Tis’ I… about me…

So who am I?…

Well sometimes I wonder myself…age wise I have reached and passed the meaning of life the universe and everything, in accordance with the late Douglas Adams but I am yet to get the brain the size of a planet or be totally paranoid!

After 15 years in sales, marketing and product management within the road safety and traffic management sector, as of October 2020 I started a new role as Development Manager for the Kernow Model Rail Centre (KMRC). Having advised them on a number of their commissions in the past I am now officially on the payroll and am responsible for undertaking research, development, and project management, liaison with the manufacturing companies in China for the production and supply of the KMRC own product commissions and other products in conjunction with other brand partners. The role includes managing some aspects of PR, Social media, website development and managing the KMRC presence at exhibitions.

From a railway modelling perspective I have a keen interest in all things Southern Railway and in particular the period between 1946 and 1949 (the reasons behind this will be clear to those whom have read my posts on here). I have built my own model railway layouts: one  called Fisherton Sarum which is an opportunity to exhibit some of my large collection of models, many of which are hand built or at the very least modified Ready-to Run models, also my little shunting puzzle project Canute Road Quay based in and around Southampton docks and my current project underway Westhill Road.

I am the Publicity and Exhibitions Officer of the South Western Circle, a society for railway historians and enthusiasts interested in the London & South Western Railway (LSWR). It is a society that I thoroughly recommend being a member of. It currently holds five meetings a year at which usually illustrated presentations are given on a variety LSWR topics which are usually fascinating, informative and enjoyably interactive. The South Western Circle can also be found on Twitter via @LSWR_SWC

I write on an occasional basis for some of the National Model Railway press, see my ‘In the Media’ page here for details,  Also I have authored a number of pages, both on modelling and the historical prototype on the excellent SeMG website which is without a doubt the best online reference site for all things Southern Railway.  In addition I am active contributor the RMweb modelling forum which is the most active and liveliest modelling forum on the interweb.

As you might also be able to tell from my twitter feed on these pages or if you already follow me @grahammuz (feel free to follow me if you don’t ) I often tweet a mix of my thoughts at the time, observations on life, updates to this blog and the fact that I support Torquay United…up the Gulls!


48 thoughts on “Tis’ I… about me…

  1. Hi Graham,

    I have a question that I just cannot find an answer to anywhere on the web or in D Goulds or M Kings books.
    I am a keen BR (S) modeller in 4mm scale, and I am building my 2nd Triang / Roxey Mouldings conversion kit of the gangwayed bogie luggage van, but I cannot find any information regarding the interior colour scheme either pre or post 1956. I know that most were never repainted green.

    On the subject of interior colours what colour was the interior of the guards / parcels compartments of green Maunsells & BR mk 1’s was it sickly green as the Bulleids.

    Kind Regards,

    Eve Wallis

    1. Hi Eve

      Regarding the gangwayed Luggage van in BR(S)days the floor I believe was made of ‘decalite’ which was unpainted and its natural colour was a pinkish concrete colour. The 1950 official instructions for the internal painting of coaches, which I assume would apply to the GBL as officially they were ‘non passenger carrying coaching stock’, stated Luggage compartments: “Ceiling: Oil white finishing paint, Sides (wood): Two coats of pink paint [possibly a very light pink in reality] – second coat to be 50% varnish, Shelves: Pink The same document with respect to Guard and luggage end of brake vehicles stated: Sides above waist: Light buff grained, sides below waist: darker buff paint – grained. However how quickly this was applied to SR stock and replaced the ‘sickly green’ I do not know.
      I hope this helps.

  2. Hi Graham. After 40 odd years, I have returned to model railways. And in the meantime things have changed for the better( dramatically ) I pleased to say. But not that much, I would like to build kits to run a LSWR Push Pull train, whether it is a suitable loco or not I don’t know? But, I have made a start with a Hornby M7, Please advise. Kevi

    1. Hi Kevin

      Are you actually modelling the LSWR pre grouping period as the actual period your modelling will affect my full answer. Feel free to email if you wish.


  3. Hello Graham and thank you for all the very useful information you generate for others.One query please–I intend to convert R3436/35028 to 35030 and I note that you state that 35030,s s.valves were resited Oct 54.
    My 3 ref books do not support that.
    AJ Fry/R.J Harvey/RDerry,I query this because I believed that 35030 did not have resited valves until rebuild and therefore the conversion was ok.
    many thanks in anticipation,
    Ed Plant

    1. Hi Ed my dates were taken from D. L. Bradley and I agree that he differs from Derry as you state. His date matches when the boiler pressure was reduced. I think will have to try and find dated photographic evidence to establish the correct dates.

  4. So if you want “a brain the size of a planet” you need “Basingstoke in OO 1958-67”. I’m pretty sure I’ll soon be paranoid, having just taken delivery of 1.5tons of Marine Ply !

    Haven’t spoken for a while, having vacated freezing Germany for the warmer climes of Spain. As I bumped into the owner of a private railway museum in Southern Catalunia, who offered me a large ex Railway Goods shed, to build Basingstoke Mk2 in.

    So I’m just playing catch up, with your forever interesting website.

    To the point. I assume that “Fisherton Sarum” operates on traditional 12v DC,
    as will “Basingstoke Mk2”. However I’m becoming aware of a growing problem concerning the amount of DCC equipment installed in ALL new models, whether you want DCC or not. This includes such problems as Hornby’s latest Pullmans, which now include capacitors, to ensure table lamps don’t flicker, but interfers with power to the loco when you run a rake of 12 as I do. Also the space taken up by blanking plates located inside the boiler, reduces adhesive weight. These and other irritating problems now require me to virtually rebuild every model before I can use it. More important is the fact that the electrical equipment I am having to rip out, obviously increases the retail price of the product. Something I begrudge. Wouldn’t it be better if the likes of Hornby & Bachmann offered models with DCC for those interested in that highly restrictive system, and models with NO DCC kit in at all, for the likes of the more professional modeller like you & me. I’m pretty sure such a policy could reduce the price of Non DCC items significantly !!!!

  5. Hi Graham – your model news is much appreciated, thank you. In the spirit of suggesting cost-effective, coordinated and highly marketable releases for Hornby, how about the following, neither of which have yet seen the light of day:
    N15 with 6 wheel tender in Maunsell olive green – could be marketed with a pullman set as the Southern Belle, the steam predecessor of the Brighton Belle, while keeping us LBSC section modellers happy (and a marvellous stable mate for Hornby’s terrier and Bachmann’s H2 and E4)
    Maunsell 3-set in olive green, high window, with 4 compartment 3rd brakes and compo. These I believe were used on inter-regional trains, including to ex-LSW and ex-LBSC lines, so can be added to trains of LMS or GW stock, as well as added to SR formations.

  6. Graham.

    The new Oxford Rail Bosch Buster has a close SR link having been based on the Elham Valley Line during WW2

    The motive power included the LMS
    diesel shunters (B Hart book) so would be worth a review.


    Howard Brissenden

  7. Seeking Corfe Castle
    Hello Graham or should that be (LSWR God) your amazing site, layout and endless information has been the most brilliant companion for my interest in this wonderful hobby. About 8 years ago I was very lucky to win a layout of the Swanage Branch station end on E Bay from a man in Southampton. He said that the Corfe castle end had previously been sold. I was told that the layout was built and run by Mr Guarnari.
    Would you be able to put out a word or two out and about to try and track down this i would love to see any photos of it past or present or even visit it if anybody is still modelling it.
    My facebook page Stephen Waters gives a flavour of what i have been up to with the layout. I have found the Ormesby Hall Corfe Castle layout on line which is amazing. Do you know of any others with layouts of the Swanage line which I could touch base with,
    Kindest regards and happy Easter Steve email Stephen@waterrail.co.uk
    PS ref cold remedies beer always, chocolate at this time of the year lots of for sure and of course a bit more sun shine all year round not easy when in train room or loft. Happy days happy modeling Steve

  8. Hello Graham, I building a Golden Arrow resin Z Class loco kit. The locomotive will be finished in the British Railway version, the problem I have is I am unsure what size B.R. logos and numbers to use as there are two sizes on the Pressfix Transfer Sheet. can you help please,
    With thanks,

  9. Hi Graham,

    Met you at Wellsrail yesterday when I joined the South Western Circle – little did I know that I was talking to “the” Graham of Fisherton Sarum and many other things too no doubt!

    I thought Wellsrail was excellent and look forward to that large bundle of SWC “stuff” that should arrive in the post shortly.

    Have just completed PDK original MN 4-6-2 35009 as it was in late 1952, the last of the 35003-10 series to retain its original cab. Fist loco I have painted blue and fortunately the finish obtained is very accurate to the prototype, looking faded already!

    Kind regards,

    Richard Bullard

    1. Thanks for the kind comments it was a pleasure to meet you too and I hope you enjoy the membership of the South Western Circle as much as I do.

  10. “OO WORKS” BR (SR) Class D15 4-4-0 – A few enhancement notes….

    Having recently noted the review of the “OO Works” D15 4-4-0 by Tony on one of your many interesting pages. I have just ordered and received my BR Mixed traffic liveried version. As with most of my large collection of rolling stock virtually everything is enhanced whether RTR, kit built or “OO Works” type products. As its all going to get well thrashed around my very large exhibition layout “Basingstoke”, hopefully sooner rather than later…….

    As to the wiring method used, that Tony refers too. I would add I didn’t expect anything less. As this is a traditional method of wiring kit type locos, i.e pick up one side on the loco and the opposing side on the tender. Which takes advantage of the non insulated wheels collecting directly through the etched nickel silver chassis. Although this method of wiring causes such locos to stop dead when moving from one controller area to another. I was already prepared to add seperate phosphor bronze sprung pick ups to the other wheels. These being soldered to strips of copperclad sleeper strip. Which in turn were superglued on their edges to thin strips of plasticard. So these could then be superglued to the underside of the live metal tender floor, or the edge of the live metal loco chassis, and insultated by the plasticard in the process. Adding all wheel pick up, not only improves pick-up reliability, but has the added benefit of reducing the frequency of wheel cleaning !

    The coreless motor at least on my model is super smooth and perfectly quiet as it should be. Any noise from a coreless motor implies it is somehow damaged. It should be noted that coreless motors do not take kindly to any type of adulterated DC supply, such as feedback, pulsed, or via poor quality chips on DCC systems. However the noise as mentioned by Tony, may be due to vibration enhanced by the fact the bodyshell is fundamentally a whitemetal tube. Check the motor mounting isn’t in some way loose.

    A far more interesting and important point concerning Coreless motors is that as a rough guide they are normally around twice the power of an equivilant sized standard poled motor. Very helpful in giving smaller models such as the D15 the necessary power to pull 10-12 car trains as they were sometimes seen with, even just before the last was finally withdrawn in 1956. With the witemetal body weight of this model I’m hoping it will haul 10 up my 25ft long 1 in 100 gradient (Worting Junction to Lichfield tunnel on my Basingstoke layout).

    As an example of the haulage capacity possible with such models. The earlier “OO Works” Class 700 “Black Motor” Drummond 3F 0-6-0, (also in my collection) which weighs in at 282g happily hauls 12 Bachmann Bulleids up my 1 in 100 gradient. The Hornby version produced more recently, while having the edge in detail as provided, only weighs in at 162g. And is therefore limited to a derisory 5 Bachmann Bulleids up the same gradient. The power potential of the “OO Works” models is therefore an important factor worth considering, if like me you have a large 87ft x 24ft exhibition layout, where full scale length trains are de rigour….

    I’ll agree, the resin tender body moulded coal is a little naff for a model aimed at the more professional modeller. But then I intend to cut this out and build the actual coal bunker in, adding a little real coal in the space. The nickel silver tender chassis unscrews from a two part resin body which also unscrews. A helpful method of assembly, so allowing you to get a mini drill with carbonundrum disc at both outside and inside of the bodyshell to slice out that resin coal. I’ll then use plasticard to build the coal bunker space.

    CHANGING COUPLINGS FOR – Screwlinks, and Kadees
    As I don’t like toy couplings on models, I immediately fitted a screw link coupling to the front bufferbeam. (Basingstoke had a turntable, a Heljan model on my layout). Although it should be noted that the front bogie toy coupling mounting extension has to also be cut off, if the screwlink coupling isn’t to catch this protruding part. On the tender I mounted a Kadee No 17 NEM type (Buckeye) coupling. This required an NEM pocket to be glued to a piece of 0.5mm thick plasticard. Which then allowed sufficient thickness for this to be screwed using the screw provided, to the nickel silver coupling bracket. The Kadee was then just plugged into the socket, having adjusted the height of the bracket by bending it to the required height.

    I think the missing lamp brackets on the smokebox door is most likely an oversight. These missing lamp brackets curve outwards and upwards on their mounting. These I made from some tiny brass fret “L” shaped scraps. (Never through bits of brass away !) Having drilled two tiny holes in the smokebox door, the brass brackets were simply superglued in. The missing upper bracket on the tender rear, is obviously because the tender body is made of resin, and a resin bracket would probably fall off as soon as you looked at it. I drilled a tiny hole in the flat tender top behind the water filler and against the inside edge of the of the flared tender top rear. Then bending a piece of brass wire to match, superglued it into the drilled hole. After first pinching the upper end of the 0.4mm brass wire in flat nosed pliers to make the flat lamp bracket part, which protrudes correctly above the flared tender rear.

    Another little enhancement is a working fallplate to cover the unsightly gap between loco and tender, which also helps to hide the one (or two wires now on my model) and the not too realistic plastic coupling bar. As I am fortunate in having minimum radius curves of 5ft on the layout, I first reduced the length of the coupling between loco and tender by 3mm. This also reduced the size of the fallplate needed, which was made in 0.5mm plasticard and painted a dark grey.
    Along the forward edge of the plasticard fallplate, I superglued a piece of 0.4mm brass wire, which extends a couple of millimetres beyond the plastic part each end, so it can act as the hinge. This then slots inbetween the cab rear vertical handrails and the cab sidesheets.
    To ensure the fallplate does not fall out, a couple of tiny bits of brass wire (about 4mm long) bent into “L” shapes are inverted and superglued into the slot between the handrails and the side of the cab floor. A little dark grey paint and they become virtually invisible, but now happily allow the cab fallplate to work as on the real loco. Because the fallplate hinge sits on the rear of the metal cab floor, I added a 13mm x 11mm piece of 0.5mm plasticard to the narrow cab floor area between the wheel splashers that protrude into the cab. This makes the cab floor now flush with the fallpalte. Scoring this new piece to represent cab floor planking, I gave it a quick brush of “Dark Track Colour”. The result is that it actually helps to brighten up the interior of the cab just slightly, revealing the floor area from the interior wheel splashers, which are otherwise all matt black and indistinguishable, in this otherwise gloomy area.

    As the Railway Museum where I work, here in Mora la Nova, around 20 miles inland from Tarragona, will be having its annual open weekend (7th and 8th of October). Around half of my layout “Basingstoke” will be on show and partly operational hopefully for the first time. Although I have half a dozen very enthusiastic Museum Assocation members, none have ever built layouts before. So I am also slowly introducing them to the delights of layout carpentry, electricals, and building your own pointwork. As a result construction of this large layout is taking a little longer than originally envisaged. However of the 38 baseboards and 600 metres of track required. Nine boards remain to be built and about 120 metres of track to lay, although this involves the main Basingstoke station area, and rather a lot of handbuilt points.

    Anyone heading this way is more than welcome, as the Museum is open to the public every weekend, run by volunteers. It should be mentioned that its actually more than a museum, as the primary task is to restore 2 large steam locos, (one of North British design), along with coaching stock and support vehicles to operate regular mainline steam between the coast at Tarragona, and Fayon on the border with Aragon. The site is quiet massive, and you get chauffered around by car between the various buildings, including the model railway workshop…

    Happy modelling
    Anthony McDiarmid

  11. Hi Graham, I have seen your pictures and I’m very interested in the T14, Mausell Z kits
    How difficult where they to build and roughly how expensive also who’s the manufacturer king regards

    1. Hi Harrison, the T14 is a Nu-Cast kit and the Z a Millholme both white metal and no longer available but they do appear on EBay from time to time. They both assemble ok (I cheated with the T14 as the part of the valve gear that goes though the running plate I have attached to the body rather than the chassis) I have a DMR etched Z class kit to build to replace the Millholme one at some stage. Falcon Brass also did kits of both once but avoid them at all costs.

  12. Graham,

    Trying to add a post elsewhere (I’d meant to post the Maunsell shunter picture link against Nigel’s post) but the system does not want to play ball and accept my post?


  13. Hi Graham, I’ve tried reading up on this but am still none the wiser. I have a SR D1 class being built for me at the moment (DJH kit) and would like an E class (not E1) at some point. The newly announced D class from Rails I know looks similar but what were the visual differences between the D and E class, were there any?

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hi Paul, although very similar the E class arrived four years after the
      D class and as well having bellpaire (square topped) fireboxes from new also had 2” smaller diameter coupled wheels being 6’6” dia note the lack of the small splashers for the coupling rods.

  14. Dear Graham,

    This is not a comment on the photograph.
    I attended the Tonbridge exhibition today and had just a few words with you to express [no pun intended] my appreciation of the quality of all your layouts that have appeared on the exhibition circuit.

    The reason for my writing to you to, hopefully, pick your brain on an issue that arose whilst I was ‘perusing’ one of the traders stands, wherein was displayed a
    ‘spam can’ Bulleid pacific named Barnstaple, which carried the elongated smoke deflectors carried by Bude during the locomotive exchanges and retained them ever after, until ‘retirement’.

    It is my belief that it was only Bude that ever carried these extended smoke deflectors.

    Are you able to confirm my belief or did more than just one of these ‘Light’ pacifics carry them?

    I look forward to your knowledgeable response, hopefully, in the near future.

    My email address for sending your response to is jeff.blizzard@virgin.net

    With my Kind Regards,

    Jeff. Blizzard.

    1. Hi Jeff, it was a pleasure to see you today and many thanks for your kind words.
      With respect to your question regarding the extended smoke deflectors, all the light Pacifics (and the Merchant Navy’s) taking part in the exchange trials were so fitted, therefore 34004 Yeovil, 34005 Barnstaple and 34006 Bude had the extended deflectors.

  15. Hi Graham I was looking at turntable
    Video can tell what make it is as modelimg the southern railway
    Cheers mark

    1. Hi Mark, it’s a Peco well and Deck with scratchbuilt sides and turners platform to match the one at Salisbury pre 1951. The larger turntable installed post 1951 is identical to the whole Peco kit.

  16. Hi Graham,

    I am a volunteer at the Whitwell & Reepham Railway, we own an SECR 25T Brake Van No.11902. We are looking to put the vehicle into a full restoration and I was wondering if you could help us, we are wondering if you could help in a limited capacity as you are busy with 35011. We are struggling to find photographs (particularly on the inside) and paint specifications for the vehicle, would you happen to know what we could gain access to this information?

    If you could help me and my fellow volunteers that would be fantastic, please feel free to email me back on thomasajcrouch43@gmail.com

    Thank you very much


  17. Bachmann announces Bulleid coaches to the elite.
    Don’t they look simply exquisite!

    Three of the images, when saving to file,
    have an appalling mis-spelling of the engineer’s name.

    Worth your while to contact them . . . ?

  18. Hi Graham,
    Were the SR wagons converted at Eastleigh for use on Train Ferry work painted in standard SR Brown? All the pictures both of Vans and Open’s ‘look’ as though the livery is darker than standard wagon livery.

    1. Hi Simon

      It is my understanding that they were painted standard SR brown. The often published images taken at Ashford in 1948 tends to show all the wagons photographed at the time as appearing quote dark.

  19. Thanks Graham, your knowledge is much appreciated, pity as I had imagined a dark Blue van or two with some white refrigerator vans on a Bricklayers Arms fast goods behind a C class……Oh well back to the asylum.

  20. Hi Graham, Cheeky one this.. In need of a like help. I have the peco turntable which I purchased on ebay. The hand rails have become damaged and I was wondering what you did with your old ones and if you would be willing to part with them. Tried everywhere including peco who have not replied.
    Any help would be grateful..

    1. Hi Steve

      I am not sure what I have done with the rest of the kit but I rarely throw such things away. I will do some digging at the weekend and see what I can find.

  21. Hi Graham. I note that you have fitted etched brass nameplates to your new Hornby Merchant Navy. I have the blue 35024 and will be looking to renumber and rename it to a suitable 3rd batch alternative. Normally this would be a straight forward process on most models but in the case of the new MN I was wondering how you managed to get the existing flat moulded nameplate off. Do they come off nice and cleanly without leaving any residue on the loco bodyside and was the resultant area flat enough to take the etched replacement without filing down rivets etc?


    Bob Hoskins

    1. Hi Bob,

      The Hornby nameplate comes off quite easily by sliding a sharp knife underneath from one one side to the other, it is held in place by a couple of lugs in the centre section with very little glue.
      I only ensures any remaining lug was carefully cut flush to the side and didn’t need to file anything else down.
      I hope that helps.

  22. Hi Graham

    I am considering ordering one of the Rails of Sheffield D1 locos and my plan is to go for late BR liveried 31246 with a view to re numbering it as 31492 which was the only member of the class I saw. Is this feasible or are there detail differences between the two locos? Having looked at photographs I can see no obvious problem but I suspect that you will know better than me!


    Barry Thirlwall .

    1. Hi,

      I would need to closely check photos of the two locos at the same time period you are wanting to model, I don’t have records of any boiler changes etc so if you have any relevant picture scans I would be happy to take a look for you.

  23. Hi Graham
    Having difficulty in locating pictures of 31492 to scan in from my own collection but I googled ” BR locomotive 31492″ and came up with an excellent shot of the loco c.1959/60 in its final condition. This is the period I am modelling. Unfortunately I can’t scan this for you because of copyright reasons but a comparison with the Rails locomotive of the same period (31246) doesn’t reveal any obvious difference. The RCTS book by Bradley doesn’t seem to highlight anything much so I will probably take a chance unless some more information comes to hand!
    Barry Thirlwall

  24. Hi Graham,

    Just wanting to see if you have any knowledge of the composition of the Guildford breakdown train in the 1960s.

    The train as far as research suggests consisted of a 45T crane (Bachmann make a model of this), a converted LSWR Ironclad brake third (which it seems is only available in kit form), and sometimes a brake van. By the 1960s this would appear to be a BR 20T van, but from the photos online it is hard to tell whether it had flush sides or not.

    The main queries I would like to find an answer to is 1) what was the exact type of brake van used in the train during the mid 60s, and 2) was the breakdown train on call at Guildford right up until the shed closed in 1967?

    Finally, if you ever get round to building that DMR Z class kit, I’d be interested in purchasing your Millholme model should you ever wish to sell it.


    1. Hi, the 1960s is a bit outside my usual time frame so unfortunately I do not have any further information than I think you already have.
      I am though pretty certain the crane would have continued to have been based at Guildford right up to the sheds closure.

      1. Thanks. I think the crane was still there in 1965 so it would probably still be there when the shed closed.

  25. Hello Graham,

    Having recently bought two Rapido ballast wagons in SR red oxide, I discovered this morning that I have in my possession one Bachmann (37-935) three-plank wagon, No.62942, bearing ED lettering. I assumed that this wagon, which is painted dark brown, must be a ballast wagon, but my research indicates that all SR ballast wagons were painted in red oxide up until Nationalisation. I can find no trace of this wagon number in any of my Southern Railway books.

    Could you possibly throw any light on this wagon? If not a ballast wagon, what was it used for?

    Thanks and Best Wishes,


Leave a Reply