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.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Ryall Military Railway - a short history

Ryall Military Railway

The hamlet of Ryall is situated roughly 1km to the south of what was Beaminster Road station on the Dorchester & Exeter Railway. It was here that a small military training camp was established in 1914 for local regiments. 

King George the Fifth on a visit to Ryall Camp to inspect the Royal Loamshire Regiment

Initially there was no connecting railway involved in the construction of the accomodation huts at Ryall, the civil engineering company of Stuart & Co. were specialists in the building military camps. Due to the extreme rural nature of the lanes, construction of a light railway from Beaminster Road station was deemed essential and approved by A.W. Szlumper, the LSWR chief engineer at Waterloo in early 1915, the railway was soon finished and opened for inspection on 15th October 1915 after Lt.Col. Drewitt had approved it on behalf of the War Department. 

Due to the topography, the line was not easily worked and required the services of an Adams 0415, hired from the LSWR and a Peckett B2 'Westminster'.

424 in 1915 

Peckett Westmister
Post-1918, the line survived to serve the strategic store established on the site but the line was placed on 'care and maintenance' with but one locomotive - Westminster. In early '39 the onset of hostilities brought new life to the line with the addition of a Fowler 0-4-0DM until it was transferred to West Moors Defence Fuels. 

After nationalisation of the railways, the remaining the Peckett was sold into industrial use and all traffic to the line was by BR locos, normally one of Dorchester's 700 or 0395 on light goods.

Friday, 3 July 2020

The Sunday Engineering train - 2

After almost a year some progress, the Herring is complete and lettered, the Dogfish has been re-lettered whilst both will be weathered.

The etched Herring was a challenging build, only finescale wheels will fit, no allowance for autocouplings and no space for hidden ballast. Neither was it a particularly free runner however tweaking solved the problems. My thanks to Mike and Neil.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Small Hopper - 1

The forty strong class exLSWR K10 were known as ‘small hoppers’ due to their inability to maintain team pressure on long journeys (only suitable for short hops), they were built, initially for mainline use but soon downgraded to secondary services and mixed traffic workings.

They lasted until the early 50s, only 30382 received its BR number but with Southern on the tender, their final livery was plain black with Bulleid sunshine lettering. The last loco withdrawn was 30389 in July 1951 from Yeovil Town shed.

In 2019. OO works offered examples including a bogus BR livery.

Prototype images Wikipedia and Mike Morant

 380 Eastleigh awaiting the torch

 139 at Feltham 1947
 The OO Works model is good but needs upgrading in terms of detail, this will be featured in later posts.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Brighton Rock

Justifying the purchase of a loco that never ran West of Salisbury and only reached Dorchester via Bournemouth is a bit of a stretch.

However the Brighton H2 32424 Beachy Head was a long anticipated model and ticks all the boxes, moreover Beaminster Road never existed except in my imagination. 

So here it is, looking wonderful beside the wartime signal box.

This is the manufacturer's publicity image
Beautiful loco and model - 
Air Display Special leaving Farnborough for Waterloo.View westward from the A325 bridge, towards Farnborough Station. The locomotive is ex-LBSC H2 Atlantic  32421 'South Foreland', with fairly modern SR stock. - Ben Brooksbank 

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Adams 0395 in 4mm - 2

At the start of the month I started thinking about a final loco for Beaminster Road - an exLSWR Adams 0395 seemed to be a perfect choice as Chris at Golden Arrow Productions offered a kit. The problem has been accumulating the bits.

This is the parts list:-

Loco and Tender Body kit - Golden Arrow Productions
Loco chassis exLMS 4F LCP6  - Comet
Wheels - 5ft 0in 16 spoke WH205 exLMS 4F   - Markit
Axles -  MRAX/OO - Markit
Crankpins - RM2 - Markit
Tender wheels - 4ft 0in MRJ16S - Markit
Tender 2mm i/d tophat bearings - Alan Gibson
Handrail knobs - Alan Gibson

Coreless motor and Gearbox - Road Runner Plus 60:1 - High Level

Various Adams boiler fittings and other details - hopefully from Brassmasters.

Adams injectors and lamp irons from Brassmasters

Finally, a huge thank you to Alan Hartshorne at Wizard Models for supplying most of the stuff.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Sunday morning in the shed - 3

Part three of Sunday morning in the shed - 

the market seems awash with new Hornby Adams Radials at very low prices. Hardly surprising as they are 'speciality' locomotives barely venturing from the Axminster-Lyme Regis branch however a wedding present from my parents was a print of a 0415 and line through Beaminster Road connects with the Axminster.

Ex-LSWR Adams ‘0415’ class 4-4-2T 30584 between Axminster - Combyne
 Nick Hyams Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0
 Hornby R3333 irresitable

Memories of Dorchester

Once the LSWR had intended to extend west from Dorchester to Dorset's second busiest town, Bridport, then skirt northwards around the Marshwood Vale and strike westwards near Hawkchurch for Axminster and Exeter.

The map shows how the plan was thwarted by a combination of the GWR and a rival group within the LSWR who favoured an extension via Yeovil. 

Some memories of a once odd station where trains went forward, backwards and then forwards once more.
 30739 King Leodegrance 27th August 1954

A 'Mickey' heading eastwards 
71C Dorchester shed with three O2s, 30743 LYONESSE

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Sunday morning in the shed - 2

Part two of Sunday morning in the shed - the other weekly ritual, second only to Gardener's World
The two Peco buildings are finished but not quite, they need essential weathering - they get a good wash with Mig Decay which nicely replicates the mould of the South West's weather.
 There are a few mistakes in their finish, normally they receive a careful re-touch to correct any faults but this time, the faults remain as part of the general decrepitude associated with neglect. Finally, they will receive suitably 'jolly' holiday posters in due course. 

 I rather like the lock-up

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

May the bodging commence

Chandlers Ford station - long gone, replaced by a bus shelter.
Take two Wills station building kits, a station canopy from Peco and add Ratio GWR Chimneys plus some odd bits

Easier than scratchbuilding but not quite as satisfying. 
Apologies to those who have seen it all before.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Sunday morning in the shed - 1

This is a heartfelt tribute to one of my favourite kits, the Peco Platform Shelter and Hut. The Southern had a fondness for  small wooden station buildings, easily built on site by local labour, thankfully, the Peco kit is both cheap and adaptable.

For ease, I spray the green components with Humbrol Acrylic Green Grass and the windows get a dusting of white after the smaller glazing bars are removed.

After assemby, the wooden buildings and valences get two coats of stone. 

For a painting chart try this link:- Southern Colours

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Two LMS vans

Two really nice wagons courtesy of Terry Satchell who has very steady hands.

A Bachmann LMS 12t van on a Parkside 10' underframe with Ratio roof ventilators 

Parkside LMS 12t Fruit van Diag 1/230

Thank you Terry.

Adams 0395 in 4mm - 1

A small locomotive with an interesting history, the Adams 0395.
Inspiration from RMweb's Neil, has resulted in the purchase of a Golden Arrow Productions 0395 from Chris. Memories of DJH's odd-length castings have adversley coloured my perception of this useful locomotive but it will compliment the 02 and G6. 

The 0395 was a rather Victorian standard goods 0-6-0 that was even older than the ex-LSWR Drummond '700' class 0-6-0. Here is 30567 at Feltham which was built as No. 154 in 3/1883, later Duplicate No. 0154, SR No. 3154, then BR No. 30567 and survived until 9/59. 

Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0 Geograph-2979734-by-Ben-Brooksbank

Lovely old thing,  the model will feature an etched generic chassis, suitably modified with two-stage drive and coreless motor, a very useful locomotive. 

Courtesy of Mike Morant

Sunday, 31 May 2020


Simple choices
I know too many pedantic folk and without exception not one them enjoy the pleasure of building a realstic railway (and never will)

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.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Papers - Read all about it

It may come as a surprise but even tiny rural stations had a newspaper kiosk, often the distribution hub for the local community.

Downton the David Cockman collection

This is the rather attractive Metcalfe version, what a shame that it is not SR green.

It should do a brisk trade in pictorial magazines for the soldiery from the local camp. 


Thursday, 28 May 2020

Live calf traffic on the South Western

These images of Crewkerne Station were part of the trade in live calves that were once transported by British Railways.   

 The Calf Float was a handling aid to load the calves into exGWR horse boxes in the second and third photos, both captured at Crewkerne. 


Incidentally, Hornby currently offer an exGWR horse box marked for Calf Traffic R6561
Thanks to Friends of Crewkerne Station