I am pleased to advise that Canite Road Quay features in the latest issue of Hornby Magazine. Publication follows very pleasant day spent back in January with friend and Hornby Magazine editor Mike Wild (albeit fraught with a few travel travel problems due to icy road conditions and dubious Sat Nav directional choices) nattering and taking a number of snaps of Canute Road Quay. his photographic results and my article can be seen and read about in the April issue of Hornby Magazine No.142 published today (although subscribers may have received their copy earlier this week).
I open the article by setting the scene with a little history of the development of Southampton Docks, Canute Road and the many quays wharves alongside the River Itchen before describing the layout itself.
Being only a small layout, the scenic section is only 4ft x 1ft, in this issue of Hornby Magazine it joins three other ‘compact’ also known as ‘cameo’ layouts which is the theme for the issue.
It is always fascinating to see the results of a different photographers eye and Mike photographs captures the look and feel I wanted to achieve with the layout and highlights the details and many of the little cameos I have included on the layout to demonstrate what can be achieved in quite a small space.
I hope that you can get hold of a copy and enjoy the read and Mike’s excellent photographs.
Canute Road Quay’s next exhibition appearance is on Saturday 16th March (also my Dad’s Birthday, so happy Birthday Dad!) at the AbRail show organised by the Abingdon and District Model Railway Club at the Abingdon and Witney College, Abingdon Campus, OX14 1GG between 10am and 5pm. It will provide and opportunity to compare the layout from the photographs in the article to the layout in the flesh.
Firstly I must extend my thanks once again to my family and members of the aforementioned High Wycombe and District MRS for assiting me with the exhibiting of Fisherton Sarum as without them it would not be possible to exhibit at all!
The first show was the excellent Worthing MRC exhibition which by all accounts was a great success for the Worthing MRC with visitor numbers up on previous years, which is always good to hear, and the fact that they had taken to step to utilise more space within the venue which afforded us plenty of room. As I reported last week it was the first time that we had operated the layout following the relocation of the main control panel from the rear of the layout to the front left hand corner and it certainly, as hoped, made interaction with the audience easier and more pleasant, whilst keeping things in the shed area moving.
As I have said before each show tends to be memorable for one reason or another and this was no exception. My model of the Bulleid Leader as usual provoked much interest and discussion and one visitor in particular was notable in being only the second person I have ever spoken to that saw the actual Leader in operation, as he worked at Brighton Works during its development and initial trials, a hugely interesting conversation indeed!
The failure of the turntable mechanical drive system towards the end of Sunday afternoon was the only negative aspect from the show.
Last weekends visit of Fisherton Sarum to the Great Electric Train Show organised by the Hornby Magazine was another great weekend and once again visitor numbers have steadily increased in the three years the show has been run. This is I am certain due to the number of quality exhibits and traders on show, if you have not managed to get along to this show I can very much recommend it.
Being located pretty near to the main entrance meant we were crowded around the layout within literally seconds of the show opening. In places throughout the venue the aisles were a little narrow and I was pleased that I had been able to set the layout back from its intended location to widen the aisle by a few feet. The crowds remained for most of the weekend with only a slight thinning of onlookers very late on in the afternoons.
The Friday evening set was a bit fraught due to finding out the turntable fix deployed after Worthing had not gone totally to plan and some glue seepage had occurred locking everything up. However after some hope and brute force being applied and careful reapplication of glue, followed by waiting overnight and reprogramming the indexing on the Saturday morning all appeared to work well for the rest of the weekend, phew!
I did have a slight issue with one of the fiddle yard cassettes on the Sunday morning where the screws holding down the aluminum angle had come loose causing a few derailments on the exit to the fiddle, but once the cause was found it was duly fixed and more reliable operation continued for the rest of the day, I apologise if you were watching during this period of time (and also possibly to my operators at the time whom were initially getting the blame!). The use of cassettes in the fiddle yard is always a talking point at shows and will be the subject of a future post.
Three shows in three weekends whilst fun was a bit tiring and I might have to think hard about repeating such in the future. It is always a pleasure to meet and chat to readers of my little corner of the blogosphere at shows and I thank you for taking an interest and also your kind comments about this blog and Fiosherton Sarum itself.
The observant among you will notice that I currently have no confirmed future bookings for Fisherton Sarum, but have no fear I am in discussion with a number of show organisers for appearances of Fisherton Sarum in 2016 and beyond so watch this space!
Unfortunately towards the very end of the weekend at Worthing the turntable operating mechanism failed, which upon further inspection was due to a fairly catastrophic failure of the plastic boss that connects to the operating shaft on the underside of the Peco deck itself. This has now been drilled out and replaced with a new turned steel boss and refitted. Limited time available has meant that it will have to be tested and the MERG indexing system reprogrammed for the first time tomorrow evening once set up at the GETS show, so fingers crossed it all works properly again!
This is the third year that Hornby Magazine have organised this show which already has a reputation for being a quality show with a great line up of layouts and traders, with the added bonus of visitors also being able to also wonder around the Heritage Motor Centre (Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwickshire, CV35 0BJ). The show is open to the public between 9.30am and 5pm on the Saturday and 9.30am and 4pm on the Sunday.
Once again I will be kindly and ably supported by fellow members of the High Wycombe and District MRS to operate the layout over the weekend and on the Sunday there will be four generations of my family involved (if you count the model of my Grandfather as a Ganger on the layout) as my Dad and teenage Nephew will also be helping!
I hope some you are able to attend and I look forward to seeing you there.
It has been a while since Fisherton Sarum last made an appearance at an exhibition, back in March at the London Festival of Railway Modelling in fact. With the Summer (if it can be called a summer this year) now over the exhibition circuit is back in full swing and sees Fisherton Sarum at two shows in three weeks. It also sees the first time that we will have operated the layout at a show with the Control Panel located at the front corner of the layout, that should make interaction with the audience easier, although possibly more distracting from a operating perspective, but should be fun.
As with any layout the old adage says “it is never finished” this is true of Fisherton Sarum. Regularly after operating the layout at an exhibition, more often or not in the pub over a pint, ideas for modifications / ‘improvements’ are suggested by the operating team (usually a combination of Mark and Roger…), some more radical than others, mulled over and sometimes they eventually get implemented. With the next couple of exhibitions looming in September (Worthing MRC) and October (Hornby Magazine Great Electric Train Show), I have set up Fisherton Sarum at the clubrooms of the High Wycombe and District MRS to allow me to check everything over and also make another one of the changes previously suggested.
Such past modifications / ‘improvements’ have included:
Controlling Interests #7 The adding of a third layout controller so that each fiddle yard operator can drive trains towards them
With the two fiddle yards now able to independently control the main running lines, including remotely the operation of the two signals it was suggested that to increase engagement with the viewing public, an aspect at a show that all the operating team enjoy, that the main control panel could be located to the front of the layout. In actual fact the most suitable location was actually at one end of the scenic section but in front of the ‘west end’ fiddle yard. This has necessitated new mounting brackets for the control panel and some longer cables between the control panel and each scenic board (with grateful thanks to Roger). As can be seen from the picture to the left I have now made this change, although the control panel can still be switched back to its original position should it be necessary. We shall try out his new configuration at the Worthing MRC exhibition on the 26th/27th September and see how we get on.
This new uncoupler is located in the coal stock road just behind the shed to provide additional operational flexibility leaving either the ash wagon or a coal wagon, newly fitted with the iron wire dropper to be activated by the electromagnet. Good eyesight is required from the new control panel location to stop the locomotive in the right place, however a new member of the shed crew has been suitably positioned so that as soon as he is out of the shadow caused by the wagon to be uncoupled it is the right place to stop and operate the ‘Dingham’ electromagnet.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I do not exhibit Fisherton Sarum all that often, primarily so that it does not become too familiar on the exhibition circuit, potentially avoiding the walk on by syndrome that can be seen with some layouts that the public has seen time and time again.
However I do enjoy heading out on the road a few times a year and meeting up with old friends and making new ones especially those made through my ramblings here on this blog, if you do manage to get along to any of the shows I am at please make sure you say hello.
Plans are now taking shape for 2015, and I can now advise the confirmed, to date, appearances for next year as being:
I am of course indebted to the continued valued help and assistance of my family and also members of the High Wycombe and District MRS, of which I am a member, to make exhibiting Fisherton Sarum possible at all.
This brand new event in the exhibition calender, being organised by Hornby Magazine will feature 27 top quality layouts across all of the scales , including the Taunton MRG’s Bishop Lydiard-based Bath Green Park, a splendid recreation of the Somerset & Dorset Joint railway’s northern terminus with of course more than a hint of Southern Region rolling stock.
Other excellent layouts include 82G, an atmospheric ‘O’ gauge Western/Southern shed layout; Great Tunsley Dale, which features a Peak District limestone quarry in the late 1950s/60s; Empingham, a Northamptonshire branch with ironstone workings; Kirkby Stephen West, depicting the Settle & Carlisle line during the steam/diesel transition era and Grathwaite Junction a blue diesel era layout in ‘OO’.
In addition to the usual trade support you would expect from this kind of show the main manufacturers of Hornby, Bachmann and Dapol will also be present.
Hornby Magazine will operate at least two of its layouts; including the ‘O’ gauge Clayhanger Yard industrial layout and I shall be assisting editor Mike Wild with his DCC Bolsover & Seven Lane Pit layout, which features sound and smoke unit fitted locomotives in ‘OO’ being controlled by the Horny Railmaster system on iPads and iPhones!
As you might have guessed The Great Electric Train Show does feature Steam and Diesel models but they are of course in model form being electric powered. I hope to see you there!
The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt