The Nottingham Area Group was kindly invited by Tony Williams and the Slattocks Junction gang to visit their layout at the Manchester Model Railway Club’s HQ on 21st March 2019. Mike Norris and the Fylde Area Group were also invited.
Eight of us visited and what a welcome we had. Coffee and biscuits were served and introductions made. We had ample opportunity to natter and watch the trains go by. The layout is coming along nicely now that the track is sorted. The mill looked particularly impressive and continues the standards set by the builders of Dewsbury Midland layout.
The facilities at the MMRS are very good indeed and I was impressed by the cleanliness and building fabric maintenance. Some of us migrated to the library which knocked our socks off with its contents. Owt you want to know, you are likely to find it here. I found a home in the well equipped workshop with its lathes and things. Lovely. Upstairs was the iconic Dewsbury Midland layout which is now retired from the exhibition circuit with a Gauge 0 layout running around the outside of the room. Dewsbury was as impressive for its size as for its modelling excellence. Everything was built to the same high standard with nothing obtruding by being a better or worse standard.
The catering was superb and of a high standard, so thanks to the “Chef” for this.
For me, brought up on a diet of Ross Pochin, Sid Stubbs and Alex Jackson et al, this was a bit of a personal pilgrimage and I wasn’t disappointed.
I asked our members to give their views on the day, so here they are.
David sent in some pictures of some of his engines including a Bachmann Class 24 with modified headcode boxes and a Caprotti Black 5 painted and weathered by him, belonging to Dave Holt.
My journey to Slattocks proved to take rather longer than anticipated being the wrong side of the Pennines, it is almost a case of, I wouldn't start from here if I was you. Road closures and the inevitable road works only added to the delay.
Once there a most enjoyable time ensued. Alpha Mill, whose thread I have been following on the forum, more than lived up to expectations.
Since Slattocks is DCC and my locos aren't, I elected to take some rolling stock and gave Dave Clarke's 25 a decent load to haul, 32 mineral wagons plus brake. It was most pleasing to give some of my wagons an airing on a largish layout again. So thanks to all for the opportunity. I have already expressed my thanks elsewhere. All too soon the time came to depart in order to try to beat the rush on the M60 but it still took me 3 1/2 hours to get home.
Only nattered I’m afraid but did enjoy the day.
I was particularly impressed with Dewsbury upstairs, the quality of the hand painted backgrounds being Impressive to say the least. The attention to detail was at a level I’ve really seen, magnificent.
Also deserving a mention was the catering, particularly well done.
Once at Dean Hall, we were introduced to the MMRS members and were able to catch up with the other NAG members already there. Tea and coffee was already on hand.
After a while, I was able to get 16 wagons behind David’s class 25 and try them out around the layout. I identified some issues where a bit of further work is required, but I was running on something way beyond what my 3’ of straight track would show up. Later, I was able to try three coaches which performed better.
Slattocks itself was starting to look like it was approaching the finishing straight, with the previous trackwork gremlins overcome. Ralph’s mill building is a fitting centrepiece to the visual side of the layout.
The lunch kindly provided by MMRS was excellent, even for a fussy eater like myself. The chatting continued through this.
The general facilities at Dean Hail were superb. I made use of the library to confirm that some magazine back issues I’d identified as potentially relevant for my research were actually useful, so I can continue to hunt out copies.
All in all, an excellent day catching up with some NAG members, Seeing Slattocks, running my stock, checking magazines and drinking tea. Many thanks to all for arranging it, and especially the MMRS for their hospitality.
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