Mamod is a well-known name among the model railway community and has built up a significant following since they were first introduced way back in the 1930s. In this series of articles we will be meeting the people who have grown up with Mamod and have bought models throughout their life.
Next up is Lee Hale
Mamod enthusiasts come from all walks of life with some collecting them all their lives or others that have just recently picked up the hobby. Lee Hale is one of the latter.
Lee is the curator and head of Winterbourne House and Garden in the grounds of the University of Birmingham. The site is among the top ten attractions in England's second city but has a distinguishable link with the steam community. Last year marked the first-ever Winterbourne Steam Fair which attracted 500 visitors from across the country.
Mamod was one of the vendors in attendance and it is a brand that is close to curator Lee's heart. Having got into steam modelling relatively late, Mamod has been one of the company's that he has focused on. In the short years has been collecting he has amassed around 25 Mamod models.
Starting off with a Mamod Traction Engine, Lee explains that his love of pre-war machines drew him to the Traction Engine. Not content with just the model itself, Lee has also invested in the variants that complement the engine. So versatile are the models the Winterbourne curator explained that his son is in the process of creating a wood yard diorama which uses the Traction Engine to drive a saw.
One of the great aspects of Mamod products is that a world can be built around them. In the past collectors have amazing scenery where the train models can happily chug through. While Lee admits that dioramas are not really his cup of tea he has always dreamed of creating a garden railway.
"If I am lucky enough to move house in the near future a suitable space for a Mamod garden railway will be on my tick list for sure," Lee explains.
The main appeal of Mamod for Lee is the company's embracing of yesteryear and bringing some much loved engines back to life. When it comes to picking out a favourite it is the pre-war range which strikes a chord with Lee. However, he also is a fan of the more modern models with the Samson TE which he received as a gift last year as his favourite.
"I like the earlier engines, preferring the traditional green and red colours and lots of shiny brass! That said Mamod are showing great innovation at the moment and the volume of new models being introduced is great to see," Lee notes.
Like with many other collectors, Lee keeps an open mind to both mobile and stationary models in the Mamod range. While one of his main ambitions is to build a railway garden in the ground of his home he also has a passion for stationary models such as the SP8.