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andyram last won the day on August 6 2018

andyram had the most liked content!


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    I have varied interests. I enjoy playing sports and regularly play five a side football at weekends. This helps to lessen the effect of the real ale I also enjoy drinking. Hobgoblin is my beer of choice although I quite like Castle Rock ales and some from the Black Isle Brewery in Inverness after tasting them whilst on honeymoon.
    I enjoy computer games, regularly playing the latest Call of Duty or PES games.
    As far as railways are concerned I have a interest in preserved steam, regularly visiting lines in the local area. I am an occasional volunteer on the Great Central Railway where I previously worked at Quorn and Woodhouse station. I now volunteer as a TTI.
    I am currently in the early stages of planning and building my new layout, Skaleby Quay and have started a small shunting layout as a Christmas project.

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  1. Lovely pics of a lovely layout. My condolences to you and the family. Your dad obviously enjoyed the layout and it clearly gave him so real pleasure.
  2. Evening all. The white stuff arrived this morning, but only a slight covering. The warmth from the winter sunshine melted enough away by mid-morning to make me feel happy to set out on the various errands which needed to be completed on my day off. I have to admit to rather lacking in motivation after a sleepless night. A sore throat has developed into a head cold with blocked sinuses and persistent ringing in the ear. I have felt exhausted for much of the day. The test was negative however.
  3. Evening one and all. I hope you are well. Thanks to those who posted the snow pictures. It always looks great when you don't have to put up with the inconvenience the white stuff can cause! We escaped much of it in this part of Derbyshire, although it clearly hit the higher parts of the county. Once again there was the strange sight in Matlock Bath under the winter sunshine. Nothing at road and river levels (including customers!!) but wonderful white covered trees and houses on the hills overlooking the village. Four and a half years after opening up there, I have still not got used to how the weather changes up there in just a short distance! One thing I seem to have got used to is the shop climate and there were less layers of clothes required today. Perhaps that was due to the small number of times the door opened for visitors! It kept the heat in! A short time was spent on photographing and filming the layout for the next shop update video on Youtube - the link to the earlier January one is provided below if anyone is interested. Oscar standard it certainly ain't!!! Today's efforts produced this little photographic effort. Train alert!!!
  4. Another strange visitor to Skaleby West today. The Midland Pullman liveried HST is seen crossing the river bridge on the final approach to the station. I am sure the station master will not be impressed about the latest diesel invasion! In truth this is another staged photo for the shop's social media pages. There was some genuine running undertaken today with Bachmann 56xx on the passenger stock. A six wheeled tank wagon, painted in the Coca-Cola livery was a less than prototypical addition to the train. This was added for the purpose of filming ahead of the next shop update video for Youtube. Unfortunately, the driver (me) was not paying attention and the loco ran off the end of the layout and sustained a damaged buffer beam. The loco was from my own collection so fortunately no shop stock was damaged. Hopefully I can undertake a repair so the loco can return to service.
  5. Evening all and a belated Happy New Year. It has been a few weeks since I last paid a visit to these pages, or even RMWeb in general. The black dog has made more than its fair share of visits. It has been tiresome at times. Tonight I have watched the Hornby program on Yesterday. It was ok. The most interesting part related to Kathy and her Welsh micro layout project. The rest was very much promotion (or is it propaganda) relating to the TT gauge launch. Of course, as a humble retailer, I am not permitted to stock such a product! The other feature related to repairs on some of the models of Rocket. I have a feeling one of the models belonged to one of my customers because the back story seemed very similar. Best wishes Andy
  6. With Santa trains now finished it appears that engineering trains have returned to the Skaleby West branch with a pair of Network Rail liveried vehicles seen in the station today. In reality this is a social media publicity photo on behalf of the shop.
  7. Afternoon all. I hope you are well. This morning started calmer and, at least, I did remember my keys. However the latest crisis was the need to add fuel to the car. Yesterday's additional return trip to Matlock Bath meant I needed to fill up slightly earlier than anticipated. No problem you would think.....well think again! A quick drive round to the local superstore found their filling station coned off so I started off on my journey relaxed in notion that there were many more filling station options. The diesel pumps at Sainsbury's were empty, the Shell garage also shut and two others unavailable too. Thankfully I managed to fill up at the last option and before the warning light appeared on the dashboard! With train services cancelled due to strike action, the town is very quiet today so I am working on catching up on some college jobs in order to try and reduce the load next week. I can see an argument for an early finish if things do not pick up today. That will, at least give me, more time to drive over to pick up Amber from her sleep over at the in-laws. There may be an opportunity to collect the broken train from my friend on the way although there has been no confirmation that she will be in. Tonight's plans include a take away curry and a couple of beers in front of whichever World Cup game is on this evening. Hopefully it will be more entertaining than the rubbish that former the England V USA game last night. I may then make myself scarce whilst Sarah and Amber watch the other bore fest set in the Australian jungle. Stay safe all Andy
  8. Evening all and generic best wishes. Today has been another one of "those" days. The day started with a few cross words with Sarah ahead of leaving for the shop via the Post Office to despatch more orders. The journey over to Matlock Bath was frustrating and slow with plenty of delays, arriving five minutes before a scheduled teams meeting only to find, in my rush, I had left the shop keys at home. The meeting had to be cancelled so I can race back home to collect the keys in order to get back to the shop for a slightly delayed opening. The shop was quite busy today but one particularly challenging customer was the last thing I needed after the racing around in the morning. I heard briefly from my friend again today - mainly to ask when I could come and collect her son's broken train again. I just can't quite work her mood out at the moment. Have a good evening. Andy
  9. Evening all and I hope you are well. The words "teacher appraisal" fills me with dread as it brings back memories from those old days in teaching. It was used by the demon headmaster as a way of forcing me out as part of his money saving drive. These days I am on the other side of the fence, conducting appraisals with the assessors who form part of my team. I always try to keep things supportive and understanding. The irony is that I also had my appraisal today and thankfully all went well. I needed some good news after yesterday's disasters. On the subject of yesterday, my friend was in touch this morning. I was not sure that would have happened. Admittedly it was to complain about the fact her car would not start and she was stressing about how to get to work. Something is better than nothing. Which is certainly the best phrase for the shop today. A miserable, wet day in Matlock Bath resulted in very few customers, although there were one or two this morning and my parents dropped in for a chat this afternoon. Hopefully there will be better weather and a few more customers tomorrow. Best wishes Andy
  10. Evening all and generic greetings and best wishes. Supportive thoughts towards NHN and nephew, I have only caught part of the story but it must be a hard situation. Today has not been great. College stuff took up a lot of time this morning, dealing jobs that had been passed to me by a colleague who really should have been able to deal with it themselves. Once the rain had stopped I was out in the garden digging a grave. One of the pet gerbils passed away last night. I should have known then that the omens were not good. The scheduled parcel delivery was late so I was late leaving for my friend's house. I then realised that I had left my supplies of plaster bandage in the back of the shop. This meant a detour via Hobbycraft to pick up some more so that I could finish the scenic work on her son's under the Christmas tree layout. Traffic was slow so I arrived there quite late. The latest on the water issue - her dad has made copies of bills dating back to before the second unit was opened to prove the rise in total charges. The aim is to get a second meter fitted somehow so bills are accurate. The landlord is wanting to sell up so i think he is intent on saving money. Due to my late arrival, we did not get a chance to look over the paperwork. She had also had a bad morning to add to her stresses and i contrived to upset her with an innocent remark. Things were a bit strained when i left. To add insult to injury, her son's Bachmann Thomas which my shop repair man fixed as a favour stopped working after an hour. Ever wish you had just stayed in bed and the day had not happened?
  11. Evening all. I hope you are well. Thanks for the comments and advice. I have spoken, briefly, with my friend today. The landlord has made some kind of offer relating to monthly payments with a percentage split between the two businesses. My friend is not happy with it and is thinking of taking legal advice. I am still not 100% certain of all the facts so I am finding it difficult to know what advice to offer. It seems that some of the assumptions, made on here, are correct. The unit was split into two from a single unit some time ago. Therefore it is fair to say that there is one pipe running from the mains supply to the building. This has been spilt after the meter. Whose name is registered as the bill payer for the meter is something I am unsure about however. What I do know is that the situation is impacting on her health. She is already struggling with long Covid symptoms and this is not helping. She has invited me round tomorrow and is desperate for help so I should know more then. Best wishes
  12. Evening all. I hope you are well. Life has caught up these last two days so I have not had chance to catch up. I am, however, seeking advice. A good friend of mine is a small business owner. She manages her own beauty salon in a rented property. The property adjoins another unit, owned by the same landlord. This has opened as a restaurant about a year ago. It appears my friend’s water meter is situated before the split into each property so she has being paying for both properties water usage. The landlord has so far refused to do anything despite her with holding part of her rent. Does anybody have any advice. I know the stress of the situation is making her ill.
  13. Afternoon all and thanks for the good wishes. I am just checking in shortly before I close at the end of the grey and damp Saturday in Matlock Bath. A relatively quiet day but at least I have managed to sort out part of a recent delivery from one manufacturer. They managed to mess up and send an order containing loads of stuff I had decided to cancel off having over ordered! They have agreed to take the stock back because it is their error so I have managed to start sorting out the stuff to keep and that I am sending back. I have also caught up with the marking work I did not do during yesterday afternoon. Amber's football proved to be a waste of time. Not a game, more several schools taking part in communal training. She enjoyed it, which is the main thing, but it did seem very disorganised and they spent more time stood listening to the coaches than actually playing! Tonight I am catching up with my best mate for a few drinks in a real ale bar. Anyone coming to the shop tomorrow - bring the head ache tablets!!! Andy
  14. "Not more diesels!" the stationmaster uttered as the large logo Class 47 rumbled into the platform this morning on a driver experience turn. Sid has not quite grasped the idea that these services are valuable to any preservation group during the quieter winter period. I am sure he will be much happier when the Santa trains return to the station tomorrow with a steam engine at the head of the service. In reality, the loco had not turned a wheel. The Bachmann class 47 was simply placed on the layout for some social media photos to promote items in the shop. I have to admit that the weathering on this particular model is some of the finest I have seen.
  15. Afternoon all. A quick check in from a grey and wet Matlock Bath before I close up for the day. An early finish on account of Amber being called up for the girl's football team at school. It is an away game so I will be on taxi duty as well as getting to watch. I am sure that the early closure will not miss many customers at this time of year - much of my trade will be electronic at present. I hope you are all well. I am still feeling quite run down after the Covid but things are slowly improving.
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