Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

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Ian Everett
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Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby Ian Everett » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:05 am

Having survived* Scaleforum, and even winning a voucher for £50 at Eileen's Emporium for the best use of scratch building materials (for Clecklewyke's viaduct), attention turned to the October meeting of CRAG. This was held at David's house which is in the beautiful, largely unknown country "behind" Skiddaw and Blencathra. It is a beautiful spot, an ancient, stone-built ex-farm house with lovely cobbled yard. David does his modelling in a study which he shares with his wife, Susan, apparently harmoniously. I cannot imagine my wife enjoying my Radio 3, which is a mandatory accompaniment to my modelling, nor the dirt and mess which it always generates. But David is very tidy and his modelling is immaculate, very finely built and finished. We enjoyed watching a London Road Models Coal Tank purring slowly around his small mineral line yard. This started as a simple test-bed but is developing into an interesting shunting puzzle on several levels. He has tried several different types of track before settling on a preferred variety.

Six of us turned up - Bob, Chris, Phil, Ron, David and myself and had an excellent afternoon, which started with a pub lunch at the Mill in Mungrisdale. Many thanks to David and Susan for their hospitality.

The next meeting will be on Thursday November 12th and we welcome members in the Cumbrian area (which, for our purposes stretches to include Wensleydale and Swaledale as well as Cumbria) at my house in Wensleydale (details on the Blue Sheet). I am hoping by then to have a new fiddle yard and to have at least some of my locos running on DCC with sound. The conversions are being done by my cousin Stuart de Boer, who trades under the name Modelyard with his son and partner Robert - see . Any other P4 DCC locos will be welcome to stretch their legs.

Clecklewyke is now in its final position and the intention is to phase the layout development as follows:

1) new fiddle yard,
2) a continuous run,
3) the passenger terminus, Bradford North Western (of "Minories" scope),
4) the goods sorting sidings (no room for a full goods yard with loading/unloading facilities). Its headshunt will form the connection to the fiddle yard,thus making a continuous run.

And finally

5) the townscape around the terminus, which will include a canal, terraced houses, mills etc.

So I am hoping that by Christmas we will be able to operate a full timetable through Clecklewyke again and that next year there will be a reasonably complete terminus - fiddle yard (with continuous run for when I just want to play trains). This might seem ambitious but I will re-use the old Belle View baseboards and most of the Belle View pointwork'


* Phil, Steve and I had a great time at Scaleforum but we have reluctantly decided that Clecklewyke will not go on the road again. After unloading on Sunday evening, Phil and Steve had to go back to Carlisle, which they reached in the early hours of Monday. We really needed more in the team and getting Clecklewyke ready to show was a major distraction from my main priority of getting the Bradford North Western branch set up in its new home - and at 68 I am terribly aware that time is running out and my eye sight is failing!
Last edited by Ian Everett on Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby SteamAle » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:00 pm

This is what it looks like so far!

Ian Everett looks on!
P1010227a.jpg (40.81 KiB) Viewed 5084 times

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Re: Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:16 am

Looks like a good start.
by the way, the [img] tags are for linking to a picture on another website, they are not needed for images that you attach.

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Ian Everett
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Re: Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby Ian Everett » Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:15 pm

We had a most enjoyable meeting last Saturday, 23rd Jan, in Kirkby Stephen, with Stephen Paulin as host, which mostly consisted of a really excellent lunch at the Bay Horse in Winton . Other people liked it too, see:

Ten people attended - Chris, Griff, Stephen, Ron, Patsy, Jean, Cherry, David, Richard and myself - with apologies from David Beale, who says he is still in hibernation, Stuart de Boer and Phil Tuer.

I am told I slept through most of it - the consequence of alcohol and good food on my aging constitution!

At Stephen's house afterwards we mostly chatted but also tried out a sample of Stephen's converted diesel stock (at least it was green, not blue!) on his test track. I personally fell in love with the little rail bus - very feminine and comely, I thought. I remember trying to make one out of balsa when I was about ten. We are becoming swayed by Chris's advocation of Megapoints control of servos for points and signals. The latter can be set to give whatever number of bounces you want with random variations and the whole thing is remarkably cost-effective - far cheaper than Tortoises for instance - and can be used with either DC or DCC input. Its simplicity of setting up is particularly liked by this luddite, who has rarely ventured beyond wire in tube control. We are hoping to arrange a demonstration for the Group. See:

The next meeting will see our programme revert to a normal pattern, with meetings mostly on the second Thursday of the month, with a pub lunch followed by a session at a member's house. This odd arrangement is a consequence of our wide distribution (from Carlisle, via Wensleydale to Leeds) and the fact that we are mostly retired. So we will meet on Thursday 11th February at Chris King's house in Glasson (Cumbria), where we will see progress on his ex-GER branch, and then on Thursday 10th March at my house in Wensleydale, where I will have enough DCC stock to give Clecklewyke's new fiddle yard a good work-out.

If you are in the area, please come along and bring your latest projects for us to admire. We are an eclectic group, with no membership rules or fees. We model in all 4mm scales (and occasionally in O) and usually have facilities to run any 4mm scale stock at our meetings. PM or email me for more details.

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Ian Everett
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Re: Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby Ian Everett » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:42 pm

The most recent meeting of CRAG was on March 10th at my house and what a meeting it was!

Eight people met for the pub lunch in the Kings Arms - Phil Tuer, Stuart de Boer, Chris King, Ron Tyler, Mike Megginson, Betsy, myself and a new neighbour of mine, Graham Gosling, who was "trying us out", not having modelled since his Triang train set days. There were apologies from David Beale, who still appears to be hibernating in his Lakeland eyrie, and David Smith, who was "in the works" for examination. Serious stuff, this, with talk of angiograms and stents. Luckily he passed the tests and is cleared for yard work but it will be some time before he is passed for top link duties.

After lunch, Richard Hodgson arrived and the railway room was absolutely packed. I am afraid the meeting was pretty chaotic with lots going on and I am not sure what Graham could have made of it.

Some trains were run on Clecklewyke under the control of the block bells and, following their conversion to DCC by Stuart, making lovely sounds, especially the diesel shunter, which made an incredible series of hisses and wheeses before churning sounds emanated from its innards and it moved very, very slowly off. Wilbert A. would have had words to describe its ridiculous pomposity - Simon the self-important shunter?

Elsewhere, Mike was demonstrating his lovely models of ex NER locos built from Arthur Kimber's brilliant kits.

There seemed to be a DCC competition going on, with Stuart in the corridor trying to load JMRI software on to a MacBook while Richard was setting up Hornby's Railmaster on a PC. (They are helping me choose an operating system for my DCC locos. I am wanting to have wifi handsets - tablets or smartphones - for our drivers to use.)

Ron and Chris were talking in the "EM" corner. I was trying and failing to act as ringmaster but I do remember driving a few trains on Clecklewyke. I don't know what Graham was doing - I think he must have been bemused by the intensity, but lack of structure of, all that was going on.

But judging from the noise that was made I think we all enjoyed ourselves!

Roll on Thursday April 14th, when we will meet at Ron Tyler's house, which he optimstically describes as being "near" Muker in Swaledale. We will meet at the Farmers' Arms for lunch at 1300, then go on to Ron's railway room, some 30 minutes away...

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Re: Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby Ian Everett » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:50 am

Yesterday's meeting of CRAG at my house was a pivotal moment,as it saw the end of Clecklewyke as a P4 layout.

It was a lovely day so we started the meeting with an excellent lunch in the garden of the White Rose. There were four of us - Phil Tuer, Chris King, Stuart de Boer and myself. There were several apologies from members who had family commitments or were on holiday. Nevertheless, four were quite enough for what ensued. Because of failing eyesight I had some weeks before decided to abandon P4 for my main home layout, the Bradford North Western Branch, and to rebuild it in OO gauge. This means that in the second worse case (the worst being total blindness) I could at least buy an off-the-shelf model and run it.

But first we had to lift the P4 track, some of which I had laid only this spring, before the fateful decision was made. Unable to contemplate doing this myself as I had invested so much work in laying it and there were so many memories, I dragooned the loyal few to do it for me. Whether this was because two of them model in EM and the other in OO or not, they set to work with gusto, destroying years of work in an afternoon, leaving a forlorn sight and revealing several places where warping and drooping (or plain bad workmanship!) had led to a hump-back track-bed, which will need a lot of sanding to level it off prior to re-laying with OO SMP track.

bare cleck 3.jpg
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I had also competed the small marshalling yard at Bradford and had hoped we could do a bit of shunting on it but a short circuit held us up for half an hour before Stu and I traced it to a rogue sliver of solder on a tie bar.

Three steps forward, one step back :shock:

The dastardly, destructive deed done, we repaired to the garden for tea, scones and some of Betsy's lemon drizzle cake before returning to the railway room to complete tidying up.

So, many thanks to Phil, Chris and Stu for doing what I had been putting off and, who knows, maybe we will be running the BNW branch timetable with OO gauge stock the next time we meet in Askrigg?

Watch this space!


P.S. In order to remain an Area Group of the Scalefour Society I commit to retaining Humber Dock and Royston Vasey as P4 exhibition layouts, and will be retaining a small core of P4 stock to run on them. :thumb

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Re: Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby Ian Everett » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:36 pm

The September meeting of CRAG was held in my house, attended by 10 members (of which three were honorary members - i.e. two wives and a dog) - Ron, Patsy and Bess (the dog) Tyler, Stephen and Cherry Paulin, Stuart de Boer, Stephen Griffiths, Phil Tuer, Chris King and myself.

Lunch and pints of local Askrigg ales at the Crown were followed by train playing on the Bradford North Western branch. Stuart had brought several DCC locos with sound which duly trundled, chuffed and throbbed between Bradford and Scargill Sidings via Clecklewyke. This was the first time that the whole layout was operational with all tracks fully wired and point controls (manual for the moment) in place. So, of course a fair degree of fettling ensued, especially of a Marcways three-way point which was considerably wide of gauge at one point.

While this proceeded the three honorary members went for a walk up Mill Gill.

I suppose at this point I must confess that this was all 00 gauge (see earlier posts) so our S4Soc Area Group status might be under scrutiny. Of the 10 of us only one is building in P4 however, Stephen Paulin eclipsed everything that had been run before when he unpacked his brand new Sulzer Class 24 - yes that one, the SLW masterpiece featured on Halifax King Cross on a recent Snooze cover. See Fabulous detail, wonderful, smooth operation, even at less than walking pace, and superb sound had us all entranced. It was a shame we had nothing for it to pull and only two metres of P4 track to run it on but even so it was a sight to see - and hear.

We resolved that the next meeting would be at Ron's house in Ravenseat - the remotest part of Swaledale and possibly the model railway room with the wildest and grandest view - on Thursday 20th October. Note that this is a change of date as some members cannot make the previous week. We will meet at the Farmers' Arms, Muker for lunch at 1300 before repairing to Ron's to play trains. Any EM gauge DCC locos will be welcome. I'll also bring my small P4 test track, which also has a short length of 00 track.

Afternoon tea of cakes and scones preceded more point fettling and departures after a most enjoyable, well-attended meeting.

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Re: Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby Ian Everett » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:16 pm

CRAG's November meeting saw members converging on the Midland Railway Station Master's House, home of Steve and Cherry Paulin, in Kirkby Stephen, from Carlisle (Chris, Phil and Sheila), Upper Swaledale (Ron, Patsy and terrier Bess), Leeds (Stuart) and Askrigg (myself). The weather was pretty dire, so this represented a good turnout.

An excellent lunch was had in the Bay Horse, Winton (chosen because the market town of Kirkby Stephen apparently no longer has any decent pubs). After lunch the worsening snowfall caused Ron, Patsy and Bess to retreat early to their 1400 ft eyrie in the wilds above Swaledale before it was cut off but the remainder went back to Steve's house to talk and play trains. Stuart had brought a DCC project demonstration for a DMU which had a wondrous variety of sounds, especially those of gear changes which could be selected by pressing the appropriate function key. Steve demonstrated several P4 DCC locos including the brilliant Sutton Works class 24. RTR in P4 - absolutely wonderful! See

Chris gratefully received a chassis I had found, built by Bob Williams, that should fit the GER tram engine I had given him before. Among the treasures from Bob was an industrial 0-6-0T which Chris also welcomed. He now has no excuse for not completing the quayside branch on Kingstanton.

We then braved the deteriorating weather to see how Steve's railway shed and new baseboards were coming on. (I think getting power and heating should be Steve's priority but quite understand that maintaining his 140 year old, listed house must take most of his time). We then consumed tea and mince pies kindly supplied by Cherry, talked some more and set off for home at about 1700hrs.

Stuart and I followed the Settle and Carlisle over Ais Gill. Although it was snowing heavily there was just enough tarmac visible to get home without incident but it would not have been much fun on the footplate of a Midland 4-4-0!

The next meetings are:

Thursday 9th December - at David Beale's, "back o' Skiddaw";
Thursday 12th January - visit to operate Lime Street Station in Lytham St Anne's (see
Thursday 9th February - operating session on Clecklewyke/ Bradford North Western in Askrigg.

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Re: Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby Ian Everett » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:12 pm

The December meeting of CRAG was held in the beautiful, remote, unknown part of Cumbria "back o' Skiddaw". Having eventually found David's house (via post code, satnav David's copious notes and a few wrong turns down muddy farm tracks) we then went off to a super pub where the sole person on duty manfully (or more typically, "womanfully") produced some excellent lunches.

Of the regulars, Phil and Sheila Tuer, Chris King, Bob Hetherington,David Beale and myself
attended and we welcomed two first - timers, Jon Price and Chris Pendlenton.

The form of the meeting was typical - a lot of chatter about each other's progress (or lack of it!) admiration for David's test track, which forms a multi-levelled shunting yard, inspired by Northamptonshire iron works, and of several locos brought by members.

Jon Price had brought a J52, based on a Hornby body and Mainly trains chassis. He has written more about it here:


Bob demonstrated two of his lovely locos for Burntisland, about which he writes:

The completed loso is No 155 a Wheatley "Long back" of 1870. It is basically scratchbuilt but Ian Terrell made it more feasible by providing etches for the outside frames, the footplate, Smokebox fronts and the cab front.The chassis is sprung using C.B.S. the tender is totally scratchbuilt.

The N.B.R.. No. 418 2-4-0 has been mostly from Ian's etches, only the tender tank is from scratch. I am doing a test build to check out the fit.The original drawings are from Professor Euan Cameron in New York U.S.A. who is the authority on N.B,R locomotives

Chris Pendlenton's J39 was an old favourite of mine, featuring in an article about North Shields in an early MRJ. He describes it thus:

The J39 is ancient, first seeing service on my teenage "Bonchester
Bridge" layout at the ancestral home, then subsequently on
"Kirkwhelpington". I built it from a Jamieson kit sometime around
1961/2. I think the bodywork has had the odd tickle but the paint job is
still largely original. It has however had several chassis. Originally
Hamblings wheels and a Romford series 7 motor/ gearbox combo, it went
through several rebuilds, finally to P4 in 1970 with Studiolith wheels
and sprung with watch springs as seen in MRJ 6. Sometime down the line I
moved the motor to the tender and it has been in its current form for
something like 27 years. This year I fitted sound, so despite its great
age it remains in the front rank of my motive power.

They were always a favourite engine and I had several trips behind them
on the Alnwick, Alston, Langholm and Middleton in Teesdale branches.

All locos performed excellently, despite the switch-back nature of Chris's layout.

Many thanks are due to David and Susan Beale for making us so welcome and producing a scrumptious afternoon tea. I sometimes think that the main point of CRAG is eating and drinking, which we do very well...

The January meeting will be our visit to operate Lime Street - ... t-station/

and the February meeting will be playing trains on Clecklewyke/Bradford North Western at my house in Wensleydale. (EM and OO respectively - what are things coming to?)

Any members in North West England and the Northern Pennines are very welcome to join us. Please contact me by a PM or email.


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Re: Cumbrian Region Area Group (CRAG) Meetings

Postby Ian Everett » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:19 pm

Phil has very kindly sent some pictures of our meeting at David's:

Phil Discussion.jpg
(l-r) Ian, Chris King and Chris Pendlenton doing what CRAG does best
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Phil GNR Loco.jpg
Jon's first attempt - not bad, eh?
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Phil Brakevan.jpg
Jon's Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay break van
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Phil NBR Loco.jpg
Bob's NBR "Long-back" for Burntisland
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Phil BR Loco.jpg
Chris Pendlenton's ancient J39. It sounds just as good as it looks.
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Phil Layout.jpg
David, Bob and Chris Pendlenton admire the J39 negotiating David's layput
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