Dear Members

We hope you are all keeping well; this week we have included letters from those of you who have now received the Covid jab. Please continue to let us know when you have had yours as it will help in our return to the club.
Elsewhere, you will find some items for sale plus another varied selection of interesting articles to read and look at including the Twickenham club newsletter.

Remember, if you have anything to sell or would like to share an interesting story or pictures send them to us.

As always stay safe

Phil and Nigel



Please email all submissions to  or





Part 5


Saturday 6th August


Today a visit to the Niedersachsisches Kleinbahnmuseum at Bruchausen-Vilsen and the railway festival there was on the programme.

A 9.07 departure this morning from Bremen to Skye (no not the one in Scotland) arriving at 9.20. Here we changed into a standard gauge steam hauled train for the 45 minute journey to Bruchausen-Vilsen. We were presented with a timetable for the metre gauge railway in the form of a time line graph which some found difficult to understand. We were also given a badge which we later found out was in effect our ‘ticket’ for unlimited travel between Bruchausen-Vilsen, Heiligenberg and Asendorf.


Left: Standard Gauge shunter at Skye                 
Right: More Street Running


Left: Standard Gauge No. 7906  at Bruchausen-Vilsen                             
Right: Metre Gauge No. 20 and 7906 at Bruchausen-Vilsen                      


Our first trip was to the far end of the line at Asendorf where we spent some time taking photos. I was standing on the pavement at the side of the track using a camcorder to record an incoming train when I realised that although I was well clear of the track the width of the loco was such that it was heading straight for me. You don’t notice this at first through the lens and required a sudden quick sideways step at the last second. This is clearly apparent in the video!






We returned to Bruchausen-Vilsen attempting to see as many loco’s as possible. There were about a dozen loco’s in steam and some trains were double headed which made it easier to locate and photograph them. This is where the shed is located and has a small turntable. The standard gauge loco’s were also shuttling back and forth to Skye.




After lunch a second trip to Asendorf was taken with a stop at Heiligenberg on the return journey. This is where the museum is located with a miscellaneous collection of loco’s, Carriages and wagons. Further photographic opportunities were available.


Left: 2-6-0T SPREEWALD AT HEILIGENBERG                   


Left: 0-4-0T NO. 20 HASPE  AT HEILIGENBERG                 


Finally we returned to Bruchausen-Vilsen in good time to catch the standard gauge train at 17.00 back to Skye with a connection at 18.00 back to Bremen with an arrival at about 18.40.

The next day was scheduled for a repeat of today events but it was agreed with the tour manager to change this as we had seen just about everything on the line but more of this in part 6.




Eccerslyke Part 2


As Part 1 of Eccerslyke was featured in an April 2020 Newsletter, I thought it was time to update on what has been happening there during the lockdowns. I finally completed the viaduct section and the river, which involved a lot of stretching to reach into the far corner of the layout. This section has two water features, the mill pond and the river. Both are made using polycarbonate sheet over a painted card bottom. The mill pond has a matt varnish finish which has turned out to be a bit too dull. Still, it is meant to be a rather stagnant pool. The river has a light coating of a clear varnish which could do with more work to produce a rougher surface. Water is not easy to represent.



The pub by the bridge is scratch built using some components from Metcalf kits, as is the pair of shops. Low relief buildings can be given a rear half easily enough and usually no roof is needed as it cannot be seen. Scanning and printing walls and mounting on card is a useful way to enlarge or modify card buildings. There’s usually plenty of spare windows to complete the model. The pond was developed from a Preiser kit providing the anglers and water plants.
The coal yard now has more staff, and I have been busy with figure painting. I use Aiden Campbell figures for the foreground as they are well built, Langley for the middle distance and HO figures by Preiser for the distance. Bachmann figures tend to be closer to HO as well.

The King coal wagon at the right-hand end of the train has its floor doors open to discharge into the drop. The business of unloading coal wagons was labour intensive and potentially dangerous, working in a wagon with two large holes in its floor. At another coal unloading point I used an ancient Tri-ang wagon with opening side doors to allow the coal to be unloaded that way. A repaint and use of POW Sides transfers has transformed this wagon’s usefulness. The original coupling has gone, but those plastic wheels with huge flanges remain nicely out of sight.


Unloading in progress


The Tri-ang wagon with its side door open. There’s a visitor from Sodor hiding behind the boiler house.


A real improvement has been to put signals and telegraph posts up. The signals are a lot of work, as well as expensive, however they do make a huge difference. They are a mix of Model Signal Engineering L&Y and Ratio LNWR parts.





The farming aspects have been improved with the purchase of numerous sheep. It took a while to get these as suppliers were out of stock for much of the summer. To keep the sheep safe the fences have been improved. Unfortunately the demand for dogs during lockdown has meant I have been unable to get a shepherd and collies to do a bit of One Man and His Dog around the place.



The sharp eyed will be interested to see some time travellers waiting for a train. The Fat Controller hasn’t spotted them yet…
I find taking photographs and looking at them with a critical eye reveals much more about what has worked well, and what needs some more work doing. I use a digital SLR camera and tripod, however recent mobile phone cameras are performing near miracles with their software. And if you are still wondering about the station name, it’s in Yorkshire and passengers are often heard to ask as they pass through the station “Is it heck as like!”







With thoughts of the end of the second lockdown approaching, I am sure you have all had enough of playing monopoly and are looking forward to The Great Escape.
Talking of the film, I am sure you will be interested in this fascinating story about the recent discovery of the original tunnels.

They were dug by the very resourceful prisoners and who with the unlikely assistance from Waddingtons were able to make their escape from captivity.


The Great Escape Tunnel


Untouched for almost seven decades, the tunnel used in the Great Escape has finally been unearthed. The 111-yard passage nicknamed 'Harry' by Allied prisoners was sealed by the Germans after the audacious break-out from the POW camp Stalag Luft III in western Poland. Despite huge interest in the subject, encouraged by the film starring Steve McQueen, the tunnel undisturbed over the decades because it was behind the Iron Curtain and the Soviet had no interest in its significance.



But at last British archaeologists have excavated it, and discovered its remarkable secrets. Many of the bed boards which had been joined together to stop it collapsing were still in position. And the ventilation shaft, ingeniously crafted from used powdered milk containers known as Klim Tins, remained in working order. Scattered throughout the tunnel, which is 30ft below ground, were bits of old metal buckets, hammers and crowbars which were used to hollow out the route. A total of 600 prisoners worked on three tunnels at the same time. They were nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry and were just 2 ft. square for most of their length. It was on the night of March 24 and 25, 1944, that 76 Allied airmen escaped through Harry. Barely a third of the 200 prisoners, many in fake German uniforms and civilian outfits and carrying false identity papers, who were meant to slip away managed to leave before the alarm was raised when escapee number 77 was spotted.



Tunnel vision: A tunnel reconstruction showing the trolley system. Only three made it back to Britain. Another 50 were executed by firing squad on the orders of Adolf Hitler, who was furious after learning of the breach of security. In all, 90 boards from bunk beds, 62 tables, 34 chairs and 76 benches, as well as thousands of items including knives, spoons, forks, towels and blankets, were squirreled away by the Allied prisoners to aid the escape plan under the noses of their captors.
Although the Hollywood movie suggested otherwise, NO Americans were involved in the operation. Most were British, and the others were from Canada, (all the tunnelers were Canadian personnel with backgrounds in mining) Poland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.



The site of the tunnel, recently excavated by British archaeologists
The latest dig, over three weeks in August, located the entrance to Harry, which was originally concealed under a stove in Hut 104. The team also found another tunnel, called George, whose exact position had not been charted. It was never used as the 2,000 prisoners were forced to march to other camps as the Red Army approached in January 1945. Watching the excavation was Gordie King, 91, an RAF radio operator, who was 140th in line to use Harry and therefore missed out. 'This brings back such bitter-sweet memories’, he said as he wiped away tears. 'I'm amazed by
what they've found. ’ Gordie


Gordie King, 91, made an emotional return to Stalag Luft III.


In a related post: Many of the recent generations have no true notion of the cost in lives and treasure that were paid for the liberties that we enjoy in this United States. They also have no idea in respect of the lengths that the “greatest generation” went to in order to preserve those liberties. Below is one true, small and entertaining story regarding those measures that are well worth reading, even if the only thing derived from the story is entertainment. Escape from WWII POW Camps — starting in 1940, an increasing number of British and Canadian Airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape. Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of 'safe houses' where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter. Paper maps had some real drawbacks -- they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush. Someone in MI-5 (similar to America's OSS) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads and, unfolded as many times as needed and, makes no noise whatsoever. At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington Ltd When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort. By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game Monopoly. As it happened, 'games and pastimes' was a category of item qualified for insertion into 'CARE packages', dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.
Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany, Italy, and France or wherever Allied POW camps were located. When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece. As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add: 1 A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass
2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together
3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money! British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set – by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square. Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war. The story wasn't declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony. It's always nice when you can play that 'Get Out of Jail' Free' card! Some readers of this email are probably too young to have any personal connection to WWII (Sep. '39 to Aug. '45), but this is still an interesting bit of history for everyone to know.






Seen recently in Barton on Humber, these “little” shrink wrapped goodies are Hitachi 800 units waiting transport onwards to the really far for matching with bogies and final fitting out.









Matthias William Baldwin (December 10, 1795 – September 7, 1866) was an American inventor and machinery manufacturer, specializing in the production of steam locomotives. Baldwin's small machine shop, established in 1825, grew to become Baldwin Locomotive Works, one of the largest and most successful locomotive manufacturing firms in the United States. The most famous of the early locomotives was Old Ironsides, built by Matthias Baldwin in 1832. Baldwin was also a strong advocate of abolitionism.

Early years
Matthias W. Baldwin was born December 10, 1795, in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He was the youngest of five children born to a prosperous carriage builder named William Baldwin. Following his father's death in 1799, executors of the Baldwin estate proved unequal to the task, however, and his widow and children were left in difficult financial circumstances owing to their poor management.
Although he received a very satisfactory common school education, Baldwin's inclination and aptitude related to mechanical tinkering from an early age. Toys would be deconstructed and reassembled to learn their inner workings and spare bits and pieces of machinery would be put to new use in a makeshift workshop inside his mother's home.



Baldwin's first stationary steam engine, built in 1828.


In 1811 the 16-year-old Baldwin was made an apprentice jewellery maker to the Woolworth Brothers of Frankford, Pennsylvania (now part of the City of Philadelphia). Apprenticeship in these days was a virtually coercive relationship marked by long hours of labour and miserable compensation. In 1817, shortly before the fixed term of his indenture was completed, Baldwin moved together with his mother to Philadelphia. There the budding jewellery maker was employed by the firm of Fletcher & Gardner, one of the leading jewellery manufacturers of the city.
Baldwin proved to be a valuable journeyman employee over the course of the next two years. In 1819 Baldwin quit Fletcher & Gardner and began to work as an independent silversmith. Baldwin quickly proved himself a skilled and innovative craftsman, and developed a revolutionary new technique for making gold plate. Rather than the painstaking application of gold leaf to base metal, Baldwin's method of manufacture made use of soldering a piece of gold to the base metal and rolling the two together until the requisite thickness was attained. Baldwin's technique came to gain wide acceptance as the industry standard although, unfortunately for him, it was never protected through acquisition of a patent.

Machinery maker
During the middle 1820s demand for jewellery and silverware suddenly experienced a dramatic decline, forcing Baldwin to search for a new occupation. In 1825, Baldwin went into partnership with a machinist named David Mason to form a company which made industrial equipment for printers and bookbinders: tools, dies, and machines that had previously been exclusively imported from Europe. The pair became involved in the manufacture of printing cylinders and perfected an improved process for the etching of steel plates.
The needs of the growing firm demanded both larger quarters and an improved power source. In 1828 Baldwin devised and constructed his first steam engine, a stationary device that produced 5 horsepower of output and remained in use in the shop for four decades. Baldwin's engine was not only the most powerful of its day but also incorporated mechanical innovation to power rotary motion, which ultimately came to have application in transport, including marine engine design. The original engine still survives in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
Demand for steam engines proved to be great and Baldwin and Mason quickly supplanted their printing machinery business with an engine-making division. Within a decade the firm would be regarded as the top engine maker in the country.

Locomotive builder


Baldwin's Old Ironsides engine, manufactured in 1832.


Baldwin put his knowledge of stationary steam engines to new use in 1831 when he constructed his first experimental steam locomotive. Based on designs first shown at the Rainhill Trials in England, Baldwin's prototype was a small demonstration engine that was displayed at Peale's Philadelphia City Museum. The engine was strong enough to pull a few cars that carried four passengers each. This locomotive was unusual for the time in that it burned coal, which was available locally, instead of wood.
The next year Baldwin built his first commissioned steam locomotive for the fledgling Philadelphia, Germantown & Norristown Railroad. This engine, nicknamed Old Ironsides, travelled at the rate of only 1 mile per hour (1.6 km/h) in initial trials made on November 23, 1832, but the machine was later refined and improved so that a peak speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) was attained. It weighed over 5 tons, with 54 in (1,400 mm) diameter rear wheels, 9.5 in (240 mm) cylinders with 18 in (460 mm) stroke and a 30 in (760 mm) diameter boiler which took 20 minutes to raise steam. This locomotive was a 2-2-0 (Whyte notation) type, meaning it had one unpowered leading axle and one powered driving axle. Although contracted for $4,000, owing to performance shortcomings a compromise price of $3,500 (equal to $92,726 today) between the railroad and the budding Baldwin Locomotive Works was ultimately agreed upon and received.
Baldwin was issued U.S. Patent 54 "Art of managing and supplying fire for generating steam in locomotive-engines" in 1836. As the text of the patent explained "The intention of this new mode of managing the fire is to enable me, at each water station, or any convenient place to have a clear coal fire awaiting the arrival of the engine so that the grate or fire-place which has been in use, may be detached or slid out, and that containing the clear fire, made to occupy its place."

Personal life


A statue of Baldwin in front of Philadelphia City Hall.


Baldwin was a devout member of the Presbyterian Church and a consistent donor to religious and secular charitable causes throughout his life. In 1824 he was a founder of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
In 1835, he donated money to establish a school for African-American children in Philadelphia and continued to pay the teachers' salaries out of his own pocket for years thereafter. Baldwin was an outspoken supporter for the abolition of slavery in the United States, a position that was used against him and his firm by competitors eager to sell locomotives to railroads based in the slaveholding South.
Baldwin was a member of the 1837 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention and emerged as a defender of voting rights for the state's black male citizens.
Baldwin married a distant cousin in 1827, Sarah C. Baldwin. Together, they had three children.
One of his last philanthropic efforts was the donation of 10% of his company's income to the Civil War Christian Mission in the early 1860s.

Death and legacy
Baldwin died on September 7, 1866, at his country home in Wissinoming, and was interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.
At the time of its founder's death, the Baldwin Locomotive Works had produced some 1,500 steam locomotives. The company ultimately produced a total of some 75,000 steam locomotive engines, before it terminated production in 1956.
A statue of Baldwin was first erected in Philadelphia in 1906, and moved in front of Philadelphia City Hall in 1936. In late May 2020, it was briefly defaced with the words "colonizer" and "murderer", and was cleaned soon afterward. The incident increased interest in Baldwin's legacy, according to the president of the volunteer group Friends of Matthias Baldwin Park.




The Covid Jab - Your Letters


      I’ve had both 1st & 2nd jabs. It’s my age and general infirmity, you understand.
              1/2r. (Arthur)



Just to let you know that I've had the first of my covid jabs,  I still have the booster jab to come in a few week's time.
David Cross.



Hi Phil, just read latest newsletter, good to see we are still active. I have had my 1st Jab on 15th Jan. No reaction to the Pfizer one but Val had the Oxford one on 5th Feb. and was pretty unwell for 36hrs, but OK now. Here's hoping for some light on Monday! And even very restricted for numbers we can at least converse again face to face, finally to all members, keep well and stay safe. Best wishes
Bill Drummond.



I had the Pfizer jab with no side effects, when Penny had the Oxford jab she had a stiff arm for 2 weeks and was very cold one day, we are now both fine.
Phil Bicknell



Hi Phil
Both Anne  and I  had our jabs up at Stevenage on Saturday 21 February. We  had the astra zeneca. No real side effects as of yet
Just got your message through
Nice that you and Penny are both well. Anne and I were originally having the Bedrock vaccine  But we said any jabado
Graham Porter



Hope you are both keeping well as the vaccination's role out.
I had my first dose on Sunday 21/2 at Roche in WGC. It was the AZ vaccine and the only side effect was a sore arm for a day.
 The last couple of News Letters have been really good. Particularly liked Ian's articles on Southend Pier.
Keith Stalley



All's well with the Fultons and thank you and Nigel stc. for the
newsletters; i really enjoy reading them.

I just re-read No. 40 and saw Tony's response to your inquiry as to who
has received the jab.

It would be very interesting and morale boosting to know how the club
members are doing in this regard.

I received my first jab on Thursday 11th Feb. having had a phone call
from my GP's to arrange the appointment on the Tuesday.

I know this is early for my age group but I am glad I have now had it
and can, presumably, feel safe in just 3 more weeks.

Unfortunately, there is no progress on my layout but I have replaced my
laptop's HDD with an SSD and it is now a lot faster. So, that's good news.

Keep up the good work and I hope we can all meet again in a few months time.
Phil Fulton



As you asked in your recent newsletter, Jane and myself had our Pfizer jabs today (Saturday). Only 12 weeks to go for our second.
Ian (received 30th Jan)



I hope everyone is bearing up in these trying times. My wife and I have been very fortunate, she has had both of her jabs (she has had serious medical problems and is over 80 so was in 1st group) and I have had my first with the second coming in late March.  I am going lock down crazy but still healthy and looking forward till the club is open for business.
Mike Hillman (received 23rd Jan)



Nigel has also received the first jab, second booked for the end of March.



Well done with today's newsletter. Another good 'un!

I have had both my jabs, the 1st in December followed by the 2nd on 6th Jan. Just luck I guess that I was done so early and before the 3 month gap policy came in. I had the Phizer jab with no after effects at all. Barbara has had her first Oxford jab and felt awful for two days after. We were done at Moors Walk Surgery which was very well organised, apart from queueing in the rain!

What have I done modelling wise? Well, not a lot really, apart from a few running sessions. I am thinking of selling my Bachmann southern coaches and an old Hornby level crossing that came out of the Arc! I am over stocked with coaches and I shall never use the level crossing. Come to think of it I have got too many wagons so I may dispose of some.

I have been following the retransmission of 'Last of the Summer Wine' on Yesterday and have just watched 'Full Steam Behind', shot on the KWVR in 1979. Hilarious! If anyone is interested the complete series is being shown 19.20 every evening. Enjoy!

I enjoyed the Twickenham news. How about Stevenage?

Keep good, Barry.





Following Barry's letter, the following items are for sale. Anyone interested please contact Barry direct.
His email address is:



Bachmann 39-078C MK1 Brake/Corridor BSK. Coach and box in pristine condition.


Bachmann 39-228 Brake.corridor.composite. Coach and box in pristine condition.


Bachmann 39-128A Composite CK.  Coach and box in pristine condition


Bachmann 39-253 Restaurant  Car. Coach and box in pristine condition.


Hornby two rail level crossing Double O gauge
Both gates operational, both fish plates attached
Good clean condition, box slightly worn



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Answers in the next issue.


1) Who was the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated?
2) How long does Prime Minister’s Questions last?
3) How many Members of Parliament (MPs) are there?
4) What is the middle name of Angela Merkel?
5) America's Republican Party is commonly referred to as the GOP - what does the GOP stand for?
6) Who was Donald Trump's vice president?
7) In which year did Britain originally join the EEC, now known as the European Union?
8) How many of the six founding members of the European Union can you name? A point for each.
9) What is the name given to the group of people who make sure MPs attend important votes?
10) On what subject was the first referendum in Britain?





1) Blue, yellow, black, green and red
2) Real Madrid (13)
3) 13
4) Red Rum
5) Crucible Theatre
6) Pineapple
7) USA
8) A turkey
9) 16
10) Augusta National