We heard this week of some of the lockdown rules being relaxed. The government is to allow churches and social clubs to reopen from 4th July. Before making any decisions we will need to talk to the church and abide by any decision they make.

In the meantime we would like to hear from all of you with your opinion as to whether you are prepared to return if we re-open the club room under the present conditions. Your thoughts on how we could make it safer would also be much appreciated.

Remember, it is for your own and other members safety that we take this seriously and hopefully, enable a return to the club. Some Interim Proposals are set out below

Hand sanitise on arrival 
Use of masks at members discretion
One way system in Havil room 
Set chairs and tables metre apart  
Drinks continue to be available but bring and take home your own cup with lid? 
Try to avoid use of loos, otherwise must sanitise after use 
All members to be responsible to clean surfaces before and after they use them

Please can we have an email reply from all of you so that we can make a considered approach to the church next week?

Phil and Nigel

Please email all submissions to  or





You have all been waiting patiently for pictures of the inside of my shed after photos of the outside appeared in Newsletter 11, the wait is now over here they are.












Some good news to report we have just received £150 from Hornby Magazine for the Middleton article.







The Trials of a Heritage Railway Cleaner


Sunday 20 April 2003

A 7.30 start today. Fran as driver and John as fireman on Swedish B 101. I arriver to find Fran but no John. I checked the smoke box and firebox, cleaned out as necessary and then collected wood ready for lighting up. I checked with Duncan, the fireman on 92 Squadron, who showed me how to open the drop grate and ash-pans as ythis was my first time on the ‘B’. I was just about to light up when John arrived. We then lit up and had a clean round.

We were off shed at 10.00 for the 12.00 train. This was a six train service day with ‘B’ taking three and 92 Squadron taking three. It was an uneventful day. John fired the first trip then I did the next one and a half and John finished back to Wansford. Back on shed we disposed and I was away by 7.30.



Saturday 10 May 2003

I arrived at 6.20 with Wayne. This was a fireman’s training day and we were on the Swedish ‘B’. Paul was the driver and Terry was instructing Wayne and me. I lit up whilst Wayne and Terry cleaned round.

We were off shed at 10.30 for the 11.00 train formed of the Mk 1’s. We ran to Yarwell and returned to Wansford but then the vacuum brakes failed. We decided to try the air brakes and move onto the continental rake instead of the Mk 1’s but the air pump wouldn’t start. The Class 14 therefore took the train and the following 12.45 whilst we sat on shed whilst the fitter tried to repair the pump.



We finally took the 14.30 and 16.15services. I fired the 14.30 round trip and Wayne took the 16.15. On the 14.30 on the way to Ferry Meadows the brick arch collapsed into the middle of the firebox. I should explain that the brick arch is not actually now made of brick but is cast in concrete so that when it fell it was in one piece and sat perfectly in the middle of the fire. I managed to keep steam up all the way to Peterborough and back by firing around the edge of the fallen brick arch and Wayne similarly managed this as well.

We were on shed by 17.15 and disposed. Terry and Paul managed to pull the remains of the brick arch out of the firebox. We finally left by 19.00. Another one of those days!



Sunday 22 June 2003

I arrived at 6.50 after having to take a detour due bridge works on the A1. Harry was already there and Terry arrived soon afterwards. We were on 92 Squadron today and the usual cleaning regime applied with only the rods to really clean.

We were off shed at 10.15 to shunt the Mk1’s from platform 3 into platform 2. This was a four trip day and was basically uneventful. I fired trips 3 and 4 with Terry's instruction. On shed at 17.50 and away by 19.00.






In the 1980’s the BBC  ran a TV programme called ‘Blizzard’s Wonderful Wooden Toys’ It was a guy named Richard Blizzard demonstrating how to make toys out of wood. The BBC also published a couple of books with plans to go with the series. The idea appealed to me so I thought I would have a go at making some of these for my young family. I started with a wheel barrow, a pull along hedgehog, a large steam engine and trucks etc.



Then we started to get a bit braver, a rocking mule was constructed large enough to take a few kids. In fact as you can see it was large enough to take mine and my sisters kids.



A model T Ford van was next that a child could sit on with a storage place in the back.



At the time I was Transport Manager for Henlys, the car dealer, I was responsible for their fleet of car transporters and we had just purchased the latest Leyland Roadtrains. In one of Richard Blizzard’s books there just happened to be the plans for a 1/10th scale Roadtrain.  The temptation was too much, I had to build one and paint it in Henlys colours. Having made that it really needed a trailer so every evening when the transporters returned to base I would take my tape measure and start to plan how it could be constructed. The real car transporter is 40 feet long so a 1/10th scale model is going to be 4 feet long. Using some good quality pine and some off cuts of ash I set to work. It had to operate just like the real thing with a moveable top deck and carriers, pull out skids and a raiseable carrier on the top deck.



The only car models I had at that time to load the transporter were 1/12th scale so they fitted easily. Better than nothing. The problem was where to keep it. My wife wasn’t that impressed with the idea of it living in the house, so it was taken to work where it sat for years on a shelf in my office.  It had to be moved when I left Henlys, so it was taken home and sat in my loft gathering dust. Eventually I decided it had to go so I advertised it on eBay where it was purchased by the son of one our drivers. He had remembered seeing it in my office as a child when he had been out for the day with his father.



I also made a model of our caravan with fitted beds, toilet compartment etc again in 1/10th scale, it was like a dolls house on wheels for my daughters.





More pictures can be found by clicking HERE.







If you have missed one of our Newsletters you can find them on our website



Answers next week.




Answers to last weeks Dingbat.