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brightspark

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    Woking
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    Playing trains...wooh-wooh goes the whistle, chuff=chuff goes the engine
    Riding my bicycle...ting-a-ling goes the bell wheeze and gasp goes the engine.

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  1. There was much discussion about this at Bracknell since the news broke yesterday. Perhaps the good thing about this is that many people are asking themselves a few questions about insurance liability at exhibitions. Perhaps this may need a new thread, but the questions raised so far are, Do all exhibition organisers take out insurance? and is it adequate? Layouts and stock on those layouts are entered onto forms so we assume that these are covered but... What about traders? Do they take out insurance and will this cover goods left in a hall overnight? What about demonstrators and society stands? Finally I would warn against sleeping on site and patrols. Firstly as mentioned, the people involved may not be covered by the sites insurance and it puts those people into potential contact with the perpetrators of the crime. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANYONE TRY TO TAKE THESE TYPE OF CRIMINAL ON! They are likely to be high on drugs and may well be armed. A guy I worked with once had a go at the young kids that were vandalising the bus stop outside his house. His funeral was a week later. Although I would prefer to hear of no incidents as reported in the OP I would hate it more to read that someone died trying to stop them. My sympathies are with all of those affected by this mindless criminal act. Lets hope that this is a one off event and that it remains that way. Andy
  2. Gosh, a year since the last post. Not much to report on layout progress apart from it now having a new home with Douglas's son Richard in the Midlands. We get occasional reports of progress, mostly to do with running repairs and little modifications to ease setting up time. The lever frame is in the Midlands and is too be eventually mounted into a new control panel. But this won't be until next year. A few more train cassettes have been made up, so we can rune more trains (keeps the operators happy) but not longer trains as we are at the limit of what a cassette can comfortable handle. One day a new fiddle yard will have to be built. The big news is that Swaynton is booked for another outing and will appear at the Fareham Show on 5th & 6th October. Which is starting to look very close now. Details of the show will, I am sure, appear on the exhibition page.
  3. I had some interesting conversations at this weekends show in Portsmouth where I was helping to man the EMGS stand. I had a good few enquires from people who seemed to be new to the hobby. This included asking what is EM and being very quick to understand the difference. The brass kit that I was fiddling with also attracted attention with enquires as to how I was going to assemble it. Most enquirers had seen Mr Sawyers soldering demonstration and related that to the kit. Questions were asked about length of time it would take to build this kit and also the time taken to do the STD 5 I had in front of me(see loco build challange) & it was appreciated that it took longer than a weekend (yes it was referenced) to build to a good quality. There was also surprise at the research I had done and this too seemed to spark an interest. Then there were the kids. We had on display some locos and stock from Met Junction. I noticed that initially the parents seemed to want to steer their charges away from this, telling them these are only for show and not working. But eventually gave in and let them have a look but not touch. Many of them knew, or at least had a good guess at what they were looking at."Is that a black five?", "Is this one a bit like James" etc. What I think that found attractive was that they could study something close up and be able to take in the detail. For me the highlite of the day was one kid who after looking at my kit built stock and Met Junctions coaches that are made from cardboard resolved to have a go himself. He came back with a Metcalf kit and said that "he is going to start with that". Well good luck to him as he is the future of our hobby. Andy
  4. Hi Jon, Can you advise what the attendance was please? Was it up or down to previous years? I ask as the show came on the weekend after the final of a certain T.V. show. Andy
  5. I too am absolutly convinced that this show is for the good and that we in the hobby must act fast to capture the mood. For a start lets start using the word artists a bit more. I was also at the Farnham show and I also had the impression that there were a lot of people there who I would not expect to see at model show. What I found interesting was to follow them and see what they were looking at. An example is a mother and kids. At previous shows I have observed Mother judging any layoit on something running at speed immediately in front of them, anything less including a train just disappearing off scene was dismissed as "come on this one is not working". What I saw this time was Mother ignoring the trains and looking for the little cameos. Our (those in the hobby) first point of action has to be at model railway shows. Its been said before but here it is again.For a start make sure the layouts work. 2nd operators try to look happy. 3rd Personal hygene. 4th If you demonstrating,look upand engage the public, explain what you are doing. I do not want to see the tops of heads ignoring people. Oh yes,and please take of the binoculars when you talk to someone. 5th layout owners, try to have someone at the front of the shop to tell the public what is going on. You saw it on the TV show...do it like that. 6. We need youngsters, but don't patronize them. Thomas does not need to appear on every layout. They will appreciate finescale layouts if you treat them like adults. Finally I think that the Tolworth Showtrain will be one to watch as it comes on the weekend of the final. It will be interesting to see what sort of people come in the door and what they want to see. Edit as it published before I was ready. Any spelling mistakes are due to me writing this on a phone and being an ignoramus.
  6. I thought that it was time for an update. I will write a more later. But in the meantime, just to show that I am doing something, here is the Bachmann C class on Met Junction having been converted to EM. And here it is next to Doug Williams C class scratch built in the 1960's. I think that the Bachmann needs a lot more work.
  7. Last time I had a close look at a Wimpey, it had just arrived at Weybridge on a back of lorry from Loch Ness. We connected the electrics to the lorry battery and were delighted to find that the lights still worked. Its now sitting in Brooklands Museum. The first guy I was working with as an apprentice at Weybridge was Ted Walker. He told me that his first job as a "boy" was to assist in assessing the damage to aircraft that had been returned to Weybridge for repair. His job was to find the bullet hole in the skin and trace where the bullet had bounced off the structure and log each point. These aircraft were very popular with aircrews as they had good survivability in combat. i.e. they could soak up a lot a bullets and still fly home. An advantage shared with the Hurricane that was also being produced on the other side of the track (The Byfleet side of the site). I recall that Barnes Wallis was proposing a bigger version to carry his bouncing bomb. I think it was either going to be a four, six or even eight engined monster. But this design was dropped by the War Office in favour of the new Lancaster which itself was an improved version of the two engine Manchester Bomber. So if you fancy doing some kit bashing there are two prime candidates.
  8. An excellent show. Can I thank who ever it was that picked up the package that I dropped at ModelU and took the time to take it over to Gibson. They returned it to me. Thanks so much. Hornsey was great, I didn't get to see it until the end of the show today because of the crowds. But I intend to spend a lot longer in the stands when I see it next. Burntisland was running so much better than when I last saw it at Southampton. Congratulations to the team for working on that. Can I suggest more AJ's so that there is less reaching over the layout. It was lovely to see Jerry's little mine out again. I thought that that it had been retired it from the circuit. The Summit was ..big. There seemed to be a couple of issues with operator problems but still impressive. I will finish with Kyle of Sutherland. Nicely done and well observed. I thought that the work on improving the Bachmann coaches was very impressive. I thought that the sides were etches until the provenance was pointed out to me. Oh and parking was not an issue. Thanks for reserving me a place just outside the door. Andy
  9. Will we need tickets for the overflow carpark? I would like to drive straight there and park rather than "go around the houses".
  10. This is the story that is now the accepted norm and then finishes with, then EM was invented to correct the gauge and finally P4 when people wanted to go dead scale...but neither of these produce good running models. The real truth is that there were notions of going smaller than O gauge. At the time around the 1920's O was considered as small as you could practically go. O should really be 0 as it was smaller than gauges 1,2 & 3. OO or 00 and then 000 as a naming convention make more sense if you put a decimal point in front of them and consider them as a decimal number. By the the 1930s there were a number of different OO scales sold by different manufacturers. The proposed new standards for OO was OO course 16.5mm track, OOfine on 18mm track and a 19mm track. OO fine became EM gauge, 16.5 became what we call OO and was adopted by manufacturers after the war as you could achieve a "reasonable radius" that is a small radius curve to get the train around a table top. Thats where TT came from that became 3mm scale. The 19mm track standard never took off even though this would be closest to 18.83mm. The problem being that the corners were too great to make a circuit. (Curves are restricted by the amount of clearance required on coaches and locos especially long wheelbases). At the time the thinking was that all model layouts had to be circular in nature. This is why Peter Denny's Buckingham (and there was a prewar end to end layout) broke the mould as it was in finescale and end to end. Back to the topic, I just want to say that what I find amazing is that the early 2mm models were coming to light in the magazines during the war years when materials were being rationed and OOO was still just a concept. So the question why the funny scale and track gauge when 2mm was already established.
  11. I think its part of a particularly nasty little englander mindset. I am doubly cursed as I am both a railway modeller and a club cyclist. Railway modelling = socially inadequate, Cyclist = Lycra lout. At least no-one tries to kill me when I am at a model railway show (yet). I can't think of any other law abiding groups that seem to attract as much disdain.
  12. I can report that all went well at the Wimbourne show. The layout ran very well but we were squeezed up against the wall. (On future exhibition forms we will specify more exactly how much space we need behind the layout) Plus there were no barriers. But thankfully there was no damage to the front of the layout. There were a few local railwaymen and enthusiasts who were able recall the line in the 1960's including one visitor who showed me some rather nice photos that he took at the time. He plans to restore the photos as they have lots a spots on them and post them online. He remembers a young Nigel Kendall with a recollection that he was the guy with the posh camera. Nigels photos, by the way, have been a huge help in producing the model. Now onto progress reports. Richard Stevenson has been working on some Bulleid coaches that had been lurking in Douglas Smiths to do collection. These are coming along quite nicely. A three car set has already replaced the blood and custard Bachmann's. I have been doing more work on the lever frame. I wasn't able to do much on it until the Christmas holidays. But I have made up time since then and have made good progress. The locking frame for all the levers now complete and covered in a sheet of perspex. I took the frame along to our meeting (EMGS NWSAG) to get feedback which was positive even though there is some fine tuning required. I noted that some members struggled a bit with identifying the lever numbers to the track diagram and a few had problems understanding why some levers wouldn't unlock when they expected them too. Anyway a few pictures are posted below. pictures of the levers. The locking frame. Andy
  13. I don't think that can be correct. Manure was a valuable commodity. I am not what other uses it had, but urine, for instance, was an essential part of the tanning process. My Dad grew up in Poplar before the war, and we discussed how much manure there was on the streets as I was planning a model based on the area. He recalled that the streets were very clean as the manure was normally collected as soon as it was dropped, sometimes sooner. In his words "If a horse so much as twitched 'is tail, there'd be some kid shoving a bucket up 'is arse". This would then be sold to keen gardeners nearby as everyone tried to supplement their food with a bit home grown produce. Andy BTW I quite enjoy the word-craft of Mrs T and look forward to the day when he is given the guest editorial. If only to see what the letter that follows it would be about.
  14. Last year I walked into town for lunch. The shopping centre isn't far. It has great architectural interest for those moved by 1960's pedestrian precincts. See you on Sunday. I am looking forward to seeing Arun Quay. Andy.
  15. Are the gravestones still stacked up in St. Pancras church yard? I remember seeing them when I checked out the site before St.P became "International". For those not aware, these were stacked up to make way for the then new St.P station approaches and was the cause of outrage as the graves were left open. Dogs were seen running through the area carrying human bones. Thomas Hardy was put in charge of the correcting the error and had the grizzly task re-interring the residents. From this experience he wrote two poems "In the Cemetry" and "The levelled Churchyard" that I reproduced below. It was this poem that started him on his career as a novelist. If you go to St.P church stand in the churchyard and read this aloud. The Levelled Churchyard. O passenger, pray list and catch Our sighs and piteous groans, Half stifled in this jumbled patch Of wrenched memorial stones! We late-lamented, resting here, Are mixed to human jam, And each to each exclaims in fear, 'I know not which I am!' The wicked people have annexed The verses on the good; A roaring drunkard sports the text Teetotal Tommy should! Where we are huddled none can trace, And if our names remain, They pave some path or porch or place Where we have never lain! "There's not a modest maiden elf But dreads the final Trumpet, Lest half of her should rise herself, And half some local strumpet! From restorations of Thy fane, From smoothings of Thy sward, From zealous Churchmen's pick and plane Deliver us O Lord! Amen!"
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