Steam has been a major part of the UK's history ever since the first trains graced the railways in the late 1700s.
Since then the country has been a trailblazer in the creation of steam locomotives with some of the most famous steam trains being produced by British engineers. The likes of the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and produced at the Doncaster Works highlighting the calibre of locomotives the nation is capable of producing. While the days of the regular steam services are long gone, it has fostered a generation of enthusiasts.
The popularity of the old steam trains and traction engines has made the notion of model collecting an attractive proposition. They can provide insight into how trains are able to run and become a lifelong hobby. Mamod has been producing various models since the 1930s and each one is able to provide educational values making them more accessible to the younger generation and not just seasoned collector.
Mamod's SE range was the original stationary model that the company produced and was the first ever to come off its production line. It was during a time when Geoffrey Marlin worked alongside Hobbies and was instrumental at bringing the SE1, SE2, SE3 and SE4 to market. It was only until 1937 when Marlin decided to produce engines for Mamod, alongside his work for Hobbies, that the company was able to launch the SE4.
When it came to educating the next generation in the ways of steam, Mamod teamed up with Griffin & George (G&G) to create a specific model that would help to educate young steam enthusiasts about how engines work. The SE3 G&G was released to schools in the late-1960s and would mark the first hard-soldered engine that was made solely for the education system.
It was a modified version of the twin cylinder SE3 and built with a silver soldered boiler. The main difference with the normal SE3 was that it did not have a boiler mounted stop-clock and it was also a much tougher model. As with any product placed in schools there is also the likelihood of maltreatment compared to being in the hands of a seasoned collector, the SE3 was fully prepared as the silver soldered boiler was strengthened before being sent to schools.
While the SE3 was a great help in educating young people about how steam engines work, for collectors it became an elusive addition. Due to it only being made available to the schools system it was very difficult to source if someone who would want one simply for keeping in a collection. To this day it remains a model that is hard to come by and one of the most sought after.
The G&G SE3 was discontinued in 1979 and replaced with the newer SP4 and SP5 but this has not stopped Mamod attempting to teach young people about the way that steam engines operate. The SP2D steam engine and dynamo is one of the current models available from Mamod and is a great educational tool for young people looking to get into the world of steam model collecting.