Saturday, 3 September 2022

Signpost to the Future


So, here is the big news that I've been vaguely hinting at in recent weeks.

The decline in Issy's health, hopefully fixable by surgery, has made Elder Cottage a handful, especially if I end up back on the road racking up the Airmiles. Meanwhile, my mother and her partner aren't getting younger either, and more grandchildren are in prospect.

We have loved our time here, but we must be realistic about the future.

I will stress that the the ELR, in some form, will be resurrected.

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Starting Them Young

Freddie, the grandson, is at the age where he is falling in love with Thomas the Tank Engine. Unfortunately, he seems more enamoured of the modern travesty than the originals, but it is a start.

On Friday he turned up clutching his Tomy Thomas and on his way into the house noticed, for the first time, the track of the Eaugate Light Railway.

He then proceeded to get confused about why his Tomy train wouldn't fit on the 7 1/4" track.

A diversion was clearly called for to avoid tears, so whilst Grandma took him out to do errands I had a frantic search for some of my old Faller track and loco.


It isn't ideal, still being a bit fiddly for him. And that is all the working Faller stock I have. Somewhere I have a stash of Big Big Train Rustons, but no compatible wagons.

The solution? A quick visit to Phil Sharple's webshop

(Note: I'm experimenting with fonts to make the text more readable for the neuro-diverse. There is a font I would like to use, but unfortunately it won't work on the web unless you have it installed)

Monday, 22 August 2022

Market Drayton

Ninety years ago last Thursday my mother was born in a rural cottage near the site of the battle of Blore Heath. I was born in the house she was brought up in. At the time it had no bathroom or electricity. Strangely it doesn't have a blue plaque on it yet, though it does have a bathroom and electricity.

Anyyway, the occasion meant a trip to see the extended family, including those in the nearby graveyard. And, for me, a chance to really try out the Leica Q2 Monochrom now I'm over the initial learning curve. One thing I'm clear on is I would rather work with the .DNG files than the rather flat JPGs it produces.

The photos are around and about Drayton, Hales and Market Drayton Museum

A quick update. Thanks to the power of social media I was able to identify two "mystery items" for the museum.

Monday, 15 August 2022

The Past is Going Fast

 We've lived here for seven years, and there has been one building I keep meaning to take photos of.  

Especially since a lot of new housing going up in our local village seems sure to lead to it being demolished, as our traditional old garage was to provide an entrance to another new estate. 

It, and the other outbuildings, are part of what used to be an everyday thing - the farmyard in the village itself.

We drive through the village a lot, but rarely stop. Although it is quite large there is little there. Two pubs, neither of which are great and the world's worst sub-post office. The saving grace is a brilliant butchers, but I avoid that for the sake of my wallet.

A road-closure, linked to house building, did give me the chance to finally cyle there and choose my viewpoints.

My apologies these photos are over-processed. A combination of my phone's annoying habit to make it's own creative choices and trying to edit them in bright sun.

Friday, 12 August 2022

A brief return to Flemish Quay

 It isn't looking good.

Installing and organising new shelves in the workshop has taken a lot of effort. It still isn't quite finished. Add on top of that a wife and dog with serious health problems, family events, a never quite under control garden and a love affair with a new camera and it is fair to say it has been neglected. 

But the biggest factor has been my dissatisfaction with the building on the left. . There are such a lot of things that I wish I had done differently. 

For now, I'm going to keep it, though changing a few things I simply know will always bug me, like the bargeboards. They are simply too short for a model clad in the thick brick sheet, and not a fault with the kit itself.

As an insurance policy I've bought a second one, so that if I do conclude it isn't worth saving I know I can still continue. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

A Bit of a Ramble - part 2

With wife and dog tired out from Saturday's trip just Paul and I set out to do one of my favourite loops visiting local attractions. In fact there are a few other attractions on the way that we didn't have time for, such as The Riverside Railway in St. Neots and the Manor in Hemingford Grey. Both are highly recommended and the Manor has the added benefit of a great pub nearby.

We started at Houghton Mill. This is a truly lovely spot that we return to again and again. On a sunny day it was incredibly busy, but the plus point is that there were a lot more guides around to share their enthusiasm and knowledge. 

The next stop, at Ramsey Rural Museum  will feature in Part 3

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

A Bit of a Ramble - part 1

The other weekend Paul, the Best Man at our wedding, came to visit for the first time since lockdown. It seemed an ideal opportunity to visit some relatively local attractions. Unfortunately at the cost of missing yet another 16mm Association show.

First stop was the Wells & Walshingham for their 40th birthday gala. Despite often passing the station this was the first time I've actually travelled on it. 

We had lunch in Holt, but didn't have time to visit the North Norfolk Railway, and ended the day in Blakeny 

By the time we got home, Gigi had had enough! So we left her, and Issy, at home for part 2.