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Holbeach Totem

Discussion in 'Railwayana' started by Eddiemaidenuk, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Presumably, if you are in the market for things costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds, it is hardly surprising that there are few young faces, for the simple reason that not very many young people (exceptions exist, I know - but proportionately not many) will have three to four figure sums that they can afford to spend on what are essentially discretionary purchases. By time you get to your fifties, you may well be more secure in your job, have paid off the mortgage, kids grown up and left home, at which point you have more money to spend on what are essentially non-essentials. Railwayana is hardly unique in that - look at the marketing of pretty much any luxury goods.

    Proper mainline steam ended fifty years ago this summer ;). Anyone who can genuinely remember it is therefore likely to be at least about 60, probably older. The fact that there are some younger people involved (and also more generally with railway preservation) suggests to me that it isn't an interest driven entirely by nostalgia - at least, not necessarily by nostalgia for what people have direct first-hand experience of. And as you say, it only requires two people to maintain high prices in a particular area.

    Tom
     
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  2. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    I would love to see the line reopen I did ride the line a week before it closed, beautiful country side, but I cant see it , like so many closed lines too much has been done to eradicate the route, housing, roads, bridges etc.
     
  3. flaman

    flaman Well-Known Member

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    It's only a rumour..........:rolleyes:.
     
  4. smasher

    smasher New Member

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    Is this because there was a plethora of suburban third rail stations that were regarded as nondescript locations, railway wise.
    Does anyone have an approximate number of station per region? Would the SR have had the highest number despite being the smallest geographical area?
     
  5. Mandator

    Mandator Well-Known Member

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    Not sure you are entirely correct regarding buying for investment. Yes if you buy today and sell tomorrow your mark up is going to be very little. But over a good number of years, well it's a different matter. I bought my first nameplate in 1987 and cost me approx. a month and a half's wages. Now I would have to find 4 months wages to buy the equivalent plate. Not a huge mark up granted but better than cash in the bank at todays interest rates.
    I am not saying ALL purchases are investment but certainly some of the choice items appear to be going to new faces who I suspect might not be "pure" enthusiasts.
    I suspect the railwayana market is just like any other. The parallel to this can be seen in the classic car market. In the 80s even quite mundane cars i.e Triumph Stags were being bought by people hoping to make money. For a few years the market rose then stabilised. Very little made on these investments but take a punt on a Ferrari and it's a different matter. Same with some railwayana. Bog standard Hall no investment potential but a choice Duchess or A4 who knows?
     
  6. Mandator

    Mandator Well-Known Member

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    If you want to know how many totems existed for each region you need to read Dave Brennand and Richard Furness's book on Totems. Difficult to get but well worth the effort to track down. Might cost a bit! Last one I saw advertise was £50. Failing that ask your local library. They can get any book published for a fee ranging from five pounds to 12 if they have to go out of county or to the British Library.
     
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  7. Mandator

    Mandator Well-Known Member

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    The thing that interests me is the vagaries of the market. A few years ago no-one looked twice at signal box lever plates but now they seem to have shot through the roof. The same happened with posters 15 years ago. Even Carriage prints of which thousands must be in circulation seem to have taken off. Don't get me onto Shedplates.
     
  8. OldChap

    OldChap New Member

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    All this talk of railwayana reminded me of a couple of things, first that I looked for years and years for a ILFORD totem (ER), alas never found one or even anyone who knows if any survived, a few years ago I was tempted to have one of those supposed dead ringer replica ones made (still not sure if they are any good?) also never managed to find that book on totems either.

    Then there was my first exposure to collecting railwayana. My Aunt and Uncle lived just a whisper into Suffolk over the Essex border near Manningtree, I would spend summer on their little farm in the late 1970s and early 80s, my Uncle introduced me to a older gentlemen in local village who he was friends with (read enjoyed a ale with) who was a 'railway buff'.

    One Sunday lunchtime after the local pub shut I was taken along down the street and allowed to look into his 'workshop' (read collapsing nissen hut/shed) he must of had 50 or 60 or more totems mainly from ER (I remember a sea of blue!) all intermingled with various heaps of lamps, signal arms, cast iron/enamel signs etc and on its side a full cab side of a LNER locomotive in dusty, rusty BR unlined black, I don't remember the number... all I can recall is its number started with a 6...

    The totems and whatnot sat in untidy piles all over his shed, not displayed, not papered not enjoyed, just piled up, and covered in dust, rubbish and pipe tobacco ash.

    My Uncle Jim asked if he could have one or if he could buy one for me and it was as if he had been asked to shot his first born in the head.

    I was never asked back after that.

    Thinking about it he also had a 40/50s old car (Armstrong Siddeley I think?) that was stranded in the middle of it all.

    My thinking now is that all his 'collection' was probably liberated from the area and he didn't want any questions or enquiries from the boys in blue... or maybe he could have been a hoarder!
     
  9. huochemi

    huochemi Member Friend

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    Not sure what a "pure" enthusiast is - perhaps someone more than usually socially inadequate.:eek:;)

    Re expensive nameplates, the market above £20k has for some years been kept afloat by one individual, either as the successful bidder or as under-bidder. If he pulls out, then the market will be distinctly soft. By definition, anyone buying at auction has paid more than anyone else is prepared to pay, and on top of that, they have to pay 18% BP + VAT (at Stoneleigh) - so a £25k hammer price = £29,500. As a seller, you are going to be on the wrong side of that spread, there is no certainty whether the underbidder is still interested, or whether there is an under-under bidder to create a contest, and seller commission, at whatever rate has been negotiated, needs also to be deducted.

    There are very few people who consistently make money out of railwayana, other than the auctioneers, and "Collector No 1" must be sitting on huge losses. While everyone is keen to boast of their successful trades, the ones on which they lose money are, for obvious reasons, not so well publicised, although some spectacular declines can be seen through the auction results. Also the motto of the market is "never give a sucker an even break" so be careful if you consider that by spending a lot of money you are guaranteed success.
     
  10. Mandator

    Mandator Well-Known Member

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    Whilst I agree there may be one big buyer there are quite a few buyers who have medium sized collections of brassware or other expensive railwayana and that over the years the value of their collection grows. They may not buy for investment but by default it gains in value and above inflation. Mine certainly has and I for one would quite welcome a drop in values if it meant I could start collecting again.
    I used the term "pure" enthusiast, clumsily perhaps, to indicate those that collect for the love.
    Regarding successful bidding= over many years of attending auctions I have noticed there are some in the gallery that pounce on items that are not bid on and do indeed get some bargains. Indeed once the auction is over unsold items are later sold at reserve or less. Again these might not be bought for investment but some might.
    I am not saying that there are a large number of people buying for investment but money can be made if the correct items are bought. If money could not be made dealers would not exist and I know that they often get their stock at other places but they do indeed buy at auction.
    I do agree tho. that the people making consistant money out of the hobby are the auctioneers.
     
  11. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    Not Tattingstone by any chance?
    I remember a "Long Melford" totem attached to a shed facing the A137 being visible to passing traffic in the late 1970's - Somewhere near the "Wheatsheaf" pub!

    .
     
  12. Mandator

    Mandator Well-Known Member

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    Most railwayana that was on public display has been taken in I assume, as values have risen and people have a greater awareness of what they actually have.
     
  13. Eddiemaidenuk

    Eddiemaidenuk New Member

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    Good morning,

    Apologies, I forgot about this thread and I didn't receive any notifications. Still no luck after trying two adverts in different local papers. The next step would be an add with a photo to help the add stand out and it might jog peoples minds easier so they think 'Oh, I've seen something like that id Fred's shed'.

    Regards
    Edd
     
  14. It's exactly the same case in railway modelling, which is why I get so fed up when they start wringing their hands about 'how to attract youngsters' and these mythical beings 'the future of the hobby'.

    I'd not noticed many of these infamous 'youngsters' playing crown green bowls, but as a sport it's thriving. People's tastes change as they get older.
     
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  15. Mandator

    Mandator Well-Known Member

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    A parallel to much said (re: interest waning as collectors die off), is the classic car market. An editorial in one of the Classic Truck mags this month cited that in the 60s everyone thought pre-war cars would become uncollectable as those that drove these cars died off. Didn't happen. History always has a market.
     

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