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Silver Sidelines


I am minded of Pam Ayres and her words: “Infallible, articulate, self-confident... and wrong.” From her monologue ‘They should have asked my Husband’





Heljan D1000 Western Enterprise and D1010 Western Campaigner fitted with etched plates


When the opportunity presents itself I will buy etched plates.  Lately I came across a set of C.G.W nameplates for D1000 Western Enterprise.  These were followed by a set of plates for D1010 Western Campaigner from Extreme Etchings.



 C.G.W. Etched plate for D1000 (top) plates from Extreme Etchings for D1010 (bottom)


With all this ‘dreich’ weather we have been having I would spend a morning cutting out and fitting these plates.  I don’t know why I had not noticed before but the Enterprise plates looked to have been made to a different scale than those for Campaigner.



C.G.W. Plates compared to Heljan printed plates


The C.G.W plates were ‘obviously’ defective.  I would return them to the seller.


“Hello. Sorry to hear that you are not happy with these nameplates, they are certainly not defective. From what I know about Westerns, D1000 was the first build and it carried over sized nameplates on the real loco, a set of these are at the NRM. D1001 onwards had the smaller size. Not prepared to accept return”.


I would need to undertake some research.  I had a copy of Brian Haresnape’s article in what used to be Trains Illustrated.  Clearly the name plates were substantial.  I would also look at RS Carter’s book ‘British Railways Main-line Diesels’ from 1963.  The RS Carter drawings are printed to a scale of 3.5mm to the foot.  By good fortune there is a drawing of D1000 with plates measuring 38.5mm (11ft).  The C.G.W plates measure 44mm – exactly 11ft at 4mm scale.  So – spot on! 


An online search directed me to a 2012 Post on RMweb from RUGD1022


http:// https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/54225-western-liveries-1961-1977/


This Post states; “It's worth mentioning here that D1000's nameplates were of a non standard size, the backing plates being the same depth as the number plates. All other Westerns had the standard shallower height plates.


I would fit the C.G.W. plates to D1000 and the Extreme Etchings to D1010.



Courtesy of Modern Railways March 1962



British Railways “Western” Class diesel-hydraulic C-C – courtesy RS Carter 1963


Full marks to Extreme Etchings, I was able to cut their plates from the fret in minutes.  The C.G.W plates must have been made of tougher (thicker) material because separating their plates from the fret took hours (well a long time) and I had to change the blade in my craft knife three or four times.  When using a craft knife to separate etched plates from their fret I place the etchings onto a smooth hard surface such as a Melamine offcut.  This way the plates remain well supported and do not distort under the action of cutting.


I used my preferred procedure for fitting the etched plates.  I covered the existing printed name plate with matt varnish lowering the etched plates into position with a piece of ‘Blue-Tak’.


Western Enterprise entered service with three dimensional cast aluminium crests on the opposite side of the cabs to the plates carrying the running numbers. 


The etching techniques used for the name plates do not lend themselves to making three dimensional objects.  Applying the C.G.W crests turned out well, helped I guess by being exactly the same size as the Heljan printed crests.


I have added some pictures below of the models fitted with their etched pates.



Contrasting Crest and Number Plate


A couple of images to highlight the larger plates fitted to Enterprise.



Larger name plate fitted to Enterprise



Standard size Western name plate as fitted to Campaigner


Finally a close up image of one of the cast crests which I feel has turned out rather well.



Close up of the etched ‘cast’ crest


The images above show D1000 in its original Desert Sand livery with no yellow panel and D1010 in Maroon livery with a small yellow panel.  The RMweb post by RUGD1022 which I previously referred to details D1000 carrying the livery without any yellow panel from its introduction to traffic on 26/12/61 up until 05/11/62.  The same reference indicates that D1010 carried maroon livery without any yellow panel from its introduction to traffic on 15/10/62 up until 01/03/63 when it received a small yellow panel.  These dates indicate that my model layout configuration with D1000 having no yellow panel and D1010 with small yellow panel did not happen!  But then isn’t that what railway modelling is about?



Heljan Box End Flap – in the words of Pam Ayres ‘and Wrong’


As a postscript I have added a picture of the box end flap for the Heljan model of D1010.  I would say in the words of Pam Ayres – ‘and Wrong”!  I first spotted the Heljan variation of the spelling on an eBay listing.  What a conundrum, should you advertise the model as named or as boxed? 


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Ray, thanks for the message elsewhere. I like the quote from Pam Eyres, and in something of a coincidence I realise that my Maroon/ SYP Heljan Western I also did as D1010, I think because of "haulage" in 1973 from Plymouth to Newquay and return (although it was blue by then).


Whilst models out of the box with printed names look OK, I long ago realised that etched plates do lift them to a different level, and particularly on D1000 here the crests add a great deal.


Best wishes,



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40 minutes ago, John Tomlinson said:

..... I like the quote from Pam Eyres,.....

.... I long ago realised that etched plates do lift them to a different level,

We listened to Pam Ayres in person at Alnwick Playhouse, she is great.


I thought the quote very applicable.  I have had a bit of short fuse of late, that would be an electric fuse.


Cheers Ray

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I found the monologue/poem online and liked it too. Although the message is universal, it is also very much a period piece, which made me (almost!) nostalgic.


I agree that the CGW plates can be a bit difficult to work with, but they do look good.


Thanks for the tip about using blue tack as a lifting device. For some reason I've never thought of using it like that.


Edited by Mikkel
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On 30/11/2019 at 09:58, Mikkel said:

.... Although the message is universal, it is also very much a period piece, which made me (almost!) nostalgic.


Great comments Mikkel I can still picture the checked tea towel (Yasser Arafat).   We can usually identify with what Pam Ayres has to say.  Perhaps that comes with age and maturity?


Cheers Ray

Edited by Silver Sidelines
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Doesn't appear to be much room for a sound decoder and speaker in there..........



Thanks for the interesting info regarding the plates and the very nice comparison between the etches, very useful. 

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On 30/11/2019 at 14:17, boxbrownie said:

Doesn't appear to be much room for a sound decoder and speaker in there..........


I am browbeaten thinking about it


Cheers Ray

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I remember Pam Ayres saying, "When I saw Bruce Springsteen for the first time I couldn't wait to throw my husband out with the rest of the rubbish!"  Here in Gloucester I have two friends who write in the same vein as her - and I have to admit they are both brilliant at it.  Re: the Westerns; yes, 'Enterprise' plates were larger; I'd forgotten that until reading about it again only very recently.  

I always enjoy looking at your photos, especially when they feature Westerns.



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22 hours ago, steve22 said:

I remember Pam Ayres saying, "When I saw Bruce Springsteen for the first time I couldn't wait to throw my husband out with the rest of the rubbish!" 



Splendid message Steve, thank you.  I don't remember the quote about Bruce and rubbish but I do remember her poem "Do you think Bruce Springsteen would fancy me?".




Quite sobering to think written probably 40 years ago - and that after most of the Western Hydraulics had already been and gone.


Cheers Ray

Edited by Silver Sidelines
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Hi Ray,


it was on a radio programme of hers and if I remember the quote correctly, Pam Ayres said it was New Year's Eve or sometime around then.  The family went out to celebrate but she decided to stay at home and do the ironing (I think).  She decided to switch on the tele at the same time and there was a Bruce Springsteen concert.  Relating on the radio programme how smitten she was she then made that comment!  


Regards,   Steve.


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