Author name: David Hagger

NEWGOG update

Pavilion End made its third appearance at NEWGOG but improved by additions to give more of a South Wales feel since its first outing. The coal train is headed by 4248, shedded at Ebbw Jct, the mixed freight is behind 666, and ex-NaADR Victory tank, and the workman’s train now has three 4-wheeled coaches with real (or dubious) stories.

Ty’n y Coedcae was also at the show and also sported a Victory tank from an earlier era (and dubious colour). There is plenty of stock to make the yard look busy. What is stored in the fiddle yard is always of interest, particularly the Cambrian brake van – a very nice model.

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Are you sitting comfortably . . .

Reports this week might well be minimal as layouts are prepared for the NEWGOG show on Saturday. And what is more typical of preparations than grovelling under the baseboard trying to find out why it’s not working properly. This was Tuesday and the drive to the point blades was eventually fixed by careful adjustment.

By the end of Wednesday the electromagnets for uncoupling were operational too.

Friday before the show and some last minute preparations. The GWR autocoach is without a bogie as it is being fitted with Scaleseven wheels. The other bogie has already been done but work has stopped on the second as one of the wheel bearings is missing. A search of the floor and clothing, by a couple of people found nothing. The bearing is a special shape so TAFKATYS started to bodge one out of brass tubing and a Dremel. On asking ‘Show me what the wheel looks like’ the missing bearing was revealed. The coach from Dapol is a cracking model.

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Week ending 7th April

This week the trackwork challenge was more conventional with plastic sleepers and chairs being glued in place. More gluing took place on Lyne Road as the platform surfaces were being fixed down. (cue – joke about a long weight) The NE 6 wheel brake progresses for Wagonman with footboards now in place and handrails added. And Mr Chairman started to re-vamp more shrubs for ABB by removing the old foliage and adding bark colour and texture to the trunks.

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Tuesday 2nd

This Tuesday was a Zoom session with assorted subjects as usual. Somehow at the start we had quite a discussion on various Australian snakes, as you do. Then there were a collection of recently uploaded pictures featuring places in Scotland with both steam and diesel traction, ending with some pannier tanks in South Wales. Then Albyn talked about Timothy Hackworth who worked with the early steam locomotives in very primitive conditions. He is credited with introducing sprung safety valves, also springing axles among other things, and he was largely responsible for the success of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Mr Bell had photos of Rhymney/ADR and B&M tickets that provoked discussion and pictures of various contractors locos.

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Week ending 30th March

Although we had three sessions at the clubrooms not a lot of note or photo-worth appeared. Under the guidance of Mr Chairman, Luke started making some plain track using soldered construction. This is preparation for the possible Jubilee Challenge layout and general skill-building. He then moved on to using the fold up etched chairs, as used on LMJ. Meanwhile Mr Chairman fettled some buffers for the ex H&B 4 wheeled coach, among the last items to add to the build.

After a rebuilt gearbox and various bits of chassis work 4248 is running fairly well and has been successfully tested at home on Pavilion End including through the crossover.

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Black LMS locos

A possible solution to the short circuits on the 42xx may have been found. The split axle in the gearbox needs to critically be the right way around. The picture shows it in the correct orientation, which it wasn’t previously.

With a P4 new proposal being mooted for the Jubilee Challenge, some of the track components from LMJ have been unearthed. The templates are B8s whereas we are thinking about B6s.

Two LMS locos have recently emerged from Wagonman’s paintshop. The Coal Tank represents the final one that was at Abergavenny. The 2P is for the Upton on Severn branch. It is (fortunately) not visible in the photo but the lining on the boiler bands and elsewhere has crinkled.

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Quiet start

There was a quiet start to the new week with understandable low attendance. Mr Chairman reassembled his 42xx with a replacement gearbox and it returned to running smoothly when pushed along with the coupling rods in place. However, shorting occured when power was applied. Some investigation is needed.

Rhobat has managed to improve the straightness of the support rods on the crane but they still need some tweaking.

Andrew and Paul worked on the platform supports and surface for Lyne Road whilst there was space to erect this layout.

Tuesday was a split evening with some at the club, others on Zoom. Those on-line started with a brief recap on how the show went on the weekend, then we viewed an idea from Andrew N for his own project. Going back to the 1840s and 50s at Newport Docks there were canals, a river, tram roads and railways all providing transport. With some pruning and condensation Andrew suggests a good representation can be produced with interesting stock, buildings and views. Despite being on holiday in New Zealand, we were joined by Rod for this session until the need for breakfast got the better of him. However, he did send the photo of some local exhibits.

Staying in the same time period Albyn reviewed a report on Parliamentary trains. The drawings of the ‘carriages’ used showed that the facilities were very basic. Glass in windows was a rarity, cushioned seats non-existent with the seating so close together you would have interlace your knees with the person opposite. The only good point was that it was better than outside on the top of a horse drawn stagecoach.

As usual Stephen produced some interesting pictures of single parcels cars with tail loads. Somehow we ended with a discussion on ‘Pacers, Good or Bad?’ !!!???

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London Weekend ’24

It is an impressive venue. We were able to drive the van right inside so unloading was easy and dry. We celebrated the Friday with various liquids, warm tea, cold tea and beer.

There were a few small problems to sort out over the two days but nothing major. However, we will have to think about some dark material to put behind the backscene as the sunlight (yes, really!) streaming in highlighted the supports and joins at the back

There were many layouts there, but here are some of our favourites.

West End Drift EM and Llawryglyn EM, then The Yard 0/16.5 with vehicles and working crane.

Purgatory Peak with a selection of Shay locomotives and Harton Gill P4

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Final Preparations

Over Monday and Tuesday finishing touches were made to Frecclesham in the scenic area and all the ‘stuff’ that goes to a show assembled. Then the layout room was reorganised with the layout and that stuff set out on the floor ready to load straight out of the doors and into the van on Friday morning. Note the lurid Hi-Vis jackets that we will be wearing during set-up and breakdown at the show.

The other image is of a wagon for Ty’n-y-Coedcae very close to completion. The body is a resin moulding from the HMRS of a Harrison & Camm wagon running on Bill Bedford springing units, which we understand are unavailable since the demise of Eileen’s Emporium.

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Frecclesham Friday

These excellent coaches have been see before but now they are on ABB with P4 wheels fitted. There was some filing and paring of brake blocks required plus repositioning to get them free running with the wider wheelsets.A test push through pointwork was successful.

Preparations for Frecclesham’s visit to Ally Pally continue with supplies of our cold tea topped up courtesy of Paul and his Tesco clubcard. The positioning of figures on the layout has always been a bit of a problem. Using the method from Pavilion End square section tube is glued in position to receive the pins in the legs. The brass tube is unpainted as this makes it visible for placing figures, but doesn’t show up as the figure’s foot covers it. (sorry about the lack of focus)

N.B. No models were hurt by the insertion of the pins.

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