Luton Model Railway Club have made a display of the Great Train Robbery (1963). Brilliant. The model is on show at various events throughout the summer. Alan Baines, our BAGD course leader, recently saw it at Alexandra Palace in London.
The Great Train Robbery was the robbery of a Royal Mail train heading between Glasgow and London in the early hours of Thursday 8 August 1963.
After tampering with line signals, a 15-strong gang of robbers led by Bruce Reynolds attacked the train. Other gang members included Gordon Goody, Buster Edwards, Charlie Wilson, Roy James, John Daly, Jimmy White, Ronnie Biggs, Tommy Wisbey, Jim Hussey, Bob Welch and Roger Courdrey as well as three men known only as numbers ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’. A 16th man, an unnamed retired train driver, was also present at the time of robbery.
With careful planning based on inside information from an individual known only as ‘The Ulsterman’, the robbers got away with over £2.6 million (the equivalent of £46 million today). The bulk of the stolen money was never recovered.
After the robbery the gang hid at Leatherslade Farm. When caught, the ringleaders were sentenced to 30 years in jail.
Biggs achieved notoriety by escaping from custody and living the life of a fugitive…eventually living in Brazil. His exploits, over the next forty odd years, were followed by the British media and he became something of a folk-hero. More recently, there have been a number of dramas on British television based on the events of the robbery and its aftermath.
I really like the idea of making a model of a cultural-event like this…next, a model railway layout of Brief Encounter (1945). With integrated digital multi-media!
PS My favorite object like this is the waxwork, in Paris, modelled after Gericault’s great painting of the Raft of the Medusa (1819).