Retirement - May 2024

And now, here is a Public Service Announcement...

I was 65 earlier this year, and so retirement beckons. Having been working as Rhos Helyg Loco Works (RHLW) as my sole source of income now for over 20 years, and having "been there, done that" with most things I'd like to give it a rest. And so, in May next year, I will be retiring.

Now, much as I admire the lifestyle of the chaps to be seen in Wetherspoons most mornings, reading the paper and drinking six pints with their Full English, I have decided reluctantly that this is not the future lifestyle for me: Although I love a Full English, I don't read newspapers, I don't drink beer and would have to travel nearly 250 miles a week to accomplish this dream.

My other thought was to buy a large motorbike and go charging around the lanes of North Wales at breakneck speeds. Never having ridden a motorbike, and with a plethora of dry-stone walls in the vicinity, I decided that this also would not be a recipe for long life. I suppose I could use the bike just to go to Wetherspoons...

But I need something to keep me busy, and a life of laying on the sofa watching This Morning and Police Interceptors does not appeal. I would like time to do some model railway work for myself. In particular, my own garden railway is in a shocking state and needs a lot of work. I hope that by not working "full time" in my workshop I will find the time, and the enthusiasm, to return it to its former glory.

What does this actually mean then? It does NOT mean that I will be stopping RHLW activities completely. Instead, from next year, I will just be more selective on what I choose to do, and how long I take to do it. My two favourite jobs are accidental damage repairs, sadly, and turning models in to accurate representations of full-size locos. Rare as they are, these jobs will continue as normal.

Things I will no longer do:
 - Paint stripping, just the worst job, I hate it.
 - Mechanical work on locos not based on Roundhouse components.
 - Mechanical work on Accucraft locos. I have never been an Accucraft service agent and mechanical repairs would be best carried out by those fine chaps that are.
 - Mechanical work on locos from minority builders and exotic one-off locos such as those built by "skilled model engineers" that clearly were not.
 - Anything that involves water-slide transfers.
 - Gloss finish paint, no change there then.
 - New radio control installations on non-Roundhouse locos.
 - Anything to do with whistles.

Things I will continue to do:
 - Accidental damage repairs, whatever is needed.
 - Accurate modelling of full-size locos.
 - Repairs to just about anything based on Roundhouse components, with a few exceptions where parts are no longer available (Pooter, Carrie, Millie, etc.)
 - Painting and lining, provided the job is not too complicated and only on bodywork that somebody else has stripped.
 - Agent for MDC plates.
 - Anything that interests and enthuses me, jobs I would like to do, whatever that may be.

I will, of course, complete the jobs that are currently booked in, but there is now a definite time limit for new jobs falling in to the "no longer do" list to be added. If there is anything you would like me to do for you please get in touch sooner rather than later.

For the moment though it is business as usual!

Tony Willmore - September 2023