07/06/2012
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

20th Anniversary of the Bassett-Lowke Society

f1f83427-64c3-4b90-80fc-d814728b22ff

The society’s story begins in 1991 when O gauge model rail enthusiast Bob Burgess submitted a letter to the Gauge O Guild Gazette asking if there was interest in forming a Bassett-Lowke group. After a positive response, Bob set about organising an inaugural meeting towards the end of 1991. Unfortunately it had to be postponed after it proved impossible to set a date at short notice.

In the meantime, Bob produced a one-off newsletter in advance of an organised meeting. Unsure of what to call the publication, he suggested The Oil-Can (after the original Basset-Lowke in-house journal) or Lowko News. The publication contained Bob’s editorial alongside copies of some original Bassett-Lowke photos from Vic Reader’s collection, details of spares, services, sales, wants and auction reports – all elements quickly embraced by the new society.

As I suspect with many new groups, the first meeting finally took place on 25th April 1992 in a public house, the Red Lion in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. The first order of business for the eager 12 attendees was to name the group and thus the Bassett-Lowke Society was born.

It was established the organisation would be open to all, would keep bureaucracy to a minimum and that no individual would use it for personal gain. More importantly the principles and aims established on that day, which helped form such strong foundations, were as follows:

•    To foster an interest in all Bassett-Lowke products
•    To promote an interest in the history of the company including setting up a library of information, catalogues, articles and other literature for members
•    To establish a register of traders, restorers and manufacturers and maintain a trade directory
•    To produce a newsletter for: sales and wants, advertising meetings and exhibitions, auction reports and price information, sharing knowledge and know-how plus general correspondence
•    To arrange regular meetings

After the initial formation of the group, two key milestones quickly followed. It was decided the one-off newsletter should become a regular feature and, as a result, the first edition of Lowko News was printed in 1992 and continues to be produced today. Then in 1993 a small committee was formed to make quick decisions on behalf of the members, while Bob Burgess became the secretary and treasurer – a position that he continues to hold.

It became an immediate success and although the society has more than 500 current members, it is still run in the same way agreed by the founding members at that fateful meeting. In fact, as a constant reminder, the aims and principles are reiterated on the first page of each edition of the Spares Directory, which is sent to new members as part of their joining pack.

THIS IS AN EXTRACT FROM AN ARTICLE IN THE JULY 2012 ISSUE OF COLLECTORS GAZETTE. TO READ MORE, EITHER PICK UP THE LATEST ISSUE IN STORES OR ORDER ONLINE.

Back to Articles

07/06/2012 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

History of Bachmann Branchline UK

In this in-depth feature Paul Lumsdon traces the history of popular OO gauge model railway manufacturer ...


History of Trains Galore at Special Auction Services - video interview

Hugo Marsh, toy and train expert at Special Auction Services, talks about the origins of the popular sale.


History of the Billington E2 Class

Paul Lumsdon looks at the vintage locomotive that provided the inspiration for Thomas the Tank Engine.


Collectors Gazette Auction Report - Aston's Toy Auctions

See what your collectables might be worth in this video auction report from Aston's in Dudley.


Other Articles

Brand new Diamond Jubilee collectables to celebrate the historic event

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years since her accession in 1952. To celebrate this special occasion a ...


Report: Trade Model and Hobby Show 2012

This year's Trade Model and Hobby Show was held on 13th-14th March at the Coventry Transport Museum.


Hornby announces its new releases for 2012

Hornby has released details of its new products for 2012, including new locomotives and rolling stock, train ...


ACE Trains announce new tinplate O gauge water tower

ACE Trains has announced the latest addition to its line side range, a tinplate O gauge water tower.