Sunday, 4 April 2010


A trip down Memory Lane this week, courtesy of Athur Ward. I picked up a copy of his "The Boy's book of Airfix", this week. The subtitle says it all "Who says you ever have to grow up?". Reading through the pages took me back too many years to mention to the days when Saturdays meant a trip to the model shop to buy yet another Airfix kit in its trademark plastic bag, or box of soldiers. I think most of us will have tussled with the glue with a mind of it's own, despaired of ever managing to assemble the kit so the propeller actually spun rather than being fixed in place, or, chased that transfer around the saucer of water trying not to get it folded on itself. What can compare with that first painted model. The first one I remember painting was the Bristol Beaufighter. Grandad supplied the paint, it was the green and brown he had been using around the house, so it took an age to dry and the brush didn't allow for much detailed work. But the pride when the job was finished. To me it looked just like the picture in the book I had borrowed from the library.
Over the next few years dozens of kits followed and I attempted to create dog-fights by putting up networks of string in the bedroom. English Electric Lightenings taking on Me 109s, what's wrong with that? One Christmas I got a "lucky bag" of 10 different kits, heaven!
Ships followed, Tiger, Daring, Campbeltown, but the main drawback to these was the hull, it looked odd moving them around on their stands, but without them they just rolled on their sides. By the time the waterline kits came along other interests had taken over from 'toy soldiers', such a missed opportunity.
The book has loads of illustrations to trigger memories, but perhaps the most fascinating part is reading about the trials and tribulations of the company, the characters who formed and developed it and the way it has come back from the dead, twice!
So, keep an eye out for this book, if desperate, borrow it from your local library and take a trip down Memory Lane.

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