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  1. I did some preparatory work last year re-designing the Kenavon show for social distancing before the November lockdown made it clear the show wasn't going to happen in February. My main changes were: * Removing the centre island in the Sports Hall to enable a one-way pathway for visitors six feet away from the exhibits round the outside. Room dividers would separate the path where it doubled back on itself, but be useful for photos, artworks, publicity materials etc. * Not selling refreshments (prior to November the venue had a 'no food to be prepared or distribute
  2. To correct myself. it was an aluminium works rather than an iron works.
  3. Thanks for the offer, but Kumata has already beaten you to it!
  4. There were lead mines up the Arlesdale valley as well. I have a recollection of there being an ironworks somewhere in the middle of the island (I think referred to in "Sodor: Reading Between The Lines" by Christopher Awdry). I dare say "The Island of Sodor: Its People History and Railways" has more about the geology of Sodor, unfortunately as it's an extremely rare book and commands a high price, I've never had chance to read it!
  5. The volunteer staff are only part of the story though. The F/WHR are (or at least were until they laid off 30 staff last year) the biggest employer in Porthmadog. Those staff of course spend a significant part of their wages in the local economy. Then there are all the visitors who come to the area on holiday specifically to visit the railways and pay for accommodation, food, maybe visit other attractions while they're in the area, petrol for the journey home, etc. (A report by the UK parliament a few years ago showed that for every £1 visitors to a heritage railway spend at the ra
  6. I'm not sure about his bit about ragwort though - ragwort is a harmful weed that can endanger animals. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragwort_Control_Act_2003
  7. Seeing Metro reminds me of my commuting trips to Bracknell around the turn of the century. Walking through the morning train usually resulted in my finding a discarded Metro on a seat to read on the way out, and in the evening I could usually find a discarded Standard or a national daily to read. Excursion trips on a Saturday were usually good for a free TV guide for the week ahead!
  8. You need to be careful with the Bachmann Thomas. As it's based on the TV models which in turn were based on Dalby's (incorrect) drawings, the front and rear buffer beams are different heights and so Thomas has no front coupling, which isn't much use on an end-to-end layout! (In the books, Thomas had to have an 'accident' and go to Crovan's Gate to have a new front end so that Peter & Gunvor Edwards could draw him correctly!) I'm not quite sure how the Walmington-on-Sea platoon have wound up on Sodor, though.... ;-)
  9. Just thinking about the shows I normally attend in the autumn. My concerns would be: * ease of movement around the show (will there be a one-way system or will people have to pass each other in narrow alleys/doorways?). How crowded would it be? * length of time for which I would need to wear a mask - something I struggle with for prolonged periods, especially in warm weather * how safe is the journey? The shows I normally attend over the September - November period are: Tadworth (usually as an operator) - waiting to hear exactly what th
  10. Yes, the thought of 200,000 young people fresh from their overseas holidays descending on Reading in August terrifies me for a start!
  11. I have been approached by an open air museum to see if I would be willing to take a layout to an event this summer (which in previous years has included a number of layouts scattered around different buildings on the museum site). I can see that going ahead.
  12. My late friend Rex showed me a copy of that book a few years ago when we were attempting to preserve a fireless loco. Sadly Rex passed away about 15 months ago. I have offered to help his family sort through his railway stuff, but it will need to wait until it is safe for me to do so.
  13. Online model railway exhibition now open until 5pm on Sunday at www.kenavon.btck.co.uk/Exhibition 26 layouts plus traders, societies, demonstrators and videos of the real thing. Free admission but there will be opportunity to donate to the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway. Please do come in!
  14. No, modern estate cars don't seem to have anywhere the same space older ones did. Some years back I came across something I hadn't seen in a long time and haven't seen since - a Mark IV/V Cortina estate. Compared to modern cars, the boot on that was enormous! A few years ago a friend of mine had to buy a Ford Galaxy as it was the only car big enough to take his layout to shows. When the car reached the end of the line, so did the layout.... I reckon it would have fitted in a Cortina!
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