Number of Model Engineers in the UK?

Does anyone have a round number for Model Engineers (with a Railway
bent) in the UK? I'm doing a Business plan for something for the
Reply to
Rob Wilson
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The circulation figures for ME & EiM would be a start, though it would not include the browsers and borrowers?
Survey are difficult, only a minority reply.
Likewise clubs, my father and grandfather where both keen model engineers (G'Dad had a 5" gauge track in the garden), yet neither were members of clubs and only occasional magazine buyers.
Are you including those who built their own 'G scale' (loose term I know) locos? Probably not regular readers of ME or EiM.
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Curious - did they work EVERYTHING out from first principles (impressive) or did they buy books (since you state they were only "occasional magazine buyer")
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Sorry for the rather 'curt' description.
Both were engineers by profession, so that helped on the practical side.
What I meant was 'occasional magazine buyers' was that they only bought magazines and books occasionally at present, the researcher was directed to current circulation figures, on which neither would appear. Dad especially was brought you reading LBSC's articles (indeed he met him at least once) in the ME and English Mechanics and would regularly drive locos on the garden track and on the Romford Club track from an early age.
It's also worth remembering that generations before mine seem to have been taught much more about steam and indeed mechanics in general at school.
You could give both Dad and G'Dad a set of drawings and they could have produced the engine.
I poersonally have no great interest in steam locos, but I think I could built a simple oscillating engine from scratch, I understand the general principles and to be honest it's not rocket science.
My point was that there are people who will be beneath the 'model engineer' radar.
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Looking at some 1940's ME magazines, there was a fair bit of stuff around, but nowhere near the stage that we are at today, with almost everything available at the click of a mouse and the flash of the plastic.
I'm thinking of one article, about a guy who built some amazing models, including loco's, and he had passed away and his engines had gone to a musuem? Might have been Gloucestershire way.
He certainly didn't have drawings for what he made, just what he saw and sketched presumably.
Peter -- Peter A Forbes Prepair Ltd, Rushden, UK
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes
Given that Railway Modeller has an audited circulation of 43K and Model Rail has 29K it's going to be well south of those figures. 20K rings a bell but how many ME/MEW readers aren't into trains? Maybe as much as half.
And from the traffic stats to I'd guess that only 1 in 5 are digitally literate to any large degree.
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I wonder what the phrase is that is used by Rocket Scientists when they wish to disdainfully dismiss something as being technically trivial?
"It's not like creating the world in 6 days, you know.", perhaps?
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I usually say "It's not rocket science" - but then have to add "actually it is, but ..."
-- Peter Fairbrother
(sometimes I'm a rocket scientist)
Reply to
Peter Fairbrother
If you are inferring that the other 4 in 5 of us do not even achieve mere digital literacy then the majority of us are doomed to t'internet oblivion? But this could be a plus. Alan
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I was discussing a boiler design for my neighbours proposed loco and the phrase "It's not rocket science" was mentioned but I countered that at one time it was, as it was cutting edge technology. Nowadays steam is well understood so not rocket science anymore. I recently attended a talk by Richard Gibbon OBE at the Bristol SMEE about the Great Britain engine replacements and that brought home the rapid pace of steam technology in those days.
Reply to
David Billington
That came out wrong - actually rocket science itself is mostly fairly easy, it's rocket plumbing that's hard.
You need to be able to use Naperian exponentials ("e"), and to some extent understand them, to understand the basic rocket equation; but that isn't hard to do.
Learning to use them takes two sentences; the level of understanding needed takes a couple of pages study and a night's sleep.
The perceived hardness is mostly because "e" isn't part of most people's math vocabulary - and this is mainly because it isn't taught at "O" level math, where IMO it should be taught.
Instead they go on about algebraic combinations of trig functions, and differentiation/integration of algebraic formulae - which are all pretty useless for most of us, and can be done in MATLAB or whatever without any need to understand the details anyway.
Or at least it were like that when I were a lad.
Rocket plumbing, on the other hand, is by comparison really complicated. Getting things to flow where and how you want them to is hard, even without getting into computational fluid dynamics etc.
-- Peter Fairbrother
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Peter Fairbrother

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