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Morning Slow Through Thoraldby



blog-0980002001330031941.jpgOK. So here we are at the threshold of a new era. I've passed the point of no return and committed myself to 'putting pen to paper', so to speak. This is my soapbox and Speakers' Corner has shifted from near the site of Tyburn Gallows to a terraced house on the edge of eastern London towards Essex.

These days I spend time at 4D on Leman Street in E1, The Engine Shed on Leytonstone High Road, Modelzone on Holborn and phoning up traders for kits and bits. Brian Roper, Colin Snowdon and Peter Rumbelow dropped in a few weeks ago and you can see Brian's pictures of THORALDBY to accompany my article for the DOGA Journal in the next issue which - I am led to believe - is March 2012. Thoraldby is the result of many years' research, head-aches, kit-building (wagons and carriages) and scenery bodging.

4D is a good source of materials, not necessarily railway-oriented, but the stock a fair range of scatter and other scenic items as well as cans of plastic weld. The Engine Shed is owned these days by fellow Teessider Dave Haswell. He's useful at times, I'll give him that, even if his kit stock is a bit depleted! Modelzone is handy for things like Parkside, Wills or Ratio kits, scenic items and stuff Dave's run out of. The traders I tend to call are handy for buffer heads (Alan Gibson), Parkside (Modelmaster decals Dave's run out of as well as Parkside kits both Dave and Modelzone have run out of), and a few up and down the country on the DOGA list at the back of the Journal. I stopped off at the Monkbar Model Shop at York once to loo around and came away with a bargain Bachmann K3. She's since been entered on the visitors' list for Ayton Lane shed on the Thoraldby layout downstairs. The number she's carrying was a Mexborough allocation, suitable for inward coal workings.

J27, KI, Q6

Do we have any LNER/BR(NE) modellers out there? Don't you think it's about time either Bachmann or Hornby came up with a J27, K1 or Q6? Considering Hornby delivered the L1 - and we all know they weren't exactly successful, yet they got about most parts of the ex-LNER system. There's a full stable of LNER/BR(E) Pacifics now available and they didn't get everywhere, did they? Yet the more widespread workhorses are under-represented. Look at any set of pictures of the NE area of LNER/BR and what do you see? J27's and Q6's up to about 1948-50, and then K1's even as remote as Alnmouth for the Alnwick shuttle! Who do we have to see/talk to to get them 'on the stocks'? Are there any of the Bachmann/Hornby bosses who look at these blogs? So come on, getcherfingersaht! I've got three J39's that would likke to see at least on J27 standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them. I've got a Nu-Cast Q6, but she's an old growler now whatever you do to her motor, a nice, quiet Q6 would come in handy for working in the opposite direction on mineral traffic, not to mention a K1. My two B1's are probably looking forward to seeing a shedmate of the same calibre. There used to be someone at Pudsey near Leeds converting B1's to K1's, but that's not exactly a suitable conversion, there's so much to cut out and the motion's different!

Well, that's one rant taken care of...

What else is there? Why do Hornby's Gresley non-corridor coaches have to be so expensive at £30-odd? Good job i've built some Ian Kirk stock at half the cost, even after adding the cost of Comet bogies as well as white metal underframe detailing from Comet/MJT! What price are the Bachmann Thompson non-corridor coaches? It's getting to be a rich old codger's game. The one thing my few LNER-liveried Gresley coaches haven't got are the pre-war NO SMOKING stickers in the windows, and HMRS doesn't do them.

*September, 2012 I've heard HMRS is re-doing their sheets in another format and won't be in production for a while. Meanwhile there's Fox Transfers, a bit on the expensive side but these days everything's pricey!

Saw on the news yesterday Hornby may just break even this year - could be something to do with being overpriced? How many can afford their coaches @ £35 a throw? It's got to be cheaper buying and assembling brass kits, let alone plastic ones!


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OK, since about three weeks ago Modelzone's gone down the plughole, that's one corner of the

'round' gone for a Burton (that's what I said about myself when I got married the first time.

Her name was Burton). Latterly I used to stop off at the Modelzone in Westfield at Stratford,

(London E15). A bit of a human maelstrom if you ask me. At least that's out of the way, not

that they had much I wanted - spray varnish, a few kits. Buying Hornby was hopeless, overpriced,and latterly no Bachmann.

So it's back to mail order.

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It's coming up to 2nd November, another East London Finescale exhibition at the CEME Campus near Rainham in SW Essex, and I shall see about getting there by train and bus this time. Should see my old DOGA muckers on Peter Rumbelow's 'Empingham' layout. (Wonder how they'll get on with the 'double-decker' layout of the exhibition hall?)

This time I shall have a bit of brass to go looking for stuff, as opposed to the Saint Edward's School exhibition near Romford that was several days before payday!

Have started on the scenics on the Ayton Lane m.p.d. at long last. Bit more Modroc to add along the front edge near the water tower (that wasn't there in the earlier shots) and stone boundary wall. Got all the cinder ballast, scatter etc to complete the job so no excuses. Winter will soon be upon us - the season of huddling around the heater before it gets turned off again to save the pennies - and early nights, to spend getting my hands all mucked up with pva. Just a tin or two of matt light earth and dark earth paint spray and then Bob's-yer-uncle! With a bit of luck I'll have the cash to get myself a digital camera to save Brian Roper a trip or two from across the river... And then you'll all see the wonders of Thoraldby in glorious technicolor detail!  

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Well this is a turn-up for the better: Hornby's bringing out a Peppercorn K1 2-6-0 later this year (see my 'rant' above). I've been told it's just likely to spill over into  2015, but i've got mine pre-ordered through Hattons. Who knows, next thing there'll be an un-rebuilt Raven B16 4-6-0, a Q6 0-8-0 or even a J27 0-6-0 (what's next then, Bachmann or Hornby coming up with the goods?   

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Model railway retailers are pretty thin on the ground in this part of the world. There used to be Hamblings in Cecil Court, WC2, Hadley Hobbies in Middlesex St near Liverpool St Station, Eames Models, Kings Cross, The Booking Hall near Goodge St, W1, Beatties (which then became Modelzone) on Holborn, W&H New Cavendish St, W1. Now there's only the Engine Shed on Leytonstone High Rd and he hasn't got much these days.

We have to rely on mail order these days, not much fun in that, as you only get to see the goods when they're delivered. Or then there's the exhibition circuit..

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A lot of water under the bridge since I posted the last comment. The Engine Shed went to the wall a few years back, and owner Dave Haswell passed on after a heart attack I've been informed here by Andy. That's the last railway model shop you could visit in London that I know of. He'd been struggling for some time before he had to close, what with the demands Bachmann and Hornby made on minimum orders. Leytonstone High Road wasn't the best place for custom, although he had his regulars inherited from his predecessor (forgot his name, it's been that long, and he's passed on as well).

On a more positive note, remember that whinge I made about the lack of North Eastern motive power?  In the past couple of years Hornby has introduced the L1, the K1 and the Q6. Added to that Oxford Rail has the J27 'on the stocks' for October-December release, and I believe someone has the G5 planned (is it TMC?). All that's needed now is an A8 or D20 (preferably both). 

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Add a J26, a J21, N9 and B16/1 to the list... it goes on. Out of the hundreds of North Eastern engines still around in 1967, only two have made it, and one, the Q6 owned by NELPG has passed her 100 th 'birthday', the next up is the J27. NELPG's J72 is a 1950s build to Wilson Worsdell's drawings of the 1890s, and the K1 was built by North British in 1949. One of my pages on Hub Pages (see the link) is dedicated to NELPG passing their 50th anniversary in 2016, with a link to their web site. 

Considering their presence on the ground in the North East, the region is grossly under-represented in the preservation world, as are its railways. You'd never have known the first public railways originated in the North East from the number of lines still available to travel on. Dig a bit and you'll find cycle and footpaths, viaducts and overgrown routes across the region. 


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Maybe we should press TMC to publicise their plans to bring out a OO Gauge G5 in the same way Oxford Rail and Hatton's did about the J27?  I'd be first in the queue, and I wouldn't stop at one 

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