Brief Background to my interest
I live in Derbyshire in the middle of the UK and have been collecting Jouef trains since early 2001. My interest followed on from collecting Playcraft Railways, which were a small range of models some of which were based on UK prototypes and were made by Jouef.
Although I have been a keen railway modeller since the early 1970's and have had various layouts over the intervening years it wasn't until I started collecting Playcraft and saw the models which were in the Jouef range that the interest in Jouef was fired up.
I buy my models mainly at swapmeets, toy fairs etc, but I also buy at model railway shows etc which can be a good source of reasonably priced models. I sometimes buy second hand from model shops but prices are now increasing as more people have started collecting. I also keep an eye on the Ebay internet auction site where one can sometimes pick up bargains in the UK but also in Germany and the Low Countries. French Ebay is usually expensive.
I try to stick to pre-1980's, which is a reasonable cut off point as the range expanded considerably after then, although I have some post 1980 stock.
I often buy rolling stock that's seen better days with plans to restore it to running order. I am not a purist and don't usually go for mint boxed, as I want to run a railway and not have a large collection gathering dust out of sight. I also object paying some of the ridiculous prices that are asked for what are sometimes poor examples, but I am slowly building up my collection.
It's sometimes a challenge to try to restore some of my finds to running order but that's all part of the fun of collecting!
When I finally get the time and the space to build a layout I hope to build big so that I can see long trains running. I shall also take some photographs of the layout and put them on the web site. I would like to build a portable layout so that I can take it to various events around the country to show it off, but that's in the future.
There are a number of special 'vintage' swapmeets nowadays at Rugby and Reading for example and several regular annual shows such as Alresford and Sandy where societies and individuals collect and show off their layouts. This is an excellent idea and a source of great interest. It's wonderful to see these various fine collections running on the tracks as intended.
I am trying to collect at least one of all the models which is proving to be rather difficult in the UK.
I have been a member of the Train Collectors Society in the past, which I can thoroughly recommend as a very professional society with knowledgeable people and an interesting magazine. I have attended several of their organised Society events and swap tips and information etc.
If you wish to know about Jouef or add anything to the site please email me.
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