THE NORTH-WEST WALES 16mm MODEL RAILWAY GROUP
A GROUP WHICH IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ASSOCIATION OF 16mm NARROW GAUGE MODELLERS
Keith Arthur Hunt. 1943 - 2020
Some members of the N. W. Wales 16mm Model Railway Group may remember Keith who died during the evening of Saturday 25 April 2020 in Glan Clwyd hospital from Prostate and spine cancer. He had been to some our local meetings and will be remembered as the big friendly guy with an equally big sense of humour and infectious laugh. He enjoyed everything related to railways and technical matters and at meetings he enjoyed a good natter and a piece of cake.
I first met Keith a few years ago in the WHHR shop at Portmadoc where he set up a tiny card table to display his amazing collection of mainly 009 card loco kits. Behind them sat this great bear of a chap who was delighted to chat about his models and show me all the fine details he'd incorporated in them. We got chatting about all sorts, as you do with fellow enthusiasts and like-minded people. We got on very well and carried on discussing all sorts including our interests in industrial archaeology, hi-fi and the unusual aspects of railways and their modelling.
It transpired that Keith had once owned the Hunt EDA Hi-Fi accessories company that was highly acclaimed for its innovative and high-quality products. He had once worked for Morgan Ceramics as a design engineer and trouble shooter with an ability to solve problems cheaply and efficiently. He later ventured into the Hi-Fi world where he became well known at trade shows with his infectious laugh and his eccentric dress to attract attention to his product display. This was something he suggested I should do at model railway shows, but I never did get round to trying it. His most successful product design was the carbon fibre vinyl record cleaner that was very highly acclaimed as the premier cleaner in its day. Sadly, due its success it became widely copied by cheap foreign manufacturers that still sell them today. This spelt the end of the genuine Hunt EDA record cleaner. Undeterred he came up with a special type of dark green felt pen to mark the outside and inside edges of CD's to cut down internal Infrared light scatter that improved the sound quality. I have a few of the pens that I can show people and say that I knew the inventor.
His modelling pastime was like many of us with a bit of this and that with mainly an accumulation of a great many OO locos in Keith's case. He never got pleasure from buying a new one, as he much preferred to spend hours or days tinkering with an old broken one and get the satisfaction of seeing it run again – sometimes! He became very interested in early OO Graham Farish models and collected a great many of them that would give him hours of pleasure trying to fix their bizarre mechanisms. Tinkering best sums up his recent years and this always gave us much to chat about when he would call in to see us, often on his way home after visiting sick relatives in Harlech. We'd spend a couple of hours nattering and comparing what we were up to doing, often ending with some sagely advice that was frequently ignored.
He was always interested in everything technical and scientific and was a subscriber to Scientific America magazine, although he admitted to understanding about five percent of it if he was lucky. At least it was more educational that buying some coffee table glossy magazine.
Despite him suffering with increasing back pains during his later visits he always remained cheerful and positive and even enjoyed struggling in and out of my old Mazda Eunos (MX-5) that we both had so much fun with. The time came finally to let the car and camper van go as did everything else he had when he was moved to a care home before his final time in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.
It was Keith who came up with the idea that I should call my model kits 'Sixteen Mills' and sort of made sense and so his suggestion was accepted for once. Thanks Keith!
We had a lot a fun together that I will deeply miss. You may be gone, but you're not forgotten.