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Newsletter October 2009

As usual - sorry for the long spell of no news. Busy busy busy.

Workshop News


This year has been our busiest yet. Having had 10 Hercules bodies manufactured and delivered in July I only have one left. It seems the Hercules is hitting all the right notes.

Building on its sucess PNP Railways took a display Hercules to the Midlands Show. Un numbered this loco has no motors but demonstrates the kind of standard we can now supply the engines to.

We are now able to offer a choice of 5 standard colours. See the prices page for more details.

Why weren't we at the show?

1. I simply can't afford the time away especially with a heavy order book

2. It is expensive. Not only the show but 5-6 days accomodation. All this would have to be paid out from sales.


No.4 comes to the workshop. Over six years old and about to carry out a series of public hauling/parties, I bought it in for an overhaul.

The gear sets are in excellent condition for 6 years of heavy running and required only a clean and light oil.

The main modification was to convert the battery leads for round post batteries. Having lugged the loco around with batteries on board we decided to actually do what we recommend -fit quick realease connectors.

Left - note the cables are zip tied to ensure they correct lead goes to the right terminal.

The paint was only supposed to have a touch up but due to a mishap it had a re coat on the roof and bonnet. Despite rubbing the defect of crazed primer from all those years ago came back. More rubbing down and buffing managed to hide most of it.


Out and About


55m of straight track It seems we end up with bookings for weekends in the Autumn. The first was for a private open day at the Britvic bottling plant at Beckton.

Originally it was intended to run indoors but as the weather was great we ended up running up and down a lorry yard. We used all our straights which seems far shorter in the open than running in a school corridor.

Below -

An interesting conversation a few days before arose from an insurance broker. Having seen the public running coaches the statement was - you will need to fill the gap between the running board and the chassis to stop people putting their feet under the wheels.

I am not against safety but I do object to people who spout off these ad lib comments and then hide behind wishy washy statements like "we just don't want anyone getting hurt". Having taken offense at thise comment I thought I ought to just check out if it was an actual risk.

Well unless unless you can swivel your feet 90 deg to your knee it is impossible to get a foot under a wheel.

Clark tries his best to stick his foot under

The offending insurer would not be drawn that his statement was claiming my coaches are not "fit for purpose".

I would suggest if you want insurance use a broker that knows the real risks and can provide an appropriate policy at a proper price- suggest Walker Midgley.

What risk of trapping your foot!!

Ilford & West Essex Model Railway Club Chelmsford

Clark + family on rear coach

A brief quite spell at Chelmsford

This exhibition is held at my old senior school. Large venue over two days. For whatever reason this exhibition feels to have a low attendance. If anyone has any ideas to help then please get in touch. Everything is there to make a great show, but it can feel a little empty. We took 58 rides on the Sunday. In contrast this exhibition is held in a school on the city's door step. Last year we did in excess of 200 at 50p a ride. This year the charity pot felt equally as heavy. For a change we took a second train which helped in the busy times. It was quite fun waiting with a loaded train for the other to arrive. A big thanks to James who came and helped drive for most of the day. Meant I actually got to see what was yet again a really great show - full of model railway action.

Big thanks for the two school meals they provided. Really made for a great day out.


Mainly Jasper's friends. Jasper 2nd from the end For those of you that have been following these pages over the years. Clark had his 6th birthday and Jasper his 4th in October.

Mums dive in for left overs

As Clark happened to have an Inset day (Baker day to us oldies) on his birthday, we had a party for him and his school friends on a Friday and a combined birthday party for Clark and Jasper on the Saturday.

While it is great having a railway it is also a big distraction. Who want to play musical statues or pass the parcel when there are trains to be played with.

Still we did plenty of runs and Clark go to show off his driving.

The old aeriel shot taken from the scaffold.

Other Work

I am not silly, put the old man on the ladder. After years of helping me run RoR I think my dad decided to trade in some of his credits. Having a 1930's house the render was all cracked and in need of repair. Seeing the neighbour's cracks re appear in a year or two after painting we decided to take the opportunity to have external insulation fitted and have the house rendered in a modern render system.

Don't look too carefully at where that ladder is perched on.

While the house was covered in scaffold the opportunity was taken to carry out a long list of other jobs. -

Plastic fascia and soffet, paint the loft dormer, renew loft flat roof, new extended windows cills, new lead flashings etc.

Why am I writing about it here. Well most of the time RoR is just me. So while I am working on roofs, I am not working on RoR. So apologies if your items are a little late.

Open day

Our September open day was good for one reason - trains. we managed to clock up 812 trains in the day.

See Picture page

If you want to see action see Video on YouTube . Look out for a very, very near miss between Jasper (the boy) and an engine. It is about 2mins in.

When we visit railways people often say your boys are obviously used to trains and are very good around them. Well what can I say.



Just to add confirmation our VAT return form arrived with big letters on the back "VAT standard rate returns to 17.5% on 1 January 2010". Sorry but margins are tight so we will be putting prices up by 1.5%.

If you want to beat the increase we will be happy to take orders before the deadline. Payment before the deadline will be at the 15% rate. As usual if outside the EC Fiscal (VAT) area we can ship with out adding VAT.

Coming soon

Why are the wheels on the outside of the frames. All will be explained in the coming months. Like all good projects, I can hardly finish new items when I have got a lot of cutomers work to finsih.

After 3 Hercules, a Hunslet, 3 panel coaches and 2 Trojans I may get to finish the loco on the left.


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