Wednesday, 1 April 2020

As Elmer Fudd once said,,,"It Woyks"


In these uncertain times it is all about trust AND THIS IS NOT AN APRIL 1ST JOKE!!!! HONEST

SO The above line of MP4 OVERHEADS is hiding some computerised piffle which is NOT my home brew recipe for defeating the Kung Flu but an access code to a rather special MP4 video.

Please give it a try and click on the line.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed that!!!!

Today is April 1st which is internationally recognised as a day of some importance,,,, it is also the day where it was that cold in the garage,,[lets not forget we are now officially in Spring],,, that I thought to myself,,, cobblers to this,,, I'm going to go inside and play with my digital camera/video thing and see if I can download it onto my inanimate piece of black plastic aka,, the compoota.

Well I eventually got there,,,, by the 11'sys coffee break I was convinced it was going to take as long to post the wretched MP4 file on the box as it was to erect the whole set of overheads but I can now categorically prove that the overheads are up and are working,,,, YOO-HOO.

Having working overheads is a definite case of  "mixed blessings",,, whilst I am delighted they are eventually up and running I was hoping I would be able to proceed constructively onto other things,,, but so far this is not the case,,, as they are now up I am spending vast amounts of time just playing with the tram and watching it go "wooosshing by",,, it is hypnotic how the sprung loaded trolley pole fluctuate/oscillates between the traction poles and then to see it travel smoothly through the reversing triangle is a vision of great joy,,,, [if only the tram knew how close it got, on several occasions, to being ejected into next doors front garden] and it really was well worth the effort.

I could easily write a full technical manual on how "simple" the procedure of erecting working overheads is,,, but as I am now categorised by the NHS as 70+ AT RISK & VULNERABLE
I am not going to bother,,, you can find out the hard way just like I had to!!!!

To be fair if anybody fancy's a go at overheads I would say DO IT,,, I wish I had jumped in at the deep end a lot sooner and as mentioned earlier I really have enjoyed the whole process,,, a very interesting challenge.

THE SERIOUS BIT,,,, before I met Mr Mark of Grime Street fame,,, having working overheads was always a bit of a pipe dream,,, he convinced me to have a go,,, I am glad he did and I also have to say the assistance he offered when I was in the planning phase was enormous,,, I even had to learn a new set of technical vocabulary.

MARK,,, a very sincere THANKS,,,, and in the words of that well know Oscar Acceptance Speech
"I really could not have done it without you",,,,, [but be warned,,, one day I might get you back!!!]

Thursday, 19 March 2020


Well how quickly the world can change,,,, the last time I posted nobody had heard of Kung Flu,,, and now here we are where purchasing a carton of milk and a loaf takes 70 minutes,,, and that excludes the 5min walk each way.

FACT it was experienced by me at Sainsbury's North Walsham this morning!!!!
Todays LIST was "milk and bread" and I was advised by the management to get there before 9am as now pensioners get special dispensation between 8 and 9am every morning!!!! 
[she just loves reminding me I qualify for such perks!!!]
It was "special" alright,,, more like Zimmer Central / Buggy Fest than a supermarket.
And I can see I am going to have to get well topped up on tattoo's when social isolation finishes as a lot of todays pensioners are covered in them.

To recover from such exertions I took myself off to the garage and had a concerted effort at progressing further with the trams overheads,,,,,, see pics above.

Suicide corner now has a working overhead in both directions courtesy of a 4 post matrix from which I dangle various lumps of wire to attach the overhead to.

The rest of the system is on single poles with overhanging arms positioned over track in a uniform way,, sort of!!!

Now I have never played 3 dimensional chess but I am aware it is quite tricky and you have to think quite well in front,,, after the overheads excercise I think I'll give the chess a go,,, at least I can do that in the warm of the kitchen!!!!

Believe it or not but I have found the whole process very interesting,,, it is something I have been putting off for years but now I have actually got started I find the whole thing fascinating,,, yes incredibly fiddly and also very frustrating especially if you don't really know what your doing but at the same time I keep going back and having another go at being fascinated.

Now we get to the really "interesting" bit the trolley pole reversing triangle.
With some blinding forethought,, [and the vast experience of a couple of months of installing pretty straight forward single line overheads] I decided to make a test bed for the triangle,,, just to see how it all go's!!!!!

You "lucky bandstand" springs to mind,,, I really don't know why I decided to do that but boy am I glad that I did.
So far I am on attempt/test track no's 3 and we are getting close but not close enough for it to go round without the trolley flying off the wire,,, where's Charlton Heston and the Greatest Show on Earth when you need him!!!
If I had been attempting that amongst all the terraced cottages on Fiddle Hill not only would I have done serious damage to the chimneys. downpipes, roofing and pavements but I would probably have lost my sanity as well!!! [well what was left of it before I started]

I have to say if I had found tram overheads about 30 years ago my modelling career could have been somewhat different!!! I have become totally absorbed by the bloomin overheads.

They defy all logic,,, what you must never forget is that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line,, now you have taken that info on board only use it when you really have to.
The reason for that is that the trolley pole on the top of the tram is usually about 20 minutes behind the tram so what is happening to the wheels is completely different to what is happening to the minute pulley wheel at the end of the trolley pole,,, my trolley roller wheel is about 1.5mm in diameter and it sits on 0.45mm nickel silver wire,,,so you quickly learn you don't have a lot of free dimensions to play with!!!!

The horse hair shirted Trammy purists [yes yes,,, trams have them as well] suggest that the only true way to model an overhead is to copy the real thing and have the overhead line over the centre line of the track below,,,, very nice in theory,,, but as my roads were layed around 2006 and associated buildings installed over the next couple of years I have some rather severe curves to negotiate,, and then we have the daddy of them all "Suicide Corner"
The purists also advocate that to negotiate a corner you should run a series of straight lines not a curved piece of wire,,,, well Ned,, I tried,,, but quickly decided that being over 70 with a viral controlled life expectancy of "not a lot left" my life was too short to go the purist route and so I have utilised some pre-formed radius wires in an effort to get it to work,,, which it does,,, most of the time.

Another aspect of the complete overhead scenario is that just because you can get it to work nicely going left to right you unfortunately cannot expect the same results when it is going in the opposite direction,,, Ha Ha what fun we are having!!!!

Normally I would finish by wittering on about the Kung Flu virus and all that but as it is I have something much more important to conquer,,,, and that is the left to right reverse triangle at slow speed,,,, it's been fun,,, it really has,,, and I have learnt so much,,, and queuing at Sainsbury's this morning gave me the opportunity to think about the 43rd possible solution to the problem!!!

I hope to offer further updates,,,, BUT,,, one never knows what is around the next transition curve!!!!

Thanks for reading and please TAKE CARE EVERYBODY.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Aylsham Model Railway Exhibition October 3rd 2020

If you have never visited the Bure Valley railway at Aylsham then you have never lived!!!

Not only do they have about 8+miles of track going down to Wroxham,,, but they also have a splendid model shop in the Station.

And if that is not enough to justify a visit to Aylsham can I also mention they have a model railway exhibition on the 3rd of October 2020 and this year we are going to be there as well.

YO HO we can't wait to get back on the circuit and play trains all day!!!!
Please come and join us in the fun,,,, it is a great exhibition and only 5 miles down the road from the garage!!!!!!!  PERFECT 

Monday, 6 January 2020

Freeze Frame build of an L1

As the festive season has finished we can all now get back to some serious modelling and it has occurred to me that this series of photo's reminds me of a cartoon book present I received many years ago ,,,,, what you had to do was hold it in one hand with your thumb on the bottom corner and then slowly release pressure from your thumb and the pages slowly flicked by and you could watch a basic cartoon,,,,, well this is very similar,,, but without any book or even pages,,,

I managed to escape to the garage on a couple of festive days and got very productive,,, the first shot shows the L1 with a front axle splasher fitted,,,

the second shot shows another day's efforts which produced a right hand splasher,,,

this one goes back to the left side and another day's efforts got the left side tank fitted,,,

  and the same again with this only this as you can see is the right hand side,,,, busy busy,,,

YO Ho HO Merry Xmas and for the first time since all the tin bashing and piercing saw blade exploding started it is actually starting to look like a Zeppelin,,,, I suppose it is a sign of the times that we hard up pensioned off modellers have to provide our own gifts,,, but I have to say this is something I have always wanted,,, big,, ugly,, and in modern parlance,,, "a real mean looking dude" so thanks to Santa and please come again next year,,,[you never know it might be finished by then!!].

Apart from the modelling I have had a great time,,, surrounded by family and very close friends who drank/ate me out of house and home,, [ I wonder where they get that from???] apart from the above mentioned loco I also got a nice wooly hat,,, a 4mm modelling "snood" and some sawn off gloves so there is nothing to keep me out of the garage any more,,, and and and all the twiddly bits for the trams overheads have also arrived,,, twiddly is the word,,, it looks like I will have to purchase my own microscope to put it all together as I just cannot wait for another 12 months before I start working on the overheads,,,,   Oh and before I forget my darling wife provided me with a most suitable T shirt,,,, featuring Grumpy of snow white fame and the message,,"ti's the season to be Grumpy" and I have to say I couldn't agree more,,, [ now think thick Glaswegian accent] Sinatra could sing and Astaire could dance but,,, Walt Disney.

Will have to go as I have some files to clean and my workbench looks like it has had a visit from a Zeppelin,,, and it has,,,

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Enjoy the Festives,,, we all deserve a break from whatever.

Well this makes a refreshing change,,, I actually have some modelling to witter on about.

The L1 Zeppelin/Crab has seen a definite flurry of activity over the last week,,,,, so just take a look at this little collection!!!
The cab now has a floor plate and internal steps and is permanently fixed to the footplate.

With my chest resembling a prize fighting budgie & being so flushed with success I set about the basic shell of the firebox,,, which went rather well and so I  decided to see if all my dimensions were accurate and had a quick BluTac session to see if it all go's where it should do,,, and it does.

This modelling lark is good fun and much more productive than boring you to death with pictures borrowed from the Salmon Pastures archive.

With the buttons nearly popping on my official solderer's waistcoat I quickly set about looking at the boiler,,,, hopefully tomorrow will see another BluTac session of the complete steamy ensemble,,, firebox,,, boiler and smokebox,,,,, it would be a shame to get this far to find  I've lost/gained about 10mm from somewhere/nowhere,,, it happens,,, especially when you have the attention span of a goldfish when you are marking out the important bits,, I don't like marking out,, it reminds me too much of school and I miss those memory's like I miss toothache.

I have decided I will have to play Bix Beiderbeck more often,,, I've been swinging along to his jolly music all day and so far nothing has gone catastrophically wrong,,, and it's unlikely to now as I am about to get seriously horizontal.

Today was the end of term and "we" usually celebrate the end of term in time honoured fashion,,, it was lovely and very cooling,,, followed by a nice piece of cod and chips,,, perhaps that should have been in the last post,,, anyway as the whole world appears to be getting festive,,, I will leave you with this,,,,,, WHAT A CRACKER,,

This is Ronnie Sparks,,, aka,, The Human Firework,, when life gets too much our Ronnie has a unique way of cheering himself up,,, he gets his assistant to light up his firework suit and he then just runs and leaps around fully alight cheering not only himself but everybody else up,,,, he seems to be particularly popular round licensed premises usually after 9pm.

If you want him for your festive season merriment he lives at No 6 Fiddle Hill,, and his prices are very reasonable indeed,,,, as they say in the firework industry,, "well done Ronnie,, strike a light"

Indeed,,, I don't know why is the UK supposed to be famous for it's exce/eccend/accen/ weird people.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Oh Happy Days,,, will we meet the Cod Army???

After our lengthy break & the serious bit of revamping, de-snailing and muscle building I am very pleased to announce that we have been invited to our first exhibition,,[fanfare of in key Souza Phones giving Gottedamerung some serious wellie],,,and as it is in May 2021 we should even be ready.

Can you guess where it is???

Will we have to discourage the tram from mating???

Can we have a group photo taken in front of a surviving concrete coaling tower???

If I knew how to produce one of those digital clock/days time counting the days to go type things then believe me I would include one but right now I am just far too busy,,, but it is about 18 months give or take a few days.

Busy,,, you 've never seen anything like it,,, The Des-Rev is already dusting off his top hat,, and is even talking about having his Pith Helmet Blanco'd and khaki shorts debagged just in case there is a high tide.

There is definite excitement in the camp,,,it must be something in the water,,,, watch this space and we will inform you  of any progress,,, shortcomings or cat-as-trophes.
[Now where did I put my Road Atlas driving gloves and anti-squitter lotion???]

Monday, 9 December 2019

The Salmon Pastures DI-DO.

Here it is in all it's glory [loud fanfare of slightly out of key trumpets]
"The Salmon Pastures DI-DO"

A stunning little train and all part of our slavish adherence to accuracy!!

The workers chosen mode of transport in the 1930's & a trend started by our colleague's at Annesley to assist getting all the workers in on time and then after a hard days shedding getting them all home again,,, the thing was of course is that the workers had no real control over what time the train would leave,,, clever,,, an early 20th century twist on "flexitime".

Why did they call it the DI-DO you may well ask,,, Day In - Day Out,,, 365 days a year.
Now down here on the pastures we offer even more than they ever did in Nottinghamshire,,, we give them "Lunch" as well.

We were going to rename it to suitably reflect this vastly improved service but in the interests of accuracy thought we had better leave it as it was,,, plus in these enlightened times we certainly do not want to offend any sensibilities.

Crickey, STOP PRESS,,, I think I can see this winters first flakes of snow.

If I am not mistaken the coach is a pre-production model of a quite exotic and soon to be released  range of MUlti-PurPosE TrainS coming shortly to a very serious dealer near you.