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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Wagonman unveiled a Fulgurex HOm Aigle-Sépey-Diablerets Swiss railcar (if that’s an acceptable translation of Automotrice and Triebwagen). The prototypes were built in 1913 by SWS and AEG and the model, in brass and steel is an absolute delight and the flush glazing a tour-de-force.

LBH continued with the suspension units on one of the ADR two-plank wagons, fixing the bases with epoxy and using a Poppy Axle Spacing jig to get the axles parallel. He also managed to fix the wandering leaf springs before the glue cured.

Paul🥇called in on his way to work, Andrew N decided how to hide the visible turnout operating mechanisms on Frecclesham (see 26th Feb post) and Andrew J applied undercoat to the sides of the rails on Lyne Road.

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Monday Monday

Four of us present, TAFKATYS managed to return from a skiing holiday with all limbs intact and worked with MrC preparing Frecclesham for Ally Pally. Rhobat continued work on a crane for Tŷ’n-y-Coedcae and LBH on the ADR two-plank wagons.

The conversion of Pol Sands to Tŷ’n-y-Coedcae made available a typical Southern Railway concrete line side hut, which became earmarked for use on Frecclesham to hide some point actuators after it was deemed that the World War II pillbox wasn’t quite up to scratch. However, given the relative sizes we shall need to be a bit inventive in order to make it work. Watch this space.

The Wainwright D class engines are very elegant and look good with the Birdcage set. These coaches have been improved by the addition of magnetic couplings which makes forming the set so much easier. Also the couplings have been shortened for a more realistic close-coupled appearance.

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Friday 23rd February

A quietish Friday with cleaning underway on Frecclesham .

With the scenic side of Tŷ’n-y-Coedcae largely attended to and the baseboards disassembled while Frecclesham is readied for its trip to Ally Pally LBH reverted to type and went back to building wagons. This time he is trying the Prickley Pear wagon springing units for some ADR two-plank wagons. The solebars on the wagons will need to be eased slightly to allow the rocking units to move.

Another visitor to Frecclesham was Luke’s Dapol Terrier. This also ran successfully and tested the now adjusted turnouts. Luke also was busy removing accumulated dust from the surfaces with a trusty brush and vacuum. Hopefully you can see the difference it makes in the last picture where the darker area below the ground signal has been swept clean.

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Tuesday Update

The third Tuesday of each month we split our forces, some of us meeting in the clubrooms, others on Zoom

At the club rooms we added Frecclesham’s fiddle yard to the other boards. Then it had a vacuum over and the trackwork cleaned. Testing was successful with just a few of the turnouts requiring adjustment next session.

A stranger to Frecclesham, Pannier 3603 rests after taking on water, following a testing session on the layout.

Those on zoom looked at Warwickshire Railways’ excellent coverage of Hockley Goods Depot and some of Jim Richards’ fascinating photos of wagons taken in the Barmouth and Penmaenpool areas around the time of the grouping (example). Chat meandered through WD WW1 GBVs (the Cambrian definitely bought some, did the B&MR too?) and commercially available Ocean coal wagons in OO.

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