Thursday 30 December 2021



I'm detailing up one of the original Dapol Brighton Works Terriers: extra pipework, painting, sandbox moving et al. Photos often show a degree of clutter on the tank tops with fire irons dumped behind the handrail. A small coal bucket would be a nice touch. Most of the plastic varieties are more the size of 9 gallon barrels, but I located this whitemetal item in the box which was much more suitable. All I had to do was to drill the centre out and fit a handle from 0.5mm wire. Much swearing later and I'd got something coal bucket shaped. Now to paint.

Tuesday 28 December 2021

Will LIma locos run on code 75 track?

A strange visitor at Dury's Gap. There was some discussion about whether the wheels fitted to Lima European stock would cope with Peco code 75 track. The quickest way to answer this was to run this 1980s vintage NSB EL-13 over the Gap's mix of Peco code 75 and bullhead. The result was a faint click in places but it didn't slow or slop and more importantly whizzed through all the pointwork without so much as a judder. It positively purred along... well as much a Lima stuff ever purred.

Saturday 18 December 2021

Saturday Ramble

 To my knowledge two shows for early 2022 have already been cancelled: The S&D trust and Erith. I would imagine that this is the thin end of the wedge and as I write others will be falling. It would be easy to opine why and if the reasons are fear based, stealth lockdown or what have you. This doesn't really matter - the uncertainty continues and I have been returning to this at odd times since early 2020. My opinion is no more or less valid than anyone else's and I'm fairly middle of the road in all this. With 'us' specifically there is a Plan B. Meeting like minded souls and going to shows on either side of the barrier is good for us all and some would say is overwhelmingly a male bonding experience. This isn't golf, we have options.

The small even at Eastbourne aside, I haven't exhibited since February 2020 an have attended some three shows in the last few months. 2020 would have been a bumper year. 2022, or at least the early part of it, could well be bad for public events and  anything before May or June is in danger. Is this really such a problem? What do we do?


If need be we buy, but we build and we plan and we carry on. There are kit stashes and glue and solder. We plan and plot and build (Though please, no more layouts with 'Lock' in the name I'm getting tired of editing it out.). Exhibitions are nice, but not necessary. We build.

To this end there is a direction here. There is a small layout mooted, one which will take a while to do despite nearly everything being in stock.  More importantly I have taken note of all the part completed and oddments that I've had knocking about for a while that need clearing. After all in most cases I've paid the money for the parts, so I should get the fun out of it. Nearly all of these are unrelated in scale, gauge or period. So what? I've been looking a few plastic kit type youtube channels of late and of course there isn't the need to stick to something the way that railway modellers do; you can build a 1:72 1939 Spitfire in one week and a 1:32 Bond Bug the next with no guilt whatsoever. Why shouldn't we be able to do that?

My advice then is this: If we lock down or something similar on Boxing Day, look at it as a way of clearing the cupboards and build. It's what we do.

Friday 17 December 2021

Parliamentary coach

While I was waiting for the glue to go off on something else this caught my attention.  Built c2001 in a shed not far from my current employer it was looking a little tatty with the roof sagging and lifting.  It was scratch built from a Paul Towers drawing using plastic sheet and strip on a Ratio chassis. Though this is really only the floor as the W-irons have been reduced to within an inch of their lives. It looks like a cattle van, which is of course exactly what the railway companies wanted it to be, only fit for carrying proles for a pittance at the behest of the government.

Has it got a home? No. I've always had an itch to do a mid-Victorian layout, though as you can see the rate of build is woefully slow; this is thus far the only item for it. Anyway... one window fixed properly and the roof refitted and shaped she's back in service.

Thursday 16 December 2021

A Christmas goose

 I spent an entertaining afternoon in Kent on Monday photographing an Sn3 layout for CM. This runs as well as it looks. Full bells and whistles DCC and cost more than my first flat.   Most of the layout is on the scratch side and has not been a quick build. We tend not to do this so much now... or do we? I have often bemoaned the lack of of long term layouts, but here are plenty out there. It's just that it's a different world when you are swathed in the exhibition circuit treadmill. The long builds are there fitted in between other activities and life.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Goods traffic on Dury's Gap

 Running a few thing around the Gap earlier. The Hattons P Class hadn't seen daylight for a while. I have some post pandemic ideas for the layout which might involve some dramatic butchery.  Experiments are underway and a couple of ideas are looking possible. The front runner involves some sky removal and an unseasonal mating with extra baseboards that I have in the loft and to hand. This may preclude further public outings, or maybe not. With the current climate I'm not over-blessed with invites so It's a good time to make some changes.  

Sunday 12 December 2021

Constructing a Wills small station building.

I had a rummage through the box of unmade kits and bits. I'm not a bad as some I know who can't refuse a bargain, but there is still enough to keep someone going through the next lockdown. (I have a wager on Boxing Day). One object that has been on the  list was a part-built Wills station building which had taken up residence. In order to make things a little easier I pinged off some of the parts that were not too firmly fixed, and fished out some likely parts from the scrap pile; that being some Wills weatherboard, 2mm Ratio corrugated offcuts and odd bits of guttering. A small 8' square lamp room was put together in fairly short order and the original structure given a rough coat of Humbrol 29.

The double door was halved, all the fittings were painted a pale green and the whole lot got a coat of finest Games Workshop Base Corax White.  With the roof and chimney painted it was done. One item ticked off and I can feel a project taking shape in my head.


Wednesday 8 December 2021

A BR brake in N gauge

 Perched on the rails of Dury's Gap the latest member of the N gauge team for Half Acre. Put together from the Peco kit. The existing bauxite version looks a bit clean now... once you start on this stuff...

Saturday 4 December 2021

Saturday ramble - model railway dreaming

 With the curtain fitted to Half Acre there are only a couple of things to add. A lamp for the further platform and a running in board. Though I'm putting this off. Should it be GWR cast letters or a WR brown enamel sign? Both are a fiddle. I managed to use up up most of the 'layout in a box' items though there are spare sides for the carriage shed should anyone need them. 

What next is the question.  I am typical in that there are three layouts: one built, one being built and plans for the next. Conversations with Mr.Hill have thrown up many of the usual suspects. These are in the main small two standard board essays in the 11' o/a length bracket.  These are biased to what we have combined in stock for motive power and are for a stater:

  • GWR terminus using the AoTC stock.
  • Late 70s/early 80s South Wales using the Rhiw stock. Through terminus. 
  • Kent/Sussex border terminus. There are a brace of older Terriers, M7s,H, P, C, Q1, 33 to hand between us, plus plenty of stock.
  • The left field would be something 1980s germanic. Exhibition wise this would  tick the managers 'different' box. Mind you there aren't the GWR BLTs around like there used to be.
This only scratches the surface of possibles and for a small outlay the same again could be be put together with different subject matter and scales. The 7mm NG for instance, Suffolk BLT or HO American.

To a certain extent all of these do the same thing in that they operate as a branch terminus. Nothing wrong with that, and means they fall into Plan A. What's Plan B? I have a hankering for something more a) operationally challenging b) something more representative of British railway reality and c) may need more than the usual one on/one off crewing. There is a Plan B.1; don't build it for an exhibition at all.

Plan C is don't build anymore layouts, just do some modelling... there is a difference.

Friday 3 December 2021

Peco N gauge done

 ... well more or less. With a few bits of velcro stuck on I could get the curtain up. There are a couple of tiny details to add not least the pros'arch which has been replaced by the Dury's Gap item here.

This has been problematic from start to finish. There was the 'never again with N gauge' aspect followed by the material shortages and then the lack of time. What I've ended up with is an outrageously heavy layout with very little operational capacity. Not what I set out to build at all and due almost entirely to outside sources. 

The positives are that I managed to tick the contractual boxes in that it uses the supplied baseboards and as many Peco/Ratio products as I could get in. Even a few weird ones that no one uses like the engine sheds. The end game is that is is on the sheet for Warley 22, assuming that that happens, and it will be photographed by young Craig in the new year for a three part RM article. Surprisingly this has been easy to fill whereas the product-lite O gauge was less so. After all that I'll probably donate it to a good cause.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Small OO gauge layouts?

I'm convinced that we all get a basic idea of what we want from model railways and that stays pretty much fixed for the duration. Although I'm a scale tart, that is really only the sauce and salad, the size of the plate remains the same. My excuse, should one be needed, is that I don't have a large team of helpers, a large vehicle or a large house.  This defines what and how I build things. Of course this is utter bollocks as plenty of people shoehorn large layouts into small properties, I could ask more people and I could buy/ hire a bigger vehicle; but I don't.

Yesterday I dropped things down just about as far as they can can go and I noodled around with a Futers' Fork in 6'. As he has explained in numerous articles, this works really well, especially if your main traffic flow is multiple units. In essence you are just following the prototype in that respect. Does this satisfy? Well it did. I'm not sure whether it is an age thing, or whether my hitherto non-interest in bigger rail subjects is now being forced though reading layout/prototype articles for hours every day. I sense the later. Whichever it is I now find myself still liking the essence of small layouts and their intimacy, but it's missing something. I'm not happy with just shuffling back and forth, it needs to represent something closer to reality. The cop out of easy freelancing feels almost childlike now, even if it can't be perfect I feel as though it has to look, or at least feel, slightly more serious. Whether I can do this is another matter and small and fast may reign for a while yet.


Sunday 21 November 2021

Book links


A little housekeeping on here. I noticed that a couple of the click-through links to books were blind so fixed to a point now. The Small Scales volume above seems to be o/s with Waterstones, but is available in other places and appears to be on its second printing - I shall investigate further on that. If that is the case that means that it has shifted in excess of 1,000 copies. I'm happy with that considering, I'm not in the Parker/Nevard/Dent fame bracket.

The Crecy title at the top is a mystery and has still not appeared, though the website states otherwise. I can only assume that this was designed to tie up with the third series of the Great Model Railway Challenge which of course got pulled because of Covid. In which case it's questionable if either will resurface.

Saturday 20 November 2021

Portsmouth exhibition

Shows coming thick and fast now. This week down to the seaside in Darkest Hampshire with the South Hants MRC show. Like the Uckfield bash this leans toward finescale and arriving a little early I observed the queue: 50+, balding, rucksacks, sensible coats, no children. I don't want to repeat everything I said a couple of posts back, needless to say this applied again. The only 4mm layout that had no problems when I was watching was Copper Wort (code 75 Devon-built small radius points, said with no bias). The showpiece P4 was scoring a 50%+ derailment rate. Beautiful pre-group stock, big watching -the -trains -go -by scene, but mostly bumping along the sleepers... not good. And this is not just a snapshot, I was there for most of the day.

Jerry Clifford's 2mm, stunning. Kinmundy (below) fascinating scenic effects, and Simon Challis' Cheddar got my votes for best of the day, and the 2mmFS Lighterman's Wharf is fantastic. So certainly not under-inspiring.
The food is weird. Shutters come down at 13.00 sharp and that's it. If you want a cuppa after then it's outside to Macccy D's. Why?
The scores:
Show: 7.5
Catering: 5 (would be 9 for quality)
Rucksacks: a finescaley 7
Covid prep: 1 Really packed in the morning and most in masks as a result.


Friday 19 November 2021

Baseboard painting

 With Half Acre more or less done bar some final detaily work, it was time to paint the baseboard. There was a couple of inches of black paint left in the tin - probably just enough for this and the fiddle yard. The tall trestles were recovered from Mr. Hill and were slung up in the garage; a much better height for painting. It's not really a good time of year to get paint to dry in an outside atmosphere, but all seemed to go to plan. There's a final piece of MDF to add to the fiddle yard board and the pros-arch to make up to drop onto the uprights here. Then we're just about there.

Monday 15 November 2021

Tolworth Showtrain

Sunday morning and into the dark zone inside the ring of death - OK turning right from Junction 8 and inside the M25... same thing. 
After some malarky with road closures and a scrambled detour, Tolworth was reached. Not much to write home there about except possibly the full-on Southern concrete art-deco station which is worth a look. The show is a familiar one and post lockdown not much has changed. Maybe the aisles were wider, maybe not. The fire doors were open and that seemed about it. Mask wearing was on the low side. 
Catering was teas only and no food,  so a visit to the caff a couple of doors down which was perfect. I'm not sure I'd be so happy if it had been pissing down though.
Always a good balanced mainstream event; not too finescaly and not aimed at families ether. Perhaps for 'the average modeller'. That would make a good magazine strapline...? OK maybe not. 
Not really any duffers in the show and definitely something for everyone, even a Chinese layout which was new to me, but which I have on good authority will be in CM in the future. My winners for the day were these two for completely different reasons. 
Regulars will know my liking for 1960s-vibe modelling and Woking club's Millford fitted the bill beautifully. Card kits to the fore, but all subtly altered. Nothing remarkable apart from the way that it had been done with a constant finish. 
The same could be said for Outwell Village. Exquisite modelling and instantly recognisable with a range of mainly kit built stock. 

The scores as is now traditional.

Show: 9

Catering: 1 (though what was there was perfectly acceptable with the cafe)

Rucksacks: 0

Covid prep :2

Hand stamping to get in and out so we all looked we'd been to a rave: 10!


Friday 12 November 2021

Film Friday 21st century Hornby Dublo

Working on a HD layout article today and noodled round with some internet research for a history panel. This came up. It almost feels as though he's cracked the best of both worlds: the reliability of die-cast locos and 3-rail pick up, and the convenience of the DCC technology. Clever stuff.

Monday 8 November 2021

December Railway Modeller

 December RM out this week. Couple of notable bits aside from the England in 009. The archive is definitely worth investigating giving you some 70 years of material in the click of a mouse. Some of it has not stood the test of time particularly well... 'Sink mat to station roof' please take a bow, but there is some cracking stuff in there. The Monty Wells diesel articles were way ahead of their time and the Keith Allen pieces on converting Airfix minerals are still relevant now. Noticably more modelling going on pre 1995. The other nice thing for me is that this was my pick for the cover shot, even a bus on the bridge... I thank you. Goodnight.

Thursday 4 November 2021

Coal merchant's lorry in N gauge

One of the requirements for Half Acre was a coal lorry for the yard. I searched the ranges of Oxford et al, but nothing suitable for a middle weight trader's vehicle of around 4-8 ton. Almost at the last knockings of last weekend's Eastbourne show I spotted this cheap Chinese plasticy item, which I picked up for £2. The box on the back came off easily enough, but it was a little too leggy for what was in my head. A slice with a razor saw, a new cab sheet from 2mm Slater's planking sheet and some planks scribed into the floor brought it a little closer to what I wanted. Touching the edges in with some red paint and topping it with a part load of Ratio N gauge sacks and some grey washes turned it into a Commer/Bedford-esque post-war workaday machine.
Needless to say I get more fun out of this sort of thing than any new 200 quid Bachmann RTR loco...


Sunday 31 October 2021

Eastbourne exhibition knock-down

 'Are you local?' Was the question from a club based not far from here. Another possible invite for the Norwegian wonder as it enters its second decade. Is it looking tired? Yes it is, and the question has been raised as to what to do about this. The original Woodlands Scenics fluff groundcover is fading and now looks old hat. The trees are looking decidedly Autumnal; not as in brown, but a bits have fallen off. Lots to think about.

The show was pretty much as expected: church hall, and a private enterprise, though I note that there wasn't the gnashing of teeth about 'profiteering' that follows a certain person that does this. There was no trade, just a reliance on second hand sales from the 2-3 club layouts that were attending. Masks were mandatory, though the usual 10% declined. Interestingly the event was not advertised in the excepted manner, avoided the model press and concentrated on local papers and radio. This gained a very 'family' audience and I gather this was completely intentional. Again this is the route taken by our much maligned DD. 

Is this the way forward? Probably. The usual 'club show in a school' is a no-no for the time being and it was notable that this was designed to fit the date slot that one of these had left with this club on the exhibitors roster. The day brought lunches, cake mid-afternoon and there was a welcome degree of pack-up insults and banter. We are ducking and diving and it's working.

Friday 29 October 2021

Mods and off my rocker

Way back on the Unnycoombe build, well over a decade ago, there was a little blue scooter of uncertain parentage. I fact there were two. The remaining twin was in the bottom of the box marked 'N gauge bits' and I thought seeing that Half Acre is nominally set in the early 1960s it would be a good idea to work it up in a similar fashion. My good ideas often turn out to be the opposite. Painting something this small was bad enough, then I thought to replicate the 'pennant on the aerial  again'. Bad move. Trying to stick a piece of thin paper to a length of hair with super glue is one of the most fun things I've done all week.

Still there we are, the 1960s icon. And no, I'm not adding a bank of wing mirrors.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Svanda at Eastbourne Exhibition

The weekend saw a sliver of activity in sunny Crawley as Svanda was awoken from it's 18 month + slumber and kicked into life, not to mention a light dusting. The reason for this was its only show this year this coming weekend. In fact the only show for the rest of eternity as there's nothing else in the book for it.  Mr. Hill and I are not a little surprised that it is still with us it being a decade old this year. As regular readers will note, things tend not to hang around here, such is the enthusiasm to get on with the next project. There were no real problems and the quality of the mainly Roco items repay the investment. Though I'm convinced that Mr. Hill has a running stream of new Di5s as there always seems to be more than there was last time.

The venue for the old girl's outing is as below. Residents of Wiltshire would regard it as 'small beer' and in this case they may well be right. From what I gather it is a minor affair with I believe no commercial trade. I got the phonecall during the midst of lockdown and was struck by the bravery of trying to organise something from scratch in those trying days. Needless to say things were played 'safe' and it is a fairly local roster of layouts, but  has the advantage of a reasonable town pub just 50 yards outside the door and a model shop at the other end of the road.
Do come and say hello, or mumble though a mask at least.


Saturday 23 October 2021

A small N gauge corner scene

 I bit on the N.

The aim was to get the back corners more of less done before working on the front edge. Some 2mm Slaters stone sheet for the hard stand areas  though I ran out and had to use 4mm brick for the infill. This isn't apparent form the usual angles. I need to let the whole thing go off and then wave the Hoover over it to pick up all the surplus static. 

I'm quite relaxed about thieving all this from Elm Park. Or at least the general composition. Does this still exist?

Sunday 17 October 2021

Uckfield exhibition

The annual pilgrimage to the Uckfield exhibition. It was packed! I got knobbled by the manager as soon as I'd walked in. They'd decided to run it more or less as normal as it would be tricky to change it. I agreed. The usual spacings and room layout, so as you can see from above the usual sharp elbows to get round. The only consideration was sanitiser on the way in.  Because of this mask wearing was high. Notably a couple of the regular traders had been replaced, but no holes in the room.

Uckfield leans toward  a finescale vibe, but was missing the usual 3mm and S attendees. That aside, some top notch stuff on show. There is a problem with this. Adrian prides himself (surely not?) on getting debut appearance layouts from quite long distances and possibly because of this, or maybe the finescale thing there, was way too much fingerpoken and push-along going on, even by the time I left at ten to three. This ain't a good advert for higher echelon modelling despite it all looking stunning. As I've said repeatedly over the years on here - this is a show guys, not a club night.

Food was taken at the cafe at the front of the building, which as always was excellent and cheap. All in all it was a brave and worthwhile move considering that shows are still being cancelled due to drop outs (but do they bother to try to get replacements?).

Show: 8.5 (sort the running )
Catering: 11
Rucksacks: 0
Masks: 8
Covid preparations: virtually nil 


Thursday 14 October 2021

Grassy banks

 I'm sort of happier now. There's green stuff.

Sooty and stained  brickwork and a blast of green. One of the reasons for the abandonment of the Mk1 N gauge plan was the lack, at the time, of static grass at Peco HQ; along with small radius points, Setrack and just about everything else that I needed. The abundance of Peco static grass on Squires stand at the weekend suggested that this is now not the case, and just in case it wasn't, I grabbed a bag of 2mm Winter Grass.

I'm working from the back, forward. This is good practice and this piece of dull retaining wall is about as exciting as it is going to get. I'm at the point where I have a layout kit with lots of built structures and just need to sort all the walling to tie it together.

Wednesday 13 October 2021


 'A tedious job, but well worth the effort' he said quoting a thousand layout articles.

Putting ground cover onto a layout is usually quite fun and signals the transition between the engineering bit and the artistic bit. This particular bit is a fiddle. All well and good when it's strapped to a few feet of timber, but bouncing around the bench while you try to stick soggy bits of paper down in a line wore thin after about 30 seconds. I'm not quite sure why I did it this way around... oh yes I do it was so I could take piccys more easily.

I think everyone should build an N gauge layout.

Sunday 10 October 2021

Saturday Ramble

Aldershot saw a couple of purchases. Aside from some static grass, a sheet of plasticard  and two tuna rolls, I bought a book. This is odd these days as being on the review team of RM I get plenty of new books to thumb through. This one had been advertised though hadn't come my way. The hand went into the pocket and out came the card.

It's standard Transport Treasury fare; a couple of shots per page with extended captions and all by Dr. Ian Allan.  Why is this unusual? Well back here I once again alluded to scale tarts, and book stands at exhibitions don't help. I've always had a casual interest in this area and while most books have one layout idea, this contains one on almost every page. The mix of smallish green diesels and grey wagons is such a draw and I do have enough bits in the cupboard to make a minor start should I choose to.

There have been conversations in the last couple of days tied to moving on with layout building. Unlike the many who fuelled the small radius point shortages during the lockdowns, I'm am fundamentally a builder of exhibition layouts and with no shows and no way of telling if there would be shows again, I did very little. Now that there is hope in the air, there are plans. And what do plans mean? Going round in circles working out what the best first move may be. The problems of the scale tart.

Before all of this is the Peco N gauge. This has been a cock-up from the word go. The first plan was dumped because of material shortages, then plan B back-burnered as the intended target point of Warley was cancelled. Now everything is back on stream and I could go with plan A, but plan B is already half built. So although it will work, I'm left with Frankenstein's monster, built with what I could get at the inception.  My direction here is to pile into it with (slightly forced) enthusiasm and get it done. 

Will someone please offer me a show for it so I at least have a build target...

Saturday 9 October 2021

And we're back! Aldershot show.

Although there have been a few weeks of exhibitions I haven't been able to get to them. Today it was nice to break the duck and go to the Farnham Club show in Aldershot. I think it normally clashes with Croydon so not a usual visit though we have attended with Svanda (notably not since).

It was a little weird being back in the bustle of a show which was busy (over four rooms) but not uncomfortably packed. Mask wearing was probably only 30-40% and almost absent with exhibitors. The standard was high with some big hitters in the room. There was little that I hadn't seem before and Peter Cullen's Mannin Middle was the deal breaker on travelling. What was absent was trade which was reduced to the smaller players with no box shifters; the biggest stand being Squires. This opened the rooms up considerably and left plenty of space to move around, but I assume will have hit the show's income substantially.

The year we exhibited there was a food issue but today no such problem with a fairly swift turnaround with a basic menu and card payment which I imagine will be the norm now.

The scores - not done this for a while:

Show 9

Trade 5

Catering 8

Covid preparations 10, Covid masks and distancing 4

In the brave new world, this is probably about the best you could do, and this may be the model in the future. Great to be back and enjoying the general chat, banter and piss taking that we all love.

Well done to Farnham for sorting it out and getting something moving.


Wednesday 6 October 2021

Wagon brakes

In answer to the query in the previous post, a quick primer on wagon brakes with diagrams nicked from 
Below is what most would consider the standard (Morton) British brake system. Three basic types: double acting with a cam on the shaft to cope with the fact that the levers are both at the RH end. Independent as per wagons with bottom doors. i.e. no connecting shaft as per the Airfix mineral wagon kit. Fitted, with the addition of a vac' cylinder. 

The above is the Dean/Churchward as fitted to the Coopercraft range of kits with a short lever on each side at the same end. These were considered non standard and were sometimes replaced with Morton types during upgrades post 1930s. As always a multitude of exceptions within all this.


Tuesday 5 October 2021

Coopercraft van

 Modelling is slower these days but a concerted effort has produced this unlikely beast for the Dury's Gap roster.

Originally part of the AoC stock it sustained a little damage and has been repurposed. First by scratching the lettering off with a fibre brush, then repainting. The brakes were replaced with Mortons from the bits box - unlikely that it would have lasted into the 1960s let alone with the original Dean/Churchward mechanism. Like a lot of the stock it remains on the branch for semi-internal traffic. 

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Freight 1966

 1966, when we were still great and had the sense to train up our own workforce. 

There's some great stuff here if you look beyond the Graham Chapman-esque styling. I can't place the horse tramway early on. Ideas?

Friday 24 September 2021

Rye Harbour stone

A while ago I dropped the above photo into a post here which generated a few questions to where it was on the branch. The photo below nails the position. The spot in question is toward the upper left. 

At this point is the junction for the stone works. Most of the buildings have now gone although there is some debris. The church is still extant and will position against any modern view such as google earth. The photo was taken in 1949 and previous snuffling about threw up the information that BR(S) anxious to rid themselves of all the old pre-group wagons that had hung on during the war, now used the redundant lower end of the branch as pre-disposal storage. The seemingly endless line of wagons (possibly reaching right down to the river wharf to the right) consists of older styles.

The stone works, including what looks like a ropeway, has a line which splits South from the branch and opens up into two curving sidings, one into the buildings and one toward the barges. There may also be a kick-back headshunt track below the junction point. 

While not exactly micro layout fare, the general shape would be easy to compress and re-shape for an inglenook style layout.

Sunday 19 September 2021


 A trip out. It's good to try somewhere new and the Bressingham gala/steam rally seemed worth a punt. Without going into reams of back-history which you can get elsewhere, in a nutshell, it was a nursery with a small railway and is now a working transport museum with a garden centre tacked on the side. It doesn't take a genius to work out that for couples of a certain age, this is a damn fine combination. 

This day all the toys were out and the air was thick with steam engine output from traction engines, steam threshing machines, miniature versions of these, three (2', 15", 10 1/4") narrow gauge lines and a short section of standard gauge. All good stuff... with one small issue.

The terrier with the 2 plank and LMS brake shuffled up and down on a few hundred yards of track which was nice, but seemed a bit of a waste of a useful engine. I'm guessing that this is not the usual practice on ordinary days. It was a bit of a Hunslet-fest with two running on the 2' line either individually or coupled together. What caught my eye was the interesting VB machine which I hadn't seen before, but a quick bit of googling told me that 'it was put together from various bits and pieces'.

The site is very large and open with more or less free movement; none of the 'don't touch that sonny' that you get with standard gauge lines that appear to be much more taken with over the top health and safety than the NG lines do.  The only fly was the catering. Queue up for ages then a 45 minute (yes 45) wait for a sandwich and a cup of tea to be delivered. Yes it was busy, but isn't that the point of holding these events? Isn't busy what you are aiming for? A couple of period type outside catering type vans would have added to the vibe and taken the weight off the resident staff. If the system isn't coping, change the system.

Basically pretty good, but my tip would be to take a picnic.