Club Update - August 2017

Photo By Gwion Rhys Davies


August is traditionally a very quiet month for the club, with many members being away and little else going on. This tends to be reflected in the newsletter too, although whilst there is little generally to report upon, there is some news of developments and some dates for your diaries as well.

The workshop

The club’s workshop [off the corridor that leads to the north-end fire escape] is now finished and ready for use. The photos show what a professional job Steve G has done for us [and thanks too to John Allnutt for the electrical work]. The workshop is well-equipped with a variety of electric saws, a lathe and a pillar drill. All may be used by members but particular care must be taken and if potential users have no previous experience of using this equipment, advice MUST be sought first to ensure that safety and suitability for the task are maintained. Steve G is usually on hand to give advice or demonstrate use. If he is not, and you have no familiarity with these tools, please wait until you can speak to him.

For the sake of safety, if there are others in the club at the time, please advise someone that you will be using the power tools in the workshop [and remember to clean up after you!!]. Safety masks/eye-shield are provided.

Wrenn and Hornby-Dublo 2 & 3-rail stock

A friend of the club, David Gwynne, recently let me know that he has acquired a re-magnetising machine for Wrenn and HD locomotives. These older mechanisms often lose power through age and will also overheat when their magnets lose their strength: the only solution is re-magnetising. Some collectors purchase ‘Super-neo’ magnets to obtain a permanent solution, this may damage the lower bearing in the motors however because of their extraordinary strength. A far better solution is to retain the old magnet and have it re-magnetised, a quick and completely painless alternative!

David has kindly offered to provide this service free-of-charge should any club member have an old Wrenn or HD chassis which requires this attention. If anyone is interested in David’s kind offer, please let me know over the next fortnight in order that I can speak to David about a convenient Thursday evening for him to attend.

A recent donation

Kindly facilitated through club member Ray Stroud [and many thanks, Ray], an acquaintance of his has donated to the club this old Hornby clockwork tin-plate O- gauge tank engine. Somewhat play-worn, and missing some buffers and with a slightly bent cab, it will be tidied-up in due course [but not repainted] and remain on show in the glass cabinet in the club room. The clockwork mechanism has yet to be tested as I have to source a key.

These 4-4-2 tanks were made by Hornby between 1929 and 1941 and catalogued as the Hornby ‘No2 Special Tank’. This model however, in GWR Green with the iconic ‘Shirtbutton’ emblem, was manufactured sometime between 1936 and 1941. It was also available in several other liveries. The model was available in 3-rail electric form too, running on 20v. An absolutely delightful item from the earlier days of railway modelling and something which probably cost a week’s wages.

If any member has unwanted parts from a broken ’Special Tank’ [eg. buffers and couplings], please let me know as it will assist in the restoration of this model.

The next stock-sale

This has been planned for Thursday the 26th October. The sale will include both OO and N-gauge items, many boxed and little-used, and should contain something for everyone. A further reminder will be issued in due course.

General security matters

I’m sorry to advise that at some time in the past, items have been taken from the Clock Tower cupboard by persons unknown. These include a vintage tinplate O- gauge electric loco and tender and two coaches. These items were part of a commission sale for which the club will now need to bear the loss. You’ll join me in registering extreme disappointment that this has happened, all the more so as access to the cupboard can only be obtained by key and only then when the club is open.

Consequently, a rethink about security means that shortly, a new and more-secure padlock will be fitted to the cupboard door and the key will not be generally available. We need to be able to store, securely, items for sale in the knowledge that they are safe. Access to the cupboard will be on Thursdays only when it will be opened, on request, by either myself or one other key-holder. Over the next fortnight, I would be grateful if all personal items could be removed by their owners and arrangements made to store them elsewhere, off the premises. I am sorry that this has become necessary but am certain that, although inconvenient, members will appreciate the necessity for it.

Another matter has arisen also, this involving the borrowing of equipment for loco-testing, track-laying, etc. Please, please, always ask the owner[s] of the equipment before borrowing any item. It may look as though it has been abandoned and not seen use for a while, but it still belongs to someone and may suddenly be needed for use. A request will avoid the inevitable concern and anger that something borrowed has, in fact, been stolen. Thanks, all.

Swindon trip

I have mentioned this before but Ted Hylton has now placed a sheet on the notice board for expressions of interest in this trip to the Swindon Railway Festival at ‘Steam’, the museum of the Great Western Railway on Sunday the 10th. September 2017.

Transport costs will be [according to Ted] iro £10 per head, and entry to the exhibition is £12 for adults, £9 for 65+ and £8 for children and students [ID reqd.]. Over 24 model railways and 30 trade stands will be in attendance, together with an opportunity to see both King George Vth and Caerphilly Castle in the flesh.

I’m guessing that seats may be limited, so be very quick to sign if you are interested.

The Tirdonkin wagon commission

There can be no-one in the club who is still unaware of this, our third commission!

Noel Blows has advised that 30% of the commission has already been accounted for with pre-paid sales of £1500 received. These wagons are selling well and those who anticipate a purchase should indicate their interest on the sheet on the club noticeboard as soon as possible. Paying in advance will also guarantee the order: waiting to purchase at the show may not. The commission should be with us in a couple of weeks: I’ll arrange for photographs to be circulated shortly after.

Noel also advised that only three sets of N-gauge wagons now remain unsold from the second wagon commission, Clyne Valley and Craven Llewelyn. These remaining pairs are available at £20 each, a newly discounted price to clear the stock. Contact Noel directly if you are interested, his details may be found in the ‘Products’ section of our website [].

Finally, diary date reminders...

  •   Swindon trip - September 10th
  •   Annual show - October 7/8th 
  •   Next stock sale - October 26th

Best wishes all