About the blog

My simple philosophy is to be a modeller of railways there needs to be a model railway. It doesn't matter if it is a loft or an Ikea box, there has to be a railway, otherwise we are mere collectors of things in boxes.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

The Yard Office - 2

 The Airfix/Dapol CO11 Coal Yard office must date from the 1960s but it is a nice kit that fits together and depicts a wooden 'shiplap' building that were common.

These are the main components, the walls were joined over 24hrs ago to ensure that everything is square and true.

The colour scheme will be SR green and cream using the standard colours previously used for Beaminster Road.

The roof and ridge tiles are not particularly good and might be replaced whilst the windows will be fitted by placing the frames inside the walls rather than outside.

This post will be updated as work is progressed.

Monday, 23 November 2020

NPCS traffic for Beaminster Road

Just three items of Non-Passenger Coaching Stock (NPCS) on the layout


exGWR Horse box.

These vehicles were used to transport livestock including horses and cattle. In the 50s they were employed to transport live calves to slaughter from various locations in the West Country, Crewkerne was one example.


 exSR Parcels and Miscellaneous Vans (PMV)
SECR design of 1919, modified with side ventilators by SR, continuing to be built by early BR. Note roof ventilators of SECR also used on some SR passenger vans.
exSR Van C passenger luggage van
The Van Cs were used for the carriage of parcels, newspapers, and many other forms of general merchandise. Equipped with facilities for a guard, including a hand brake, two periscopes to provide a view forward and, in this vehicle, a stove, they were rated to run in passenger trains, but were also used on parcels trains.

Of very simple design, with the metal framing exposed, and planked on the inside, they are easy to maintain. A total of 250 were built between 1936 and 1941. Most of them were withdrawn from service between 1966 and 1978, but a few continued in departmental use on BR right into the 1980s and early `90s.

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Colmers Hill

One last image for the weekend, it is Colmers Hill near Symondsbury and it is chosen because the route of the proposed Dorchester and Exeter Extension of 1845 would have passed its northern edge as it ran towards the lovely village of Whitchurch Canocorium whose station would have been 'Beaminster Road'. Just for once all these are facts rather than an alternative truth unfortunately the line was never built past the hill and it remains beautiful and majestic in this lost corner of West Dorset.  

Thanks to the few who drop by to see if any progress has been made, at the moment there is a push to create a veritable hardwood coppice including a small group atop the hill by the old Dorset Farmers siding, a nod to Colmers Hill.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

The Yard Office - 1

The next project is another nostalgic journey to attempt to recreate a plausible yard office loosely based on Axminster Gates. 


This not as odd as it seems, some years ago there were a couple of redundant wooden buildings recycled, all gone either destroyed or preserved.  On order is an equally ancient Airfix yard office as the door is better placed but the windows will have to be upgraded with thin strips of white label.  The Airfix roof really needs reworking with postcard strip and a natty finial, I suppose the only salvageable parts are the wooden sides. 

A brick damproof base is needed and it will receive the usual careworn SR green and cream finish, just waiting for the kit to arrive from Pufferwillies. 

This was the previous attempt at a yard office, unfortunately my ability to recreate a model to this standard departed when Parkinsons arrived. 


  Cheers and Stay Safe

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Return of the side-sponge

 In 2010, a rather nice motorcycle could be found resting against the signal box on the old Beaminster Road. 

Although sold as a Triumph, it is an exWD BSA M20 side valve (below), unfortunately when Beaminster Road was demolished in 2013, the motorcycle was lost.

Move on ten years and this delightful scene has been located.

Memories of DonRs (Dispatch Rider) and David's father served as a DonR in the Royal Army Service Corps (R.A.S.C.) As this is November, this scene will be a tribute to thier service. 
Btw Side valve - side sponge

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Another small lorry for Beaminster Road

The recent purchase of a Classix Ford Thames ET6 mentioned the pre-war Ford 7V lorry, early 7Vs that were built in the years 1937 and 1938 had a curved rounded grille, while the grille was flat on the 7Vs built from 1939.

 These measures were consequences of shortage of raw materials due to the outbreak of war. The production of civil 7Vs was maintained throughout the war although immediately after the war, numerous improvements were introduced but by by mid-1949, the Thames 7V was replaced by the Fordson Thames ET. 

The 7V would be an ideal small pre-war lorry but it needs some work. The cab is from Road Transport Images whilst the remainder is a Classix Ford Thames ET6 flatbed.

A blow by blow account of the conversion will be uploaded 

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Lynton & Barnstaple Platelayers Hut

Something inconspicuous for a quiet corner of the layout.

A little resin kit - from eBay

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

ExLSWR Gate Stock


In 1913, the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) ordered 3 new two-coach pull-push sets to fulfil services on its Seaton, Lee-on-the-Solent, Exeter to Honiton and Exeter to Exmouth routes. These three sets were delivered in 1914, and each consisted of a 56’ corridor third coach and a 56’ driving brake composite coach; following the 1923 grouping, they became Southern Railway (SR) Sets. 372 - 374.

By 1958 set 373 was working the Clapham Junction to Kensington (Olympia) service, it was re-allocated to the Yeovil Junction to Yeovil Town service (see below), Wareham to Swanage, Seaton Junction to Seaton and Axminster to Lyme Regis branches. 

Set 363 (from 1933 only): B/C 6546 (B/Th 2623 from 1939)T/Th 737; Withdrawn 1958/9 

 Set 372 (to 1929 only): B/C 6546 T/Th 737; Disbanded 1933, to Set 363 in 1933 

Set 373: B/C 6545 (B/Th 2622 from 1939), T/Th 738; Withdrawn 1960 

Set 374: B/C 6547 (B/Th 2624 from 1939), T/Th 739; Withdrawn 1956

The models were originally marketed by KMRC and have been released once more under the Exclusive First Editions brand by Bachmann.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Interesting lineside buildings

 The Bachmann Provender store 44-004 has been around for a few years and is capable of representing one of the pre-cast concrete agricultral stores that were so common. 

This example has been adorned with a Dorset Farmers Ltd sign whilst the smaller building is also from Bachmann,  Traders Store 44-180.

Finally, the venerable Ratio Provender store. At least two kits are needed to create a plausible building.

These are a couple of random images of concrete sectional buildings that could be found in railway yards.

Changes to the station forecourt

A subtle change over the last few few months, the SDJR signal cabin has been replaced by an ARP building but the Southern National bus and the LSWR station buildings have returned.

Monday, 9 November 2020

Dorset Farmers Ltd - 2

 Dorset Farmers Ltd - 2

The local station, Sherborne, once had a private siding for Dorset Farmers Ltd on the eastern edge of the station beyond the river bridge. The site is now occupied by Hunt's Foods and Sainsburys.

The aerial view shows a number of buildings on the curve of the siding, these were used for storage of animal feeds, seeds and other agricultural products. The sidings were also used for outgoing agricultural services by local farmers.

A small lorry for Beaminster Road

 When encountering other people's layouts, the 'supporting' features such as road vehicles tend to be very similar. Lots of Base and Classix from the early 50s with the occasional RTI model but not many 'small' commercial vehicles.

This Classix Fordson ET6 is basic but it has potential, it is perfect for an early 50s rural layout.

And this is the real thing,

Bits to be added are better wheels, flush glazing, mirrors, wipers. Most sourced from Road Transport Images who also offer the bits to build a Fordson ET6

In 1949 Ford launched a new range of light trucks with conventional bonneted format after the forward control 7V had proved unpopular. Standard wear was a 3½litre V8 engine derived from the Ford Pilot saloon but a Perkins P6 diesel was optional in the ET7 stablemate. Briggs Motor Bodies supplied the cab, and versions of this also appeared on the bonneted Dodge 100 Series and Leyland Comet. In 1953 a new 3.6litre ohv engine was given to the ET6 and the following year a diesel version of this engine was optional in the '4D' variant. In 1957 the Ford Thames Trader replaced the ET6

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Dorset Farmers Ltd - 1

Dorset Farmers Limited -1 

The society was established in 1917, operating from Dorchester. In 1919 it amalgamated with three smaller farmers' societies. By 1958 it had ten distributive branches in Dorset, Somerset and Devon, animal feed compounding mills at Poole and Sherborne and a farm equipment depot at Blandford. The company owned rail-served premises at many locations in Dorset, which despatched locally grown produce by rail.

 There are still similar companies, Mole Valley Farmers which acquired the well known Southern Counties Agricultural Trading Society (SCATS) unfortunately no longer rail served. The latter had a small number of distinctive feed warehouses including the best known in the yard at Alresford station (below).

The firm Bilteezi once offered a kit for based on the Alresford SCATS feed warehouse. 

Tea Shack

 For those who know West Bay in Dorset, this establishment beside the Quay roundabout is a familiar sight.

It is the modern equivilent of the Victory snack bar in Uxbridge, captured in the 50s and perfect for the space beside Tilly's Auto Repairs.

This Wills SS11, will be the basis for the shack except a large opening will be needed for the counter and the roof replaced by corrugated iron.

Station approach fence

On a murky, cold November morning, the best place to be is the workshop. This morning's task to lengthen the board fence along the approach lane to the station. Due to the change in profile, the build is done in stages of short lengths. Two packs of Wills SS41 were more than sufficient and were carefully painted with grey plastic primer washed with copius quantities of Lifecolor underframe dirt suitably thinned to allow the primer to show through.

Thickened PVA is used but various files, clips hold it in place for 24hrs after which the bottom of the fence will be weathered with grey poster paint powder - very effective.

Finally, a further fillet of PVA will stabilise the fence and capture a dusting of static grass.

Quite a lot of effort for a simple but very visible scenic component of Beaminster Road. 

Friday, 6 November 2020

N class redemption

After four frustrating attempts to procure a perfect Bachmann N-class, this is perfection.

A faultless runner, pre-weathered, early lion totem and the prototype was allocated to the West Country.

31844 crossing Ford viaduct, Plymouth 1st July 1962


Thursday, 5 November 2020

Bachmann Provender store

Sometimes a total lack of imagination is a godsend, in this case a Bachmann Provender store has replaced the space once occupied by the dairy on the layout. 

For some, this view is somewhat familiar, it was captured in 2013 except the layout has totally changed and the scene has been re-located on the other side of the room.

This image was rather popular, the Landy is now on the roadbridge with Ms Dimond of Castle Farm herding the cows.

exSECR railmotor set 514

 Set 514 - This pair of coaches has been of interest since an image of these coaches at Eastleigh was discovered (and lost) some years ago. They were used on the SDJR, particularly the Idmiston work train from Bournemouth and as the stock on Beaminster Road is inspired by the SDJR their story is worth sharing.

T9 30721 on a down Bournemouth train at Fordingbridge in 1957 with exLSWR 56' rebuild and Set 514 - J H Aston

 This started life as two self-powered SECR Railmotors, of which there had been 8. Not a great success, in 1924 the successor Southern Railway converted all 8 into 4 2-car trailer sets. In April 1924, this set and 514 went to the Sheppey Light Railway, but were never pull-push fitted. They were, however, articulated. Coach numbers were 3560 for the brake third, 975 for the third. When the Sheppey line closed in 1950, they went to the Fawley branch. Withdrawn November 1957.

Only those two sets were articulated, and being 3rd class only were unlikely to have been used elsewhere in the 1924-50 period. Mike King does further say that 513/4 spent time in various parts of the former-LSWR area in 1951, being seen at Portland, Hayling Island and Exmouth, but from 1952-6 were used on the Kenny Belle, from Clapham Junction to Olympia and back, a not-widely-publicised service in the peaks, before departing for Fawley in 1956.(Ian Dudley RMweb)

 "This image reproduced with permission.  Please do not share or post elsewhere without the permission of the copyright owner(s).© 2016 - 53A Models of Hull Collection. Scanned from the original 120 monochrome negative; photograph by the late James S Doubleday."

T9 30304 piloted by 700 30695 running through Poole enroute for Salisbury in 1957, of particular interest is the exSECR railmotor set.

Simon Dawson of Rue-De-Etropal offers 3D printed vehicles for set 514, they require a chassis and this will be covered during the building of these kits..........

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Oxford 12t tank wagon

This is the Oxford Rail 12t tank wagon - OR76TK2001 to be exact. It is mid-50s livery but the detail is exceptionally good, look at the open frame.



Here is an interesting example of a 12 ton tanker which appears to closely match the Oxford model in Shell-BP livery but confined to internal use at Falmouth Docks in February 1976.

Thanks to Mike Walker and his friend Martin Stoolman. the images are reproduced here with their blessing.