On the 5th November several of the EN team met to get the viaduct back into running order as a last protest against the impending lock down. We did it – both tracks are now wired and running well ready for balasting. Traffic seen included a 9F, the prototype Deltic, Dave H’s 990 4-4-0 with Bob Alderman’s LMS coaches, a Pannier with all the wagons we could muster and a blue diesel belonging to Tim. Sadly Dave Sapp’s class 40 didn’t make it out of the box in one piece – get well soon class 40. The Goods train advertised its presence round the layout by a squeaky axle on the brake van – no change there then (Ed)! Rob did some final tidying up on the scenic baseboards, and Steve is kindly sieving genuine Mendip stone ballast for us. Work on Holly and Heyno Junction continued.

We were then back into Lockdown for the rest of November and now under Tier 2 Covid restrictions ensuring that CS2 has remained closed for meetings. This has not prevented Jim from ballasting on Evercreech New in productive but extremely socially distanced (lonely) sessions.

Note the neatly formed ballast shoulder on the approach to the viaduct that was so typical of the real S&D. Jim has used up the first pickle jar ‎of Steve’s patent Mendip ballast and is into the first plastic tub of same. Still not glued – that will be done once all the dry brushing into place is finished – no sneezing until then! The approaching 8F may still be for sale on the 0 Gauge Guild website…..

Progress is being made on drawings for the farmhouse that was just behind (or in front of) Prestleigh Viaduct. This is the revised drawing of the rear elevation of the farmhouse. The proportions of the elevations are now entirely based on the photographs (rather than the estate agent’s particulars used before) and we’re pleased with the outcome. The rear elevation has been much changed since the railway closed so there is an element of speculation as to exactly how this looked. We have been aided by the recollections of Bert Whitehead who lived there at the time.

This is the current state of play of the five bogie clerestories in the Winter Shelf Queens project. They are from the rear:
– E.57 tricompo – just needs painting
– C.10 third mostly from a Slaters kit – needs stripping and repainting
– E.27 tricompo – needs some correction to the body but otherwise ready for paint
– E.28 1st/2nd compo – body under construction now
– C.4 third – body finished, needs underframe and paint
All are different lengths and with many design differences – typical pre-Churchward GWR. It seems every coach was handbuilt in those days, but with lots of standard features.

The very first 0 Gauge coach from Allan (of Kingsferry) awaiting the paint shop and then door handles etc. It’s a Slaters Midland 43′ Clayton lavatory brake third. He thinks they fobbed him off with the last of their grey plastic panels, hence the colour difference; we think it’s just luck of the draw! The sides, floor roof etc are in sections which means (to Allan) imperfect joins.

Whilst we were on the subject of coach building we received an instructional email from John on Slaters brake pipe fittings. Bottom right there should be two of these in the kit (without the 5p) – they represent the coach to coach joiners. They also serve as an airtight seal when the vacuum brake is not continuous say in a part fitted goods train and the front of the loco and the back of the last coach on the real thing as seen top right. Main photo shows how they join together between vehicles. Apparently they really do work and we’re told that enabling this level of faffing about makes 0 Gauge a ‘good thing’! 🙂

The sun was low in the sky (and apparently visible) one afternoon this month and lit the goods yard at Kingsferry through the window of the railway shed as a Small Prairie shunted the yard. Allan thought it was worth sharing and he was right. With a bit of essential cropping to centre the subject it makes a lovely featured image this month beating the Verwood canopy to top spot.

For a complete change this is the first step on the long and winding path to an S&D 7F in 0 Gauge. Much cleaning up before some of these bits are fully soldered and the tack soldering is made permanent. The difficult bit of lining up and fitting the sprung horn blocks comes shortly! We look forward to further progress reports.

And in that not quite so sleepy corner of model railways, the brass canopy framing for the station building at Verwood being assembled ready for soldering. The red lines are the rafters which will be styrene and the blue lines the glazing bars of the roof light that was added to illuminate the waiting room. Needless to say much thought and resulting inactivity went into exactly where the brass should finish and styrene take over for this structure.

A mounting board was then made up so that the canopy could be attached to the station building. This is the soldered up frame resting on the beams, columns and bracket made many moons ago. Note the fancy bracket finally able to do its job. Work continues on the canopy roof and adjoining signal box that really was ‘joined at the hip’ to the canopy – this required a narrow extension to the board through some particularly inept planning ahead on the part of the author. More on Verwood in the next instalment.

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