Tuesday, 13 December 2016

L1 Zeppelin progress report.

Sorry but having spent the best part of the day fiddling with the chassis you will have to look at the progress in pictures in the Pastures Flickr link,,, in the Work in Progress section.
We now have a working chassis, footplate with multitudinous S bends, buffer beams and buffer shanks.

As for a full blow by blow description sorry but:
 1: I can't be *rsed,, & don't forget a pictures worth a thousand words
2: T's ready.

But rest assured it is coming together,,,, like the rest of it's stablemates,,, "slowly"
Just don't get in it's way co's the brakes on these were hopeless,,,, but more on that later!!


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Manchester Exhibition December 2016

For anyone interested in the Manchester show the full album of "westerners" photo's are now on the flickr link under Manchester 2016. Next time you wear that shirt Neville can you also provide sunglasses????
Roger is proudly presenting a new bottle of oil he has just purchased,,,, I know not why.

Monday, 5 December 2016

That's yer lot

A time expired Salmon!!!!!!!

Crickey after a weekend like that we all need a bit of R&R,,,, even the poor old elephant.

It is dear readers with some considerable regret I have to announce that we have just completed the last exhibition with Salmon Pastures.

It is now over 10 years since the first show and that was a very low key affair to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance,,, today we have just got back from doing Manchester exhibition and how things have change,,,, we have all got older,,,, I am convinced the layout has got heavier and it never was the easiest of things to hump into the back of a van so,,, "lets call it a day".

This does not necessarily mean the Salmon Pastures blog is going to finish as well,,, I KNOW I am going to need a vehicle for future rants & I also know there is a veritable plethora of crazy pictures hanging out there in the ether just waiting for future inclusion,,, things like this shot of the Pastures Infirmary "neuro anaesthetists away B team",,,, a likelier bunch a lads it is hard to imagine.

It has been a real pleasure,,,,if we have brought a little sunshine into your life then it has all been so worth while but on the exhibition front at least I have to say enuf's enuf,,, and not to mention the mehmsaab and myself intend heading off to sunnier climes in a last ditched attempt to avoid endless English winters.

But as has been said on several occasions over the past weekend,, never say never,, and so we won't mention it again.

We will however be offering a post Manchester show report just to let you know how we got on,,, and that will be a lot easier when I have the pictures back from the chemists!!!!

In short IT WAS A CRACKER,,,, the definite highlight in my personal modelling career,,, you just ain't lived till you have done the |Manchester Exhibition,,, truly wonderful,,,

Sunday, 13 November 2016

There's a terrible echo in here!!!!

Had the "pleasure" of going to Spalding exhibition today with "westerner",,,, I wouldn't register an official grievance but I was slightly disappointed,,, why you ask,,, well we had both seen enough after just under 2 hours and that included a 15 minute coffee break. All this fun for £6.00 at concession rates!!
It was OK,,, well it would be as Gresley Beat was there,, but apart from that and an S4 Lancs & Yorks layout not much else took my fancy.
I was hoping to buy a book I was looking for and the choice of books was poor to say the least.

And just in case anybody from Spalding club reads this then can I politely suggest letting proud young parents in with a 2 seater [side by side seating] buggy which was approximately 4 feet wide into your already cramped 6 feet aisles was not conducive to a happy visitor experience!!!!
Gridlock,,,, and lets be honest the darling kinder were not in the least bit interested in the exhibits.
That buggy would block the M25,,, never mind a model railway exhibition.

Anyway on to more pleasant things,,,, also recently visited Little Bytham again and our host was conned into reproducing the wonderful shot from my last post of a B3 earning a crust.
See the comparison above,, many thanks Tony for a wonderful day out and a smashing pic of Valour.

Was it really July when I last posted,,,, no excuse,,, whatsoever,,, other than to say I have been very busy getting ready for Manchester exhibition which is the first weekend in December,,, if you want to see it for real then please come along,,,,,

After his outstanding debut at Crawley I'm pleased to advise Neville and his hat will also be in evidence and if you feel the urge to get litigious with anybody we can introduce you to Roger & apparently he is very good at that sort of thing,,,,
Roger I really do think I need some counselling after the trauma of that 4x4 buggy,,, my life will never be the same again,,,, I am finding it difficult to concentrate,,, off my beer,,, curry,,, in fact everything that a good weekend in Manchester could possibly offer.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If you like this sort of thing,,,, and why wouldn't you as you are looking at something rather special,,, then can I suggest you have a browse through the following website

The David Hey collection

It is absolutely jam packed with pictures like this,,,, well not as good as this obviously,,, but there are even things of interest for the Collett,, Bulleid and Stanier afficianado's [is that a dance or a green pear shaped thing that tastes like homogenised  polyfilla] and if trips down memory lane are what "floats your boat" although I much prefer "turns your table" then some of David's personal memories of being chased out of steam sheds are well worth a read as well,,, we probably met at some point in the past,,, I was "offered a seat" in Doncaster shed scrap line foremans office on more than one occasion in the early 60's.

What a magnificent picture of a Lord Faringdon earning a crust in the early 30's,,, soon to be reprised on your very own pastures at Manchester Exhibition in December,,,[ there you are,, the plug]

Why won't yesterday leave us alone,,, I'll tell you why,,, because in railway terms it was a darn sight more interesting than the current stuff,, and that go's for music, cars, aeroplanes, lorry's as well,, in fact just about everything,,, apart from pensions and dentists.

Be warned,,, you are going to be offered lots of similar shots to this one,,, so why not save my time and go and have a look at his site for yourself,,, truly wonderful pics and memories,,, where's me kleenex!!!

Lets finish with a light hearted look at a group of Swinedon trainspotters.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking!!!!!

And lets show a comparison shot of Doncaster when I was a lad!!!!
Many thanks to the David Hey Collection

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Dear President Juncker.

Bonjewer John Clawed,
I thought it may be useful to your impending negotiations to offer you first dibs on a few "surplus to requirement returnable items" found here in good old blighty & all available at "fantastique" knock down prices.

Our first offering is:

Lead Free Solder

The british railway modelling fraternity has approximately 60,000 reels of absolutely useless lead free solder,,, that is "sans plomb" in your parlance. Believe me we have all tried,,, but to be frank it is to soldering what good old Nigel is to diplomacy,,, my personal stash is virtually brand new and really is looking for a submissive new home to reside in.

Our second offering is:
Millions of straight banana's,,,
I am sure it has proved very useful in enabling your many owners of banana boats "dans le cont-in-aunt" to cram a few more in to swell the Bruxelles [thats Brussels in our parlance] but once again despite several concerted efforts to accept these tasteless articles I am sad to inform they were solidly rejected by our all inclusive primate focus group based at Whipsnade Zoo.

Having carried out a full and detailed market survey I can also report that a butchers shop "somewhere in the south of England" has started trading again in lbs and ounces. & thats "up yours" in our parlance.

I also have a little investment tip for you,,, and that is tea towels,,, we are going to need lots of them now we can clean beer glasses properly again.

Please don't lose any sleep about dropping the English language from your kaleidoscope of foreign tongues,,,, to be brutally frank you never really got the hang of it anyway.

All the best old partner,,, oh and by the way,,, watch your back.

PS: We are doing a steamy little bash at Basildon this weekend so please drop in if you can find the time during your very busy schedule.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Happy as Pig's in Schee [you know what I mean]

Believe it or not this is how I feel at the moment ,, life couldn't be better,, never has my Boo been so tickety,,, at peace with the world.

Now there are few reasons for this upmarket state of mind,,, I have been so busy recently getting us settled into our new abode that even the Mehmsaab thought it would be a good idea if I chilled a bit and did something I wanted to do rather than,, painting,, laying carpet tiles,, kitchen tiles,, gardening [my favourite activity of never,,, what a complete and utter waste of time,,, you spend hours mowing the lawn and within a week you might as well have not bothered,,, get it under concrete that's what I say,,,, and then cover the concrete in sheds]

In fact something like this:

Yes The Pastures has a new home and after only 4 months we are "upem-n-attem" again on the modelling front,, the one on the left is "Crimpsall" where I either cut the end off my fingers, or solder them to workbench,, it's where "modelling" and serious tea drinking takes place,,, the one on the right "Gorton" is where the pastures now resides,,, if fact here it is in it's new home.

So not only do we have a new home but we really have run out of excuses not to plough through yet another Hit List in preparation for the next bash,,,, which is Big-Basildon in just a few weeks time. [there's the plug] I am sure I don't have to prove the point to all you avid readers but here's a couple of shots hot of the press proving that we are once again actively modelling, [please note tidiness is still an optional extra].

This is the interior of Crimpsall where I abuse/damage myself ,drink tea and stroke the cat,,

And here are the two ticks from today's hit list,,, the Bachmann K3 through a lump of valve gear off at Crawley and that is now repaired, cleaned and running fine,,, the chassis sitting in the foam nest is a Hornby  A1 pacific Great Northern which suffered a severe  case of "ADINUF" also at Crawley and now the improved pickup assembly has arrived that should soon be chuffing about nicely [a bit like the owner],,,, a quick point on current style chassis repairs,,,, what a pain,,,, bring back the XO4 and 8BA nuts,, life was so much simpler back then,,, you need a degree in 3 dimensional chess just to get the bodies off!!! Still all this front line fettling keeps me happy!!!

And talking of happiness,,, just feast your eyes on this little group,,, Oh Happy Days!!!!
Happy people apparently work better,,,,nothing to do with what they are working on I suppose!!
I look at photo's like this and the hairs go up on the back of my neck,,,, [ probably memories of Donny shed anywhere between 1961 and 1965]  & don't get me started again on why they demolished Crimpsall,,,, I suppose there is some consolation in that I've built a smaller version in my own back garden.
But what a wonderful photo of a happy bunch of workers,,, I wonder why!!!!

Cripes I've just re-read this post and it really is a pictorial extravaganza,,, I do hope it is of interest,, honest. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Def by Elf and Safety

Now here's another shot taken from the pastures archive,,, and just think on,,, this was taken well before people could press a few buttons and turn the picture into whatever they wanted.

This apparently is the Gee family,,, you met Cec last week warming up for the sychronised signalling.
Happy bunch aren't they,,, the one up the tree is Cec's father,,, Bill Gee and he is proving that this shot obviously isn't staged as the watch chain is hanging correctly for the position he is in,,, now thats clever,,, the lady 3rd from the left is Bun Gee,, and that is Cec's twin sister,,, she went on to become a time and motion expert which probably answers why her hair style doubles as a crash helmet,,, now I'm guessing here that Cec is the young chap in the front row leaning on Grandads left knee wearing the kilt & junior bowler,,, it's the stance that gives you away Cec,,, you obviously had it from a very early age.
The youngster in the white wrap is Cec's younger sister Joy,, and she went on to become a test rider for Brough motorcycles which probably explains why she has a pair of goggles sewn into her wooly-at.

I could get hooked on trawling through the pastures archive,,,, and I can do it in the warm as well,,, April the 26th it is and it snowed today!!!!
Oh Joy.
Shed Time,,,, very little,,, well apart from the local mariners turning up and decimating the teabag store,,, we didn't do one jot of modelling,,, it was one of those passing constructive comments and serious tea slurping sessions, sometimes it just happens.

What has all this got to do with Elf and Safety you are thinking to yourselves,,, well cop a load of this one,,,
"When I nod my ed,, you it it".

Now I know I have mentioned it before but I have a few ancestors that did actually "werk darn't pit",,, [in the Nottinghamshire area actually,,, but I'm on a bit of a roll],,, I never met them they had all long gone before I came along and I'd just like to say looking at this picture I can see why!!!!
How these guy's kept so cheerful and perhaps even retained their sanity I will never know,,,, "Aye,, where's there's muck there's brass",,, but in my opinion you need serious gonads to get involved with anything like this,,, unbeliveable,,, I don't care how much they got paid,,, I could not do it,,, terror would be understating.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Pastures Formation Signalling Team

Here's one from the pastures archive,,,, the Main Box 1928 formation signalling team.
It's pretty obvious that the trainee has not yet mastered the art of pulling off before assuming the position but it say's on the back of the photo in pencil,, "silver plate runners up 1928. Cecil Gee far right left to become a trainee flower arranger" and I can see why.
Right decision Cec,,, really.

If you sniff the original photo you can still smell the Capstan full strength and that wonderfully aromatic mix of 1 part Camp Coffee 1 part moth balls & 1 part Cherry Blossom,,, oh happy days.

It's surprising what you can find on a quiet Saturday night whilst trawling through the pastures archive and as if to prove the point just look at this little blast from the past.

I am assuming this was taken during the war as all of them have painted their toe caps white so they can be seen at night,,, and a finer set of jaunty caps I have yet to come across.
What is it about railwaymen and small terriers,, I have no idea.
But what a charismatic bunch,,, and I'm sure its fair to assume the chap far right middle row is either wearing his younger brothers trousers or perhaps his braces,, but he is understandably proud of his new watch chain.

I remember going on a trip round the Sheffield Midland south signal box as a teenager,, the atmosphere was something I will never forget,,, warm,, damp,, stale cigarette smoke,,,and a permanent background hum of DC signalling boxes with frequent bursts of bells,,, the bells the bells,,, some things just never leave you.

What is the point of this entry,,, their isn't one really,,, the lunatic lantern is throwing out copious quantities of Saturday night drivel,,, it's too cold to set up camp in't shed and so I thought I'd have a quick blog and perhaps drop in the current rant,,, why is the BBC1 TV turning the early morning news into Blue Peter,, talk about dumming down,,, oh jolly jolly,,, lets sit on the sofa and have an early morning party.

Grow Up,, Wise Up,, Pack Up and just give us the bloomin news.
What really gets me is I have to pay a license fee for this rubbish.
Even if I turn it off I have to pay the fee,,, come the revolution brothers that bunch of know it all's will be the first onto the transport headed east!!!.

Kids these days know nowt.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Things that go CLUNK in the van!!!!!

Ha Ha the joys of exhibiting!!!
So there we were on our journey "sarf of the river"  to Crawley exhibition.
We had made excellent time,,, had somehow missed the notorious Friday afternoon Dartford Crossing mayhem,,, had time to stop for a quick meal at the wonderfully appropriate Clacket Lane services and were cruising the last 20 minutes or so to our final destination when suddenly from the rear of the van that noise that all exhibitors dread,,, CLUNK,,, [muttered breaths,,,,,, oh dear whatever was that!!!]
We pulled into the next layby and opened the rear doors with some trepidation,,,mmmm,,,, not a pretty sight,,,, one of the stacking boxes had decided it was bored sitting on top of it's counterparts and had decided to jump off and go gliding down the layout,,,, and as gravity has no brakes it managed to demolish the:
water tower
3 working yard lamps
1 platelayers hut
2 point levers
on it's 2 second journey down the van.
Now that should not have happened,,, but it did,,, and it's the first time in nearly 10 years of exhibiting.
Picking up the pieces on arrival at Crawley it suddenly dawned on me that the box on top of the stack was the heaviest,,, the other 3 had buildings in them,,,, 5% plasticard and 95% fresh air,,, the top box had the servicing kit,,, and the mains operated minidrill in its sturdy Germanic packing case.

Would Mr Murphy step forward for yet another award.

Not a good idea putting the heaviest box on top SAD,,, but it could have been so much worse,,, now I am also seriously considering we were receiving some assistance from "divine intervention".
Meet Neville,,, one of our two new operators,,, he is our very own "Hand of God",,, and a very useful fellow to have around when things go bump in the van,,, stop unexpectedly,,,, come off the rails,,, or simply just go wrong.
We started earlier than normal on the Saturday morning and the first task was to glue the remains of the water tower together,,,,if you look closely at the first pic it is a bit like Ernie's wig,,, you can just see the joint.

Anyway sincere thanks to Alan,, Neville and Roger,, the merry band of emergency gluers,,, rebenders,,, and weatherers who managed to jigsaw it all back into place in time for the arrival of the great unwashed at 10am

As usual I think we enjoyed ourselves as much as the public did and apart from the obvious the pastures ran pretty well all weekend.

Divine intervention????? don't know how but we managed to come away with an award as well!!!
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together!!!!

The next one is in July,,,, so watch this space.

Monday, 21 March 2016

As McArthur said,,,, " I will return "

And just to prove the point here he is,,,, but why he is sucking a corkscrew is a bit of a mystery,,, but as my old grandpapee used to say,, there ain't no accounting for taste,,hic.

Thought you might appreciate a quick update on Huntingdon Exhibition and the ongoing domestic arrangements in hand for the Pastures.

Huntingdon was great,,, we were invited at the last minute as Jackie the show manager suddenly found she had a pastures sized hole to fill but as we see any invite as a compliment it was simply great to be there.

The Huntingdon show is a relative newcomer to the scene,, but you wouldn't have guessed.
It was LARGE which is not always a passport to success, but it was packed with both quality layouts and traders. There really were some lovely examples of quality modelling on show and on both days there were occasions where we had people 3 deep trying to watch us make a spectacle plate of ourselves.

The highlight for me was meeting another happy soul who publicly admitted to reading the Pastures Blog, [Stephen watch out you have competition] so as agreed sir here is the first post in far too long,, I have no excuse whatsoever apart from moving house, building a scratch built chassis for my L3 and taking a bit of a break from the exhibition scene in general, but you are quite right blogging has taken a back seat of late.

As my old school report used to say on an annual basis,,, "has the ability but could try harder"

In the unlikely event of exhibition managers reading this can I just mention that at the Huntingdon show all exhibitors get a full english breakfast on the house before the show opens to the public,,, what a great idea,,, particularly if you have been doing what we had been doing the night before,, a full english was just what we needed.

I just hope they made a profit,, they certainly deserved to and it was BUSY,,, &  at times VERY BUSY which always makes things worthwhile.

I have been spending most of my spare time installing or refurbishing various sheds we have acquired at the new abode.
I now have a rather cosy 10' x 8' lined and insulated "modelling emporium" which will be referred to as Crimpsall and this is where all the sliced, soldered, or singed fingers type activity will take place,,, next to it, with the obligatory 4' permanent lawnmower sized gap, is the newly constructed windowless shiplap gaff which we might as well call Gorton which will not only house the Pastures but most of my DIY / decorating / odd/jobbing type paraphenalia,,, as mentioned before Helen was right,,, we really should have downsized a long time ago.

If the weather brightens up tomorrow I may even take a shot of the new works and post it for your perusal.

There you are sir,,,"sorry but I either missed or forgot your name" but here is another long overdue post,,, I do promise to post harder and hopefully get back to the regular snippets of life down here on the Pastures.

Oh it is with great personal disappointment that I have to advise that the Cleethorpes show in May has been cancelled,,,, a real shame,,, I have wanted to do that show for some time as there are lots of Great Central Society members live in that area but it just was not to be,,,, but don't get too downhearted you can come and watch us at Crawley in a couple of weeks time,,,or Basildon in July,,, or start Xmas early by visiting Manchester exhibition in December.

Many thanks to all our 2 readers,,, your support is much appreciated and will be worn on a regular basis.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Well Well,,,this looks very nice!!!

We are very pleased to announce that the worst of the domestic trauma of moving the:
Approx 40 spurious large cardboard boxes,, [most of which haven't been opened since we last move 10 years ago] is actually OVER.

We are also pleased to announce we are chasing down suppliers for something along the lines of the above.

In our opinion windows and models do not go together,,  I don't enjoy modelling windows and some things really are crystal clear,, and windows where you house a railway do little but fade paint on most of your previous efforts and for me that is a real headache,, as repainting is even more frustrating than original painting,, so NO Windies,, there will be lots of lighting in the shed but no natural light.

We decided to move so we could "downsize" and it has proved to be very successful,, now we have downsized I seem to be spending most of my time either constructing or coordinating the construction of facilities to enable us to house all the stuff we have have had to store in containers since we downsized.

Not wanting to appear to be doing a Basil Fawlty impression but "you really do know best dear",, "whatever you say dear",,"quite right dear" if downsizing means I get access to a 20'x10' shed then I, [sorry dear,, we],, should have done it years ago.

As a quick reminder for the next show which is the recently received invite to the Huntingdon / East Anglian show on March 12th & 13th. We will be departing from our temporary home and hopefully returning to the new home which will have appeared in the back garden.

At this point I have to once again officially offer my sincere thanks to Dave & Pat of Potter Heigham fame,, being invited to a show with only 6 weeks notice dosen't really give you a lot of time to prepare for it and this is even more problematic when your railway is stored in a container without any electricity.

Problem,, what Problem,, "stick it in the garage and we can prepare it from there",,, thankyou once again you 2,,, much appreciated.

If you fancy coming along and joining in the fun then please be our guest, we would love to see you,, even if you don't like railways we can discuss modelling,, football,, rugby,, politics,, religion,, whatever takes your fancy,,, all you have to do is pay your money and we can guarantee you will  have a really entertaining day,, and it looks as though it is going to be one hell of an exhibition,,, large is not a guaranteed passport to success but we think quality is,,, once again we just can't wait!!!

Friday, 22 January 2016

East Anglian Model Railway Exhibition.

Well life is full of surprises,,, we moved house on Monday and I'm already fed up with unpacking cardboard boxes so to get an invite to the Huntingdon Show came as very a welcome relief.

Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th March at the Wood Green Animal Centre Godmanchester Huntingdon.

I know it's short notice but a gangs gotta do what a gangs gotta do.

Come along and join in the fun,,, you never know you might bump into Cromwells Ghost,,, or that other shady politician that lives in the area!!!! him that wrote the thrillers when he had lots of time on his hands,,, what was his name,,, one of Maggies high flyers,,, yo ho ho,,, it's banana skin time,,,enjoy,,,,

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Property Market!!!!! [Don't get me started on another legal fiasco]

I've not forgotten any of you,,, I'm not ignoring you either,,, we are moving!!!!
Oh Joy of Joy's!!!!
To be honest I'd rather be boring you rigid with the usual twaddle about the pastures but,,, mmm,,, let's just call it priorities.
If I see another cardboard box in the next couple of months it will suffer.
Normal service will be exhumed as soon as possible.
Oh Happy Xmas and a prosperous New Year as well.

I never realised "we" had so much JUNK,,, where do's it all come from.
Believe me I'd rather be modelling than playing 3 dimensional chess with all the crap that has been hidden away in the shed for many a year.

As McArthur said as he paddled down some beach near Manilla,,,,, "I will return"