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This coming weekend, 22nd & 23rd April,  sees the annual Epsom and Ewell MRC exhibition and one of only a couple appearances of Fisherton Sarum this year.  The Epsom and Ewell Model Railway Club is I think one oldest model railway clubs around having been established in 1952. The exhibition is being held at their usual venue of the North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT), Reigate Road, Ewell, Surrey KT17 3DS . It is always good to be exhibiting in the heart of the Southern Railway’s territory.

I have taken some time out from building my latest little train set Canute Road Quay (which itself is making its first ‘public’ debut the following weekend, more of which in a future post next week) to set Fisherton Sarum up at the clubrooms of the High Wycombe and District MRS, for which I am most grateful to repair a couple of things such as the turntable and ensure that everything else is working OK.

Although missing the show my Dad will be attending in spirit and in model form as he and fellow school mates are captured trying to bunk the shed as he did in his school short wearing days

I will be ably assisted during the weekend by some regular operators and friends, although unfortunately my father will miss the show as he is recovering from recent emergency heart surgery (for which offer my sincere thanks to all the amazing staff involved within the NHS). I am pleased that he is well on the mend but rightly still convalescing, so get well soon Dad!

All boxed up and ready for loading. The green boxes resting on the top of the layout are the two lighting rig boxes. The control is nestled between the ‘L’Girders of the baseframe under the layout’s ‘Target’ style nameboard.

As with most layouts being exhibited some method of protection for transportation  is required and this is not normally seen by the general public at shows. Although when set up the Fisherton Sarum is 20 foot  long it was designed from the outset in such away that  everything included the stock boxes  (converted stout DJ cases designed for carrying up to 120 CDs) containing over 80 locomotives and some 20 coaches along with numerous wagons, will all fit in a Mondeo estate car!

An overview of the scenic section of Fisherton Sarum

My two scenic boards, each 4′ x 3′ are bolted together by wooden end frames to form a box just small enough to fit through though the tailgate of the car.  The layouts legs are bolted to the inside of baseboards  ‘L’ girders and therefore fold up inside the baseboards out of the way.  The whole box arrangement sits on a set of wheels for easy transportation from the car into and around the exhibition venue. As I use cassettes in the fiddle yards these boards are flat topped ‘paste table’ style  and the legs fold up held in place by clips and then these slide alongside the scenic board ‘box’ in the rear of the car.  Other items such as the end backscene pieces, lighting rig support struts and the control panel (whose width was designed specifically to do so) tuck between the ‘L’ girders of the upturned scenic board.

I hope this little insight into the behind the scenes aspect of exhibiting a layout has been of interest, if you are dropping by the exhibition next weekend, please make sure you say hello!  Fisherton Sarum is stand 25 at the show.

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For those of us as either members and, like myself, shareholders of the 35006 Locomotive Society yesterday 16th May 2016, was a very special day. Following restoration from an ex Barry condition, at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, that has taken over 30 years Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. (the longest name of any locomotive in preservation) was officially renamed and hauled her first passenger train for over 50 years comprising of members and shareholders of the 35006 Locomotive Society along with a small number of invited honoured guests.

35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway folowing her first passenger run on 16th May 2016 for Society Members and Shareholders

35006 in the sunshine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway following her first passenger run on 16th May 2016 for Society Members and Shareholders

35006 was withdrawn in her prime in August 1964, before languishing in the infamous Dia Woodham Barry scrapyard for over 18 years. A small band of dedicated early pioneers of the 35006 Locomotive Society managed to scrape together the purchase price of just over £7000 which resulted in 35006 finally leaving for Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway in March 1983.

My Dad films 35006 moving into place prior to renaming ceremony

My Dad records 35006 moving into place prior to renaming ceremony

Over 30 years of dedication, hard work and fundraising by members of the growing  35006 Locomotive Society finally saw 35006 steam again, albeit on 2 cylinders, on 10th August 2015. Following completion of the final list of works required, further steaming and running in, the date was set for her renaming and first passenger run on Monday 16th May 2016.

The first 35006 Locomotive Society Chairman Bill Trite reflects on the very early days of obtaining 35006

The first 35006 Locomotive Society Chairman Bill Trite reflects on the very early days of obtaining 35006

The unveiling / renaming of Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co. was carried out by Pete Waterman the President of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway following short speeches by current Society Chairman, Jon McMillan, who introduced the first Society Chairman and pioneer Bill Trite (who subsequently went on to be Chairman of the Swanage Railway and Southern Locomotives Ltd.),

Ex Fireman David Brown fired 35006 on her final turn in 1964

Ex Fireman David Brown fired 35006 on her final turn in 1964

Bill described to the audience those early days of making the necessary small but important steps of raising the initial funds to both purchase and secure a base for and moving 35006 to Toddington and therefore reaching where the Society is at today.

Pete Waterman unveils the nameplate of Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co.

Pete Waterman unveils the nameplate of Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co.

The final speaker before Pete Waterman unveiled the nameplate was former Southern Region Fireman, David Brown who was based at Yeovil.
David described how, as a 18 year old, he fired 35006, in August 1964 on the night mail coming off the train at Salisbury before going onto shed, 35006 was unusual in that she spent her entire career at Salisbury 72B shed, to be told that she was now to be withdrawn and he had just fired her final turn in service. David was then invited to be on the footplate, along with Pete Waterman on the first run of the day.

35006 then completed two runs between Toddington and Cheltenham Racecourse with an impressive twelve coach rake (unfortunately not in Southern Region green but you cant have everything!), not often seen on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway as they usually only run seven coach trains, which she handled with ease.

35006 runs around the 12 coach train at Cheltenham Racecourse

35006 runs around the 12 coach train at Cheltenham Racecourse

A very nice complimentary lunch was served on board the first run, which was quite an achievement in itself by the catering team from the Flag and Whistle franchised café run by Lynne Tidddy and her enthusiastic team.

It was certainly a fantastic day, the sun shone, 35006  looked, performed and sounded great.
35006 also carried a small plaque on the middle bufferbeam lamp bracket to mark the Society having received, earlier this year, the Heritage Railway Association’s John Coiley Award for the restoration of 35006.

The 35006 Locomotive Society should be duly proud of their achievement in all aspects of the restoration, fundraising and also the organisation of the day itself.

35006 pulls away from Cheltenham Racecourse in the sunshine

35006 pulls away from Cheltenham Racecourse in the sunshine

I would like to take this opportunity thank the 35006 Locomotive Society on behalf of all its members and  shareholders for such a great day. A further note of thanks should be made for the wonderful complimentary full colour commemoration booklet charting the three decades of restoration.

If reading about this achievement has, and I hope so, made you feel like you would like to be a part of keeping 35006 in steam, then information on how to join the Society can be found here.

35006 will be making her first appearance hauling trains for the public at the Cotswold Festival of Steam on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway over the May 28th to 30th Bank Holiday weekend. 

 

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As with many sheds the turntable was a vital part of the set up, engines would usually come on shed be turned, coaled and watered before moving to their allocated shed road prior to their next duty. Depending on the size of shed sometimes physically operating the turntable would have been the responsibility of the loco crew, or as in the case of Salisbury there was a dedicated gang of shed staff allocated to the role.

Fisherton Sarum by Graham Muspratt. Photographed for Model Rail, 13 February 2013

A T14 is turned at Fisherton Sarum. The turners can be seen hard at work on the winding mechanism

I have on Fisherton Sarum modelled the turners operating the turntable,  although these operators are either static or moving so quickly they only appear as a static blur (delete which ever version you don’t actually believe). The turntable itself, is as detailed in my view from line #6 post that can be read here,  made from a Peco LK-55 well and deck with scratchbuilt sides, winding mechanism and turners platform for the turners.

late afternoon sunshine catches the Turners mess hut. The warning signs to drivers on the approach roads can also be seen.

Late afternoon light catches the turners mess hut. The warning signs to drivers on the approach roads can also be seen.

I have also modelled the turners gang mess hut that was provided for them to keep warm, dry and rest between turns. At sheds like Salibury the turntable gang was often formed of staff that had previously been in other roles but ended up in such a gang due to a number of reasons such as medical or eyesight issues. Keeping a job being better than no job. I have made use of a Wills SS50 Platelayers hut kit but with the roof replaced with slate tiles rather than the supplied corrugated iron sheeting to more closely represent the one at Salisbury. Stored outside and around the turners mess hut are barrels of lubricating and steam oil.

Signs on the approach roads to the turntable warn drivers not to pass that point unless given instruction to do so by the turners. These were simply made from a short section of rail with a plasticard board and then suitably painted.

The turntable itself on Fisherton Sarum is very much one of the main focal points of the layout and as stated above it has been described in more detail in my View from the Line #6 post here.

 

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With a nod to the fact that today, 23rd April, is not only St Georges Day, but also the date on which William Shakespeare is understood to have both been born and this year the 400th anniversary of his death, hence the stretching of a few quotations from his writings (so much more than witterings) in the title.
My last Workbench Witterings #4 post detailed some of the locomotives I have been working on and finishing over the last few weeks and this Workbench Witterings #5 post shows a few more.

The Kernow Model Rail Centre O2 number 225 now weathered

The Kernow Model Rail Centre O2 number 225 now weathered

First up is a pair of the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR Adams O2 class, 0-4-4Ts in the form of two mainland versions in SR post war black livery. Number 225, Kernow Model Rail Centre release K2105, was already in post 1946 SR black so has been lightly weathered, crew added

O2 Number 225 will be coupled to a Pull Push set using a prototypical screw coupling

O2 Number 225 will be coupled to a Pull Push set using a prototypical screw coupling

(nice and simple to do as the cab roof is designed to be easily removed) and real coal added to the bunker.
She will generally be seen on Fisherton Sarum sharing duties with an M7 class loco coupled to my Pull Push set number 734 or the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR Gate Stock Pull Push sets when they arrive.

O2 Number 193 on shunting duties

O2 Number 193 for use on shunting duties

Number 193 started life in BR lined black livery as 30193, Kernow Model Rail Centre release K2106,  and repainted into unlined SR livery, unlike 225 is non pull push fitted.
Now backdated to number 193 as well as crew on the footplate and real coal added to the bunker she has been fitted with both red and white lamps at each end on the lamp irons above the buffers, as per a locomotive carrying our shunting duties.

A rear 3/4 view of O2 number 193

A rear 3/4 view of O2 number 193

I have also, carefully using a small razor saw, cut out the cab doors as these were only found on the pull push fitted mainland O2s (although those on the Isle of Wight also had cab doors). To reduce the distance that the tension lock coupling extends past the buffers I also shortened the NEM coupling pocket slightly by cutting off a few millimeters from the front face and holding the tension lock coupling in with a spot of glue.
If you own one these Kernow Model Rail Centre O2s it is also worth checking that the back to backs of the driving wheels are correctly set to 14.5mm, as some have reported issues with haulage which has mainly been due to the back to backs being slightly too wide and simple to rectify by pushing the wheels in slightly, not that mine needed any such adjustment.

A repainted and weathered Bachmann E4

A repainted and weathered Bachmann E4

Next up is a Bachmann ex LBSC Billington E4 Class, 0-6-2T repainted and numbered as 2486. Although ex LBSC locomotives they could seen seen across a wide area of the Southern network. After the closure of the Salisbury Western Region shed in 1950 the ex SR shed was allocated numbers 32506 and 32486.

A rear 3/4 view of a work stained E4 number 2486

A rear 3/4 view of a work stained E4 number 2486

This was reported as being much to the annoyance of the ex WR crews on the duty shunting Fisherton Yard as they preferred their previsous GWR pannier tanks! So modellers licence regarding the bringing date of allocation to Salisbury slightly earlier will apply on Fisherton Sarum. She has been finished in a condition where she could benefit from a good clean and a bit of an overhaul.

Van B number 231

Van B number 231

Finally for now, it is not just locomotives that I have got round to finishing off with a bit of weathering, also seen here are a couple of Non Passenger Carrying Cars.
Firstly the Hornby Bogie Van B that I  mentioned on my Workbench Witterings #1 post after repainted into malachite green a while ago as non stove fitted version number 231.

A weathered Bachmann PLV

A weathered Bachmann PLV

The other is a Bachmann PLV, Parcels Luggage Van (coded PMV in BR parlance) and is still in Maunsell green under the layer of grime.

As I said before I have managed to catch up with finishing a number outstanding projects and these last two Workbench Witterings Posts don’t yet cover them all but I wont bore you with more pictures of weathered black locomotives for now  so watch this space for something different next time around.

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At long last, assisted by a few days off work over the recent Easter weekend, I have finally completed a few outstanding items on the workbench. This has mainly been around renumbering, naming and weathering a few items of rolling stock so I thought I would share with you some of the locomotives that I have now finished.

I have detailed a few times on this blog my method of renumbering (see Workbench Witterings #3 here) and also weathering (such as in this post here) so I wont repeat all those details this time.

Battle of Britain Class 21C149 'Anti Aircraft Command'

Battle of Britain Class 21C149 ‘Anti Aircraft Command’ with her distinctive orange background to the emblem

First up, is a Bullied Battle Britain Class 21c149 ‘Anti Aircraft Command’ for friend and fellow post war period modeller Robin Sweet (Gwrrob on RMweb) for use on his excellent, albeit GWR,  layout ‘Brent’ based on South Brent in Devon to represent one the regular SR crew route familiarisation turns, via Dawlish to Plymouth that also took WR engines over the ex LSWR north Dartmoor route.

The other side of 21C149 the addition of the RT Models front steps and Cylinder Drain pipes certainly complete the look.

The other side of 21C149 the addition of the RT Models front steps and Cylinder Drain pipes certainly complete the look.

21C149 was in this period a Salisbury engine, so again like the N Class I have done for Rob before, again a nice link to Fisherton Sarum, but Exmouth Junction must have hijacked her for a while…
She started as a Hornby 21C159 split from one their train packs as this was in the correct condition with the original forward position of the safety valves, She gained the wedge shaped cab modification in March 1948, was named in April that year and not fully renumbered to 34049 until April 1949. In addition to the renumbering and naming using HMRS Pressfix decals and Fox Transfers etched nameplates, I also fitted front steps and cylinder drain pipes from the excellent RT Models range, Springside Models front lamps and real coal in the tender.

S15 number 829 with Urie flared topped tender

S15 number 829 with Urie flared topped tender

Secondly are two Hornby S15s,  one as number 829 from the first batch of the Maunsell S15s built in July 1927 paired with a Urie style tender and one as number 845 from the third batch of Maunsell S15s  built in October 1936 paired with a Maunsell flat sided bogie tender.

S15 number 845 with Maunsell flat sided tender

S15 number 845 with Maunsell flat sided tender

Number 829 was a Salisbury allocated engine during my 1946 to 1949 modelling period, whilst 845 was initially allocated to Feltham but in 1947 was moved to Exmouth Junction and therefore would also have regularly been seen at Salisbury.

Schools Class V 929 'Malvern'

Schools Class V number 929 ‘Malvern’

Finally for now, is Hornby Schools Class V number 929 ‘Malvern’ whose repainting and numbering was the topic of my Workbench Wittering #2 post way back in June last year! Now finally her weathering is complete. As I mentioned in that post Schools class number 929 “Malvern” was one of only seven members of the class not to regain malachite green livery after the war, but stayed in SR black until January 1949. The Schools Class V were not often seen at Salisbury in SR days but as she was a Brighton allocated engine from 1947 my excuse is that she has arrived on one of the Brighton to Plymouth services that changed locomotives at Salisbury.

That’s all for now, I will post some details of some of the other items of rolling stock that I recently completed in due course.

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November this year sees the 10th anniversary since the first exhibition outing for Fisherton Sarum. Wycrail 2006, the annual exhibition of the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society, was the first public appearance, and was the first time the layout was actually fully operated.  I was however able to set the layout up for the very first time at the Society’s clubrooms the week before and some very last minute corrections to wiring etc. (thanks again Mark!) ensured that on the day itself things went pretty much to plan.

Fisherton Sarum's first exhibition appearance at Wycrail 2006 with Myself, Daniel and Simon at the helm looking a tad younger!

Fisherton Sarum’s first exhibition appearance at Wycrail 2006 with yours truly, my Dad, Daniel and Simon at the helm looking a tad younger!

Getting a new layout on the exhibition circuit for the first time can sometimes be tricky owing the chicken and egg conundrum that to get exhibition invites you often need to be already seen on the exhibition circuit. Being a member of a Model Railway Society or Club is often a way, as in my case, of getting an invite to the Society’s own Wycrail show and therefore that first public appearance.

Visitors to Wycrail view Fisherton Sarum, the fiddle yard always gets a sneaky look too...

Visitors to Wycrail view Fisherton Sarum, the fiddle yard always gets a sneaky look too…

I have always been indebted to members of the HWDMRS and my own family for assisting with the exhibiting of Fisherton Sarum and its first outing was no exception although Simon and Daniel, now somewhat grown up working for Network Rail and being at University respectively, probably wont thank me for showing them here in their younger days…

In the ten years since that first outing I have enjoyed exhibiting across the country, at now nearly 30 shows, ranging from Wadebridge in the South West, Manchester, Hartlepool, Doncaster in the North, The Warley NEC show, Tonbridge and Worthing in the South and of course on Salisbury station itself.

Since its first few outings many things have changed, developed and been added to the layout, usually as a result of the operating team making suggestions over a pint or two, such as:

A view of the layout at Wycail 2006, I wonder where the young onlooker is now?

Another view of the layout at Wycail 2006, I wonder where the young onlooker is now?

Fisherton Sarum returned to Wycrail in 2014 and will also be making an appearance at the High Wycombe and District Model Railways Society’s open day on Saturday 21st May 2016 see here for more details. I will continue to exhibit Fisherton Sarum, as it has always been enjoyable, but have always limited its appearances to approximately 3 shows a year and the current small number of booked appearances can be found here, although a couple more are in discussion so watch this space.

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This months picture…

Z Class number 957 pushes loaded coal wagons up the coal stage ramp, whilst S15 No. 846, built from a DJH kit passes by on a local stopping passenger

Z Class number 957, built from a Millholme kit, pushes loaded coal wagons up the coal stage ramp, whilst S15 No. 846, built from a DJH kit, passes by on a local stopping passenger.

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