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Newsletter May 2012

Once again I am sorry for being so late with the latest news. The trouble is when we get busy then it gets hard to find the time to update the website. Answering emails can swallow up an evening and leave little time for website work.

Alexandra Palace Show

This is the first time we have been a trader at this show at its present venue. Being fairly local the whole venture was a lot stressful as if we forgot anything on set up we could (and did) bring it in the following day.

Corner stands are more expensive but by sharing with Station Road Steam we both had the advantages of a corner stand and yet an open area which allowed people access to the stand.

We were lucky to borrow Hercules for Neil Birkett from Australia. We managed to glaze and fit working lights. Monday after the show it was off with the couriers.

I have included a couple of pictures of the show after it closed. To me it was a bit strange to see arctic lorries on the floor.

It worked well for us so hopefully is Station Road Steam will have us back we should be doing the same next year.



National Garden Railway Show

After years of not doing big shows, this was a new one for us. It was the first time the show was held at Peterborough Arena. For us this was a great one day show with relatively low costs. Ease of access meant we could drive up to the stand. It was nice to have space and not feel hemmed in a little box.

Right - Our stand. A new departure for us was to utilise the small trailer as a stand and put up picture boards in the centre. The lights are from Screwfix and mounted on steel brackets I welded and bent in the workshop.

Below - The hall was pretty empty until they opened the lobby doors to reveal a wall of people. Wide isle meant that despite the numbers it was easy to get around.

Below right - The star attraction was Linda from the Festiniog Railway.

Look out for this one day show next year. Well worth a visit if only to see us.

Above. General shot with Linda taking pride of place in the centre of the hall.

The easy access was good for all. Here Linda is drawn on to the trailer by the arctic tractor unit outside. This was about 25 minutes after the show closed. We were on the road 35 minutes after the show closed.

Thomas Land - Drayton Manor Park

For Easter I went with my family to stay in a friends house in Kidderminster. A day trip to Birmingham on the train and on Easter Sunday a trip to Drayton Manor Park. My kids are 3, 6 and 8 years old so they couldn't/wouldn't go on the larger roller coaster.


There are two railway rides at the park. One is the Polperro Express which winds it way around some of the large roller coasters and the other is in Thomas Land.

Thomas Land has a large station with a turn table at the end. All engines are turned and run around. In the large station the far platform is actually a queue line for the troublesome truck roller coaster.

The engines are all bogie locomotives with oversized wheels on the outside which turn when going along. We all enjoyed Thomas Land. A well run themed area which is good for all the family. It was even nice that the spare engine (Rosie) was left out to be seen.

Andrena and I did manage one inverted Roller Coaster. I must be getting old as I much preferred the cable cars. Being hung upside down doesn't have the appeal as it used to have.

Chingford Club

As a member of Chingford club I am on the rota for 5 or 6 Sunday afternoons. I missed my first one (thanks new Ron for covering) but thoroughly enjoyed my second.

Right EMU. This unit is owned by a group of share holders - and not the club. As my dad is now a share holder we have been moved to one of the ground level track rotas.

This unit looks great but not as responsive as other electrics. It also has air brakes which take getting used to. Still it is popular with the public really looks the part of a traditional electric unit.

Station Road Steam has lent the junior members of the club their original Stafford. Bradly (right) has been given the job of overseeing juniors on the loco. I have also lent the club the driving trolley as it is better to have it being used than getting in the way at the workshop. 7 1/4" gauge soon fills up space. Those who read these newsletters may recognise Romeo from the last one.

Although officially membership to the club is form 10 years old, The Manning family are always good to my kids. Faith managed to get a whole series of rides on Ron's Single Fairly, much to the envy of the boys. Having been a member of another local club, Chingford is in total contrast by making me and my family very welcome.

Harrogate Show

The last time we did this show was 2004. It is a long haul but being in such a wonderful location, it is well worth the journey. It was amazing to hear how many people were holidaying in the area and taking in a day at the show. Surprising how many were going on to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway's Gala Weekend. Big thanks to Jayne and Mike for booking everything up including a great bed and breakfast.

Station Road Steam suggested that as London worked well we should do a similar stand. About a week before Mike phones up to let me know there is a chance we could get extra stand space as some traders had dropped out,

The plan is then hatched to pick a few choice items for display rather than fill it with piles of toot.

Below - I bought up the boards and lights we used at Peterborough. This time the boards were covered in fabric so the pictures could be attached with velcro. I liked this and is something I hope to expand.


A big thanks to Chingford Club for the loan of Captain Howey and Ron Manning for the loan of the trailer. To due to its weight I made a stand the height of Ron's trailer. Being up in the air it was only fitting to have a set of steps so you could get in it. Pictured above is Mike from SRS.

Mike and Jayne from Station Road Steam decided to show off with their latest aquisition. 10 1/4" gauge Saint - ex Audley End. built in 2003 this engine would have cost more then I paid for my house.

The trailer and loaded car the morning after. Yes shows don't just cost money, you usually lose days before and at least one after. One of the reasons the Midland show is out of the question.


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