Sunday, March 29, 2009


A lot of hard building work has taken place this weekend!

As well as enjoying a great weekend with Fleur who came up to visit. I have also managed to find time to install the buildings that arrived and make a good start on much of the associated scenics.

The station is in place and just needs ramps or steps at the end as well as a little bit of bridge work over the top!

The farm is built and the pigs are feeling quite at home.
The farmhouse is looking good and the start of a front garden can be seen.
The engine shed is up and running and now waiting for some workers and bits of junk to complete the scene!

A water tower is in place and the coal bunker is stocked.

The church is in position on the hill and lit. It's amazing the speed that people die and get buried in 'Little Foxwood'!

This week, I have lots of painting of bits 'n' pieces to do and a few more scenery jobs if I get the time.
In between this, I have also managed to polis the boat and begin to get sorted for next week. Still not sure where we're going yet but I'll think about that during the week.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Awaiting collection!

Much of the village is here - waiting to be collected and brought up to me! Fleur is coming up at the weekend to visit and is also acting as Pickfords Removals for me. She is bringing up this little lot for me to install over the next week in the evenings.

All very exciting!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


OK don't laugh, I know it's not much - it's silly really, hardly worth blogging about and certainly not very interesting but it's a big event for me. Really quite exciting, something new, something that works properly - I'm really quite over-joyed with it actually. I have a new fridge!

Well, I say 'new', it's Eric's old one. Eric is one of the harbour master team here at Brinklow and had a new fridge/freezer delivered today. Not being proud, I have his old one and it's much better than my old one!

For a start, it works reliably, then there's the freezer door that opens and closes and stays closed when told, then the space inside, it's almost silent, has an amazing alarm which sounds if anything goes wrong, a sensible dial to adjust the temperature and a great light so I can actually see the contents and finally, the door opens the other way round which is a big bonus as I can now get to the inside of the fridge without having to contort into weird shapes!!

Here it is, although the salad tray is still out and the water jug's not in the door holder!

See you mockers, Simba's impressed!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back to the raliway.....


Spent a bit more time this afternoon finishing off some bits on the railway. It's officially known as 'Little Foxwood' now! This was the name that won in my mind - sort of quite cute and rural sounding!!
The first buildings are due up next weekend and so today I have finished all the back bits that need me climbing on top of the layout to get too! Bits such as this cliff face to create the cutting for the railway to run through with the houses from the edge of the neighbouring village 'Greater Foxwood' just peeping round the edge. The cutting hides the gap that was previously visable below the backdrop!

I also cleare and painted the space ready for the engine shed.

Doesn't look much but it's ready for the shed and associated scenics in order to become a thriving busy engine yard.

A busy week ahead with a Governors meeting on Tuesday and Mock Sats week at school for the kids - lots and lots and lots of marking all week to fit in!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

So what's happened?

....not a lot really!

Pump out this morning followed by the purchase of more coal and some diesel. I hope this might be my last lot of coal I need but then who knows!

Spent a little time in the railway shed this afternoon and modelled the cliff at the back of the layout to make the railway appear to go through a cutting. It also hides a nasty gap at the bottom of the background pictures!

No pictures today so I'll leave you with these two. Stu - one of my neighbours in Brinklow sent them to me during the week. He took them hasitly using his camera phone from his kitchen window early one morning. Not a bad view to wake up to and coming from London, I never take this for granted!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

No railway news!

A lovely evening last night with Steve and Julia - fantastic food, good wine and great company. Here's a picture this evening of the 2 'very similar' boats moored together over night. Steve and Julia set off this morning and I had a good day round the marina doing 'stuff'! I did spend an hour last thing on the railway but only running the trains round - no new developments, (I hear a mass sigh of relief!)

Stunning weather today. Glorious sunshine that was actually hot and at one point I was in shirt sleeves whilst working round the marina. Who would have thought around a month ago, we were all snowed in! The daffodils have started bursting out and long may spring continue. Parent's evenings again this week at school and another weekend in 5 days time!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


So Saturday has been and gone - half way through a weekend already!
Another short trip to Castle Trains this morning to return something meant the innevitable purchase of more bits and bobs! A good day all in all with a lot achieved on the railway in a short space of time - due mainly tot he fact that things actually worked today!

An email from my father provided these 2 pictures of the island station finished, populated and lit up.
This unimpressive green patch that has now appeared is actually a hill! It's waiting for the parish church and graveyard to be built after Easter.

A 'pill-box' has also appeared which is a necessary addition to any post war model layout. In fcat more may be required eventually to protect strategic locations.

An a castle/monastry ruins has also materialised!

In addition to this, I managed to mechanise another point and wire up the transformer and switch ready for the scenic lighting such as buildings, street lights etc.
Just returned from a very pleasant evening with Steve and Julia from NB Even Balance who are my new 'one night only' neighbours on their way to the Ashby for a few days. Hopefully tomorrow, I'll get some pictures of the 2 almost identical boats moored side by side!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Engine shed

So the next buiding is finished and ready for installation thanks to my sub contracted Dedicated Amenities Developer, (AKA dad!) The engine shed is complete and lit. The quality of the detail on these models is outstanding.

Tomorrow, a visit to Castle Trains in Warwick to take back a tunnel portal that doesn't fit and get some more little bits and bobs for the farmyard scene as well as bushes and grasses.
It was nice to hear today of someone I know from the Ashby Canal who made an enquiry at Brinklow. 'Pipistrelle' is only a short 30+ foot narrowboat and so it may be possible to find space somewhere for them if they decide to persue the idea. Brinklow is now full which is great although a waiting list is being held and certain size boats can be 'squeezed' in if wanting a 12 month contract or longer. The daffodils are looking great again, the weather is beginning to warm up and it finally looks as if next week spring might arrive. It won't be long and I'll be mowing the grass again!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


So what do you think? It's amazing how a little light shafting through an open door and out onto the courtyard pavings can make the models come alive!

Keep in mind that these models are still in London at my father's house and not yet embedded into the layount, The gap under the pavement is down to the temporary wiring to get the lights working.

Hopefully these will be installed over Easter.
Bought the castle ruins today and so have that diorama to build at the weekend. Unfortunately everyone seems to be out of the trackside fencing I need to finish one little section so I have to wait for more to come into stock.
I also ordered an applicator yesterday that will enable me to add rust weathering to the edges of the tracks for increased realism. I'm hoping this will arrive in time for the weekend!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

General ramblings!

Wow! My 'Head of Building Construction' has been working hard! I now have not only an island station but also a farmhouse and workers cottage!

There is no doubt that these buildings look amazing and even better when lit up with little bulbs! I hope to get a picture of one lit up soon as the lights are going in at the building stage. This weekend, I plan to finish off a section of fencing, add a few more sheep and some monastry ruins with creepers growing up them - just to add a bit more character!

Talking of the weekend, I'm very much looking forward to a meet-up with Steve and Julia off NB Even Balance. Since we both left Trinity, we haven't kept up so much and it will be lovely to have a 'flying' visit from them with an overnight stop here at Brinklow. No doubt a bottle of wine or two might be shared!

I'm on a health drive! Well, not really but I have started ordering these:

I get one every Tuesday and Thursday and the contents are different each time according to my taste and preferences! Ordered from a brilliant company called Only £2.99, surprisingly filling, very tasty and healthy! It guarantees that I actually get a lunch although today one kind colleague did have to pin a sign to the staffroom door saying, 'Year 6, please leave Mr. Edwards at least 10 minutes to have his lunch!'

Saturday, March 07, 2009

How often does that happen?

A garage bill less than the original quote? That's unheard of surely?? The original quote for replacing a gearbox mounting was £109 for the whole job. This morning, I dropped the car down to Fosseway Vehicle Serives and an hour later the whole job was done at a total cost of £68 - WOW!

Picture the scene if you will - Friday morning, minus 3 degrees outside according to the outdoor thermometer by my bed, 6.00am and the alarm goes off as usual. That's funny, I think in my half woken state, no humming sound from the central heating - it hasn't come on! I leap out of bed and find the timer flashing as if there's been a power cut during the night. I press the manual over-ride to get it on quick and the whole thing resets itself and stubbornly refuses to fire up. Less than happy, I have a cold wash, get dressed in a very cold boat and head off to work moaning about the morning! John went to take a look while I was at work but could only go so far due the amount of vital clutter in the way! This morning, I pulled everything out for John to look properly and he quickly discovered a burnt out fuse holder and dodgy fuse that simply wouldn't cope with the required start-up power needed. He's so clever! I so admire people who can follow a problem and find a solution, ( I have to say that - he hasn't put the bill in yet!) Here is the offending item and the heating now works a treat. I was fearing the worst with the heating so it was good to have 2 bits of money saving news in one day. I celebrated by visiting the railway shop and spending the money I saved!!

More buildings to post to my father who has now become 'Head of building construction'! There is no doubt that the Metcalfe Models look stunning but I simply don't have the patience for them. My father, on the other hand, really quite enjoys them so it seems a perfect partnership! I now have the pub, the church, an engine shed and some cottages for him to make over the next few months or so! The layout is in need of a few buildings now. I spent some time this afternoon 'flocking' the fields and banks and sorting some bits out as well as painting the base board a lovely brown colour ready for things to happen on top!

A few pictures of the layout thus far! First the Pullman coaches with little table lights that light up as the City of Sheffield pulls them round the village.

In their sidings at the end of the day.

A general over view of the layout so far. Notice the large amount of, (still wet,) brown paint on the base board simply as a base colour so that chip board doesn't show through any subsequent scenics.
Sheffield passes through the fields....
...another general scene. The lower level is waiting to become the colliery with pit head, loading stage and wharfside canal and lock scene!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Liberated sheep!

Eary spring sunshine casts shadows across the fields as The Roya Warwickshire passes a fully laden goods train.
City of Sheffield and Royal Warwickshire pace each other in full steam before branching off to their respective destinations.

Sheep graze lazily on the hillside with the mountains in the distance.

Crumbling dry stone walling marks the old field boundaries up the hillside.
Some general scenery pictures this evening! I now have two fields of sheep all safe and sound behind fences, a selection of trees and bushes and some trackside signs! It's coming on slowly, (and expensively!) The next job is to mechanise one more point that is difficult to reach and then design and draw out the farm, village, colliery and canal onto the base board ready to be gradually constructed over the next 'X' years!
My continuity problem seems to be solved by adding an extra power feed to the inside track loop and now the Royal Warwickshire Regiment is able to pull a full compliment of coaches round the entire circuit with no trouble. In fact, I had the layout running the best I've seen it yet fro a good while this afternoon as you can see from the very grainy mobile phone video below!

Now I need a name! Every railway layout needs a name that teh village and station etc can be based on. Any ideas? I want a double barrel name, fictitious and one that conjours up sleepy summer rural locations. The best suggestion so far is 'Lower Sheepcote' but I'm still playing on ideas so any suggestions gratefully received!