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Huw Griffiths

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  1. I agree - that is neat. However, you might not even need to 3D print the red part of that setup - something similar has been available, ready made, for decades (OK - not exactly the same - but easy to modify using a file or scalpel - and they don't cost a fortune, either): Cable tie base - from TLC website. Huw.
  2. Lovely gestures - which I trust were greatly appreciated and well received by everyone on the "receiving end". To be honest, I would have really loved to have been there - I'd have welcomed the chance to see some of this year's GMRC entries and meet their builders - in fact, I'd actually been looking forward to this show for the previous 12 months. However, I didn't get any choice in the matter - due to a close (and elderly) relative being in very poor health. (This is neither the time nor the place to go into any detail on this matter ... .) Anyway, that's more than enough about me and my family. I hope "Warley 2019" was enjoyed by everyone who was there - in whatever capacity. I also hope I'm able to be there next year - with any luck also getting the chance to admire the handy work of entrants in another year's GMRC. Here's hoping. Regards, Huw.
  3. Well I'd certainly prefer to avoid MDF for stuff like baseboards. It sometimes seems to find favour in small "lasered" kits - OO "scale" houses - some basic rolling stock kits in slightly larger scales - stuff like that. To be honest, I've been wondering if it might be fun for me to get something like that lasered for my own use (if for no reason other than that I haven't noticed lots of firms offering to "laser" Palfoam). However, I definitely wouldn't want MDF for something like a baseboard, basically for the reasons people here have outlined. As for avoiding cider, I suspect that a number of people on this site would take issue with that idea. Huw.
  4. It's probably just part of the current Zeitgeist. (Well I guess there are plenty of less agreeable foreign expressions ... like Schadenfreude, for instance.) We might need to have a "People's Vote" on that question (although I, personally, would have no problem were your comment to remain in this thread). Huw.
  5. Don't you mean an "important phone call" - or was I just thinking about RMweb Live? Actually, it doesn't matter what show I was thinking about - it was a number of years in the past - and that's where it looks like staying. Anyway, turning to the malarkey about ignoring threads, there might well have been an "ignore thread" option in a previous version of this website - but I usually manage to ignore threads that don't interest (or affect) me regardless. I just don't bother looking at them. (Sorry if I sound a bit grumpy at the moment. Various issues connected with my parents' health mean that I haven't had a decent night's sleep for ages.) Huw.
  6. Many thanks for the kind comments, re my parents. Although it was actually last year's challenge I had to pull out of, the stuff about their health still very much applies. Certainly though, the kind comments / sentiments are greatly appreciated. Thanks also for your fascinating (and very informative) post. As for the atomic energy research establishment, I wonder if this was the one (very close to Culham railway station) that became known as Harwell. I suspect that Howes would probably have been their local hobby store. To be honest, although I was only vaguely aware of this setup, I also read yesterday about model trains being used in a similar way at another establishment (in the USA, I believe). I also couldn't remember exactly how the "mule" locos were used with the Panama Canal - I just remembered seeing pictures of them on Quest, Yesterday, or another "factual" Freeview channel. Excellent idea, though. The same goes for the use of locos to pull barges along those canals on the European mainland. Ultimately though, there seems to be a common thread running through all of these non standard applications for railways - they offer / offered a very effective way of moving things around - so there was no point in anyone "reinventing the wheel". Stuff like this also makes for fascinating reading - but I'm not sure anyone here is in any rush to hear from Oliver Twist again ... . Huw.
  7. Excellent news. I hope this news is followed by positive news of further series being commissioned. This is the only time I've ever voted for any broadcast awards - no prizes for guessing which way I've voted. Huw.
  8. To be honest, the flashing lights would probably be the easiest part of a build like this - a couple of blue or white LEDs with resistors and a 555 timer, or even a push to make switch. Keep the electronics hidden - add some short lengths of optical fibre (or clear fishing tackle) as light guides - plus a slightly mangled bodyshell from a certain blue toy "kettle" - and, before you know it, the whole family will be able to enjoy playing "where's Th*m*s?". Guaranteed to keep the nippers entertained for hours on end ... or maybe not, who knows? Anyway, there's nothing for kids to worry about. It's not as if I'm suggesting sending "Diesel" for scrap - we all know that one's "really useful" ... . Huw.
  9. A number of people make interesting points about the themes the teams have to work to - and how much (or little) they seem to have in common with the sort of "hyper-reality in miniature" themed purist's layouts you might normally find at shows. I'm not arguing with this - "left field" themes aren't to everyone's taste - for all I know, they might not even be to the tastes of the teams taking part, or even of the judges, for that matter. However, does this stuff even matter? No - I don't think this question is quite as crazy as it might sound - from what I can see, the real objective of these challenges seems to owe rather more to ensuring that the teams are forced well out of their "comfort zones" - well, that and trying to generate a load of TV that a number of people who've never been interested in our hobby actually choose to watch. I think they've succeeded in this - and I hope there's plenty more where this lot came from. OK - so effectively using some model locos to operate a large turntable in one challenge might seem slightly offbeat - the same might even be said for using a similar form of propulsion for a rocket launch pad in one heat (which I've been led to believe has also been done in real life) - but is this any more crazy than using locos on rails alongside locks on the Panama Canal to move ships? For that matter, is it any more crazy than using a trainset loco, wagon chassis and track to move small objects around at a nuclear power plant (yes - I seem to recall being told about that one being real, too). As for whether these programmes (and the non standard themes) are working, well I know that some people with no interest in the hobby are going out of their way to watch the programmes (my mother for instance) - whilst some other people (also with no previous interest) have started visiting model railway shows. Yes - I think these series have been a success - and also "good for business", as far as the hobby in general is concerned. I hope we soon get to hear about further series being commissioned - I also hope we get to see people from the production company (and possibly even Channel 5) showing up on a sponsor's stand at this year's Warley show. As for them being able to find enough people willing to take part in future series, I don't think there's a problem there - after all, we already know that some teams were turned down (certainly at first - and I wouldn't be surprised if there were also some teams turned down that weren't invited to take part in the "extra" heat). More to the point, would I be prepared to turn words into action and take part in a future series myself? Since I applied to take part last year - and was accepted - before being forced to drop out, due to my parents' health taking a nosedive, I've certainly got no issues in principle about getting involved. Were it not for my parents' health (and if I could find a team willing to accept me at the time), I'd jump at the chance. OK - we might all be able to think of a few things we might like to see changed about these series - but, overall, I think they're still pretty good. I'm certainly not complaining - in fact, some people might draw a comparison with Oliver Twist: "Please Sir, I want some more." Somehow, I think that's more than enough English literature for now ... . Huw.
  10. Well. if it's Barry you're talking about, that place scared the **##**@@**!!** out of me when I was a nipper. I seem to recall a lot of the bus trips to Barry Island parking up very near to it - and these rusty hulks of "kettles" towering over me. To the (then) very young "me", they seemed like stuff out of a Hammer film. Obviously, I would have been in primary school at the time - so my memory might be playing tricks on me. However, if it's not, you wouldn't need an "open day" - just a summer Sunday (so very wet / grey) and a couple of service buses in some moderately local operators' colours (perhaps on a backscene). Huw.
  11. Perhaps ... but I know of one guy who was every bit as clumsy with a stapler, about 47 years ago. That's right ... a left handed Welshman, whose first attempt at card modelling involved using a stapler, pressing against the left thumb, in an attempt to hold together a few pieces of thin card. Not surprisingly, this ended in tears. The next day in school, my form tutor was trying to teach the 7 year old "me" how to do "joined up writing" - which proved rather difficult, with my left thumb hidden behind layers of bandages. A week later, with the bandages gone, I picked up a pencil in my left hand - at which my teacher said something along the lines of: "You can write with your right hand, Huw. Carry on!" Obeying this "suggestion" was the biggest mistake I've ever made. Huw.
  12. There could be a number of reasons for this: When these marks are provisionally awarded, a lot of the stuff hasn't actually been completed - so the judges are trying to guess how they're going to work out. Also, there might be an element of them also trying to assess the quality of / impression given by the completed layout as a whole - something which "bits and pieces" marks might not really allow for adequately. Assuming that future series get commissioned next year and beyond, I wouldn't be at all surprised if an extra scoring category were to be created to cater for this. Huw.
  13. Well I guess it was either that or tell him that you'd got your idea from "Demolition Man" ... . OK - we all know the drill by now: Hat - coat - another building's gone ... . Huw.
  14. I guess this depends on whether any of the layouts feature the latest, "all singing, all dancing" automated, computerized, wireless operated, DCC gadgets. Either that, or one of the programmes features some very tall, left handed guy, using a drone to shoot overhead footage of the layouts. Of course, it's always possible that neither of these will have happened - but some of the "animations" could make rather good gadgets in their own right. Huw.
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