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Newsletter September 2011

Once again it has simply been too long between updates. It is not that we don't care it is just finding the time between work, holidays and family.

Clark 2003 Clark 2011

Clark in a tipper truck. I get a lot of comments about the above picture. I couldn't help but photograph Clark in the summer holidays. We make all these lovely coaches and trucks and I find him riding around in a tipper truck. Same boy just nearly 8 years between the pictures.

New landline at the workshop.

01708 374468

After several attempts and absolutely shocking service from BT Business we finally have the line installed. As it is a different exchange from the old number we can not port it over - see technical word there "port a number". Sorry for the Twitter comments but BT business and BT care became my followers. Shame they don't actually monitor how horrendous their service is.

Latest is free line install and first 3 months rental. Told "pay the install and first rental bill and we then deduct it from subsequent bills". Still we have a working line. If I don't answer then try again as I might be grinding, drilling etc or nipped to the loo. Ultimately you can still ring me on my mobile which generally lives in my pocket.


New Products

It has been a roller coaster of a year for work. At the end of July it tailed off and I was worried about the future. Everyone who wanted stuff waited until I was on holiday and then ordered. In the first two weeks of August we picked up over two months of work.

I did managed to get a couple of the new Industrial Hercules bodies built. The first one had an added exhaust put on which took over an hour to do. Won't do that again. The body includes welded on door handles and raised side windows along with out sustom grills. There are also cut out and raised surrounds for led lights to be fitted. I would have taken better pictures but I sold the engine at Bristol with out taking pictures on proper camera.

New 7 1/4" gauge bogies

Building the two coaches for Northern Ireland last year it became apparent that if you have bogies inside the coach frames you needed a wide body to accommodate them. On a sit astride coach the bodies ended up looking a bit flat topped.

After a visit to Mizens Farm in June (Thanks Rex for excellent Junoirs Day) and using some of their sit astride coaches it soon became clear you need internal frames to reduce the width.

The new bogie offers anti vibration mounts and ball transfer units to help it pivot.

Price TBA




Two days at Chingford. First friends and family and the next Saturday Ride on Railways Day.

Big thanks to all at the club for hosting two great days.

Once again not many pictures but they have a good website and an excellent webmaster. Just need to find the time to update their website as well.

After this years success I hope to have another day next year, hopefully away from the Friends and Family Day.

Left - Chingford Belle. Not a club loco but by five individuals. One of them now being my dad. Ron Manning pictured driving.



Friends and Family Day

This was our first time at the club. A well recieved reception, smashing food and good running. Would have been better if it hadn't rained all morning.

We took our tram and a Hercules to play with. Pictured here is Simon pulling a 5" gauge open truck. The loco is based on our power bogies so there are 8 x 150w motors under this.

Below Left - Jasper catching a ride on a battery jeep. The children were made to feel very welcome which to me is a sign of a good club

Below - the PW department have to be praised. I ran across it on 7 1/4" and 5" gauge so I know it works.



From what was a casual invite we ended up with a whole days running with two Hercules locos doing the entire shift of public running.


Left the new tunnel. Had a bit of a snoop around the site in the morning. The 7 1/4 / 5" ground level track runs right around the site while there is a 7 1/4 /5" /3.5" raised track in the centre.
Amongst the many novel and ingenious items on the site was the large slide in section to come off the raised track and the coach hoist for storing the riding trolleys. Pictured left the hoist is mounted on the container door.

Other interesting items included knife boards that come up in the track to stop coaches entering the hoist. Sorry once again missed taking photos.


We were invited back to a small line in North West London. Rather than suffer us all day we went to Beckonscot Model Village for the morning.

The gauge 1 railway around the village was as always - spectacular. What had changed from our last visit was the upgrading of the 7 1/4" gauge railway. The landscaping and detailing added since our last visit really makes this compact little railway an interesting ride. Somtimes it is the smaller lines that spend time on detailing really make for a great railway atmosphere. If you visit look out for the traverser in the engine shed and the turntable with a point on it.

Small Garden Railway.

Probably a bit rude of us but we arrived a bit late. We couldn't believe how long we stayed at the model village.

Since our last visit Richard has created a loop on his small line. Far from feeling like whizzing around in circles the line has a gradient and a squeeze between trees and the garage. All makes for a nice little ride.

Right - Edward Thomas - Based on the Corris loco. Steamed and ran exceptionally well.


Once again I didn't take any pictures at our open day. This year we invited both Clark's and Jasper's school classes over. Clark was extremely chuffed as his teacher actually came. As well as the usual Scout group visit we had Clark's Beaver group come on two evenings.

Sorry this year as we simply run out of time for a September open day. We may possibly do an open eveing for a change with a bit of night running. Watch this space as they say.


The last proper Model Engineeing Show we attended was Harrogate in 2004. It was the second time we had attended the show and with little follow up it proved to be an expensive exercise. After spending years just getting our products out there we decided to give another show a go. Partly because the Bristol club seem to always be recommending us and partly because their trade prices are under half of those for similar shows.

To keep costs down Andrena and I decided to camp for the weekend. In the end we picked this lovely spot which was absolutely ideal for us. A few seconds from the show and well placed for the ammenities. Not sure on what people would be interested in we probably took too much . The back stand took a bit of space but was actually the car trailer on it's side.

It was a good learning curve and all being well we may attend the London Show in January. At least for that show we won't have any accomodation charges.

Well the location was slap bang in the middle of the car park. Still it served us well and I would like to reserve it for next year. We were opposite a remote control lorry group. Couldn't resist this picture because the little boy sat on the lorry so well.

Altogether a good show. From what I saw there was a good mix of trade, club and demonstrations. Given the amount of work given for free to run this show I must take my hat off to the club and hope they will have me back again..


In brief - it is full.

A local gentleman got in touch looking for good homes for the contents of his dads workshop. Rather than just eaby the lot he preferred to try and find good homes for items for a reasonable price.

Barry bought the Myford lathe and I bought this milling machine. It is big and heavy. Thanks to all those involved in helping us get it into the workshop.

The workshop also saw the arrival of a belt sander and a Flexiband Linisher in the last month. These were bought secondhand to help prepare Hercules bodies for powder coating. The powder coaters did me a sample body which has shown up the need for more preperation to the metal.

Powder coating is reasonably cheap but any cost savings are lost through the extra body preparation required. We can not use filler so it all has to be close joint or welded.

Next update I hope to have pictures of the progress.

Thats it for now



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