Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

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Reference library

Any good modelling project requires research and over many years I have acquired a volume or two to help things along.


In reality these aren’t all the books because some series volumes such as OS Nock’s Locomotives of the 20th century are split between the Elder Statesman and I. He has vols 1&2 and I have 3 (because he doesn’t do “modern”). Similarly when it comes to GW locos I have vol 3 Absorbed Engines because they are the narrow gauge and the oddities which float my boat.

Some of these books were in boxes for seven years while I had my jaunt in the Antipodes. Carefully stored inside the tome on the Leek and Manifold (Calthrop was great!) was this original watercolour which I hope to get framed soon. The artist Rebecca Kitchin does some great work – check out her website here


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Bird’s eye view

I have an 08 shunter. It’s a Bachmann one. They’re good and they’re outside framed (OK I know the new Hornby one is considered better but that doesn’t make the Bachmann one bad).


I’ve always wanted an 08 and a BR blue one too. This in itself is a little odd as I’m not really a corporate blue era person.

The reason though comes from a couple of incidents. When I was 4 (in 1982) I spent a week in hospital. From my vantage point in the hospital I could see the railway below and it looked like a model railway.

When I was 8 (I’ll let you do the maths) I spent a week in hospital again. As before I got to watch the railway below and this time I distinctly remember a very shiny shunter hauling carriages about. It made me want to build a model railway with a blue shunter.

I have since done sufficient research to know this was 08567 built at Crewe in ’53 and had just come back from overhaul at Swindon a few months previously.

So my only tasks on this little project is to re-number my 08 and make sure it has the correct details (dual braking for a start) for 1986. Then it will be the yard shunter in the research facility.


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Calling up the heavies

Penlowry took a big leap forward today. Well some of the rolling stock building work did. I’ve been feeling a need to do more myself and less buying. So I bought something.

Yes I know it doesn’t make sense. But it will.

Having been in discussion with my father, he knew of some friends of the family that were trying to dispose of what I was wanting to acquire so a deal was struck.

Now for most of my engineering life, the Myford has been the toy in the corner of every workshop for doing the baby stuff while we cranked out the real stuff on Colchesters and others. However, for the purpose of model engineering and railway modelling it really is a heavy.

I looked at getting an ML10 but that wasn’t going to happen soon and the early ones have the motor mounted separate from the lathe bed (presumably so you could buy it without a motor and nick the one from the washing machine when the rest of the family weren’t looking).

However the family friend had one better. So now I am the proud owner of a Super 7. Now just need to get it wired, bolted down, reassembled, and then take it for a, ummm, spin.


P.S. Although the “heavies” in the title referred to the lathe, this morning I was on an old industrial estate built on a former RAF base, with the roads “Halifax Way” and “Stirling Road” which may be what made me think of it…