Records of Graham Farish catalogues are provided below dating back to as early as 1971. Click on the thumbnails to view each catalogue. By reading through these catalogues, one gets a real sense of how the Graham Farish N-Gauge stable evolved from the early 1970’s up to the year 2000 – a real fascinating read! The notes on the right provide a summary of each catalogue and point out interesting snippets you might have missed – they’re more than just catalogues! They document the history of this company. Special thanks are extended to ness-st.co.uk for archiving Graham Farish catalogues. N-gauge aficionados can visit their site to also find catalogues for Dapol, Lima, Peco and Graham Farish (by Bachmann).
|1971 booklet - 4 pages;
"Now he is growing up, your young man will expect more than another toy, he needs one that is fun in the truest sense but is also the start of a hobby. So his first Train Set needs your thoughtful care in selection."
The above statement is taken from the opening text of this booklet, and what a nostalgic scene it sets.
One of the earliest Graham Farish publications for model railways in N Gauge, this appears to be more of a booklet, possibly coming with the set which is shown on the cover (the cover image was also used for the front of the box on one of the ealry sets).
The Holden locomotive costs you GBP5.45, whilst the Pannier Tank will set you back a pricier GBP5.79. Get saving kids!
|1970 advertisement - 1 page;
An undated advertisement, this publication is one of Graham Farish's earliest on record for N Gauge rolling stock. It is prior to the introduction of tender locomotives, with the only options being a GWR Pannier or GER Holden. It is interesting to browse these older catalogues to see the prices back in those days. Given, one must take inflation into account, but it does make one realise just how far back production for Graham Farish of model railways goes.
Of interest on this advertisement are;
1) We see the Graham Farish logo of that era, a "G" clamp and caliper. I believe this logo was designed by one of the Farish family.
2) Notice the footnote, which mentions that the advert is published by PECO PUBLICATIONS & PUBLICITY LIMITED. Waterlow (Dunstable) Ltd were a large printer of the time, being well known for printing banknotes for many British colonial territories.
|1973 advertisement - GRAFAR deliver the Goods! - 1 page;
"Supplies are increasing daily - but so too are the orders. Your dealer is not likely to have any surplus, so you should place an order with him - NOW, to ensure the earliest possible delivery, if you have not already done so."
The above relates to the newly released G.W.R. Hall Class locomotive and typifies marketing speak of the era.
It is interesting to note the promotion of dealers (model shops) - something Graham Farish undertook from their very first advertisements. It's a far cry from today's world of the world wide web!
|1973 Catalogue - The Romance of steam ... in miniature - 16 pages;
The first real attempt on record of a Graham Farish catalogue, and not a bad effort!
We have a nice introduction to N Gauge, with Graham Farish quoting that they have been manufacturers of HO/OO Gauge since 1947. It mentions the diminishing available space in the modern home, the advances in production methods, enabling the manufacture of "N" and the ability build an N gauge layout in half the size of OO.
There is an interesting note on the lack of available British outline models in N gauge in the past and the invention of yard-long flexible track by the Chairman, Mr T. Graham Farish, in 1947.
The company are proud to state that all of their products are made in England, apologising for a small proportion of materials being of European origin.
The graphics are reminiscent of the time, and we still haven't arrived at the "now famous", and still in use, golden yellow Graham Farish type-font.
|January 1978 poster - 2 pages
Here we see the first Merchant Navy Class tender locomotives, an increased range for the Hall Class, and also the new Class Five mixed traffic locomotive. These designs would remain with Graham Farish until their take-over. General Purpose tank locomotives also make their debut.
For the first time we see the advertising of accessories such as brushes & springs for 68p and loco buffers for 75p - the beginnings of what Graham Farish would become; a model railway manufacturer selling not just the models but the spares to go with them. We even see chassis advertised without bodies for the first time, something that was to appeal to the body kit building fraternity.
A nice touch at the bottom right of this advertisement is the small text box, detailing that the reverse is an oil painting by E. Bottomly, commissioned by Graham Farish and for sale for GBP4.50. Perhaps you have one of these, or a similar one from the collection, at home.
For the real eagle eyed, at the very bottom of the page on the right is the VAT rate of the time ... guess how much it is?
|1980 & January 1980 Toyfair New Releases - 24 pages;
A new format landscape catalogue for Graham Farish. Whilst the Graham Farish logo and font on the cover of this edition had been seen on the 1978 release, this is the first time we see it in yellow and it is the branding which is still recognisable to this day, under the ownership of Kader / Bachmann. Layouts are used to good effect for the first time to display locomotives and rolling stock, a trend that would continue throughout their publications. Additionally, we see a clear and concise "side on letterbox" view of the stock for the first time. Although not much text in this edition, it was a keen introduction to future editions.
|1981 Catalogue - 20 pages;
Following on from the 1980 catalogue, 1981 sees the addition of more steam locomotives and rolling stock, and also the introduction of what will be a long continued range - the block building with self adhesive panels (released in 1980 but first appearing in the 1981 catalogue). We also see for the first time, passenger and goods train sets.
|1983 Catalogue - 36 pages;
A significant expansion occurs during this period with not only the release of the first diesels but also the first models sporting the BR corporate blue scheme. We see the class 20, class 47, HST, class 37, class 08 shunter and DMU 101's. Great use of photography is used to display some of these models on a fantastic layout. We see, for the first time, Magnum Layouts, although in this edition they are not named as such. The buildings range has also been expanded. Three points of note for this catalogue;
1) The company bring more text into their publications, with an article, including pictures, titled "The Making of Masterpieces", outlinging the diecasting process of manufacture. Note the sums mentioned, more than GBP15,000 developing a class 47 and GBP7,000 for developing a standard locomotive body.
2) An article on page 31 titled "N Gauge - A Hobby for a Lifetime. A very nice touch for those entering the hobby.
3) A first look, on page 35, at the new motorised bogie for the HST and DMU 101, the class 08 chassis and the class 47 chassis, also used in the class 37.
|Graham Farish Releases - January 1984 to January 1985 - 8 pages;
Whilst more of a supplement and only a slim 8 pages, this edition is packed full of new releases. We are introduced to the class 50 for the first time in "Sir Edward Elgar", although it does mention that this is joining the class 50's "Tameraire" & "Vanguard", suggesting that these models were released earlier. We see the class 55 for the first time, as well as 57ft gangwayed brake coaches, newspaper packing and express parcels bogie vehicles, the HST in the smart BR "Executive" livery, the first look at the class 25 diesel, and the addition of the Duchess Class, outlined on page 7. The buildings range is also added to, with an upper and lower high street and warehouse, amongst others.
Of particular note in this supplement;
1) The introduction of 5-pole motors, outlined on page 7. Advantages listed are; lower power consumption, lower working temperatures, increased reliability & performance, improved control at slower speeds, compatibility with zero 1 controllers and 1/2 wave power.
2)First look on page 8 of the new class 25 chassis. One presumes the class 50/55 chassis was also available, although it is not shown in this issue.
3)The transition of the HST/DMU 101's from motor bogies to motor chassis. The DMU is listed as going from motor bogie to motor chassis in January 1985. There is an interesting facet of information here too; gearing went from 16:1 to 25:1 according to Graham Farish ... what we didn't know at the time was the issues that would arise from the intermediate gears splitting! (NOTE: The claim above about gear ratios related to the pinion, or worm, gear against the cog gear, and not the gearing ratio from the motor).
|1987 Catalogue - 52 pages
The last of the landscape format catalogues, the 1987 edition is interesting in that it has a black cover with no photograph or illustration. Is this by design, or was the art-work removed prior to printing, perhaps due to a model not being ready for manufacture? Do you you know the reason? We'd love to hear from you if you do.
This edition mentions discontinued models, denoted by a white star (*) - browse through and see if you can find them.
Dave Lowery is mentioned for his use of Graham Farish buildings in the January - May editions of "Your Model Railway" - do you have any of these? We'd love to archive the articles on this site.
The 8f Heavy Freight Locomotive is introduced, as is the class 40 and class 52 Westerns. We also see the AEC Railcar.
On the scenery front, the Graham Farish layouts are known officially labelled as "Magnum Layouts" and figures (people) are advertised for the first time.
A note is made of Graham Farish going to the length of photographing the models at as close a size as possible to their actual size. This is a nice touch.
Finally, we see that the costs of production have increased, with class 47 development now being GBP20,000, and locomotive body production costs being in the region of GBP10,000.
|1989 Catalogue - 28 pages
In 1989 we saw the first of a new format for the catalogue. Whilst the style didn't change, the orientation went from landscape to portrait.
On the steam front we see the introduction of the A3 (including the Flying Scotsman) and the J94 saddle tank.
The class 47 has new liveries in BR Railfreight (Silcock Express), Scotrail (Waverley), Intercity Executive and Network SouthEast. For the smaller diesels, we see the new class 33.
Towards the back of the catalogue, a greater variety of chassis are shown. It is not clear if these were available previously as stand-alone chassis. They are the large diesel chassis - class 50/52/55, the class 40, AEC Railcar and classes 20 & 33 on the smaller diesel front.
Further mention is made of the Magnum Layouts, with a note saying that they'll even be delivered to your door, track assembled!
A close association with AGW Electronics has been forged by this time, with AGW producing Graham Farish branded controllers and mention of the AGW handbook.
Page 15 tells us of the Merley House Model Museum near Wimborne in Dorset, where the whole Graham Farish range can be seen. It appears this museum no longer exists. Have you been there? Which layouts were on view there? Would you like to share your experiences through the contact form?
We also learn on page 15 about the Graham Farish Golden Rail Trophy. I believe this is still a prized trophy of N gauge modellers to this day. Have you won it? Where is it now?
Finally, an amusing comment on page 7 ... "Thanks to the power of our diesel motorised chassis, even 100 wagon goods trains are possible". Now, I must try that one day!
|1991 Supplement - 8 pages;
This was a very light, if modern affair at only 8 pages. It's not clear where the supplement appeared. Perhaps in a magazine.
We really see the "modernisation" of the Farish liveries here; MkIV coaches in Swallow livery, along with the HST, Travelling Post Office (TPO) and Post Office Sorting (POS) coaches, the class 47 in red parcels sector, new mould class 37's in coal, metals and petroleum sectors, a NSE class 50 and the class 33 in two new sectors. This certainly was the "modernisation" period for Farish and reflected the period of change through which the real railways were going.
To sum this up, we see the first of the "Electrics" - the class 91.
The sole steam entry is the Class 4 2-6-4T Standard Tank Locomotive, which mechanically was a good model.
Finally, we see the AGW controllers replaced with the Graham Farish "Powerbox" brand.
|1994 - 32 Pages
For the first time since 1980, we see a "non-Farish" layout adorning the front cover. Referencing the back page, we see this layout is "Copenhagen Fields", courtesy of "The Model Railway Club" in London.
The Limited Edition model makes its debut in this catalogue, with production being limited to 500 pieces - in this instance it is the DMU 101 in Strathclyde Livery.
The Class 47 in BR Rail Express appears for the first time, as does two new Class 08's; BR Railfreight and "Thomas" in red.
The DMU 101 is well suited to the Network Southeast livery, and following on from this we have a new chassis - the class 158/9. The 159 came in NSE and the 158 in Regional livery.
There is a new Magnum Layout (9730) on page 27.
On the chassis front, we see the addition of the class 158/9.
|1997 - 36 pages
Much of this catalogue appears the same as the 1994 edition. Delving inside, there are a few differences;
1) Front cover is of Seaton Junction layout at PECORAMA.
2) It's the first catalogue to inform us of the box labelling colour codes; yellow for ongoing models, silver for Special Editions and red for Limited Editions (500). A variety of Special and Limited Editions are sported on page 2 - enjoy!
3) The Rebuilt Merchant Navy / Battle of Britain classes are introduced, as are new Panniers and Jinty's.
4) The Magnum Layout gets another makeover as Magnum III.
5) The Class 31 diesel is seen for the first time on page 20.
6) On the same page we get a first look at the class 90 electric locomotive, which shares its chassis with the class 87.
|UK Retail Price List - October 1999 - 4 pages;
This is the last Graham Farish Poole UK retail price list on record and gives an indication of the RRP of items prior to the sale of the company to Kader Industries.
Besides the price list itself, we see an abundance of interesting information on the front page. Of interest is;
1) A note of the British N Gauge Society scales and measurements (to which Graham Farish produced their models), with a note that all measurements are subject to standard engineering tolerances of +/- 0.002".
2) As we saw from the beginning to the end of Graham Farish in the UK, an affirmation to support your local stockist - DEAL ONLY WITH AUTHORISED GRAHAM FARISH DEALERS - SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL STOCKISTS - THEY ARE THERE TO HELP YOU.
3) All locomotives returned under guarantee had to include the guarantee card. How many of those in your collection are actually stamped by the model shop? Not many!
4) A note reminding customers that they can visit the reception to purchase goods and make enquiries, but factory tours are not possible. It would be interesting to know if they ever were.
5) An encouragement for customers to join the N Gauge Society.
6) A useful entry on which armatures, type I/II/II, are used in which locomotives / diesels.
7) Factory and office working hours - take a look at Fridays, nice work if you can get it!
|The final catalogue published by Graham Farish in Poole before the takeover by Kader Industries.|