Thoughts of Chairman Mel
(extracts from his little red book)
A YORKSHIRE MAN'S VIEW
Here at Knightwing we do our utmost to produce
good quality models of at a price you can afford. We don't always get it right,
but we try to. Our prices reflect what we are willing to pay ourselves for
models for our layouts and if an old Yorkshireman like Mel is prepared to pay
that price its not too far off because trying to get money out of him is near
impossible at the best of times (according to Carol - our long suffering Essex
Girl who has spent 40 odd years been dragged around railways all over the
MODEL RAILWAY PRICES
We understand wages are to double in the next five years in the Far East and us poor sods are to pay for them. Looking at certain manufacturers' prices we already are.
What chance do you have of getting a rise, nevermind doubling your wages in the next five years?
Our promise to customers is to try our best to keep prices down wherever we can by working with firms who believe as we do.
Diesel Fuel Points PM103 and PM136
If you get chance check out the feature in the December 2013 issue of British Railway Modelling magazine, its a good article. This was our first plastic kit and still very useful on most layouts.
Loco 1 Industrial
Check out Mr George Dent's article in Model Rail Magazine No184 about motorising this unit, it's seriously good.
PS Mel says he must be a good modeller and knows his stuff, he likes cats!
Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 Morning Show
Did you hear Knightwing mentioned as a British manufacturer on the radio in August last year? It was Carol in the office who got in touch with Chris telling him we manufacture in this country. It was nice to get a mention on the BBC - thanks Chris!
PS no mention about certain companies, but then again do they ever manufacure anything in this country any more?
Thursday 2nd January 2014
Back at full steam, pardon the pun but what do you expect on the first day back?
Asbo the cat sends his regards and appreciates all your kind messages. He took time off from swinging on the Christmas Trees to read his Christmas cards and his New Year's resolution which he shares with you is to improve his image in the neighbourhood.
Happy New everybody!
Merry Christmas from all the gang at Knightwing
Keith, Frodo, David, Carol (The Essex Girl), Mel & Asbo the cat!
Our Elves will be busy despatching your well deserved presents for yourselves or someone you really care about right up to Christmas Eve.
In Yorkshire where our Christmas spirit and generosity is well known at this time of year as is the Yorkshire saying 'it is better to give than receive' which is in every Yorkshireman's mind. So yet again Mel is going to give everybody Christmas Day off as long as they make up half the hours the following week.
For all those who haven't decided what to ask Santa to bring their better half this Christmas may we suggest a Knightwing Kit or better still a spade for the garden - either one will give them endless hours of pleasure.
(We are joking - The Essex Girl isn't so sure though)
Confessions of Yorkshire Criminal
Looking back at my mis-spent youth during the 50s and early 60s when I was a 'train spotter' yes I admit it and I am proud of it, before my days of following Huddersfield Town, girls, drink, playing Rugby Union and more girls etc, etc, etc I was not the brightest star in the sky. I used to get lost quite a lot and caught the wrong train. Rather strangely it usually meant I journeyed past loco sheds, yards and so forth to areas where I encountered locos I could not see locally. The railway staff were quite wise in those days and would help put me back on the correct train to get me home often by another route with even more interesting locations to savour. Sometimes I think the railway staff did not believe my cover story but usually they accepted it with a strange look.
Maybe this is a familiar story to some of you but I doubt if you could get away with it today without getting a criminal record.
When I tried my hand a politics some years later, be it at council level, I have often wondered at the limited ability to get things done by our local politicians while I think my dubious apprenticeship as a train spotter on the railways helped me to get a few bits done for my area be it by devious ways and often with a backlash from some councillors who sat on their backsides when they realised what I had done often months afterwards.Needless to say trying to push water uphill only lasted 10 years before realising trying to help your local area is a minefield but I'm glad I tried and I have respect for those still trying.
Description of a Yorkshireman
Someone who goes into a pound shop and asks for a discount.
Carol, the Essex girl, states that's bleeding obvious after living with a Yorkshireman for over 30 years!
Mel's Christmas Story
When the better half asked a few years ago, What do you want for Christmas? I suggested a Mk I Coach. Now that does not seem a great thing to ask for but I was told to go run as only an Essex Girl can.
Now most model railway fans will agree its not a lot to ask for, but this lovely lady knows me too well and when I tell this story to others she's none too pleased as she states it makes her look tight fisted. Can a Yorkshireman make any one look tight fisted I ask? However, in her defence, I admit it was a real one I wanted to go with the Knightwing's electric Class 85 loco.
The moral of this story is, does any one get what they want at Christmas?
Real railways and all that
A couple of Saturdays back I watched a GWR loco pull a rake of coaches through Huddersfield Station and it was inspiring. While I admit to being a BR 1950s fan I never expected, in these days, to witness such a spectacular site.
The point of this is that today railways are now bland and trying to get inspiration from today's railways is difficult to say the least. I don't know what the thoughts of other railway enthusiasts are but I tend to look backwards more and more. It's not just steam either but diesel and electric locos and stock that are missing.
Train journeys now consist of being forced into a seat (if you are lucky) which is not fit for purpose and listening to some 'git' on his mobile telling everyone useless infomation and realising I don't fit into this 'theme park' world. But then these people have probably never been pulled by a loco hauled train of MK1s or dumped in a siding for ages on a Bank Holiday Special when you want to get home.
Maybe I am an 'Old git' myself but I do have memories of when railways were something special, the coaches, the food and the locos. Thank God for the preservation groups who keep my memories alive.
Without being too disrespectful maybe a plague on the houses of those who run today's miserable apology for a once great railway system is in order, or at least if not a plague they should be forced to ride on these contraptions which run on our rails or they should explain why todays' prices are so high for so little service in return.
Whilst in a model shop the other day a customer was heard saying, “Knightwing kits are good kits, but you have to put them together and paint them.” While it was a compliment, it made me think. Are our customers top modellers who spend hours painting and building our kits? Well yes, some are, but generally speaking they are like you and me. They have a couple of hours spare between all the other things that make up life, gardening, housework, etc. They also have a love of railways, real and model and the model aspect is based on real railways in many cases (myself BR 50s and 60s).
Knightwing came about because of the lack of items for our own model railways and our design brief was to produce kits which could be easily put together and painted within a short period of time which were both authentic and are realistic and we try to keep to this idea.
So to those who maybe or are put off by the idea of a kit, just give it a go. If I can build and paint one, so can you. (It’s a lot easier than trying to understand the missus, don’t tell her I said that) and it can look better that something that drops out of a box from the Far-East. Plus the satisfaction of knowing “I did that”, when someone says “that looks good” when they look at your layout with that admiring and wishing they had one look is beyond measure.
I really don’t know if I am a modeller or just like playing trains? Yes in my youth I did want to be an engine driver and the number of times I was thrown out of Leeds Holbeck Shed along with Crewe, Manchester, York and many more are too numerous to mention along with a cab ride up at Inverness having a cup of tea at 3:30 in the morning at Polmadie Shed with the foreman and listening to the stories of railwaymen about things which could never be published gave me a respect for railway folk I still hold to this day.
If our products can add a little to the never-ending story, then we might have achieved something.
Knightwing Models is not just about selling kits but about sharing an experience with our railway colleagues about a shared love of railways. We don’t get everything right, but we do try and it’s an ongoing relationship. That is why you can always give us a ring during office hours or after 6.00pm, it’s cheaper then as well, and you can talk to a ‘kindred spirit’ rather than a ‘suit’.