Sunday 17 December 2017

Happy Christmas from the Isle of Stoner

Lord and Lady Stoner and the staff and management of the Isle of Stoner Railway wish you all a very merry Christmas and holiday season.

I thought I'd show you the whole of my Christmas diaorama. It's only anout a foot square but with careful framing makes an effective place to pose a little winter train. I  made it a few years ago now and it is also allowed into the house as a Christmas decoration.

I hope Father Christmas brings you all the toys you want and you have a peaceful Christmas and new year.

Saturday 9 December 2017

A new hope

Well, another show is over and the layout is in a pile of bits back home. Manchester MRC show was Underhill Town's last public outing, it is too unwieldy to keep dragging about the place. I've decided to make some changes to it and to install it in the garage. More on this later.
The operating dept, apart from myself was Dave Firth from work and the esteemed Charlie Insley who did sterling work both operating and supplying additional motive power from his enormous collection. Many thanks to both as the weekend would not have been half so much fun without them. Charlie also took my new Narrow Planet Bagnall, Jim home with him and sorted out the chassis.

Jim, sulking in a siding on Saturday minus whistle

Numerous line ups took place, here are my Nettie and Charlie's version, both Chivers Skylarks

I was very pleased to see lots of people looking at the layout and many people said very nice things too

Arkwright on a goods train

Charlie in action

Favourite guest loco of the weekend was Horsa, a Paul Windle built Bagnall

Horsa really looked the part with the PECO L&B set


I even coaxed Dave onto the controls

My train of various PECO four wheelers, some converted, some as nature intended

Four CWR Fletcher Jenningses. Charlie's in green then my Titania another of Charlie's and my Oberon

All was quiet down at the cheese factory

The new Bachmann 04 bash was at home with the PECO skips

Jim and his cousin

Three Minitrains Boehler conversions, my Sally, Charlie's in the middle and then my brown Krauss. Eigiau has sneaked into the back row too

Mrs Gubbins is waving flowers at nobody again in Parrot Inn square. The fountain was by far and away the most commented upon part of the layout

A view through Post Office alley
I haven't entirely worked out how to fit the layout into the garage yet but a plan is evolving. Because of the way the room is I need to have Underhill Town itself at the left of the layout which means that a tunnel will need to be created under Church Lane and the current entrance through Parrot Cutting will become the headshunt. It isn't a perfect solution as all the sidings are entered from the left but it will give me some shunting practice.
Next to the new tunnel will be a new section of railway to include a junction which will lead to Town Quarry via a steeply graded branch line. The quarry baseboard will sit in front of and below the Town board. The really tricky part of the whole endeavour will be to move the control panels from behind the layout to the front. The quarry board is relatively simple to get at but the Town board will require some fairly major dismantling of the road at the back of the layout.
Once past the junction board will come the beach and then a new more compact fiddle yard. Should keep me off the streets for a while. The only section which won't survive is the Cheese Factory, some of the buildings will move to become an extension of Underhill Town and I will try to find a place for the nursery and possibly the factory itself.
In the meantime, Arnold Lane Wharf has several invites for next year to keep me out and about.