NEWSLETTER 5

Dear Members.
 
It's now week six of Lockdown and our 5th Newsletter We hope you are all still keeping safe and well.Thanks to Derek who reports that the club room is ok, he has been checking every week and even met the vicar there. By now I am sure you have all finished decorating, the garden and even tidying the shed (man cave).So lets have some photos and or words about your home layout or projects.

We are looking at writing the history of the club and would like to hear from any or all of you with any stories  or anecdotes you remember.
Enjoy this edition and we look forward to hearing from you all!

Please email all submissions to  phile_b51@yahoo.co.uk  or    nigel@slatford.co.uk
 

Phil and Nigel

 

 

HAVIL JUNCTION 1984

 

 

An article appeared in the Railway Modeller in November 1984
If you are not familiar with it, click the plan above to view it in full.

 

 

How many of the above do you recognise?

 

 

UNDER THE DUVET
Part 3

 

Following the success at Knebworth I started going to car shows and rallies and entering Concours d’Elegance competitions which sounds very grand. Basically this means an exhibition or parade of vintage or classic motor vehicles in which prizes are awarded for those in the best or most original condition. Not only is everything shiny and in excellent condition but has been restored accurately, or as close to the way the vehicle was originally manufactured.

I learnt various tricks of the trade on how to improve your chances of winning and made a lot of new friends who shared their experiences and knowledge with me. I acquired a range of high tech tools ranging from a toothbrush; various sized paint brushes, polishes for the body, glass, chrome together with assorted cleaning clothes etc. I went to one day and weekend ones as far as Harrogate in the north and Sussex in the south and lots of other places in between. For six years we also went to Jersey for their Spring Rally. I also made it to the finals of the Autoglym competition held in November each year at the NEC Birmingham. Needless to say, when I left home on the Friday morning it was pouring with rain and I had a lovely drive up the M1. What had been a spotless car was now filthy and was desperate for a clean however; I was unable to drive into the hall. Blocking the access was a covered trailer that was just being opened up. I sat there for over an hour while they proceeded to slowly hand winch a car completely wrapped in bubble wrap. Once out they pushed the car into its place in the hall and removed the bubble wrap. I and many others were then allowed to drive into the hall to our stand positions and start cleaning. Over the weekend visitors were amazed at this wonderful red car that was not actually ever driven, it won by the way, it was a Ferrari. I was not a winner on this occasion but when the show finished at 5pm on the Sunday we were all held up again while the same car was manoeuvred by hand back into the trailer. Sometime later I was on my way home, and it was still raining. Another time at the major MG Silverstone event there was a lady judge who when there was very little to choose between two cars would put white gloves on. She would then proceed to wipe under the wheel arches, backs of bumpers and finally put a finger up the exhaust pipe to see if they were clean. You will be pleased to know I did win best MGB on that and other occasions as can be seen from the photo.

 

 

My MGB GT was no longer a second car, I bought another one and used that instead but that’s another story.

 

 

TONY'S TOOL

 

TWEEZERS WITH A DIFFERENCE                                    

 

On quite a number of occasions whilst modelling I have come across a requirement
for a pair of tweezers which open vertically rather than horizontally.  Placing small items in the bottom of a closed structure where there is no access from the side for example.
I constructed the following tool, which really only requires sourcing 2 items.
 
Materials Required
The first item is 2 pieces of square section brass tube of different sizes, one which slides inside the other.  The sizes of the 2 pieces I have used are 3mm square and
2mm square and I believe they were from Eileens Emporium (other suppliers are available).
The second item is a suitable spring which fits over the small size section. I had a spring of the right size in my oddments box.  But an old click type retractable ball point pen would possibly be a suitable donor.
The ‘jaws’ I made from a piece of quarter inch wide brass strip, but any odd piece of scrap brass can be used. A suitable sized brass washer is needed to solder to the top of the larger square tube to prevent the spring from sliding down the tube.
Finally, a small square of brass is required to hold the spring in place and act as a plunger.

 

 

Construction Details
I hope the 2 attached pictures will explain the unit. Picture 1 shows the individual items and picture 2 shows the assembled tool.
The 2 ‘jaws’ were cut out the same size and a hole drilled in each which was then filed to a square with a needle file. One to take the square end of the larger tube and the other the smaller tube.  These were then soldered to the ends of the tubes.  The other end of the larger tube had the brass washer soldered to it.  After ensuring that the ‘jaws’ closed squarely and that the smaller tube slides freely through the larger tube, the tool is assembled by soldering the plunger to the top of the smaller tube and holding the spring in place.  This must be soldered in place with the spring under slight compression.
I made the length of the larger tube 100mm, the length of the shorter tube is determined by the length of the spring used.
You can of course adjust the sizes for you own preference and alter the shape of the ‘jaws’ to suit a specific application.  You may also consider soldering the ‘jaws’ at a slight angle to give better access.
Tony Haward            

 

 

 

ONE FOOT IN THE SMOKEBOX No.4

 

Sunday 25th August 2002 – number 4 – a 7.00 start today for the bank holiday weekend. Today the driver was another Keith, who had previously done our induction, and Bob as fireman. Once again we were on 75006.

The first thing we found was that the boiler was empty apparently due to leaks. Fortunately the crew of 93 Squadron, who had an earlier start time,  had realised this and had attached the hose to the injector pipe to re fill the boiler. Having lit up etc. and cleaned round the top and down to the wheels Keith decided that he wanted the wheels and brake blocks scraped with a wall paper scraper which he then produced. He seemed to think that I should have one!

By 9.00 we had more or less finished preparing the loco. The crew of 92 Squadron wandered over and asked if we knew what was happening with Dora as she was supposed to be in steam and topping and tailing to Yarwell according to the timetable. It soon became obvious that no one was coming and so a quick decision was made for us to light up and Alan the loco engineer would come out of the works to at least shuttle up and down the yard.

92 Squadron took the first train at 10.30 with the ‘orange’ timetable and we took the second at 11.30 using the continental stock which was shunted from platform 3 to platform 2 via the river bridge first. This was also the first time that I had coupled air brakes which I found to be much easier that vacuum brakes.

Upon return to Wansford from Yarwell Keith thought that we would not stop as is usual with the ‘orange’ timetable. However I knew that we should as the working timetable showed. There was no signalman on the platform to exchange tokens and so Keith wisely stopped just at the end of the platform. Back at Wansford Dora was by now looking neglected but by the time we returned from Peterborough after our first trip steam was up and she was in platform 1.

The token exchange at Orton Mere went OK and on the return from Peterborough the signal man was again standing by the line needing another moving exchange of tokens. Fortunately Keith takes the token exchanges slowly.

The next trips were similar working the 15.30 last. On the second trip to Peterborough when taking water I ended up on the saddle tank – another new experience. The only way to do this is to either straddle the tank standing either side on the hand rails or to sit astride the tank. Now as previously explained the bag has a habit of coming out of the tank if the chain is pulled too hard, which it did. Fortunately I managed to avoid the worst of it and made sure that I stood on the hand rails and held the bag firmly in future, although it overflowed on the last trip as well. The water crane at Wansford is the opposite. The bag twists and stops the water flowing – a complete pain!

On the last trip Bob asked if I wanted to fire but Keith decided as we were late  he wanted Bob to fire. This was OK by me as I felt particularly exhausted by then.

Once on shed Keith cleaned the smoke-box, Bob raked the fire bars and I emptied the ash pan. Bob said to keep the hose on the ash pan whilst he reached through as otherwise the ash pan could distort. No one else ever seemed to bother with this.

Finally cleaned up I left just after 6.00.

Keith

 

 

 

 

THE JOYS OF CARAVANNING

 

We have always enjoyed caravan holidays, every year we would meet up with my sister’s family and drive down through France looking for the sunny weather. We travelled together in convoy, the children, three of ours and my sisters four, sometimes swapping cars to make the journey more interesting. We also were trying out CB radios to help us to keep in touch.
In August 1992 we were on our way home, travelling somewhere near Le Mans, the weather was miserable and raining and the roads were very damp. We were a little way behind my sister, travelling down hill on a Route Nationale when I noticed a truck coming up the hill towards us. As it approached, I saw that one of the eight foot diameter cable drums it was carrying was coming off the trailer, the momentum of the truck meant that the cable drum started rolling across the road in our direction. The road was wet and slippery, I tried braking but realised that it would not of got us out of trouble, so I accelerated pulled as far to the right of the road as I could and just squeezed the car through before the cable drum hit the caravan broadside. The impact was enough to bend the tow ball down at right angles. Everyone was shocked but my son calmly got on the CB and called my sister so that they would know what had happened.
The caravan had been opened up like a sardine can with our belongings scattered 100 meters back along the road.  Other motorists stopped to help collect up the belongings. An English couple travelling in the other direction with their caravan stopped and offered to help, making us drinks and supplying us with dry clothes, as by this time we were soaked.               
The lorry driver who hadn’t realised what had happened was brought back to the scene by police, he was eventually taken away in a police car in hand cuffs.
I dread to think of what could have happened if it had hit the side of the Renault Espace, they are only made of plastic. Not surprisingly, three other cars travelling in the opposite direction, crashed into the backs of others as they looked at our accident instead of where they were going.
Fortunately we were only one day away from home so that night we all had to sleep on the floor of my sisters caravan and in my car.  It didn’t however put us off caravanning, the insurance company paid up and we bought another.
You can see a video of the carnage below.

Nigel

 

Our Caravan attacked by a roll of cable.

 

 

CRYPTIC UNDERGROUND STATIONS QUIZ

 

All the following are clues for London Underground Stations

 

  1. Bad news for Napoleon
  2. Bigger than big
  3. Alpine dwelling
  4. It’s falling down
  5. Weapon store
  6. Trumpeting New York thoroughfare
  7. Stop here for the men’s singles and doubles
  8. Nobleman captured
  9. Limit of 1760 yards
  10. The longest reign
  11. A bear
  12. Patella’s lair
  13. Red rose entrance
  14. In hop county
  15. Ballet and vegetables here
  16. Heavenly messenger
  17. Irate monarch
  18.  Where the money is
  19. Where blackboard materials are grown
  20. There’s one on Merseyside
  21. Royal route
  22. Oriental pig meat
  23. Elementary my dear Watson
  24. A television school
  25. You won’t find acrobats at this university
  26. Sounds like the Bard was born here
  27. Do rabbits live in this thoroughfare
  28. Half a crown from Golders Green
  29. Mad dogs stop here
  30. Big gun road

 

Answers next time, if we've worked them out.

 

 

AN APOLOGY

Sorry Ray we didn't manage to sell any of your Deltics and A4's, they must have been overpriced.

 

 

Holiday Journey to Butlin’s, Summer 1964
Part 3

 

Every Butlin’s camp had a camp photographer with a studio/shop. Photographs taken were openly displayed in cabinets and were available for purchase. In the above photograph my sister and myself were caught by the camp photographer and he persuaded us to include the cameraman’s Yogi Bear in the shot. To add insult to injury, my heavy black framed spectacles (in memory of Buddy Holly) were placed on the bear’s nose and I had to shake his paw.

 

 

The Pwllheli turntable (seen above in 1974) came originally from Afon Wen but is now at Minehead

 

Sir Billy Butlin was always on the lookout for added attractions and purchased several retired steam locomotives for display in his holiday camp playgrounds.  At Pwllheli he had a Princess and a Terrier in excellent external condition in 1964, but unfortunately the sea air was not conducive to long term survival. At the time few believed that they would ever steam again but he was encouraged to later loan them to the preservation industry and eventually they were sold off. Princess Margaret Rose was acquired by a trust specifically set up to restore her to running condition. The Terrier returned to the Isle of Wight where she had previously seen service in steam days. Restored in green as W11 ‘Newport’, one of her previous identities, she is still active
.My sister had made friends with a girl whose parents owned a car and they offered to take her and my mother out for the day. Not to be outdone my father and I took the train to Portmadoc (now Porthmadog) to explore the Festiniog Railway. The Penryhn quarry locomotive Linda was acting as pilot engine, and was adding another coach to the train standing at the platform. She had been modified for the Festiniog by having the cab back plate removed to gain access to a coal truck permanently attached. The train engine was the elderly double Fairlie Merrdin Emrys, at the time without a cab roof. Princess lay derelict with a notice encouraging donations.

 

 

Princess Margaret Rose in LMS red.

 

In addition to a railway guide I purchased the book, ‘Festiniog Railway Revival’ and a six inch LP of the line and its engines from the station shop. The book was to introduce me to the joys of the narrow gauge for the first time.
Sadly, at this time the trackwork on the Cob (the embankment between Porthmadoc station and Boston Lodge Works) was not in such good condition as that in the above picture I took. The train swayed and rolled along the flattest part of the whole route between Portmadoc and the terminus at Tan-y-Bwlch. In the early days of the preservation society there had been a great need for cash and they had ripped up the track on the Cob and sold it off. This rush for scrap also led to the Welsh Highland locomotive Moel Tryfan being dragged out of Boston Lodge Works and sold off to the scrap merchant. Before the Festiniog reopened replacement track, spiked to wooden sleepers, was installed on the Cob, but not to the previous high standard. At the time it seemed unlikely that restoration would continue beyond Tan-y-Bwlch.
After the holiday I became fascinated by the large loose map included with the Festiniog Railway Revival book I had purchased, particularly with the earlier track layouts at Portmadoc and Blaenau Festiniog. At the former a three way butt point was installed and it took some time to find a photograph of it in its original position. As luck would have it I finally found the one shown below in a pre-war book my father originally owned.

 

 

 

Stroudley Terrier in LBSCR yellow. 

 

Stub points were designed to deal with quarry trucks that had flanges on both sides of each wheel. As seen above, there are no point blades, the heel of the track itself (nearest the camera) moves instead. This was common practice on very poorly laid quarry lines where the actual width between the rails was often out of true. The wheels of the truck were loose on the axles so that they were free to wander from side to side as the actual gauge varied. The surprise was that the Festiniog, with such superb trackwork, did not appear to need such a point (turnout).
Reading through various books by J. I. C. Boyd and consulting the Festiniog website provided the answer. Space at the Harbour in the late 19th Century was at a premium at the height of the slate traffic and there was a need to concentrate the points in a smaller area at the terminus (there were busy slate wharves immediately behind the photographer in the above picture). Three way points and stub points both occupied a much smaller space so combining the two made sense.
The engineer of the Festiniog was Charles Easton Spooner but his son, George Percival Spooner, working at Boston Lodge, had produced the drawings for the second Fairlie locomotive and was asked to draw the design for this three way stub point. The final point was installed at the Harbour Station in 1879 as the above photograph shows. What is not shown is the three position point indicator that was presumably interlocked with the point.
Point indicators look like semaphore signals but differ in function. Home semaphore signals either instruct the train to stop or authorise it to continue. Point indicators merely inform the driver as to how the points are set ahead leaving it to the driver to decide whether to proceed or not. Two position point indicators were quite common on the Festiniog. The signal arm was mounted on a ten foot post (usually of cast iron) and contained a slot into which the arm could fall and not be seen. If the road was set for the mainline the arm remained hidden in the slot. If set for the branch the arm appeared sloping downwards at an angle of 45 degrees.
Presumably, in the above photograph, if the stub point was set for an engine coming off the platform road (on the left of the picture) the arm would be hidden. If the point was set for it coming off the centre road (the run round loop), the arm would be at 45 degrees. Probably, if the road was set for coming off the carriage storage road (the line on the right where carriages could be stored and trains made up before transfer to the platform road), the arm would be horizontal. Only locomotives were allowed to cross this stub point and the driver could read the road from the point indicator whichever side of the point he was on.
A member of the Festiniog society later told me that the stub point still existed and was stored ‘out the back’ at Boston Lodge. He also thought that it was a test piece for the younger Spooner.

 

 

Butt point at Portmadoc Harbour Station.

 

Reverting back to 1964, there was some excitement involved in our return journey from Pwllheli. My sister’s friend’s parents offered to drive my sister and mother home in their car, leaving my father and myself to return by train. This was despite the fact that all four of the family had return tickets. The Paddington bound train my father decided we should catch was not timetabled to stop at Penychain which meant we had to catch a bus from outside the camp for Pwllheli station. We waited for the bus which never arrived and on checking on the bus timetable posted by the bus stop found that he had misread the time. We hurried back to Penychain platform in the hope that our intended train might stop despite what it said in the timetable. Our express steamed through without stopping and we had to catch the slow branch train which was following. Luckily when we finally arrived at Afon Wen our train was still in the platform. We had to dash over one of the footbridges to thankfully catch our express. We never worked out why our express was delayed at Afon Wen, we were too exhausted charging up and over the footbridge to notice what was going on or even enquire. In retrospect either the express was waiting to connect with a train coming down the Caernarvon branch or our express locomotive needed to fill up from a water column.
We never stayed at Pwllheli Butlin’s again and these days it is no longer a Butlin’s camp but a Haven holiday park. However, we stayed with my wife, young children and my parents at Bognor Regis Butlin’s. We drove there but my parents still came by train. Much later, visiting a friend in Boston, Lincolnshire, my wife and I found it convenient to stay at Butlin’s Skegness, where my Butlin’s experience had first started, back in 1952.
Ian Bunting