Friday, 10 June 2016

The Kids Are Alright....

One thing I often here is that there are no young modellers out there these days. Usually the sentiment of the older modellers out there. Whilst it's true that the older generation makes up the majority of the market, it's simply not true that there aren't any young modellers out there. That's not the only myth we'll be dispelling while we are at it too!

a layout we have featured before Quorn by Joey Evans (25)

Just to be clear, I'm defining 'young modellers' as anyone under 30. To start we have a layout we have looked at before. Joey Evans started this layout in summer 2014, having had an interest in railways and model railways since childhood. His interest developed from his Grandfather's layout and trips to preserved railways, notably the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales. Which is the first myth I want to address, the youth of today by no means just want to model modern image.

As has been touched on before, preserved modelling is a growing trend and a lot of young modellers are choosing to model what they see at Loughborough, Bewdley, Toddington, Keighley and many more (who knows with OO9 a growing scale maybe Ffestiniog too) rather than what runs on the national network. Or in some cases (like mine, I know I'm 32 before anyone points out the age limit) by the stories and memories of parents and grandparents. Steam modelling is definitely not reserved to the older generations!

Jordan Morris'(21) excellent modern image layout.

 It's not all steam for the younger modellers though, 21 year old Jordan Morris has a superb layout and collection largely based on modern image container and engineers workings. Like Joey Evans he can put his influences down to his family and first started modelling in childhood, this layout being started around 4 years ago. Unlike Joey, Jordan was influenced by what he saw on the national network. As can be seen from the picture Jordan has a Bachmann Fastline 66, which is quite a rare and by no means cheap model (and it's not the only one that fits that category!) which dispels another myth and that's "they don't want to spend the money" or "the Railroad range is for them" from what I've found the majority of younger modellers (13 upwards) want the best models and are prepared to pay for them, even if it takes a while to save up for them!

There are some truths to be had in the idea that there aren't as many young people interested in railways and model railways these days than there used to be and that the cost of building a model railway these days means it is often a case of only the committed out there will see it through, it's not a hobby for the half hearted anymore.

There are a lot of young modellers out there working hard to build their own miniature world and the fact I have only featured a couple here doesn't mean they aren't out there. Likewise just because they don't scream and shout about it also doesn't mean they aren't out there either. The hobby can be viewed as a social stigma these days so it's not really the kind of thing you go out shouting about!

The world is an ever changing place and technology is ever evolving too. Like any other technology model railways have evolved as well, digital control, sound locos, layouts linked into computers, tablets and smart phones. Is that the future? Will that save 'our' hobby? Who knows at the end of the day, although I can't help but feel our hobby doesn't need saving!

I hope this blog has provided some food for thought. Those of you who I know who are young and enjoy your modelling, please don't feel offended I haven't used your work in this one. Those of you who are older and still feel like a kid then that's great!

Thanks for reading, hope to see some of you soon (GCR show next weekend!) and keep enjoying your modelling, however old you are! Tony :)

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