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RANGERS

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  • Location
    The Welland Valley, well almost!
  • Interests
    BR blue period years, mostly interested in ER, ex GNR/ GCR/ GER lines but with some Scottish Pre-group, ironstone and industrial railways and Irish narrow gauge thrown in for good measure. And then there's cars, lorries, buses etc...

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  1. Having followed progress on here, I’ll look forward to seeing it in the flesh next week.
  2. Whilst it’s a sad reflection of the NRM’s priorities that two such iconic wagon designs are no longer deemed to be of any historical significance within the National collection, it’s a big consolation that they’re going somewhere that does place a high priority on the preservation of our industrial heritage. Congratulations to all involved in the bid and safe to say they couldn’t be going to a better or more appropriate place.
  3. Are the artwork images in a public area of the Facebook site? I’m struggling to find anything. I do find it odd that Oxford have a well patronised website yet still keep their new announcements away from it.
  4. Hadn’t realised how variable my attendance is until I looked back through past diaries. 25 in 2019, 19 in 2018, 2015 must have been a bumper year with 32. These ranged in size from Warley to Wrec-rail and locations from Glasgow to Crawley and Bristol. Where there’s an opportunity, two shows in a day make it a worthwhile day (have done three several times and I think five in a weekend is the record!) Have been to Northampton and Cotgrave in recent weeks, both well run and in well ventilated venues, both deserved greater patronage but I can understand the reticence at the moment. From the diary as it currently stands, I have six further shows through to the end of the year, including Manchester for the first time in 39 years, the rest are all smaller club shows, as are most at the moment and deserve support.
  5. We’ll done Bingham for getting such an entertaining show together, a well laid out show in a good venue. Nice, varied selection of layouts and some bargains to be had from a good selection of traders. Well worth a trip out if you’re contemplating it today and anyone who still has doubts about indoor spaces in the current climate, this is well laid out with good ventilation, plenty of space between exhibits and a one way system to avoid any crowding in the aisles. Been looking forward to it and wasn’t disappointed, highly recommended.
  6. Looking forward to this, my second post lockdown show and the ‘back to basics’ approach that both clubs have taken is maybe the thing that’ll reinvigorate shows and where the risk of cancelling is still relatively high, keeping costs low Will hopefully encourage more clubs to stage shows again. Best of luck with it, I think you might be surprised at the numbers.
  7. When Dave Larkin visited us a couple of times in the mid-80s, he arrived in an Fiat 850 van conversion
  8. Most were removed when the locos were refurbished, though I wouldn’t like to say for sure that they all lasted that long. I’d a photo that was taken at Paddington in Summer 1978 I think it would have been, which had it still intact together with its recently fitted nameplates (Warspite I think it was).
  9. IXO did a CF in 1:43 scale in panel van form and as a camper for Hatchette. They do appear on a certain auction site from time to time but the camper is usually the wrong side of £50, down to its popularity I guess. They are nice models though.
  10. Funny you should mention that, I’ve a couple of printed kits of the 56 class saddle tanks that are designed to sit on the chassis of the latest incarnation of the Hornby Terrier. I’d been wondering how well this represented the 56 class below the running plate, but even though they’re poles apart up top, the proportions and wheel spacing look very similar.
  11. Just noticed this post, Sheringham did indeed have the look of a scrapyard in those days, thankfully the enthusiasm of the band of volunteers kept it together and laid the foundation for what it grew to become. the locos in the first photo aren’t identified correctly, the Fowler in the shot was an 0-4-0 but a larger stablemate that for a while was the Sheringham station pilot, Dr Harry was a bit smaller - The 0-6-0 saddle tank wasn’t Ring Haw, it was an outside cylinder Bagnall (IIRC) who’s name escapes me. Not sure that its restoration was ever completed, at least at Sheringham.
  12. And therein lies the problem, although it’s practically impossible for most employers to opt out, they’re finding it increasingly difficult to recruit enough driver apprentices to spend the funds they’re paying in. Even where it is possible to opt out, it doesn’t solve the problem, just reduces the businesses training commitments. Granted, it’s pointless paying into something that won’t produce results but the without the funds there’s no incentive for new recruits so catch 22.
  13. Details of the apprenticeship scheme are available on the Govt website, though it doesn't look like the funding levels have been updated. https://findapprenticeshiptraining.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/courses/110 The increased funding announcement details are here - https://www.rha.uk.net/News/News-Blogs-and-Press-Releases/press-releases/detail/apprenticeship-funding-for-c-e-drivers-increasing-to-7-000-a-step-towards-resolving-the-driver-shortage I have to say the old school thinking of drivers being expected to find their own licence does still exist in pockets around the industry but the major employers have long since moved to a more civilised approach. Any employer who isn't willing to train their staff initially isn't likely to maintain any degree of ongoing training, so probably isn't worth considering as a potential employer. Staff are a valuable asset and just as a haulier has to invest and maintain in their trucks and facilities, they should be equally committed to maintaining all of their assets. The shortage isn't going to be resolved overnight, its been with us for years but has been managed by a combination of imported staff, maximising the overtime within the hours drivers can legally work, use of agency staff and a continuous drive by the industry to recruit. The latest issues are the result of a perfect storm of Brexit resulting in EU drivers returning home, cancellation of thousands of training sessions and tests since the start of the pandemic and recent changes to self-employment which has made agency work a lot less attractive than it once was. Many older drivers who were furloughed in the initial periods, either as a result of them being in high risk categories or simply because their work had dried up, have also now decided to hang up their keys after being laid idle for months. The appalling working conditions that many were subjected to at that stage - refused access to toilets, cafes and service areas closed and perhaps worst of all, made to stay in cabs at destinations whilst their trucks were unloaded, sometimes involving waits of hours on end - resulted in a major loss of drivers who looked to more attractive employment.
  14. There’s a generous training allowance for driving apprentices, recently increased from 6 to 7k, but the funding is still going unspent because there aren’t enough bodies to fill the places available. Most, probably all, of the major logistics and supermarket chains are affiliated to training schemes and will pay drivers a fixed rate whilst they train.
  15. I'd not thought about N Walsham actually being nearer, but it is a valid point, though Gunton is even nearer but presumably no bus connection. I'll need to do some digging amongst my books to find the piece about the Mundesley coaches and check it but assuming it is correct, it would be assumed that the bus service from Cromer was more frequent than the one which replaced what by that stage was probably a sparse rail service to Mundesley.
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