Well, we’re a bit rubbish……

Well, we’re a bit rubbish……

……… this post should have been full of pictures showing what a great time we had at the Trent Valley Group open day. Just one slight problem – no one took any!

Don’t get me wrong, it was a great day. There were at least seven layouts, several demonstrations, some trade and a copious amounts of tea and coffee were drunk, Bacon Butties and Cake consumed. The day just whizzed past and everyone forgot to take any pictures until it was too late. I even took my posh camera but forgot to use it.


A sad part of the day was it was the first open day we’ve done since we lost our mate, co conspirator and prolific modeller Tim Allsopp. Annoyingly, he was a prolific taker of things to bits then starting yet another new project. He left boxes and boxes of dismantled locos, part done projects, bits and bobs, parts, supplies and a mass of books.

It fell to us in the Trent Valley Group to re-home this lot. I should add that there was also a load of parts for our new layout and many completed locos. The building supplies, appropriate completed models and stores items have been retained for use on the new Henmore Dale layout that will arise once we finish sorting this lot out.

We often worked together on many of the projects and therefore had a vested interest in them so of the items not retained for the layout we all chose something we worked on together as a memorial, although most of us will have to finish them first!

One feature of the day was that all the rest of Tim’s stash was for sale, and there was lots of it. At least ten boxes of books, two bits of an 0-16.5 layout and lord knows how many locos and coaches in various states of undress. There were some gems, like boxes of Porters that he’d acquired `just in case’ but there was also a lot of tat that we thought we might the lumbered with. The results surprised and pleased us in two ways: –

  1. One of Tim’s projects was an 0-42 (or something like that) model of a Portage Railway sold as a complete package of boards, stock, projects, books and research to someone wanting to complete it. This was more important to us than any monetary value it might have had.
  2. Whilst prepared to accept offers of “I’ll take it away” for some of the items, we hoped to raise a few hundred quid but still have a load left that was, in all honesty, going in the bin. What actually happened was we raised around £2k and had very little to take home. In line with Tim’s and our wishes that money will be a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support.


I may well feature some of the treasure that I inherited in future blogs but for now I’ll just leave you with this. It’s not what it at first seems.







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To get there I wouldn’t have started from here!

First post of the New Year and I’ve come over all philosophical with nonsense like “if I knew what I know now I wouldn’t have bothered” and “if I were going there, I wouldn’t have started from here”.

What’s brought this on? Bloody Heljan 009 Manning Wardle’s that’s what.

They have dominated my Christmas and whilst I started with the view that they were just difficult to install sound in because no provision was made for sound I have now developed a nervous twitch at just the sight of one and become convinced that someone set out to deliberately frustrate the attempt.

I’ve been up a number of blind alleys trying to sort this install out with all the features I want which includes the sound decoder, speaker and keep alive.

I am writing this having achieved a partial victory in my quest. As I type TAW is going round and round my test oval being noisy on DC having previously done all its tricks on DCC. All I have got to do now is get the body back on which may be easier said than done.

Why is it so difficult? The first thing I’d say is that they are unnecessarily fragile. Bits drop of just as you look at them and they have a reputation for running problems, poor pickups, valve gear that falls off, pony trucks that hate point work and bits of body detail that just drop off. Continue reading

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