Prorail UK
Content, Text & Images
© PRORAIL, 2001-2012

All rights reserved

Original Design
Inspiratech 2000

Content, Text & Images
© PRORAIL, 2001-2012

All rights reserved

Original Design
Inspiratech 2000


Latest News + Other Events

Most Recent Amendment : 6th August 2012


For realizations from the recent Railway Sale at Carlisle, click


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With ever more events in the 2012/13 Auction Season, some selective choices must be made by collectors set on attending in person. The cost of travel and accommodation continues to climb inexorably, hence the appeal of auction sites accessible "on-line". Whilst some specialist auctioneers appear to be grasping the necessity of improving their catalogue quality and distribution, others lag woefully behind. We would recommend serious study of what is on offer through our "Auction Scene" links before setting off on yet another expensive foray to all points of the compass. And apart from the well-publicized "Premier League" events, collectors should be aware of many other opportunities to add to their collections. EBAY has been offering up some plums over the past year - obviously along with much dross (caveat emptor etc.) - including the surprising re-emergence of brand new replica shedplates (as if there weren't already enough of them around!).


25th September 2010

6th December 2008

21st February 2009

17th January 2009

St Leonards
10th January 2009

15th November 2008

JOHN MANDER, 1939 - 2012

Yet another stalwart has departed the Railwayana Scene. We were saddened to learn from his family that John Mander had passed away last week after a short illness. A highly significant contributor to this hobby, John was one of a number of "retired teachers" to be involved with railway memorabilia - and he was able to translate a love of his subject into words that could inspire many followers - through his books and periodicals. Unlike many others, financial gain was not the driving force behind his involvement with Railwayana - and the effort he would put into his work was legendary. Founder of Birmingham Railway Publications - and editor of a series of periodicals and guides that are as relevant today as when first published - whether you knew John in person or are too new to the hobby to value his contribution, be aware that we have all lost an irreplaceable fount of knowledge. His family was involved with all aspects of his output and we can do no better than allow Jason - his youngest son - to have the final comment. DW

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my father John Mander, formerly of Birmingham Railway Publications/Auctions and the Railway Collectors' Journal. He passed away peacefully at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Thursday 17th May, following a short illness.

Although Dad was less active on the railwayana scene in his later years, I know he retained a keen interest in the area and often spoke fondly of the friends he had made through the railwayana community as well as those who had visited him in Sedbergh, where he chose to move following his retirement.

As his youngest son, I also have happy memories of accompanying him to Sheffield, Kidlington, Quorn, Matlock and other sites so that he could distribute the latest winnings from that month's telephone auction.

Dad passed away with his family at his side.
Jason Mander

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"Hype and Tripe" is alive and well and oozing from the pages of Railwayana Auction Catalogues. What moronic readership is being targetted by their compilers as they ladle out the alphabet soup? The problem is that too many people BELIEVE what they read, treat it as gospel and then quote it for future reference!

Has the bottom really fallen out of the nameplate market? A crestfallen auctioneer, visibly shaken by the lack of interest in his A4 offering (later to be sold at 10,000 below estimate - and then only when reduced Buyer's Premium had been negotiated) might provide some indication of the present state of the market.

Auctioneering Ethics under the Spotlight. It really is about time that auctioneers confined activities to their own events and avoided the confusing messages being sent out when appearing at competitive locations.

Buyer's Premium offers hidden benefits. The introduction of free catalogues was a welcome, albeit limited, offset against the extra cost to buyers - yet not every event offers even that. The opportunity for vendors to negotiate a reduced (or even FREE) commission rate in today's competitive environment heralds another ball-game altogether!

Ready to pay to attend a Live Auction? Following reluctant acceptance of Buyer's Premium, will railwayana collectors be equally tolerant of the introduction of Admission Charges?

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You can access RCJ information in a dedicated area on the site. From the drop-down menu, select Information then RCJ Archives. By clicking an issue number on the grid, cover pictures and contents list will be displayed - together with "Highlights" facility to read those contents. Alternatively, you may page through the issues after selecting Last Issue.

"What's Happening" in the world of Railways Today? - Click NEWSNOW feed.

New "Pictures of the Day" Choices are now Available - Click on Pictures

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After two years of anticipation, the Sheffield Railwayana Auctions team has finally conceded the inadequacy of the spiritual home at Myers Grove School and will be re-opening for business in the Gateway Centre at the Derbyshire County Cricket Club. But it is not only the unfamiliarity of the location that collectors will be faced with on Saturday 15th September, they must also be ready to acquire a taste for the new recipe on offer "Now with ADDED Buyer's Premium"!

RCJ had been a lonely champion for the introduction of such charges - against the entrenched view that they were simply "enthusiast run" events - provided that "Added Value" be returned to collectors, by way of investment in improved service, professional advertising and promotion, developments aimed at widening the appeal to younger collectors etc. What galls in this case, is the way in which the B.P. has been introduced. Not a word of advance notice appeared in the advertisement that we were asked to publish (which was otherwise, as usual, extremely verbose), just the unheralded appearance of a new clause in the conditions of sale in the catalogues. Indeed, the previous catalogue was still extolling the attraction of no B.P. being payable - and the SRA website was only amended with the release of the latest issue. SRA has sat on its hands for two years, allowing its competitors to draw the flak for bringing in the charges. But those competitors, who might have been less well placed to lose business, did offer some trade-off at the time of its introduction - such as eliminating the subscription charges for printed catalogues. One assumes that the facilities in Derby will be better than in Sheffield - and certainly more expensive to hire - but not to the extent of the extra revenue being generated. We will be interested to watch future developments once the first event has been held.

And just what has brought about Ian Wright's "Conversion on the road to Damascus"? His outspoken opposition to Buyer's Premium is legendary - both verbally and in letters to the magazine that we have on file. We disagreed on this matter numerous times - and agreed to disagree. In Britain, we respect the right to hold a contrarian opinion to ones own. Surely he can't expect to disassociate himself from the decision - he is acknowledged as both "Consultant and Auctioneer"? If his genuine conviction is as strong as ever, how can he continue to be associated with this new policy without losing the respect and goodwill that was built up over many years. [As an aside, why do specialist auctioneers retire/sell their businesses - then stick around as if nothing has changed?]

Why the move only 30 miles down the road to Derby - and not more positively towards the South East where the Directors are based? The Midlands now hosts all the main events - from Stoneleigh, Knowle and Rugby to Pershore, Stafford and now Derby. Perhaps in another couple of years Milton Keynes will begin to figure in the diary?

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David Anthony "Tony" Peart M.A. died in September 2006. As founder and curator of the renowned railwayana collection at Doncaster Grammar School, he gave freely of his time, knowledge and advice on all aspects of our hobby and contributed for many years to RCJ and its forerunners. An enormous debt is owed to him by all enthusiasts - and auctioneers alike - for his ability to "cast his eye" over virtually everything and make a meaningful contribution to our corporate knowledge. We are fortunate to be the custodians of the bulk of his written output on Railwayana and will ensure that it remains accessible to everyone. It is hoped that the DGS Collection will remain a monument to his lifetime interest in transport matters, when its stewardship is transferred to the National Railway Museum. He was also a keen vintage road vehicle enthusiast and will be missed at rallies around the country with his AEC double deck buses - often having to choose between competing road / rail events! In every sense a "Gentleman and Scholar", it will be difficult to find his like again. DW

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