This months picture…
A brand new quarterly ‘bookazine’ from Warners called ‘Smoke & Steam’ is published on 30th April. It features some of the most famous – and not so famous – routes, featuring locomotive legends. With in-depth articles, including a few Southern related, explaining some of the most important moments of Britain’s railway history from a variety of eras and regions, accompanied by rare or never-before printed photography.
- Following the Flagman – Dover’s seafront railway – Paul Isles
- Forgotten Railways – The Peak District mainline – Graham Nicholas
- Iconic stations: Exploring Salisbury – Graham Muspratt
- Travelling in style: The Cornish Riviera Express – Adrian Vaughan
- Mallard: A Pictorial Journey – Tony Wright
- Semaphore Signalling – Why the GWR was different – Mike Romans
- There’s only one Edinburgh Waverley – Ian Lamb
- Restoring an SR Merchant Navy – Graham Muspratt
- Goods locomotives of Buckingham – Tony Gee
- Moving Into BR – the GWR becomes the Western Region – Mike Romans
- Modelling coal and how to weather a locomotive – Phil Parker
Available digitally or on high-quality paper, Smoke & Steam should make an ideal coffee table companion.
It will be on sale from 30th April – you can pre-order your copy here. Initially, this bookazine will only be available mail order, but once things start to return to normal in the news trade, it should be appearing in good newsagents.
Despite including my articles, having had the opportunity to review some of the excellent other contributors articles from which I have already learnt new things (everyday is a school day) I think it will be a cracking publication.
This weekend, 14th and 15th September sees the annual Faversham Model Railway Club exhibition being held at the The Abbey School, London Road, Faversham. ME13 8RZ. I am looking forward to exhibiting Fisherton Sarum at this show as I havent exhibited this layout in a while, the first of its two appearances on the road this autumn (the other being Beckenham and West Wickham MRC on the 19th October.)
There will be 18 working layouts across a variety of scales, gauges and prototypes. And a selection of traders.
The show is open on Saturday between 10am to 4.30pm and on Sunday between 10am and 4.00pm.
It is also good to be exhibiting Fisherton Sarum again within Southern Railway territory even if the Eastern section in Kent rather than the South Western section.
The venue is just off the A2 London Road and if coming via train it is only approximately an 8 minute walk from Faversham station (up side exit)
If you are planning on coming along, Fisherton Sarum is stand number 7 located in the hall one, please drop by and say hello, it is always a pleasure to meet and chat with readers of this blog.
This months picture…
This weekend sees the annual Chiltern Model Railway Association (CMRA) exhibition at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage, SG1 1LZ. I am pleased to be exhibiting Fisherton Sarum at this this excellent show, the first of its two appearances on the road this year (the other being Milton Keynes on February 10th).
This is the second year the CMRA has held the show at this venue having been previously for many years at the somewhat cramped St Albans Civic Centre. here will be more than thirty working layouts across a variety of scales, gauges and prototypes. And as usual a wide selection of specialist and general traders together with demonstrations, static exhibits and society stands.
The show is open on Saturday between 10am to 5.30pm and on Sunday between 10am and 4.30pm.
Situated only a couple of hundred yards from Stevenage’s main shopping area, the venue offers a town centre location with the benefits of good transport links and car parking. For those coming by public transport the railway station is literally just over the road and is joined to the venue and town centre by a pedestrian bridge. Services are mainly operated by Great Northern, lying on the route from London King’s Cross to Peterborough & Cambridge. The station is also served by trains between London and Letchworth via Hertford North. The bus station is also close, less than a minutes walk away. For those travelling by car the venue is on the dual carriageway A602 which is easily accessed by two junctions on the A1(M), one from the north and one from the south, with an estimated 5 minute travelling time from the motorway. Several large car parks are next to the venue.
if you are planning on coming along Fisherton Sarum is stand number 65 located in the bowls hall, please drop by and say hello, it is always a pleasure to meet and chat with readers of this blog.
This months picture…
This months picture…
This coming weekend, 22nd & 23rd April, sees the annual Epsom and Ewell MRC exhibition and one of only a couple appearances of Fisherton Sarum this year. The Epsom and Ewell Model Railway Club is I think one oldest model railway clubs around having been established in 1952. The exhibition is being held at their usual venue of the North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT), Reigate Road, Ewell, Surrey KT17 3DS . It is always good to be exhibiting in the heart of the Southern Railway’s territory.
I have taken some time out from building my latest little train set Canute Road Quay (which itself is making its first ‘public’ debut the following weekend, more of which in a future post next week) to set Fisherton Sarum up at the clubrooms of the High Wycombe and District MRS, for which I am most grateful to repair a couple of things such as the turntable and ensure that everything else is working OK.
I will be ably assisted during the weekend by some regular operators and friends, although unfortunately my father will miss the show as he is recovering from recent emergency heart surgery (for which offer my sincere thanks to all the amazing staff involved within the NHS). I am pleased that he is well on the mend but rightly still convalescing, so get well soon Dad!
As with most layouts being exhibited some method of protection for transportation is required and this is not normally seen by the general public at shows. Although when set up the Fisherton Sarum is 20 foot long it was designed from the outset in such away that everything included the stock boxes (converted stout DJ cases designed for carrying up to 120 CDs) containing over 80 locomotives and some 20 coaches along with numerous wagons, will all fit in a Mondeo estate car!
My two scenic boards, each 4′ x 3′ are bolted together by wooden end frames to form a box just small enough to fit through though the tailgate of the car. The layouts legs are bolted to the inside of baseboards ‘L’ girders and therefore fold up inside the baseboards out of the way. The whole box arrangement sits on a set of wheels for easy transportation from the car into and around the exhibition venue. As I use cassettes in the fiddle yards these boards are flat topped ‘paste table’ style and the legs fold up held in place by clips and then these slide alongside the scenic board ‘box’ in the rear of the car. Other items such as the end backscene pieces, lighting rig support struts and the control panel (whose width was designed specifically to do so) tuck between the ‘L’ girders of the upturned scenic board.
I hope this little insight into the behind the scenes aspect of exhibiting a layout has been of interest, if you are dropping by the exhibition next weekend, please make sure you say hello! Fisherton Sarum is stand 25 at the show.
For those of us as either members and, like myself, shareholders of the 35006 Locomotive Society yesterday 16th May 2016, was a very special day. Following restoration from an ex Barry condition, at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, that has taken over 30 years Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. (the longest name of any locomotive in preservation) was officially renamed and hauled her first passenger train for over 50 years comprising of members and shareholders of the 35006 Locomotive Society along with a small number of invited honoured guests.
35006 was withdrawn in her prime in August 1964, before languishing in the infamous Dia Woodham Barry scrapyard for over 18 years. A small band of dedicated early pioneers of the 35006 Locomotive Society managed to scrape together the purchase price of just over £7000 which resulted in 35006 finally leaving for Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway in March 1983.
Over 30 years of dedication, hard work and fundraising by members of the growing 35006 Locomotive Society finally saw 35006 steam again, albeit on 2 cylinders, on 10th August 2015. Following completion of the final list of works required, further steaming and running in, the date was set for her renaming and first passenger run on Monday 16th May 2016.
The unveiling / renaming of Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. was carried out by Pete Waterman the President of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway following short speeches by current Society Chairman, Jon McMillan, who introduced the first Society Chairman and pioneer Bill Trite (who subsequently went on to be Chairman of the Swanage Railway and Southern Locomotives Ltd.),
Bill described to the audience those early days of making the necessary small but important steps of raising the initial funds to both purchase and secure a base for and moving 35006 to Toddington and therefore reaching where the Society is at today.
The final speaker before Pete Waterman unveiled the nameplate was former Southern Region Fireman, David Brown who was based at Yeovil.
David described how, as a 18 year old, he fired 35006, in August 1964 on the night mail coming off the train at Salisbury before going onto shed, 35006 was unusual in that she spent her entire career at Salisbury 72B shed, to be told that she was now to be withdrawn and he had just fired her final turn in service. David was then invited to be on the footplate, along with Pete Waterman on the first run of the day.
35006 then completed two runs between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse with an impressive twelve coach rake (unfortunately not in Southern Region green but you cant have everything!), not often seen on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway as they usually only run seven coach trains, which she handled with ease.
A very nice complimentary lunch was served on board the first run, which was quite an achievement in itself by the catering team from the Flag and Whistle franchised café run by Lynne Tidddy and her enthusiastic team.
It was certainly a fantastic day, the sun shone, 35006 looked, performed and sounded great.
35006 also carried a small plaque on the middle bufferbeam lamp bracket to mark the Society having received, earlier this year, the Heritage Railway Association’s John Coiley Award for the restoration of 35006.
The 35006 Locomotive Society should be duly proud of their achievement in all aspects of the restoration, fundraising and also the organisation of the day itself.
I would like to take this opportunity thank the 35006 Locomotive Society on behalf of all its members and shareholders for such a great day. A further note of thanks should be made for the wonderful complimentary full colour commemoration booklet charting the three decades of restoration.
If reading about this achievement has, and I hope so, made you feel like you would like to be a part of keeping 35006 in steam, then information on how to join the Society can be found here.
35006 will be making her first appearance hauling trains for the public at the Cotswold Festival of Steam on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway over the May 28th to 30th Bank Holiday weekend.
As with many sheds the turntable was a vital part of the set up, engines would usually come on shed be turned, coaled and watered before moving to their allocated shed road prior to their next duty. Depending on the size of shed sometimes physically operating the turntable would have been the responsibility of the loco crew, or as in the case of Salisbury there was a dedicated gang of shed staff allocated to the role.
I have on Fisherton Sarum modelled the turners operating the turntable, although these operators are either static or moving so quickly they only appear as a static blur (delete which ever version you don’t actually believe). The turntable itself, is as detailed in my view from line #6 post that can be read here, made from a Peco LK-55 well and deck with scratchbuilt sides, winding mechanism and turners platform for the turners.
I have also modelled the turners gang mess hut that was provided for them to keep warm, dry and rest between turns. At sheds like Salibury the turntable gang was often formed of staff that had previously been in other roles but ended up in such a gang due to a number of reasons such as medical or eyesight issues. Keeping a job being better than no job. I have made use of a Wills SS50 Platelayers hut kit but with the roof replaced with slate tiles rather than the supplied corrugated iron sheeting to more closely represent the one at Salisbury. Stored outside and around the turners mess hut are barrels of lubricating and steam oil.
Signs on the approach roads to the turntable warn drivers not to pass that point unless given instruction to do so by the turners. These were simply made from a short section of rail with a plasticard board and then suitably painted.
The turntable itself on Fisherton Sarum is very much one of the main focal points of the layout and as stated above it has been described in more detail in my View from the Line #6 post here.