Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Thursday, 14 April 2016 01:00

Of stop cocks and handrails

27th March 2016

D'y'know, earlier on this week I composed a truly fascinating and thought-provoking opening paragraph for this week's blog, and here I am all set to rock the very foundations of my readers worlds and I simply cannot remember what it was.

Published in 2016 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 06 March 2016 00:00

Of fuel and priming pumps

6th March 2016

A pile of drawings arrived from an e-bay seller during the week. Ostensibly all of '04' class locos, some of them were relevant to '03s', several were duplicated, and some turned out to refer to the unique Southern 0-6-0DM numbered DS1173 (but inexplicably referred to on the drawings as a diesel electric!) which was mechanically like an 04 but whose jackshaft drove onto the middle axle and had a more simplistic style of bodywork. Ah well, I'm sure it will all come in handy some time.

Published in 2016 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 27 December 2015 00:00

Of shunters recesses and mission creep

27th December 2015

I am writing this having just returned from Christmas spent at our daughter's house in Darlington, and as we went there on Christmas Eve, there has in truth been not all that much put in to the collection during the week.

Published in 2015 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 20 December 2015 00:00

Of a Charlie striptease

20th December 2015

Welcome once again to this, the last entry in Weekend Rails before Christmas. I see even last year I was muttering about the Humbug of Christmas so I had better be all light-hearted and looking forward to the festive fracas. So imagine yourself stood outside the door of the Geoffrey Briddon building, a holly-wreath welded to the middle, whereupon it opens to reveal a cherubic father and son, smiling sweetly and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

Published in 2015 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 13 December 2015 00:00

Of gas and guests

13th December 2015

If you notice, I try to start off each week's piece with something sightly philosophical, a perceptive observation or maybe an insightful commentary on something topical. And guess what? I can't think of anything that fits into any of those categories this week. Ah well.

Published in 2015 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 28 June 2015 01:00

Of e-bay and railtours

28th June 2015

E-bay has been a recurring topic for the week. As you know, we keep pour eyes peeled (well Andrew does) for bits-n-bobs, tools and the like, which will be of use at prices we can afford. Sometimes they have gone through without hiccup, others have been thwarted by people who refuse to honour the price the auction closes at. I have had the seller who simply refuses to answer e-mails or calls (and whose item, a 7.25” gauge loco, promptly turns up listed again by someone else) or the one who declared that “it had been stolen the previous day” (and yes, that too was re-listed a few days later by someone who was “doing it for a friend”). This week a new seller (rating 0) who had listed some material at a starting bid of £0.99, when no-one else bid, told Andrew that there was £2000-worth and he wasn't selling at £0.99, ring him and we could strike a deal. Now, I was under the impression that if an auction was completed then a contract existed, but all the so-called FAQs and help pages are strangely quiet on that. We haven't rung the guy, but we will probably give him a negative rating.

Published in 2015 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 31 May 2015 01:00

Of Exodus

31 May 15

I picked the title this week and wondered whether to start off with a “hell fire and brimstone” sermon. You know the sort of thing, you can find it on obscure satellite and cable channels, with some smartly-suited guy sat behind a desk, pronouncing how Man has lost his way and only by following the word of the Lord (or his interpretation of it) in the 'good book' (pick title of yours or his choices) can we redeem ourselves and gain ever-lasting salvation. (And there's a thought, we all know what is meant by the “good book”, but what would we understand to be meant by a “bad book”?) But then sermons aren't really my style. Meandering reminiscences, technical dissertations, maybe, but sermonising on Weekend Rails? Hardly.

Published in 2015 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 05 May 2013 01:00

Of impeccable timing

5th May 2013

I usually say that on Bank Holiday weekends I will leave the blog until Monday, but then by the time Sunday night comes around I am convinced that to postpone it another 24 hours will only result in my forgetting what it was we were doing. So here we are again, and already it's 3 days on the trot and still one to go.

Published in 2013 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 24 March 2013 00:00

Of hot and cold

24th March 2013

Andrew had the Monday off, in expectation that we would not have hired the vehicle the previous Monday and would do it then instead.. And anyway, after 500 miles the previous day going to see 14 901, he thought we could both do with an "easy" time. He can be so considerate. So we wandered in to Rowsley with the intention of getting "Libby" back into the shed.

Published in 2013 Jan-Mar
Sunday, 30 December 2012 00:00

Of casing tops and e-bay flops

30th December 2012

It may have been Christmas Eve but that didn't stifle Andrew's desire to get on with some loco work and we headed in to Rowsley. After some tasks for me, we moved over to "Tom", Andrew intending to cut off the remaining bolt holding the exhaust manifold and me to investigate where the feeds to my lights had gone. Andrew was out of luck though - having taken a lot of bits out of the van a few days previous, one thing that had not returned was the 110V transformer and there was no sign of one in the workshops. Slightly disgruntled he went to the VBA to do a bit of sorting while I was left alone in the cab.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
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