Sad, sad, news

Like many of the UK model railway community, I have been shocked and saddened by the news about the Market Deeping MRC show in Stamford.  As you have probably read, it had to be cancelled after four teenagers broke into the school at 4am on the Friday night and totally trashed four layouts and some traders stands, that had been set up early.  It is probably fortunate that prompt action by neighbours, caretaker, and police prevented any damage to a second hall.  Another nine layouts were due on the Saturday, and escaped damage.  These photos, from the local paper, show the shocking extent of the damage.  It was also the most read article on the BBC for a while.


There is little that can be said when one sees these photographs.  What could compensate financially for 20 years work on a layout, or for the locomotive above?  However, it is at least good to see the strength of our hobby.  Market Deeping club have set up a Just Giving page to with a target of £500 for their immediate expenses.  As I write on Sunday afternoon, it is already at £5,315 (and has doubled as I wrote this post!)  [Amazingly, it’s up to £31,000 when I looked at 10:00pm – modellers can be wonderful, sometimes!]

And up to £51,000, 11:30am, Monday – a wonderful response.

And 10:00pm £78,000 plus £10,000 promised by Rod Stewart, and £5,000 from Miniatur Wunderland.  So good!

This is probably an isolated incident, but it does raise some questions about our exhibitions.  These are usually very well organised, but are most definitely also run by amateurs.  My reaction as an exhibition manager is to ask:

  1. Would it be prudent to have overnight security at our venue?  But comments on our forums also suggest that some venues such as schools would not allow this, relying on the burglar alarms.
  2. What is the real insured value of our shows?  I realise both that this is very much a guess for us amateurs, and also that it would be very easy to underestimate the insured value of a show.  Even if the exhibitors send an insurance value with their layout details, I suspect many of them will be low estimates.
  3. Most worryingly, would a true insurance value price us out of the market?  And will some exhibitors not want to bring along their best work to shows, leaving us with a lower standard of model on display?

Some guidance would be helpful from the insurance business, or perhaps from the organisers of our more commercial shows such as TINGS and Ally Pally.  Perhaps at the end of the day we need to put this into perspective.  Hopefully an isolated incident, and with losses that are probably a fraction of those to flood, fire and burglary?

I can only offer my best wishes to the Market Deeping MRC, and that they will recover, stronger if scarred, in the future.

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A rival for Paul?

Not a bad selection…..

Some excellent models and camera angles….

And the real thing….

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ESNG meeting – 15 May 2019

A rather quiet evening, with just the seven of us at club night.  We were missing both the Cha(I)rman (missing on a milk round) and the Chairman Elect (just missing), and a few others.  But we quickly set up some track and ran some trains.

I had put together a mixed rake of BR Mk 1, Bullied, Stanier and Hawksworth carriages, to make the sort of mixed rake found in early BR days.  These looked good behind first a Warship….


And then a Western…..

No. 1 son Michael lowered the tone slightly with some recent Ebay purchases – that all ran very well.  He also had Annie and Clarabel and some Troublesome Trucks….


And from the ridiculous to the sublime (or vice versa.)  Derek’s neat Hunslet diesel conversion pushing a rail-wheeled Landrover (the motor is in the Hunslet.)

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ESNG PlayDay – 12 May 2019

Another pleasant afternoon running trains at the PlayDay.  We, of course, started with a curry, and were joined by Ron celebrating his 67th birthday.  And Miles, who demolished a large number of samosas after the Ruchita accidentally double up his order.  We couldn’t persuade Ron to pay the bill, though….

Nine of us met to run trains, though there was a certain amount of checking phones for the Grand Prix and Premiership progress.  And, as usual, a lot of talking.  By the end of the afternoon, most of us were sitting around chatting.

I had managed to change the couplings on one of my PA’s, so ran my Lehigh Valley passenger train.  A couple of things need fettling, but it looked good running around the layout.  There is the inevitable difference in shades of red, but they look acceptably different – different paint batches and fading in service?


It was American day as both Simon and Graham had more US trains on show.


But there was some Swiss and Japanese freight from Paul….

And the Longmoor Military Railway from Derek….

I finally gave my latest Ebay purchase a run.  I’ve got a couple of these, but couldn’t resist another one.  My favourie Japanese tram, and they are close enough to US designs to pass muster as an interurban.

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Dorking MRC Spring Exhibition 2019

Dorking MRC held their Spring Show in Redhill, so I dropped in as it was within walking distance.  A small show, but some good layouts, and I saw a number of friends to talk to.

Dorking had their new ‘N’ gauge layout based on Dorking West station in the 1960’s on show for the first time.

The West Sussex Group had brought along Lyme Regis….

And Rixtimin…..

Ian Rickman had his micro-layouts on show….

St Paddy, china clay and a Thumper….

Birch Coombe, another Dorking MRC layout, somewhere on the south coast….

Crossing the canal….

Cattle on Camlan….

Demolishing West Hoathly….

And micro-‘O’ gauge with Bridlington Quarry.

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Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway 2019

I was unable to join the expedition to the Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway, down in deepest Kent, but Allan sent me some photographs.

The first Sunday in May is the first operating day of the year for the Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway.  It was also their 2nd model railway themed day.  But its the railway we all go to see!


Not sure what gauge these are, but Lucas (Sean junior) is enjoying them….


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On my workbench – one project complete

A while back I reported on me repainting Microtrains and Atlas coaches into Lehigh Valley colours.


These coaches are not exactly right for LV heavyweights, but they’ll do the job.  And I have finished the repaints – plus four out-of-the-box Rapido Osgood-Bradley coaches.  The reds still don’t quite match (and I think the Rapido red is too light), but they are probably no different as seen on the prototype with different pots of paint and weathering.  I now have a rake or two of coaches for my PA’s – next job, fit Microtrains couplings to the PA’s (all five of them).  Now that job has been hanging around for at least 15 years….

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