Presentation of WNJ in English

From time to time we have been asked to provide a translation of the website in English. We have always hesitated because it would have been not only a monumental task due to its volume but also difficult because of its many puns and tricky references.

But during spring of 2014 we received a mail from Bob Barlow of Greystar publishing company describing that he was about to start a new magazine (Finescale Railway Modelling Review) and asked for a contribution:

"I would be thrilled to have an article about Westergötland-Nerikes Järnvägar, which first came to my attention in 1990 when Krister Brandt came to the Model Railway Journal exhibition in London (I was the editor of MRJ for over 14 years before my ‘proper’ job got in the way!). Krister gave my his book on the layout and, despite the fact that I cannot understand a single word in the book, it is one of the most inspirational layouts I have ever seen – and I still look at the book and browse the website every week. The modelling (and photography) is absolutely outstanding. Do you think it is something your club/association might agree to?"

After some thought we accepted the challenge and as a response we received this mail from Bob:

"That’s marvellous news. I really look forward to reading the updated story of WNJ. However, I would appreciate a couple of the older pictures in advance so that I can use them as a preview and take the opportunity to tell my own story of meeting Krister. In 1990, when the MRJ exhibition was taking the UK modelling world by storm, causing queues around the streets of central London, Krister walked to the head of the queue, asked for me and talked his way in! I found him a very interesting and charismatic man. When he showed me his book – and actually signed it for me – I knew he was a modeller of extraordinary skill and drive. As I said earlier, I regularly turn to that book for inspiration and would love to use a couple of those low-level older photos like those I have added here. I am also keen to bring the wonder of WNJ to a wider UK audience. "

We started working on the article taking a new set of photographs and writing a suitable text. Both showed up to be more difficult than we originally thought but in February 2015 we could send a draft of an article to Bob. Only weeks hereafter Bob got message of liver cancer and in May he passed away, ending a long career in model railway journaling.

With respect to Bob and his desire to present fine scale modeling we have decided to publish the article on our website, as it could have been presented in his magazine.

Mats Björkelund
Secretary of Skövde Modellsällskap

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