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Everything posted by Les1952

  1. It is at this point in the availability cycle that I am extremely grateful that with one of my two exhibition roundy-roundies (Hawthorn Dene) sold, and the club roundy-roundy (Rise Park) that I supplied my remaining analogue locos to also sold I have quite a substantial overstock of N-gauge and don't really need to buy any more- do I still need 5 each of J39 and WD for instance? I will replace a couple of Mark 1s or Gresleys with Thompsons when they finally appear in the appropriate livery (assuming I've not tired of Croft Spa by then and sold it on). My 3 NGS Hunslets on order are too late for Hawthorn Dene but 2 will run as a light engines plus brake pair on Croft Spa (the prototypes were delivered to NCB Springwell under their own power) while the third will be Werklok 5 on Bregenbach im Schwarzwald. I have no more UK N gauge stock planned, though I might just be tempted by a Sonic J50. My next project is back to OO, provisionally an 8X2 Gumstump. Maybe by the time that one is finished (2 more years) there may be some new N gauge to get sufficiently excited about to trigger another N gauge layout..... Les
  2. On quite a few occasions when writing a reply to a question I've had to look up the answer in a location that was very well signposted and easily accessible to the person who asked the question. Les
  3. I'm not a Twitter user but my local bus company is. It uses Twitter to give up to the minute news about serious traffic issues delaying the service. As my phone doesn't handle well the bus tracker app they also use (due to display issues) I have bookmarked the Twitter feed so if the bus home is late appearing I can see if there is a reason. Twice I've been able to go for a cuppa having discovered the bus I've expected has been involved in an accident and that as a result there won't be a bus until the next hour. The operator's garage is near the home end of the route about 50 mins away from the far end. No different in principle to bookmarking a manufacturer's Facebook page to get the updates by periodically looking at it. You don't have to be a Facebook user or have a Facebook account to do that. As an aside, why do people insist in driving their cars into the nearside of a bus I'm intending to catch on its next journey? That has happened to me twice..... Les
  4. then across the Tees to Smoggie land.... Les (originally a Darlo lad....)
  5. WEST Hartlepool. The towns of Hartlepool and West Hartlepool amalgamated on 1st April 1967, about a month before 65817 was withdrawn from Sunderland shed, so it is much more likely the towns were still separate at the time of the photo. This is West Hartlepool station (swampy territory). Hartlepool (the monkey hangers) had a separate station on the headland. West Hartlepool was built on reclaimed marshland- sailing ships had to travel in ballast if they had no cargo to stop them being blown over. If a returning collier from London the ballast was Thames clay. When the railway first reached Hartlepool the land to the South was marshy. When empty colliers arrived at the docks to take away the coal (newly delivered by train) Ralph Ward Jackson and other directors of the railway used to offer to take away the ballast for a fee, and tipped it into the marshes. Once this had settled the town of West Hartlepool was built on it- hence the natives being referred to as swampies. At the time I lived there (1973-1979) supporters of the two rugby clubs, and I suspect a lot of others besides, used the two nicknames freely. Les
  6. I picked up my sound-fitted 65817 at South Notts Show from Sherwood Models on Saturday. Neil said he had not had time to look at mine but all of the non-sound locos of this number he had opened had pickups rubbing the back of the spokes on one side. He told me how to adjust them - I think he had been doing the ones they were selling through the shop though I may be wrong. However when I opened the box all pickups bar one were correctly aligned, and the one that was off was only a millimetre out- I adjusted it anyway. Sounds good on the short test track. I'll take it to the club on Thursday night to give it a longer run. As threatened here is a pic with my earlier 65817 perched on the tender... This one will be weathered and get lamps and a crew in due course. probably not long before NO PLACE goes out again. All the very best les
  7. SOUTH NOTTS MODEL RAILWAY SHOW View from behind the layout- we were up on the balcony. the layout set up with Geoff Warren in blue and Gary Tabener in green as main operators- I was "Mr Fix It" for the weekend- as newly retired show manager I was thought to be the only one who knew what needed doing and how to do it or who to ask.. In the background can just be seen Tony Wright on the stand next door. Colin Head of Merg was on the stand just behind Tony and he brought round his little video truck. It does show one or two places where unfinished bits need a bit of work, but over all the layout survives. The bumping is die to the camera being on a long wheelbase 4-wheel truck being propelled by a loco- I think there are only two with couplings on the front...... The other news- we won the Favourite Layout trophy as voted on by the paying public. No pic on the layout as it was presented with 2 mins to go before the show closed. I'll try to get a pic of it on my bookcase. No repairs to do, just one loco to reprogram. I can leave the layout boxed up and put the N gauge test oval on the top to get Croft Spa's locos ready for Farnham's show in Oct. This one goes out in 2 weeks to Coalville and there isn't room to erect Croft Spa until after that. Les
  8. Favourite layout as voted by the punters- Bregenbach im Schwarzwald (by one vote) I didn't bribe them, honest... The show has broken even, overall numbers a little over 300 for the two days. Les
  9. We do our best- Could do with a few more punters, though.... View from the balcony - shows the one-way arrows A2B Models centre right with back to Starlight Models. Newton Folly is the biggest layout there. Winner of the Trevor Webster Trophy ( best layout) was Gareth Harbottle's Hazleby Ballast loader Bregenbach im Schwarzwald with Geoff Warren in blue and Gary Taberner in green. I actually got to play with my own trains for about 20 minutes at one point... Les
  10. It is, except that the admission prices are actually £1 cheaper than shown..... my error. We didn't make Railway Modeller, however- an error at their end. An apologetic email from Stern Steve Flint doesn't sell much in the way of tickets, alas.... Les
  11. There is a nice video on Facebook showing an unmodified EFE O2 running quite happily along with ten assorted coaches in tow. The author says his other one can do likewise and his two DJM O2s aren't that much weaker....... I was offered this group as a suggestion by FB but as I'm not a member I can't post the URL. Les
  12. All fliers now given out -a 2-day traipse round much of Cotgrave put about 800 through local doors. Our traders and others got about 600 between them (eventually) and 1100 went out to local villages inside free mags. The hall plan works! The second iZettle has arrived and we've erected both screens, which should speed up the admissions desk allowing us to do two card transactions at the same time. Show guides are in print- smaller this time and done in house to save money- we still have no idea how many are likely to turn up. Costs are well down so if we catch a cold it shouldn't be an enormous one. Rachel the caterer is getting in extra stocks of bacon - hopefully enough to avoid having to send her dad off to the cash & carry for more halfway through Saturday morning.... Les
  13. Lighting rig altered having discovered that it works the next phase has been to make it respectable. White plastic L-section glued to the front of the wooden beam and to the angle section, then a small piece of white plasticard to cover the end of the gap. View along enlargement of corner From the operator's side With the lights off showing the construction. I've also now painted inside both ends dark grey to hide the glaring whiteness that could be seen when the layout is viewed from its end. Definitely needed as at Cotgrave next week punters climb steps to where we are from behind the right side of the layout, and Tony Wright's loco clinic is going to be on the left side (looking outwards). I've been adjusting the track by putting a little more superelevation on the sharpest corners and the BR646 railcar will now traverse the whole layout. I suspect the BR23 would now also but it has been sold on. Never mind. Trains are sorted and in the box for Cotgrave- the only change to the line up is that the beer train has gone, replaced by a 2-coach rake of Silberlingen. I'm not yet sure what the motive power for these will be. I'll see if the BR78 can cope with the train up the gradient- they did work push-pull sets in the Black forest, though on the flatter bits further North. Enough for now. Les
  14. The lighting article came a little late for me as I'd just finished the mark 1 version of the lighting rig for Bregenbach im Schwarzwald - using warm white LEDs in a diffuser! It also has a curved viaduct just visible in the upper picture, but isn't likely to make BRM as it is a Black Forest layout........ As a shameless plug come and inspect it next weekend at South Notts Show in Cotgrave. (4th and 5th Sept). Les
  15. I wasn't intending to compare the O2 with another type, but to point out that a plug of lead in the smokebox improves traction, and that any 0-4-4 tank should propel more than it can pull (smokebox first) as the weight of the coaches help the driving wheels to dig in and improves adhesion. Les
  16. My DJ IOW version took four (almost five) coaches round the club layout. - ie four on a curve, five (just) on level straight. Filling the smokebox with a lead plug added enough traction to make a six coach train possible. These were Hornby Mark ones... My N-gauge G5 (rebuilt Dapol M7) will take a coach more propelling smokebox first than pulling either way round. Les
  17. I emailed them about it- short reply, no sound option. I'm holding off ordering for now. I'll decide whether I want a silent one sometime shortly before the order book closes. Les
  18. We have screens! Two screens to put up at the payment desk to keep our people from breathing on the punters. All we need to do is work out how to mount them on the tables we have without damaging the tables. The Welfare have removed the huge bar structure that was along one wall of the entrance hall. We'll have to re-plan that area, which also includes the toilets. There will be no club sales stand this year- with eight club or club members layouts we haven't enough spare bodies to man it... A poor pic (I took it- Andy Y took a much better set) of Ashtown, which will be on the main hall level. A better picture of Bregenbach im Schwarzwald, which will be on the balcony upstairs. Les
  19. Potters Bar, July 31st 2021 With layout! Les
  20. Not now my decision, thankfully, though I'm not sure we can legally enforce it. I don't want to bring it up and scare the committee, some of whom have been in all manner of panic throughout the process. We are just about settled on what we are doing and it is no longer my boat to rock (thank goodness......) Les
  21. It would have made all of our lives simpler if mask wearing had remained a legal requirement. However it is not. We have been informed that we can make it a condition of entry but can't enforce that condition. As I said earlier no police implementation until someone trying to enforce it gets thumped...... Much easier to ask for masks. In any case not going beyond asking makes it easier for exhibitors to remove theirs if quiet and safe to do so. All members of our club are now double-jabbed, as I understand are the volunteers from other clubs and all those traders I have spoken to (before cheerfully handing over the reins to my successor at the AGM) Les Exhibition Manager South Notts Show 2015-2021 now Clubroom Manager, Bingham MRC.
  22. We've finally got the iZettle software on a club-owned phone and talking to the card reader, and via the Welfare's Wifi to the club's bank. Not only that but we've worked out how to do refunds. Contactless is go! Les
  23. Being involved in getting one of the smaller shows going for the beginning of September (South Notts on 4th and 5th at Cotgrave) there are a lot of things we have had to balance. Firstly- we can't know what the infection rate will be and whether Boris will have one of his newly-empowered "Circuit-breaker" lockdowns in place. Yes he has said he hopes not to use them but... At the start of September the rate is likely to be at its lowest, but by November who knows? Our insurers won't cover a lockdown cancellation and I suspect it is no different for Warley. Secondly- we have no idea how many will brave an event given the papers (such as the report in the mail earlier in this thread) are veering wildly from telling us to get out and ignore the consequences and scouring hospitals for scare stories amongst the small number of vaccinated people the virus is still managing to kill. Thirdly we have had to reduce the size of the show to make wider gangways and a workable one-way system in two areas that have been dead ends in previous years. Smaller show leads to lower entry price leads to less income per punter. Fourthly we have had to cut costs down to a minimum in case hardly anyone turns up - eight of the twelve layouts are club or club member layouts that attract no expenses and the other four are local and small- ie reasonable in space requirements and the amount of expenses we will have to pay out (though they were chosen for quality first). We can ASK for masks but once the punter is through the door we can not enforce masks. We can also ask for proof of double-jabbed status but can't enforce it- and how do we know that proof is genuine? Our venue (a club) has been informed that they can try to refuse entry but there is no backup in case of non-compliance. Yes the police will step in - once someone has been assaulted. We have also had to invest (not before time) in a contactless payment system for the door and perspex screens for the cash desk. Getting the contactless system to work has been a bit of a nightmare, and training people to use it is ongoing. One consequence of the two points above is that we haven't enough people left over for a club sales stand so that has been jettisoned. Again less income. Add in that we have to find space (outside if the weather holds) for seating for refreshments to keep the caterers happy, find someone to go round handrails and push plates etc with sanitiser and wipes at regular intervals it is a much bigger job this year to organise a much smaller show, and pull in guest stewards/operators from neighbouring clubs. As a newly-retired show manager I can say the problems don't double as the size of the show doubles- the increase is nearer a factor of four. Warley is at least 20 times the size of South Notts Show. I'm not surprised it has been cancelled this year. In the position of the Warley organisers I would have done the same. We were lucky in 2020. Cancelling that show with 2 weeks to go only cost us about £600. Some of that has since been recouped by sticking items from the club sales pile onto eBay. Les
  24. I levered the pony truck off using a cocktail stick - it avoids applying too much force as the cocktail stick breaks first. Why lever? have you ever tried using a pair of cocktail sticks as pliers?...... Les
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