Saturday, 22 December 2012


We've been flickr,,,ed,,, us usual I don't really understand what I'm doing but if your interested I'm attempting to download various shots taken over the year of Salmon Pastures.

Enjoy or Endure.


Friday, 21 December 2012

Guatemala Central late train announcement.

Guatamala State Radio announced this morning that the 11.11am train from platform 3 to oblivion was unfortunately delayed due to the wrong type of volcanic ash on the line.

The Transportation Minister apologised for any inconvenience caused and also announced the majority of special flights from the eastern seaboard of the USA had landed safely where passengers were quickly seen through customs and on paying their $3250 immigration fee were then allowed to make the necessary arrangements for their return flights home.

Beckstein G Hamelnocka from Wheezeville North Carolina was arrested at the airport for being found in possession of a copy of Gideons Bible and language likely to endager life or cause a breach of the peace.

Cor that was close,,, I'm glad it's all over,,, I really did think for a minute that it was time to meet my maker, at least I can now get back up't shed and carry on completing Valour.

Oh and Merry Xmas to all our readers.
[that's as festive as we get here on the pastures]

MAYANSwer is,,,, it ain't going to happen!!!

Not wanting to offend any tribal Mexican or Guatemalan railway buff's [as in afficianado's,,,  not the working loin cloth's and banana leaf flipflops variety] but I am just a tad sceptical about us all falling into the abyss at around 11mins past 11 tomorrow morning,,,


  1. Well I haven't been paid yet and experience leads me to believe that if we are all going to come to an unexpected end then I for one know as sure as eggs are ovoid that it will only happen whilst I am still heavily into the positives on the banking front,,, I'm just not that lucky or a "banker-w".
  2. The missus won't have walked the dog by 11 mins past 11 and as the dog seems to sense all manner of strange happenings especially related to when that denizen of daily news,,, the postman,,, is about to arrive and he's never here before 11.30 earliest.
  3. Are we really to believe the great creator  would allow it all to go pear shaped 4 days before the biggest shopping festival of the year,,, and and and,,, when our old pal Max Clifford is unfortunately otherwise engaged!!!
It just dosen't make any sense.

On the other hand,,,, if the Mayans are cannier lads than we've been led to believe then I'll be the first to remove my coconut shell hat,,, push an old chicken bone through my epiglotis and set off down the old Aboriginal trails chewing smoked caterpillars in total admiration of their superior knowledge.

I've thoroughly enjoyed it all,,, especially the railway bits,,, I have a few regrets like why nobody leaves a comment,,, but perhaps that's all part of the master plan,,,, we will all know soon enough!!!

I leave you with a picture of 2 members of the Mayan "End of the World as we know it" organising committee having been informed that signed up members for the hideously expensive 1 way return ticket from New York State alone has topped the 2 million mark!!!!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

They cannot be serious!!!!

If you get bored with scanning through all my drivel just click on the link below and you will discover that Salmon Pastures is not only a figment of my imagination but a REAL place!!!!! and having viewed this website the only things that are missing are cows [and there movements] bearded dons with sandals and leather elbow protectors from somewhere around Didcot applying flock through butterfly nets to anything that is not bolted down,,, push off will yer!! Your raising the tone of the whole place considerably.   [I'd like to see what there stats are!!]

Now another rather creepy fact is that my great aunt Suzie, who I do remember as a child,, she used to live in a bed in my grandmothers front room!!! those were the days,,, she was well into her 90's at the time,, all wrinkles,,clicking false teeth and the all pervading aroma of mothballs,, was,, in an earlier life the headmistress of a Junior School in Sheffield,,, yes you all know what's coming,,,, Salmon Pastures School,,, now I didn't discover this until a conversation with my sister about 4 years after I started building the pastures we all know and love,,, mmm,,, strange,,, very strange.

From the website map if you scan up a bit you will see Carlisle Street,,, now most of my beloved black and white pictures of steelworks and pubs especially The Corner Pin are based in this area.

I wonder what they used to make in there!!! and nothing happened unless 95% of the workforce were smoking a Park Drive Cigarette,, My God they stank,,, the French and their Camel Dung Gitanes jobbies had nothing on a Park Drive,,,yes it's another from  Carlisle Street,, notice the absence of graffitti,,, nobody round there can write,,,,I just thought you'd like a bit of background info on what get's me up at 4.30am unable to sleep,,, it must be the excitement of Xmas and wondering if the 2nd O4 I got from Mr Hattons at a knock down price in October really will be delivered on Tuesday Morning!!!! I JUST CAN'T WAIT,, and by the way,,,the O4 runs beautifully!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Posh soldered my X Factor brake shoes back to front!!

She didn't really but I am advised by our IT man if you get "posh" or "XMAS or X-Factor" into your heading your stats should rocket,,,, trust me if it dosen't work he'll get a rocket. [told you we were going to spice it all up,, ho ho lets get festive,, and having now seen her for the first time in her work clothes I will concede she really does brush up quite well,,, nice one missus,,,]

Not easy welding,,, all that argon and spurious gases and flashing blue lights,,, I do hope she realises she's not still on stage.

If it all go's wrong I'll plead political asylum & come down with an instant case of the Azzerbijohn Syndromes which manifested itself last night up't shed  whilst soldering brake shoes together for the D9,,, now the angle of dangle of the shoes is quite critical for the desired effect and after drilling a couple of tiny holes in my trusty bit of ply for an instant jig I was really quite please with myself,,,, what I thought would be a couple of hours job turned into just over 20 minutes,, ha ha wrong,,, not only is the desired angle critical but so is the fact that they are left and right handed,, and as the only other solution to maximising the recently jigged 4x left handed brake shoes was to build it as a monorail D9 express freight engine I immediately fell down the 1 hour 20 mins snake after earlier shooting up the 20 minute ladder,,, more haste less speed I think,,, perhaps that's the one downside of enjoyable scratch building,,, you have to make the instruction sheet up as you go along,, but believe me when I say my virtual exploded dimensional  drawings in the back of my head are to die for!!!! Everything fits exactly where I want it,,, eventually!!

For all you Lloyds certified types out there who are itching to advise the above is grinding not welding,,, well,,, as we all know the female of the species is very adept at multitasking and she is cleaning up the edges before she welds them together,,, which is why she's got her welders helmet on,,,, if not perhaps she does a bit of bull fighting in her spare time,,, 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Valour,,,, we really are getting there!!!!!

In response to the LNER model forum and a recently found fan of JG's finest,,,,, "Valour" I post a pic following cessation of today's efforts,,, [things todo] chimney, dome, steam pipes, couplings,  and a quick lick of paint and "Roberts your relative"  BUT as anyone who knows me will testify,,,,,just don't hold your breath,,,,

Also got a bit done on the D9,,, it now has beading round the cab windies, and a few washout plugs on the firebox,, and another bout of tingle finger brings a Saturday afternoon to a painful completion!!!! OUCH

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

3 legged Pop Idol ate my Guinea Pig Vindaloo??,,,,,,,

I've just had a quick squint at the stats and we have increased our market share by 25% since I went saucy with the images,,, I can now proudly pronounce that yesterday we had 8 viewers as against the regular 6 when I was boring you rigid with pictures of possibly ancient ancestors of mine,,,, I'm also convinced another good way of increasing  the blog's coverage could be to spice up the titles,,, just bear, or this that, bare with me on this one,, whatever,, and talking of stats we are currently at 30 posts for the year which is 2.5 per month,, and we have 20 days of Dezvmber[hic] left,,,,crickey I think I'd better go and have a lie down.

Talking of ancient ancestors I include a picture of Valour,,,, quite probably the most handsome express passenger engine JG Robinson ever designed. [ in my opinion]

Now this qualify's as an ancient ancestor in that I started building it in Jeddah in 1982,,, I'd like to advise that I started scratch building in Jeddah because there was little else to do!!!!!! Ho Ho but I'd be telling porky's,,, I've had the worst thick heads of my life in the country where laughing juice is officially illegal,, I still remember some old salt expat taking me on my first trip to a Saudi "supermarket",,, having been entertained by mother rat and a couple of her latest offspring scurrying around a mountain of Persil boxes in the main window display he then showed me where I could find an "anti insanity kit".

This consisted of 1 large can of Blue Ribband Malt,, next to that was 5kg bags of sugar,, and on the top shelf you could find baking yeast,,, all conveniently laid out next to each other in the same aisle just for the convenience of the local expats,,,,, we then proceeded to purchase a rather large plastic dustbin with lid,, most essential the lid,,, a bottle of Milton babyfood disinfectant stuff and there you have it,,, a Saudi Arabian  anti insanity kit.

About 10 days later the great unwashed appeared for the ceremonial opening of SAD's first brew and I never looked back,,, in fact with some of the beverages we were drinking out there at the time  we never looked anywhere in particular,,,, anyway I digress,,, back to Valour.

 I did have plenty of spare time with,,as described,, little much to do,,, and I also had several days usually at the start of a new working week where I was vowing I would never, ever, try somebody's home beverages ever again,,, and a bit of modelling would alleviate any such pain,,,, the problem was as I had converted the living room into an expats hostelry the bar also served as the workbench,,,,and a busy little place it was too,, I had lots of people popping in quite frequently,,, not for anything specific of course but just to see how I was getting on,, and on occasions some of them popped out about 36 hours after they had popped in,,, seriously  there is NO alcohol in Saudi Arabia,,, one day I'll tell the tale of the leaking grand piano!!!!

Valour came out of this time and when I returned to UK and sobered,,, sorry washed the sand from between my toes it found a conveniently dusty part of the shed storage system and slowly rooted itself to the spot,,,, at some point in it's travels I noticed it had acquired a small dent on the boiler,,, I was going to ignore  it and carry on,,, but quite frequently this strange gibbering thing appeared on my left shoulder & would squark into my left ear,,, "you can't do that it's Valour for chrissakes",,, a similar gibbering thing occasionally would squark in my right ear,,, "am I ever going to see Valour finished" and unfortunately he was right he never did,,, sorry father,, but at least you can now go for a ride behind the real one on Valhalla Railways,,,, so my new years resolution for the past 10 years,, including 2013 is to get the bloomin thing finished and WE HAVE started as Valour now has an undented boiler,,, in fact Valour now has a NEW boiler and all is well,,, as there are only about 35/40 bits of detailing I need to do to be happy it should be making an appearance somewhere near you in the next 5 to 7 years,,,, I really do want to get it finished as it will be worth much more to Helen when she has the pleasure of cashing it in at some point in the future!!!! [Now there's a cheerful thought]

But I cannot deny that it's already 30 years old and has never really turned a wheel in angst!!
I'm also terrified that as Valour is nearing completion Mr Hornby could well announce on 17th Dec that he is going to be bringing it out in 2013,,, Murphy's Law rules OK,,,, in 1973 I scratch built a Y7 in plasticard whilst on detachment in Sardinia,,, about 6 months later Nucast produced a kit for it,,, and in 74 I scratch built an A5 tank and then not only Nucast but Craftsman brought out there kit's,,, as the Who used to sing,,,,, "why don't y'all FFFFFade away"!!!!

I will give regular updates as to how we are progressing and the first one is now as I have just found the etched nameplates for it purchased from Millholme Models Nottingham for the princely sum of £1.85,,, HOW MUCH,,, do you think I'm made of money!!!!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Thanks for the mammory's

See last blog for explanation of what this is all about!!!

As you can see it's been censored,,, but the ratings should rocket after this effort!!!
I'll keep you informed.

Statistics,,, just thought I'd let you know.

Some pictures just don't need an explanation and this has to be one of them,,,,, it's from Australia,,, where else.

Now I could bore you with tales of a gentleman's social club I was once a very active member of but I'd better not,,, due to the fact that if anybody though it distasteful I probably could not attract the attention of Max Clifford should I need his assistance,,, THANK YOU for that whoever you are.

I am now considering the fact that their probably is a god.

Now the real reason for this edition is that I have just discovered the statistics page,,,, and I can confirm we are now global,,, we have viewers all over the world,,, say something please,,, leave a comment even if it isn't in English and I don't understand it,,, a comment is a comment,,, never mind the significance,, we get measured on these things!!

Now I don't know why but we appear to be popular in Israel,,, which is a bit of a shock somewhat for someone who has spent the best part of 25 years working on the Arabian Peninsula!!!!

It also strikes me that as we now need to get the ratings up I might have to make the pictures a bit more,,,mmm,,, shall we agree on saucy!!!!
Whilst the miners and steelworkers of south Yorkshire are very enlightening to me I'm afraid they are just not attracting the 1000's of strikes we need,,,,, ONLY JOKING,,, but perhaps you'll get an idea of where I'm coming from with the last pic for today's edition.

Now I know exactly where this is,,, it's not far from Sheffield's Comedy Playhouse [also known as Hillsborough]-[ and don't even try to get me going on what's happening or not happening there at the present moment in time!!!] anyway Hendersons Relish,,,it's a peculiarly special thing for Sheffield,,, don't ask me why,,, we were recently living in Huddersfield which is only 23 miles away and they had never heard of it,,,and on a good day when they are "concocting" the stuff the aroma is unbelievable,,, it also cleans alloy wheels very effectively,,ha ha only joking Mr Henderson!!!!

Tingle Finger Rules OK

Just thought I'd give you the first update in the final month of the year,,,,, we've been that busy up't shed that I just have not had time to offer meanderings on the blog.

Have heard nothing from Mr Wright or DJH ref the faux-pas on the Q7 front spectacle plate,,, typical,,, mine is now sporting brake gear and the aformentioned  Q7/2 cab arrangement,,, I won't mention it if you don't.
Mind you at one recent exhibition some learned scholar rolled up from the R.C.T.S stand and informed me the number on my J52 saddle tank was inaccurate.

Strikes me as that's all the RCTS lads do,,, it's like virtual trainspotting,,, when the show opens one of them trots round taking all the numbers of scratch or kit built models at the show,, they all then sit round in a steamy huddle and check all their reference books to see if the number is right,,, he really was pleased with himself, I duly congratulated him on his observation and he seemed somewhat bemused by my explanation that I often number things wrongly just to see if anybody notices!!!

In all fairness where would we be without the RCTS locomotive books,,, he was right and it was a fair cop, I didn't bother boring him that the J52 was built and painted around 1972 when I was an impoverished airman in Her Majesty's Royal Air Farce,,, and at the time my modelling expenditure just did not run to RCTS loco bibles!!!! Needless to say the J52 was in need of a refurbish on several fronts and that is in hand,,, mind you I am sorely tempted to give it the same number,,, just to see if he notices,,, another thing about the RCTS lads is why do they all look like me old technical drawing teacher,,, sports jacket, complete with leather elbow protectors, and the finest set of pencils and engineers rules Mr Staedtler ever invented, BLESS.

The tingle finger is back and whilst soldering some cab doors for the D2 I'm sure I got a whiff of burning
digit,,, now I'm on the digital type writer I can confirm that not only is my left hand index finger sore but I have the the shape of a left hand D2 cab door etched into the end of it.

Worth every grimace,,, the D2 was also started in approx 1994 whilst in Bahrain and like the 20 or 30 odd other half finished projects it deserves better,, so we are having a concerted effort to finish some of them.

I will close with a picture,,, and what a picture,,, Sheffield Steel Workers at the turn of the century,,, thats 1900 not the Y2K frolic,,, what I want to know is why can't you buy flat caps like that any more,,, there are 30 on show and at least 10 different varieties,,, wonderful,, and all these guy's were probably downing 10 pints every lunchtime!!!!!  [Back row 2nd from right looks very familiar,,, I wonder if we are related!!] and how old is the little chap seated bottom left!!!!! he could only do 5 pints a lunchtime!!!!