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Bob Symes (also sometimes credited-as Robert Symes-Shutzmann or Bob Symes-Shutzmann) is the stage name of inventor Robert Alexander Baron Schutzmann von Schutzmansdorff.
In addition to his appearances on Tomorrow's World, Bob also presented his own Model World programme dedicated to the hobby of modelling, on the BBC in the mid 1970s, and co-presented (with Mary-Jean Hasler) a series called Making Tracks in the 1990s for the BBC. Making Tracks was a series dedicated to little-known lines and networks worldwide, and which specialised in steam operations. Perhaps uniquely, episodes were not filled with background music, thereby allowing viewers to listen to trains running without distraction.
A railway enthusiast, Bob's other activities included setting up the Border Union Railway in the 1970s to try to reopen a disused rail line in the north of England and restoring vintage tractors. Around the end of the Second World War, Robert married Monica Chapman who later became Producer of the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs and Your Concert Choice. In January 2007 he married Dr. Sheila Gunn (now Dr. Sheila, Baroness Symes Schutzmann von Schutzmansdorff), then Works Manager at Boston Lodge, on the Ffestiniog Railway. His interest in railways also includes model railways such as Gauge 1; he has a gauge 1 railway in his garden that was created in 1980. Many years later, a 10¼ railway was also built in his garden. He is also the president of a Guildford-based model railway circle called Astolat MRC.
Bob was also instrumental in setting up the Institute of Patentees and Inventors.
He is also patron of 'Hospital Radio Lion' based at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.
Notes and references
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