Club Update - August 2019

Much interest was shown in last month’s photograph of a Blue Pullman at Cardiff General. This shot shows the South Wales Pullman at Neath General, en route to Swansea High Street, in June 1967.
Photographed by Hugh Llewelyn and acknowledged with thanks [Wiki Commons].


The August newsletter is traditionally sparse and this one will be no different! There is still some important news however, particularly about the latest wagon commission, the show and a forthcoming stock sale. But, first......

The auspicious occasion of last month’s newsletter – No 100 – was celebrated with a draw in which one lucky member would receive a cheque for £20, the winner to be announced in the August edition. Well that lucky member’s name, drawn out of the hat in the traditional way, is Alan Burton. Congratulations Alan! When you are next at the club, please see the Treasurer for your winnings!

The club has also had some astonishing and unexpected good luck recently. First of all, we have received an extremely generous bequest from the estate of the late John Rogers. John, an original member of the club, passed away some months back and a letter from his family solicitors, announcing a charitable gift of £5000, came as a wonderful surprise. We do not intend simply squirrelling this gift away for a rainy day and ways of using it will be found, ones which John would have approved of. It has been suggested that some of the money is used on replacing the ageing and rather worn-out small lathe in the workshop, but more on this issue in due course. If you have any ideas that you’d like to share for its use, do remember that we have a suggestion box near the entrance.

A further bequest was also made by the late Gwyn Harwood [whose recent funeral service was extremely well supported by the club]. We have received a large, original water-colour painting which he commissioned for himself some years ago. It will be placed in the club room once a plaque acknowledging Gwyn’s bequest has been obtained. A photo of Gwyn’s picture appears below....

Tickets, please......

This month, a mint Third Class GWR monthly return from Merthyr to Cardiff Queen Street. Although used, the ticket is not dated but is probably post-War. The demolition of the original TVR Queen Street station, with its huge overall roof, was an act of appalling early-70s BR vandalism and a real gem was lost.

The next stock sale

Whilst this will not take place until after our September show – there is just too much to do until then – I recently viewed a collection which we have been asked to sell as part of an estate clearance.

This is an interesting and saleable lot and includes a couple of short rakes of coaches [including crimson and cream Centenaries, earlier Hornby Collett GWR and LMS stock and some earlier Pullmans], a largish amount of Wrenn [and other] box vans and open trucks, various steam locomotives, various plastic railway buildings, OO gauge road vehicles [including buses], Corgi O gauge buses and many other items. All of this stock appears to be in good condition but is dusty [and will be cleaned lightly prior to the sale]. The locos are as yet untested [but will probably require oiling]. There really does seem to be something for everybody here and, as usual, the stock will be priced to sell, so save your pennies!

The 2019 private owner wagon commission

Noel Blows has asked me to let you know that the club’s 2019 Dapol commission has now arrived and is in store. The unusual livery is truly striking, as the photo below of the O gauge model shows.

F&EPOOLE&CO 3 (1) (2).jpg

Noel has asked me to advise you all that payment for the wagons can now be made [asap please] with all wagons available at the club to club members on Thursday 19 September. Ideally, he would prefer cash or a cheque since the card machine costs have to be borne by the club [affecting profit].

A reminder about the costs: OO and N gauge wagons are £13 each with postage for up to two wagons an additional £5. O gauge wagons are £45 each, with packing and insurance an additional £7.50 for one wagon. If you have ordered multiple O gauge or more than two OO and N gauge wagons for posting, please contact Noel Blows for p&p details via the ‘Contact Us’ section of our website [].

Please note that over half of the OO and N gauge wagons have already been reserved and no further O gauge wagons will now be sold until the show itself.

The Christmas Do

To accommodate those who wished to attend the Warley show, this has now been rearranged for Friday 1 November, 7.00pm for 7.30pm at Norton House Hotel, 17 Norton Road, Mumbles Swansea. SA3 5TQ. 32 members and friends signed up so far, but there is plenty of room for more. The meal remains an astonishingly good value £14.00 for members’ partners and free for members. Please would those members who have booked to attend with partners pay for their other halves by Thursday 24 October, as well as giving Noel Blows their individual choices of starter, main and dessert, as these have to be with the hotel by 25 October [a week in advance].

A menu reminder from Noel’s recent e-mail:

Diners to choose one each from the following 3 courses or one each from just 2 courses [starter + main or main + desert] if that is the preference. I have to give a detailed breakdown of everyone’s choices by 16 November. The cost to the general public is £24.00 for a 2 course meal and £28.00 for one of 3 courses so you can see that the free cost to member and half price cost to partners represents a good deal for the club membership and their other halves. Please note all drinks except tea / coffee at the conclusion of the meal will be for individuals’ own accounts.


  • Soup of the Day with Crusty Bread.

  • Chicken Liver Pate with Onion Jam and Toasted Bloomer Bread.

  • Fan of Melon with a Pineapple Puree, Crispy Palma Ham, Port Wine Reduction with Spiced Poached Pear.

  • Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Bavarois with Horseradish Cream and Toasted Bloomer Bread. Salad of Roasted Asparagus, Honeyed Walnuts and Orange with a Honey and Mustard Sauce.

Main Courses

  • Roast Crown of Turkey with Stuffing, Chipolata Sausage, Honey Roasted Parsnips, Roast Potato. Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage, Perl Wen & Chestnut Pithivier, Parsnip Puree.

  • Daube of Beef with a Baby Onion, Bacon, Mushroom & Merlot Sauce.

  • Baked Fillet of Salmon with a Crayfish, Mussell & Saffron Bisque.

  • Roast Breast of Guinea Fowl, Braised Red Cabbage, Cranberry, Port and Orange Jus. [All these served with a selection of seasonal vegetables].


  • Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce.

  • Orange Posset with Homemade Shortbread.

  • Spiced Forest Fruit Eton Mess and Honeycomb.

  • Salted Caramel Cheese Cake, Praline and Raspberry.

  • Cheese and Biscuits.

Followed by tea / coffee and mince pies.

We have tried this year to organise a Christmas do that is really special: a ‘no cost’ option for members is just that and the venue is excellent – no greasy spoon! For those who wish to stay on for a while after the meal, DJ and club member Rob Pendry will be providing a disco, too. Join us and make the night a do to remember.

It has been pointed out that November 1st is perhaps early for a Christmas social, but having rearranged the later date originally booked [to allow Warley people to attend], this was the only Friday that Norton House had left un-booked. And anyway, does it matter? Of course not, it’ll be a great night!

Use of the Test Tracks

These are as busy as ever but queues do develop with some members having to wait for up to 40 minutes to be able to run their stock. To avoid this from happening – and ensure that no resentment builds up – if you are occupying more than one track at a time when the other lines are all busy, please ensure that you are not preventing others from running stock. If there’s no-one around you can run whatever you want: at busy times however, please be sensitive to other members’ needs.

The 2019 show

Volunteers are still urgently needed to assist in running this show over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd September. No-one would need to be available for the entire 48 hours of the weekend, but time given on Friday for setting-up and at the weekend for marshalling, enquiries, covering the club table, etc., is desperately needed. Please speak to Scott Rhodes this Thursday at the club, or put your name on the sheet adjacent to the signing-in book if you can help. Shows, being what they are, can only be really successful if there are sufficient hands to assist over the period. Thanks.

The Great Model Railway Challenge – Channel Five

Season two of this popular TV show sees a club member, once again, competing with others over several episodes. If they are successful, Gwion Rhys Davies and his team could feature in up to three episodes, but will they? Gwion remains tight-lipped! All will be revealed soon but, unfortunately, the scheduling for transmission has been delayed and the start date is still unknown. At present it looks as though mid-September will see the programme aired. Watch this space!

GWR Saint Class 2999 ‘Lady of Legend’, photographed recently at Didcot by Richard Grigg. No ordinary engine this. 2999 was constructed between 2009 and 2019, project, based at Didcot Railway Centre in Didcot, Oxfordshire. Described as ‘building the 78th based on the frames and boiler of GWR Hall class 4-6-0 No 4942 Maindy Hall. It is the second completed ‘new-build’ Saint’, the project started in the 1970s to look at building a new 'Saint', since none of the original class-members were preserved. Heroic stuff.

Finally, the locking-up arrangements to the end of September

  • Sept 5 J Mages

  • Sept 12 R Pendry

  • Sept 19 S Rhodes

  • Sept 26 T Richards

I hope this this finds you well, enjoy what’s left of the summer and best wishes all. Tony.