Saturday, 2 April 2022

Dad's Army gets another recruit.


Well here is another blast from the past a 1962 version of a Robinson GCR 11F or LNER D11.
1962 was a very special year for yours truly,,, firstly it was the only year at technical school that I managed to produce  school report that father was relatively happy with,,, the other 4 years reports were most definitely of the "bite the bullet" variety.

I do remember him being somewhat profound on reading the 62 report with "those who put in the work get the rewards" at the time it meant nothing.

Secondly,, come December 25th 1962 this appeared at the end of the bed,, and I have to be honest in 1962 not many schoolboys had a scratch built D11 and it became a bit of a celebrity and was instantly promoted to the vaunted position of "pride of the line".

Less than 12 month's later Mr Bec decided he would bring out a white metal kit for the same loco and to say father was not impressed was a bit of an understatement,,, his anger matched the level achieved on reading my school reports!!!

The D11 served me well but the purchaser was never happy with 2 things,,, the cab looked nothing like a Robinson cab and the chimney was miles out even to my untrained eye.
It starred on my exhibition layout "Clossett" for some time in the early 70's and on one occasion father and myself were sat behind the layout and he disclosed how much he had paid to have it built,, £45 and £18 to have it painted which at that time was a considerable amount of money,, he then announced he'd been had as it looked nothing like a Director,,, I reassured him it did "but" it could be improved,,, and agreed with his comments that the cab and chimney were well out of order.

Well you'd better get on and improve it then,, but I'm not paying you for it,,, "hang on I thought it was my Xmas present" cried I,,, "actually it was ours" replied father "you have the tender and I'll be responsible for the loco,,, which is why I have awarded you the contract" say's he with a rather large smile beaming through his somewhat extravagant handlebar moustache.

So in a moment of madness when the garage warmed up for a couple of days lately I set about improving the cab and replacing the chimney,,, unfortunately father shunted off to the great engine shed in the sky very nearly 20 years ago and as I've mentioned on several occasions I am not very good at doing things quickly,, but the contract will be honoured,,, eventually!!!

It was made in the early 60's and having inspected it without it's paintwork it shows,,, vice jaw protectors obviously hand not been invented in 1962,, you can still see the teeth marks all over it,,, but the paint always did a good job in covering such shortcomings and will do again.

It has a certain rough charm but the memory's it evoke's are priceless,, so it will be improved as agreed and it will then join the J52 in Dad's Army,,, as mentioned on an earlier post I bought an etched chassis for that but when it came to put it together I convinced myself I would destroy it's heritage of a Triang chassis and XO4 motor which is exactly what drives the D11 and so I will do what was agreed and just leave the rest alone.

Sorry it took so long father,,, but very soon the contract will be complete!!!

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