It is with great sadness that the legend in the model railway world that is Bob Symes also known as Robert Alexander Baron Schutzmann von Schutzmansdorff (born 6 May 1924) has today passed away aged 90 after a short battle with Cancer.
Like many railway modellers of a certain age group I remember Bob from the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World and his own programmes he presented: Model World dedicated to the hobby of modelling, also on the BBC in the mid 1970s, and Model Magic. He also presented a series called Making Tracks in the 1990s. Making Tracks was a series dedicated to little-known lines and networks worldwide, and which specialised in steam operations.
I was lucky enough to have met Bob on a number of occasions firstly in my short trouser days admiring his large radio controlled railway models at a model railway show in Beaconsfield and lastly at the January 2011 Astolat show in Guildford. Bob was judging the competition for the best visiting layout in show and spent many minutes looking, very much at eye level, at Fisherton Sarum and no one was more surprised than me when he later announced the layout as best in show. I have just raised a beer in his memory in the engraved glass tankard that I received to commemorate the award.
RIP Bob Symes, a great inspiration to many modellers alike, the model railway layouts in the great upstairs have just gained another operator. My sincere condolences to all his family and friends.
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