Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 17 June 2018 21:06

Of a Father's Day trip out

17th June 2018

Father's Day, huh? So my son and I go to North Wales - just. A day out, all expenses paid? Nah!

Published in 2018 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 29 April 2018 20:42

Of seeing the train for the trees

29th April 2018

Another varied week here at the Briddon Country Pile. Steph has had a go at me for 'putting work and locos in front of my health' as on Monday I was out and about and only tried to get an appointment at the Doctor's on Monday night, which was a forlorn hope.

Published in 2018 Apr-Jun
Monday, 02 October 2017 00:10

Of points east and west

1st October 2017

Well, it looks like a mixed bag this week. Something for everyone, maybe. After all, I did promise you a wide-ranging instalment when I signed off last Sunday.

blog hdr 1oct

Published in 2017 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 13 August 2017 23:21

Of books and cabinets

13th August 2017

Not much philosophy to impart this week, except maybe one of my favourite quotes from Lord of the Rings, where Gaffer Gamgee says – It's the job as is never started that takes longest to finish. Wise words.

Published in 2017 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 13 September 2015 01:00

Of skyhooks and extensions

13th September 2015

It is amazing how difficult it can be to get an order placed with some companies. Years ago, I was at a steel stockholders in Rotherham. I didn't buy much raw steel in those days – most of it came in as fabrications made to my drawings – but I had managed to purchase something – on a cash sale – and was actually sawing it by hand into car-sized lengths, when the MD came by with a couple of clients.

Published in 2015 Jul -Sep
Sunday, 05 April 2015 01:00

Of station layouts and out and abouts

5th April 2015


Ah, a portion of my faith in human nature has been restored. For in the latest Railways Illustrated has appeared a picture of 03 901 taken during the lunch break on the February 28th tour, and a write up to go with it that has managed to get all the details correct.

Published in 2015 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 07 July 2013 01:00

Of friends and enemies, wheels and jacks

7th July 2013

Years ago, when I was working at Thomas Hills, a new competitor appeared on the scene - Wilmott Brothers, a plant dealer/hirer based near Nottingham. Now, to my mind, if you are in business and representing your employer to customers, there is only one way you can regard a competitor. He is the Brand X your powder will out-wash; he is scum, nothing he does is right and he has no right to exist. It is your job, every day (but without openly slagging him off, the etiquette of business does not allow it, that is why he is referred to as Brand X) to get out there and ensure that the customers know that you are the better supplier than he can ever be.

Published in 2013 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 24 February 2013 00:00

Of things that did and didn't arrive

24th February 2013

On Monday I was over at Briddon Towers for the morning but aimed to be back in Derbyshire in time to meet the lorry. I needn't have worried so much, for somehow the postcode for Rowsley directed the wagon's Satnav to somewhere near Mickleover, and by the time the driver had sorted out with me over the phone where he ought to be, he'd run out of hours and had to park up. So finally he arrived in Rowsley late in the afternoon, a 40ft flat trailer with an eight-wheel tractor unit sporting the biggest HIAB-type crane I'd ever seen. We'd lifted the generator set and sundries off when Andrew arrived, having dashed home from work and changed. Off came the casing top from the NB, the 6RPH Paxman was lifted out and secured to the wagon, and the casing top refitted.

Published in 2013 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 16 September 2012 01:00

Of different gauges

16th September 2012

It may surprise some people to know that I was an n.g. enthusiast before I became professionally involved with s.g. and in many respects I would rather be involved with 2ft than 4ft 81/2". I was at one point offered a job as Commercial Manager for Bala Lake Railway by the instigator and Chief-Of-Almost-Everything George Barnes, only for the company Chairman, Tom Jones (no, not that Tom Jones, this one was a Gwynedd County Councillor - you really must keep up with the Jones's...) politely to withdraw it as the railway "could not afford me".

Published in 2012 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 24 June 2012 01:00

Of wanderings and doings

24th June 2012

The narrow gauge theme started by the Amberley visit continued this week. On Wednesday night Steph and I met Andrew at Butterley for their annual n.g. open night. (We met for the simple reason that he was on his return journey from Eastleigh.) These open nights have a similar theme - two or three runs the length of the GVLR with resident 0-4-2T "Joan", then the area around Butterley is de-marked into sections and a loco is set on each and visitors are free to have a go.

Published in 2012 Apr-Jun

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