Model Engineer 7 May Vol 224 - John Clark (Polly 20th)

This article is copyright and is reproduced by kind permission of The Model Engineer and

From Phil Roberts NWMES:
The above article in the Model Engineer 24th April – 7th May Vol 224 No.4637 on Polly’s 20th Anniversary with a picture of John Clark on the front page. For those of you that do know, John Clark was a valued member of the NWMES for many years and founded the Polly company.

From Martin Hebenstreit NWMES:
Nice to see that John’s contribution is still going strong, He was a nice bloke and I used to enjoy a chat with him on the bus trips to the exhibitions.

From Harold Jones NWMES:
It was always a pleasure for Phil and I to serve John and Maureen refreshments on our Society’s coach excursions to various exhibitions.
John was a quiet gentleman with an awfully dry humour, his darling wife – very bubbly!!.
During John’s production of the original Polly locomotives, one of his advertisements in the model magazines quoted,”that his models were so easy to construct, even a lady could do it”. The lady being Maureen. She being a very competent lady !!.  I don’t know how that would go down these PC days?.

Jim Cross built one of the early locos, an 0-4-0 tender loco and entered it on behalf of our society in an IMLEC competition. (Not sure when and where!).

Sometime in the early nineties??, some of our members must have discussed with John about building a club loco using Polly parts. At the time Polly, did not produce an 0-6-0 version of any locomotive, so our Society members built one. I suppose it resembled a Simplex in size and shape. It worked very well, but was not popular with a lot of our members. One of our young members (then!!)- Peter Ridgeway was the loco’s custodian, driving it very competently. Peter is now a member of Bristol MES.

So historically, NWMES built the first Polly 0-6-0 loco. For a long time it ran in a polished brass state, but when the society decided to sell it, it was painted a dark blue.  Where is it now I wonder?
I don’t have any photos of it, but have covered it on video during one of Don Young’s visits to Ysgol Gogarth.

From Bob Hughes NWMES:
The memories of John Clark came flooding back when I read the various articles and posts on our website during the last week or so.

I remember meeting him for the first time at the Presbyterian school rooms in Rhos on Sea where we used to meet at the time I was with Bob Stark who introduced me to the club and I developed a very health respect for John from day one he was a very talented model engineer although he would tell you that Maureen was better than him !!. He liked talking to Harold Barton another very talented model engineer and I recall the experiments that Harold Barton did regarding “draughting”  which John was very interested in, he used to look forward to the annual Christmas dinner which in those days we held at the Aberhod in Rhos.

I visited the Old School in Love Lane, Denbigh many times with Bob Stark who used to spend hours with John and I remember seeing a  0-6-0 Polly with a front bogie which Bob had built into a 2-6-0 probably the first Polly 2-6-0 not sure what happened to it but it’s along time ago. I also remember seeing a 71/4 Duchess which John had built and I think he built a couple at the time. I discovered that I had an elderly relative Emily Hughes was a teacher at the school during the late 1890’s and she lived next door to the school, before John moved into the school the building as used for the manufacture of  ladies clothes.