The Henry Muller Collection
Lot 1129 to Lot 1162
Karl ‘Henry’ Muller
Born: Halle, Germany, 22 March 1922
Henry Muller came over to the UK in 1945, settled in Reading, then Berkshire, met Pauline and married in 1953.
Henry quickly established himself as a very able mechanical engineer. He kept land army vehicles running, eventually gaining employment on his beloved GWR, working between Reading, Oxford, Swindon and Paddington, where he repaired and tested the locomotives. This was his dream job, and what he didn’t know about steam locomotives could be written on the back of a postage stamp. He was mentored by Ernie Nutty, who soon became a lifelong friend and mentor.
Henry's interest in steam first came about when he was about 2½ years old, when he used to perch himself on the back of the sofa and watch the locomotives and wagons bring up brown coal from a pit situated opposite his grandmother’s house. He often told stories of how he snuck off school to ‘help’ on the footplate from the tender age of 8!
Henry’s modelling career began from a very early age too – as his dad was the village policeman, Henry was lucky enough to live in the village police house which fortunately had a decent sized loft where he, with aid of his uncle, spent many hours on his layout.
On arriving in Reading, Henry was befriended by Charlie and Ethel Cooper, who became my godparents. Charlie had an ‘0’ gauge layout around his 120ft garden, and the two of them spent many happy hours making locomotives, etc at the kitchen table. Most of the older locomotives were made from scratch, using nickel silver and copper sheet and mostly of the engines he worked on whilst working on the railways. 4079 Pendennis Castle was his all-time favourite – especially having worked on her during his time as a fitter. He often related tales of how beautifully she ran - what a gem of an engine, he would recall, along with many stories of how the crew stoked up the locomotives to keep strict times going 'to Pad' for the 'bowler hat brigade'.
Wherever we lived, Dad would have a layout - not a small one but one doing a complete lap of the garden, into the engine shed and back out again, complete with signalling, scenery and even a model of the Saltash Bridge, Isambard Kingdom Brunel being his hero.
Henry also had a keen interest in German railways, and had models of the tram that used to run in his home town, and various other German locomotives and rolling stock.
After the late 1950s modernisation, Dad became very involved in sourcing and securing various rolling stock, diesel railcars and locomotives from Barry Island, and anywhere else he could get his hands on, for The Severn Valley Railway in Bridgnorth and Didcot Preservation Group, plus others - every weekend during my early teens were spent sleeping in a dining car and helping Mum provide teas for the chaps who were working on the engines.
Throughout his life, his love of steam and the GWR was very evident, his passion carried him through until he passed away in 2006. I now have the heart-wrenching job of putting his collection up for auction, as was his wish. He and I would love this collection to be enjoyed, used and loved by those who, like him, have an enduring love of the steam engine.
Denise Taylor (daughter)
Cataloguer's Note: the locomotives by Henry Muller were clearly built to run and the detailing in their construction reflects his deep knowledge of the prototypes; all are fitted with 'skate' pickups for 3rd-rail or stud-contact operation, some of these have quite limited vertical travel and, whilst they should function quite normally on 'level' track may have difficulties if using 'raised 3rd-rail' track
DAY ONE - Tuesday 15th December at 10:00
1-42 N Gauge
43-50 Lone Star 000 and Tri-ang TT Gauge
51-64 Bing Table Top 00 Gauge
65-78 Tri-ang, Tri-ang Hornby and early Hornby 00 Gauge
79-163 Hornby 00 Gauge (Margate and China)
164-204 Bachmann 00 Gauge
253-269 Wrenn 00 Gauge
270-309 Other 00 Gauge
310-347 Kitbuilt 00 Gauge
348-463 Continental H0 Gauge
464-480 American H0 Gauge
481-516 Catalogues and Ephemera
517-528 Prints and Paintings
529-546 Railway Signs
581-613 Signalling Equipment and Accessories
DAY TWO- Wednesday 16th December at 10:00
614-619 Toy and Floor Trains
620-746 French Hornby 0 Gauge
The following 22 lots form an exceptional collection of Bobigny-produced French Hornby 0 Gauge 'Paris - Orléans' (PO) Electric bonneted locomotives, with both pre-war and post-war variants, all are in authentic original colours, and all are in stout but non-original boxes
747-858 Hornby 0 Gauge
859-945 Bassett-Lowke and Exley 0 Gauge
946-967 Marklin 0 Gauge
968-1011 Finescale 0 Gauge
1012-1043 Modern 0 Gauge
1044-1172 0ther 0 Gauge
1173-1186 Vintage Gauge 1
1190-1193 Modern Gauge 1
1194-1233 Wide Gauges and Live Steam