A couple of recent shows, at Nottingham and York, have provided some enjoyable and varied opportunities for playing trains.
Cully sallies south
First up, Culreoch’s second trip back south of the border, in the capable hands of its new owner Jamie Wood and co-operator Dave Franks (of Lanarkshire Models & Supplies note). It was pleasing to be able to give them an hour or so off on the Sunday, and also to make reacquaintance with the layout, which looks well and now has the benefit of some lovely 1960s stock, marshalled into authentic and thoughtful formations.
I don’t often do badges, not when I’m theoretically a punter anyway, but it’s good to know they were there. Rather than another layout shot, I’ll provide a loco portrait to showcase one of Jamie’s own lovely Black Fives, although Dave had brought one or two of his own exquisite creations, including another Five, a 4F and a very nice kitbuilt Fairburn tank. Good use was also made of Jamie’s Standard 4 tank, recreating the image of ‘the Mad McCann’ at Creetown which will be known to Port Road afficionadoes!
Bomber jacket required
During March I also took an opportunity mooted for some time of training on the Hull MRS ‘Stealth Bomber’, so named because of its unusual shape and the ‘cockpit’ arrangement of one of the operating positions. This was something very different for me; I’ve obviously been used to being around the creations of our narrow gauge section since joining the club as a teenager, but have never operated them at a show. The ‘Bomber’ or to give it its correct name, ‘Crumley and Little Wickhill’, is a very well thought out layout in all aspects, and with the standard of scenery, a real pleasure to operate.
The above shot is courtesy of Steve Flint and the Railway Modeller, and is of the intermediate station Little Wickhill. In the near distance, a goods train is dropping down the hill to the crossing point, and hidden to the right is a further incline down into Crumley. A siding runs past the abandoned tipdock to the right and also serves a cattle dock, and is probably my favourite spot on a very atmospheric layout.
Last train from Bonchester Bridge
Finally, a farewell to Brian Sunman’s second exhibition layout Bonchester Bridge, a North British terminus station located in the Borders of Scotland, about equidistant from Jedburgh and Hawick. The layout is now over twenty years old and featured in the first volume of British Railway Modelling, although because of the pre-digital nature of the available images, I’ve not been able to feature it here before.
Having once been retired, ‘Bonny’ has over the last few years made reprise appearances at a few shows. The time comes though to move on, other projects come to assume prominence, and the layout will shortly be in the hands of a new owner.
We had to have a wee dram of course to see the old girl off, and pictured above are some of the people who have been associated with her in some way or other over the years. Left to right, they are Ken Gibbons (who, most importantly, provided the Scotch), Steve Flint (editor RM), Brian himself, your scribe, Mal Scrimshaw (taller), York Show acting manager, and Paul Windle. Not shown, being behind the camera, is Paul Derrick; the three last-named gents being instrumental in the construction of the ‘Bomber’.
Brian originally ran the layout with early 1960s steam power, including a B1, V3 and N2, but in recent years a slight shift to the later ’60s made sense, using the proprietary diesels with superior mechanisms that had been easily converted to EM for use on Peffermill Road.
The pic above shows a class 26 clearing the last few wagons from the yard, in just the way that must have happened on so many branches like this in the 1960s and ’70s. And now, with mention of Spring and the inspiration glands recharged, it must be time to at least think about doing some modelling!