Friday, May 20, 2022

Wuiske Models bag

 John Sheldrake and Phil Parker

My Betties bag collection is growing into a more general model shop bag collection. The latest addition is this cloth bag from Wuiske Models in Queensland, Australia

I met John Sheldrake on a tour last week. We were riding on the observation coach "Caroline" and he'd brought some fascinating tickets and this bag with him. For a donation to the cancer charity, the bag became mine. 

John had travelled to the UK mainly for this once-in-a-lifetime tour, a perfect example of getting into model railways and seeing the world. I'm no great traveller, but I've managed both Australia and Canada because of my interest, not to mention many, many interesting places in the UK. 

I don't know Queensland, but thanks to Google Streetview, I've spent a few minutes touring Jandowae, even if I can't find the model shop! It certainly looks like the rural Australia I imagine which is facinating. 

Anyway, thanks John. Definitely a rare addition to the pile!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Recycling an old layout in BRM

What do you do with an old model railway? You rebuild it of course. 

Model railway

Starting with "Casket Yard", the layout built to fit in a plastic box a couple of years ago, I've totally changed its look from a country yard, to an urban shunting puzzle. This month, I'm ripping things up and starting on the rebuild, next time, the job will be finished. 

Little Salkeld

My latest photo shoot is of Paul Moss's "Little Salkeld" - an N gauge layout set in a Cumbrian village. It's always interesting to see how these photos look on the page, and I'm very happy. More to the point, so is Paul. 

Digital readers have a photo gallery of the unused shots - I always take far too many so the editorial team can chose the ones that they like best. 

Over on BRM TV, you have a Phil double-bill. 

John Barner - Rails of Shefield.

 and then I look at operating an Inglenook layout, with my new project!

All this in the June issue of BRM.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Warehouse Wednesday: Prefab bungalow

Prefab house

A recent research trip to Avoncroft Building Museum gave me the chance to grab a few photos of what I think is the most interesting building there - the prefab bungalow. I appreciate this is a controversial view, but all the medieval buildings don't do much for me on their own. This one has life, and I can imagine living in it.

Prefab house window

Mind you, I was as interested in the garden shed. You don't see things like this much now, but once they were everywhere. And yes, it IS ugly.

Prefab shed

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Entering the Red Room


While at Shepton Mallet a few weeks ago, I found myself with time to nip along to the Haynes Motor Museum. As a regular reader of the manuals that paid for the place, I was curious to see what it looked like. 

One highlight, is the "Red Room". It seems Mr Haynes thought that if all the cars on display in one place were the same hue, it would be easier to appreciate the designs because you wouldn't be distracted by all the different colours. 


I'm not convinced by this. For a start, all the reds are different. However, it's his collection and you can't disagree - the effect of all these pristine motors in one space is impressive. 

Reg Lamborgini Countach 
And yes, I am aware that for readers of Fifty Shades of Grey, "Red room" has a different meaning...

Monday, May 16, 2022

Agricultural show ticket


Railway Service Ticket

I've been busy recently, so posts are going to be a bit random until I can get back into a project. Let's start with this ticket picked up at the same time as the GWR string

The show in question is the event that eventually became known as "The Royal Show". It was the country's premier agricultural event from 1839 to 2009. 

Now, I know the event because every year, the traffic to it would clog up all the roads around here as conoys of Range Rovers and horse boxes tried to get onto the Stoneleigh Park site. I even worked there a couple of times when employed by the Ministry of Agriculture. Based in a scruffy Portakabin, I did paperwork stuff in the less fashionable, and much smellier part of the event. 

I think I visited a couple of times, but as a trade show for farmers, and not being in the market for a combine harvester, it didn't grab me as much as the public focussed Town & Country Festival at the August bank holiday. 

Anyway, this ticket interested me because it was for a local event, but also because for many years the show travelled around the country. As it happened, 1931 was Warwick's turn to host it - and then it returned permenantly to the county from 1963. 

What we don't know is why Mr Hall needed to attend the event, although at the time there would be a large amount of livestock moved by rail. Maybe he was checking animals in and out then back to the railhead. Perhaps looking at new methods of livestock handling. We'll never know, but 91 years later, his ticket still exists.