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Newsletter March 2010

Two Years at The Workshop







My dad always quotes "nature abores a vacuum" i.e. have space will fill it.

When we arrived the unit did not have any doors to it - a part from the roller shutter. Initially we built an inner set using reclaimed doors and plastic glazing panels. A year later we built the outer door set - again from reclaimed materials.

The resulting porch area has now been filled with a lathe, storage shelves and a stacker truck.

Left -

The plan to have a working office has gone to pot with the room now being used for storage. There is still a desk to the left but I only use this occassionally when doing soldering work.


The old porch area. Originally I didn't think I would need the lathe at the workshop but it has proved invaluable with some jobs, inlcuding the great motor replacement hunt. Having looked at a few modern lathes, I think I am better off for the moment with my old one.


As they say " I just need to clear my desk"

  • 3 more hercules bodies
  • 3 raised trucks
  • Hunslet no.5 (for myself)
  • 2 tipper trucks
  • 10 rail benders (in boxes under the bench)

The rack on the left is for our nuts and bolts with the colours representing different sizes - red is 5mm , green/yellow 4mm, blue 3mm and green 6mm.

The desk to the right is the welding bench - hence the extract hood and welding helmet.

With help from Barry and the space of the workshop we may eventually clear the back orders. If that ever happens then we will go on to spec work as each year we have seen the sales grow between 10-20% and this year hasn't dissapointed us so far.

Products Review

Having traded for a good few years now, a pattern of what sells and what doesn't is starting to appear. With this in mind there are a few products we have decided to not re stock. The first victim to fall is the bogie well wagon. I had three sets of frames cut and it took over 5 years for them to sell. With the increase costs of laser cut steel it just wasn't practicable to stock them. The second item was the 3 seater kiddy coach. This was a very labour intensive product and gave us little return for the amount of work.

Other items under review are-

  • 4 wheel coach body
  • 4 wheel plywood van
  • DMU
  • Modern coach
  • Hercules Industrial body - 1 gone out in 2 years. Currently 2 left.
  • Square boxy Jasper body - 1 left with 2 doors
  • Cast signs - last few in stock

Rather than stop them altogether most items will be moved to special order. What this means is that I will not hold them in stock but can add to a material order. This could take up to 2-3 months. Material orders for laser cut 3 and 6mm MDF can be as much as 6 months a part.

Be assured - we are working on new projects so we are not contracting, just tweaking a few things.

Driving Trucks

In an attempt to help people decide which truck is for them we will be changing the lisitngs and style of our trucks.

  • 520mm long 4 wheel with or with out brakes
  • 710mm long 4 wheel with or with out brakes + option for side skirts for raised track
  • 1080mm bogie wagon (no brakes yet)

The 710mm chassis is to replace the 4 wheel well wagon/raised truck. Having found out that some raised tracks are only 8" above the ground the well part becomes a bit pointless. We could also fit a full length cushion which two younger riders could fit on.

Clear Out


Over the coming days I hope to put up a page of items that I am selling to get rid of. Past projects, experimental pieces, obsolete tools and even bits that went wrong. Keep an eye out. Items will be sold on first come first served.


One of the items was a test body. I used this to see what bending a complete body using the box pan folder would be like. It was also an experiment for welding on the front end, spot welding and window surrounds.


Not wanting to waste any more time it will be up for sale. the bogies underneath are the first bogies with the new motors. Needs someone who can give it a bit of time. Details to follow.


7 1/4 gauge Hercules

I was hoping to have had a picture of a slightly stretched Hercules. For the 7 1/4" gauge version I have ordered steel making the deck 75mm longer and 20mm higher. The extra length on the body will be added to the rear bonnet.

Unfortunately I missed out a couple of critical parts from the order which means once again I am behind. The moment I get the parts and the engine completed I will post pictures on the 7 1/4 gauge pages.

Look Out The Adverts

After relying on just the internet for sales for nearly 10 years we have finally resorted to advertising in a few magazines. Look out for our small add in Engineering in Minaiture April edition + 7 1/4 Gauge Society newsletter. We also got a good review in the Miniature Railway Magazine of our 7 1/4" gauge Hercules.

I do hope these adverts pay off. It is a bit of an eye opener on how much adverts cost. Still there are plenty of potential customers who do not have internet access or feel more secure dealing with a company they have seen in a magazine.


Middleton Garden Railway

Open day confirmed MAY 22nd

Was home to Hunslet No.1. It has now got a new home in Kent. I am currently building No.5 with extra detailing and it wouldn't be right to have 2. Hoping to have it ready for the May open day.


The lack of use of the inner track is showing up with rusty rails.

All the best


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