|June 2007 news|
It's getting worse. I always seem to start with an apology for the late appearance of a vaguely up-to-date news page, this time I've been shamed into action by somebody emailing me concerned for my well-being, worried that I may have fallen into a lathe and have been rotating aimlessly for the last three months and nobody's bothered to find out why there have been no updates. Rather touched by his concern and not a little shamed, I thought I'd better write some stuff.
Main reason for lack of news, or almost anything the last couple of months, was our preparations for Harrogate Show. By now its come and gone, I'm sure I saw many of you there - the days seemed to flash by, I'm reliably informed by my stand manager, the ever reliable Mrs P, that I talked non-stop from opening until about three every afternoon (whether the visitors liked it or not, I hear you say).
It was the first show we've done, in a burst of enthusiasm I'd decided to fill every inch of floorspace we'd got with as many engines as could be transported - in the end we managed twenty-five, ranging from a gauge 1 Roundhouse "Lady Anne" to a 4 1/2 inch scale Burrell traction engine. This was one of those "good ideas at the time" - in actual fact, by the time that many engines had been wrapped, crated and loaded, our convoy going up the A1 looked like the fair coming to town (not to mention it taking eight hours on the Thursday to unpack and set them all out).
More pictures of the show
(for which my thanks to Fay and Adrian Grimmett who kindly lent their camera and emailed me the resulting pictures first thing Monday morning when I managed to leave my camera battery in the office)
I think the end result was worth all the work - I rarely see the engines displayed all together, they're normally in crates all around the workshop.
As with all such undertakings, it was very much a team effort - both in the setup and during the show. I am indebted to:
Mrs P who, as exhibition manager, put most of it together - booked the stand, got the printing done, polished the engines, decided which lights we needed, made the tea, printed leaflets etc etc. whilst smiling throughout.
Jayne's father David who helped with the setup and looked after all things electrical, after which he talked non-stop to visitors for two days.
My father Eric who handed out more leaflets than the show had visitors
Number one son Sam for keeping us up to date with what everybody else was exhibiting (and thanks to Phoenix Locomotives for showing supreme patience and courtesy to a very enthusiastic though somewhat impecunious boy)
Paul who drove up 200 miles from Newbury on Friday to help on the stand over the weekend with little more than exhibition tea and sandwiches by way of reward. An accomplished clockmaker, by the end of Saturday afternoon he was talking about steam engines of all types as if born to it - we'll get him converted yet.
Martin who came down from Dumfries on Sunday afternoon simply to be on hand for two hours of hard physical work breaking the stand down and loading up in the pouring rain. Without his efforts I wouldn't have seen home before midnight, as it was we were back with everything locked in the workshop before nine that night. In recognition of his efforts, I will refrain from mentioning anything about progress on his railway for a week or two...
It's unusual for me to have more than one Tinkerbell in the workshop at a time - apart from anything else, they're so big that it becomes like living with a herd of cows if there are several here. Recently I've had three in, it seemed that one or the other needed forklifting out of the way whenever I needed to move.
My own Tinkerbell "James" came from the now-defunct Oldown Miniature Railway when it closed down, the other pair, "Molly" and "Victoria" from another railway in Scotland. In a rather complicated version of musical chairs, "James" has gone back to her builder, I've kept "Molly" which goes very well but is in need of an overhaul and repaint, "Victoria" has gone back to Scotland (but a different railway this time) with yet another Tinkerbell (part-built) coming back in part-exchange - which has gone to James' builder for completion. Did you follow all of that?
Mrs P and I had a long weekend away last week, staying with friends up in Scotland. Martin moved up there last year to an idyllic place set in several acres of woodland with the intention of putting down a serious-sized 7 1/4 inch gauge railway. It's an ambitious undertaking which will result in nearly half a mile of track, including a 30 foot bridge over the river which bisects his property, with some challenging terrain on the far side to negotiate. It will be a magnificent thing when done, I am looking forward to watching it come together over the next few years.
6th June 2007
March 2007 - Building a
garden railway competition, A Workshop in Herefordshire
January 2007 - Miniature lathes and photography, Midlands Exhibition, Churnet Valley Railway, testing small boilers
October 2006 - Updates on part-built and projects
July 2006 - Evergreens Miniature Railway, local 10 1/4 line, collecting the Pacific from Cleethorpes
April 2006 - Progress in the workshop, visit to the National Railway Museum, visit to Woody Bay
January 2006 - Moving to new units, grit-blasting my hands, shiny Romulus
October 2005 - Stamford SME, Sam starts the restoration of "Pendle Witch", Casterton Working Weekend
August 2005 - New workshop, Thurston Pacific back from Cleethorpes
May 2005 - Berkely Light Railway, dodgy boiler certificates, full-size ploughing engines at auction
January 2005 - digging
October 2004 - initial planning for the garden railway
July 2004 - Fowler ploughing engines in Yorkshire
May 2004 - Moving the workshop, a 9 1/2 inch gauge garden railway
Apr 2004 - Holiday in Shropshire & The Severn Valley Railway, LNER liveried Black 5
Feb 2004 - Refacing a Tangye slide valve, new acquisition 10 ton Aveling roller
2004 - 12 1/4 inch gauge Pacific