Update 23 December 2020
This is normally a time of good cheer and great expectations just before we enter the Christmas Holiday period. It is an important time for Christians like me awaiting the celebration of the Nativity of Christ over 2,000 years ago and for others who look forward to a well earned break to meet up socially with their families and friends.
Sadly, this year in the UK, and also in many other parts of Europe and elsewhere in the world, we face an unprecedented Christmas lock-down situation with severe restrictions or complete prohibition of any form social mixing with our friends and family. In the UK we also face a period of continuing uncertainty with the EU and the UK deadlocked on the last stage of the trade negotiations and the current disruption to the movement of people and goods between the Continent of Europe and elsewhere due to fears of a new variants of the COVID-19 virus, that are believed to be far more infectious than earlier strains. So we may end the year without our normal Christmas and New Year celebrations, being forced having a quiet time in solo households. Conversation may have to be limited to electronic communication: the telephone or by internet channels. Whatever prevails we must try to make the best of a difficult situation.
You may ask what have we been doing at Masterpiece Models over the last few weeks. Here is a brief description of much of our work. First we have been talking to each other daily within the team (except for the occasional weekend day) on a new way of working with our builders whereby we will become much more directly involved in the design and production processes of future models. There are five objectives here:
- To make more accurate models
- Improve the technical exchange between us and the builders so that we can work together much more efficiently than we do at present working largely from pictures and commentary.
- To ensure better quality control and less corrective work here in the UK after models have left the factory.
- To shorten the build time of the models.
- To establish a production plan with the builders so that we and they have clearer view of how to make the models and the sequence and timing of operations and activities.
We want to make better models more quickly to try to reduce the long waiting times.
Second, we have been in constant touch with the builders to encourage them to finish the Western Diesel and the Halls (Collett and Modified), as well as the 28XX/38XX freight locomotives.
Third, we have also been in touch with many customers, especially those in EU Europe, to despatch as many models as possible before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020 assuming, as the UK is currently demanding, there is no further extension.
We hope you all have as good a Christmas as possible and that you are able to keep some contact with your friends and family over this important holiday period.Thank you all very much for your continued support, encouragement and custom.
Best wishes and please keep safe,
John Borkowski 23 December 2020