quite a bit more than Plan of the Month designs, including many technical drawings which were very recognisable not least because they often had 'LINK' in draughtsman's style in the corner; this style transferred neatly to the early NG&IR issues and added to the retro-feel.

The RM Plan of the Months were always inspirational, though often contentious in that they were sometimes high on inspiration, but low on actual do-ability. The AotC's issues have been extensively discussed here, but the N gauge 'Watching the trains go by' is often sited as a real turkey in actual operation  terms.  There were real gems in there: would the teenage me ever have been aware of the Spurn Head Railway if Roy had not snuck it into a PoM - I hardly think anyone else would have considered such a minor line as being appropriate for a mainstream  magazine, even now. Though for me, AotC aside, this was the stand-out gem in the set. Roy's death is a sad, loss, though in consolation we do of course still have his work in our hands.


  1. Several of his plans caused me to visit places I wouldn't otherwise - Crowhurst and Spurn Head spring to mind. A very inspirational modeller.

  2. Sorry, Crowsnest - damned autocorrect!

  3. Roy's way of communicating the attraction of the obscure as well as the mundane was (for me at least) incomparable, I found his plans and drawings leapt off the page of RM at me and lodged in my teenage mind. Most of them are still there...
    As you say, a sad loss of a talented, helpful, approachable man.

  4. An unsung hero, who did so much. An extremely talented man, up there amongst the greats. I wish I had a tenth of his modelling ability.

  5. Roy's time as the editor of "Narrow Lines" (the journal of the 7mm NGA) issues Nos 43-51 should not be forgotten, for during this brief period in the late 1980s he raised the quality in terms of content and production values. I believe this fell after his time at Peco and certainly before the establishment of NG&IRMR. Indeed it may be understood that the experience of editing NL was to result in the Review as a non-scale specific narrow gauge railway modelling journal.

    I recall to this day arriving at ExpoNG 1989 in Greenwich House and seeing others who had arrived before me clutching issue No 1 of the Review. When I found Roy's stand I signed up on the spot and have subscribed ever since.


    1. I hadn't so much forgotten RCL's time as editor of Narrow Lines as been completely unaware of it...but then I've never been a member of the 7mm NGA.
      I have seen the odd issue of Narrow Lines but not the ones you refer to...perhaps I should try to find some.
      I somehow failed to find the Review for its first year or so and haven't always subscribed for various reasons, though I still find the issues I have very inspirational.

    2. Despite having looked at the AoC plan countless times over the last 40 years, I had not previously noticed one small bit significant detail...the fact that the structures have shadows, just another reason why RCL's work stands out...