Glenmutchkin - A Bit of a Slip Up

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Mark Tatlow
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Glenmutchkin - A Bit of a Slip Up

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:56 pm

Glenmutchkin: Part 1 – Have summer house, will build……..

Much of 2012’s modelling time was devoted to the building or a summer house; at least that is what we told the planning authority it was.
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The inside of the summer house through the snow; with Portchullin being worked on.

In reality, it was a better storage home for Portchullin that formerly had to be carted up two flights of stairs to the loft to live and also somewhere to get some of my “railway stuff” out of the house. At least the domestic authorities knew that it would provoke me into scheming my next layout……..

I used to spend literally hours scheming up layout plans; is it not as much fun as actually making them? But I have never had this much room – a heady 16 feet for the scenic section and, as I have arranged the summer house to have a set of doors at one end, the fiddle yard can be erected for operating sessions through the door so can be in addition to this dimension. After much playing, this is what I have come up with:
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The basic layout plan

There is a lot of working up still to do on this, but it shows the basic concept that I’ll be working too. I’ll explain more as to its concept another day, but it draws its inspiration from a couple of the Highland’s termini so hopefully you can see a little of some fairly well known stations in the plans.
Last edited by Mark Tatlow on Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:46 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:19 pm

Glenmutchkin: Part 2 – What’s in a name?

Glenmutchkin may well be a new name to you but it is one of the forgotten names of railway history; railway proprietors and the public alike from the late 1840’s will certainly have known of it.

We need to take ourselves back to the mid 1840’s first; at the heart of the railway mania frenzy. Parliament was awash with schemes to build railways in every worthwhile corner of the country and a fair few worthless corners too – so much so that parliament had to sit through the summer recess to consider them (could you imagine that in the 21st century?). Already some farsighted commentators were predicting that a stock market bubble was forming and this provoked The Edinburgh Magazine to publish an article lampooning the mania – How we got up the Glenmutchkin Railway and how we got out of it; written by Professor W E Aytoun.
Sma Glen.jpg
A period postcard of a scottish glen - This one is Sma Glen just north fo Crieff


The story concerns Messers Augustus Dunshunner and Robert McCorkindale, two Glasgow rogues who conceived their scheme over a small barrel of whisky. They concocted a plan to relieve would be investors of their money by creating a railway scheme. First they found an area of the Highlands that other railway promoters had not yet spotted (that was simple, they just made one up) and proceeded to populate it with an improbable amount of commerce and agriculture. The human population was noted as being particularly dense, with the centre at the Clachan of Inverstarve. They concluded that 4 million cattle annually needed exported down the line, the hills were covered with sheep & goats but most importantly, the glen included the most of the famous distilleries in the country. Clearly a railway company to such an important part would attract the crème of Scottish aristocracy to its board and here our promotors surpassed themselves; the preliminary board included Tavish Mctavish of Invertavish, The Laird Mhic-Mhac-Vich, The Captain of McAlcohol and The Factor of Glentumblers amongst others. The engineer, a Walter Solder’s, initial report concluded that the fourteen mile line would be simple to build with four short tunnels being the only engineering features of note. Given that Mr Solder’s previous engineering experience lay in being a gas fitter, he can perhaps be forgiven in concluding that a total of 6 miles of tunnel through Scottish mountains would be “simple to build”.

When Dunshunner and McCorkindale published their prospectus, they were not unduly surprised to find four other prospectuses in the same paper for schemes at least as outrageous as their own. Nor were they surprised to find that initial share issue to be several times oversubscribed; so they nobly sacrificed most of their holdings for hard cash. Armed with the initial subscriptions, our duo along with their company of advisors, friends and general hangers on headed to London to present their bill and oppose any that might seek to share the riches of Glenmutchkins. They fought “for three weeks the most desperate battle and might in the end have been victorious had not our last antagonist at the very close of his case pointed out no less than 73 fatal flaws in the plans presented by Solder”. Of course the opposition could have routed the Glenmutchkin line at the start, but they were just as anxious as anybody to enjoy the fleshpots of London at their shareholders expense. So all that was left for the promoters was to wind up the Glenmutchkins company and return the few pennies left of the initial subscriptions to the shareholders.
Roger Maclachlan from geograph creative commons.jpg
“Simple to build” – Glenmutchkin today – photo via creative commons from Roger Maclachlan; although he might remember it as Rannoch Moor!
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The article attracted wide attention at the time and planted the seeds for scepticism of the railway mania. Whilst the bubble will have burst anyway; the Glenmutchkin article certain pushed the crash along the way. This of course cost many people their fortunes but it also particularly hurt the highlands of Scotland. The article had been based on a scheme to open up a portion of the Highlands and even 20 years later, the promoters of railways in the Highlands found that the ghosts of Dunshunner and McCorkindale had not left the public’s consciousness.

Many of our layouts are based on “might have been schemes” – so I feel I am carry on the tradition, but with a slight twist to my “might have been”. And hey; there is all that cattle to be transported……………..
Mark Tatlow

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Tim V
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Tim V » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:35 pm

What a cracker of inspiration, I've seen less plausible railways on the circuit!

And it looks like someone's already done it - but in narrow gauge! Go it Mark! http://www.spanglefish.com/glenmutchkin-railway/
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:55 pm

I should have moved faster, I had arrived at the name a while back!

Never mind, I am sure there is room for two of us!
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Flymo748 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:50 pm

Mark Tatlow wrote:I should have moved faster, I had arrived at the name a while back!

Never mind, I am sure there is room for two of us!


A narrow gauge feeder line! Simples!

Of course, being subject to the whims of 1840's Scottish politics, the NG line actually finished over two miles away, on the other side of the Laird's prime salmon river.

So the standard gauge Bill, when proposed, was forced to include a new state of the art chain suspension bridge that was dedicated to driving those flocks over the river and down to the station. The volume of animals were so great that there was a need for a specially separated "goat lane" directly into the goods yard.

Happy planning!
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:55 pm

If anyone is interested in the full text of the Glenmutchkin line, the original text and a degree of introduction is available as a free download: http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/rrsources/glen6.pdf
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David Knight
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby David Knight » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:16 am

Given your inclinations I'm guessing that this will be a branch taken over by the Highland Railway, ergo, an opportunity for single and double deck cattle vans and the associated loading facilities. Also, if your's is an early period line it could be constructed as a light railway with flat bottom rail as per some of the more northerly sections of the Highland. Have you set a period for the layout yet Mark?

Cheers,

David

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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:33 am

Of course that turntable won't get much use from class 24s :D

Or will it be a steam railway? :o

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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Steve Carter » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:56 am

Terry Bendall wrote:Of course that turntable won't get much use from class 24s :D

Or will it be a steam railway? :o

Terry Bendall


.... and is it booked to attend Scaleforum yet?


The 'Summer House' looks good Mark. Everyone else has a common shed but they do like a bit of 'class' in the Oxted area.

Cheers

Steve
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Mark Tatlow » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:42 pm

davknigh wrote: Have you set a period for the layout yet Mark?

Cheers,

David



You will have to await for one of my next updates for the detail on this; no light rail and not class 24's I am afraid............
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Terry Bendall » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:21 am

Waterloo wrote:.... and is it booked to attend Scaleforum yet?


Not yet but I expect it will be when Mark gives me a target date.

How about 2016 Mark? :)

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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby DougN » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:39 am

Gees booking layouts that far out... thank goodness I live too far away to bring one :twisted:

BTW good on you Mark I have been so impressed with Portchullin, MRJ really did it justice. One day I would like to see it in the flesh... still trying to convince SWMBO+2 to allow dad to go to S4um for 10 days... only 1800 bucks honest.... ;)
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:04 am

DougN wrote:BTW good on you Mark I have been so impressed with Portchullin, MRJ really did it justice. One day I would like to see it in the flesh... still trying to convince SWMBO+2 to allow dad to go to S4um for 10 days... only 1800 bucks honest.... ;)

Yes, but given what the commodities boom has done for the Australian economy (billionaires that *aren't* media barons...) then in Aussie dollar terms, the whole trip is only half the price it was when I dated an Aussie girl ;-)

G'wan, book that ticket!

Flymo

PS - are you organising the other eight days of S4um? I'm sure that Terry will be pleased ;-)
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:22 am

DougN wrote:Gees booking layouts that far out...


A bit like a famous theatre in London, whilst we can't say we never close, I am always on the lookout for layouts for Scaleforum. There are 9 provisonally lined up for Scaleforum 2014, and one for 2015

DougN wrote:thank goodness I live too far away to bring one


Some years ago I saw a layout designed to be taken to shows bu public transport that could be carried by one person. Should be possible to include one as part of your luggage. :D

Flymo748 wrote:G'wan, book that ticket!
Yes do. Be great to see you at the show.

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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Ian Everett » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:52 am

Terry Bendall wrote:Some years ago I saw a layout designed to be taken to shows bu public transport that could be carried by one person. Should be possible to include one as part of your luggage.
Terry Bendall


That might have been my Royston Vasey which was built for Workington MRC's 5 sq ft challenge. The organiser of the show happened to work for Northern Rail and so I got to the show free of charge, with a little bit of publicity for both the show and NR. At the time a medical condition prevented me driving (all under control now thank goodness).

Royston Vasey has also been to Scalefour North in 2011, but on that occasion in the back of my car, and it also featured on the cover of Scalefour News in December 2011.

It was built as a "quickie" and was a most enjoyable diversion from my main project. I find the trouble is that there are too many such diversions!

Ian
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100_1659.JPG
A WD awaits Royston Vasey's starter on a cold winter morning. Note the local shop in the background...

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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Tim V » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:34 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:
DougN wrote:Gees booking layouts that far out...


A bit like a famous theatre in London, whilst we can't say we never close, I am always on the lookout for layouts for Scaleforum. There are 9 provisonally lined up for Scaleforum 2014, and one for 2015

Terry Bendall


Some layouts have to be booked well in advance, for example, my layout is fully booked till 2015, and I've just accepted my first booking for 2016.

So Terry is right to be booking that far ahead.
Tim V

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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby DougN » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:56 am

well I know it is not very much in dollar terms... it is the +2 that are not allowing me to come at the moment. One is saying...if he can go to a Lego convention in the US one day :thumb .... How about when you are working and pay for that one.... the other just likes Disneyland :thumb ....lets just say Hong kong and LA have both been done for her! So Still don't think it is going to happen.
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Mark Tatlow
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:31 pm

Glemutchkin - Part 3: Era

Whilst I seem to be known in the electronic ether for my 1970’s modelling, this is not really my main interest.

Many years ago, I set my main era as the early years of the LMS. Whilst I do quite like some of the LMS standard classes, it was really the sight of the Edwardian and Victorian locomotives of the Highland in the lined red pulling a rake of fully lined coaches that seduced me. After all; who could resist something like this:

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Clan McKinnon built by John James with some of my stock. Photo by Ian Ford

or this............?

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A Yankee Tank and stock by yours truely. Photo by Ray Nolton

Its peculiar; I would think that the 1920?s is the least modelled era after about the 1880s? Think about it, when did you last see a model from this era?

My regret for this period though is the loss of the red oxide painted goods stock. The Highland often (apparently at random as to when they would and when not) pick out the ironwork of these in black and again I am drawn to the fusion of colour that occurred as a result. To get over this contradiction; I model in about 1925/1926. Much of the passenger stock and locos had by then been repainted in the new corporate LMS colours but at least some of the good stock remained in the old pregroup livery.

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Some of my Highland stock


with thanks to Ray nolton and Ian Ford for the piccies
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby beachboy » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:11 pm

Mark,

I have not posted much on this site, but am compelled to say it is refreshing to see some nice composed modelling per your latest pic's posted today.

The reason being I was persuaded to visit Brighton Model World to see an average level of railway modelling compared to what I see on this site. Yet, nearly every Military model I observed was built, & painted to a high consistant standard.

But also, last night I was reading Bob Essery's article on Brake Vans per Sept. 1996 Backtrack, which has a good pic of your Highland Brake Van in LMS 'post 1936 Bauxite'. Appears the central lookout glazing is painted over with roof colour paint; & two rather nice lamps mounted rear, and mid side almost where the R in HR is.
Also noticed the buffer casting is the same as those used for the LSWR wagons I have been scratchbuilding. Maybe Drummond brought a wagon load with him from the Highland.

Regards, Steve.

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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Glenmutchkin’s main source of inspiration is Wick or its slightly more slimline cousin, Thurso. These are very similar in layout except for their MPD’s; where Wick’s was quite a lot larger.

post-7032-0-06195000-1338815462_thumb.jpg
An overall view of Thurso in the 1970′s, with thank to Richard Oaks
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Wick in 1983; photograph by Peter Whatley with Creatives Commons Licence
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However, rather than a facsimile of either (hey Ben Alder/Richard Oaks has nabbed that idea anyway!), I am proposing to use the same arrangement of MPD as at Kyle of Lochalsh’s shed area, with the access road leading to a turntable and then the shed roads coming back off this. Due to the way that the layout will sit in its home, I have had to do a mirror of the shed at Kyle but otherwise it will be the same.

1089 from Timecapsule com.jpg
A rather fab photo of Kyle shed with a superheater goods (which were the mainstay of the line from about 1930 through to just after the war) on shed. It is also a fine view of the signal here – one that I wish to model. Photo with thanks to Jim Payne and available at http://www.throughtheireyes2.co.uk
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All of the lines to the west coast of Scotland; both built by the Highland or any of its rival companies or projected come late in the 19th century – partly as a result of Prof Aytoun’s story that I have paraphrased in part 2. Wick and Thurso however were built rather before this and are stylistically rather different as a result. The main differences are the way that the platforms were arranged and the use of a stone built station building/train shed. However, having decided that the Glenmutchkin was much earlier than this, I felt that I could assume that the terminus was built before any of the other lines to the west coast were achieved and thus use the older style of station. In practise I have done so because I wish to model the overall roof – probably the building at Wick as its screen to the end of the train shed is very attractive.

Wick_station_1983_-_geograph_org_uk_-_818357 from geolocations.jpg
Photo of the road side of the main station building at Wick (that at Thurso is a bit smaller). Copyright held by Peter Whatley and reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence.
Wick_station_1983_-_geograph_org_uk_-_818357 from geolocations.jpg (59.69 KiB) Viewed 7888 times

Another feature of Kyle that I will take is the overbridge splitting the station from the shed area. Being the son of a bridge engineer, I guess I need to get some proper civils into the model and the latticework is quite attractive. I will go for a single span bridge, rather than the twin span seen here at Kyle.

2194733_8d181140 from Geograph creative commons.jpg
Copyright held by Ben Brookshank and reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence
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Those cattle pens will appear at some point too!
Mark Tatlow

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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:30 pm

beachboy wrote:Yet, nearly every Military model I observed was built, & painted to a high consistant standard.

I have to say I agree with you on this and I do not know why. There is a large part of the hobby where playing trains just means playing trains. I can't comment for them, but I want a bit more out of it than this!

beachboy wrote:But also, last night I was reading Bob Essery's article on Brake Vans per Sept. 1996 Backtrack, which has a good pic of your Highland Brake Van in LMS 'post 1936 Bauxite'. Appears the central lookout glazing is painted over with roof colour paint; & two rather nice lamps mounted rear, and mid side almost where the R in HR is.
Also noticed the buffer casting is the same as those used for the LSWR wagons I have been scratchbuilding. Maybe Drummond brought a wagon load with him from the Highland.

I am not familiar with the article but will dig it out the next time that I am around at my father's (who has all the Modeller's Backtracks - a missed magazine along with MORILL). Cheers for the prompt.
Mark Tatlow

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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:44 pm

Glenmutchkin Part 5: Signalling

Whilst they are not without their frustrations (they are delicate for example), I was slightly surprised to have enjoyed building and using the signals on Portchullin as much as I did. Therefore, Glenmutchkins will going a bit more large on signals!

I am assisted in that the Highland seemed to follow the trend of the pre-group companies and be fairly lavish with their signals. Taking significant cues from my sources of inspiration, Wick and Kyle of Lochalsh, this is where I have got to with a signalling plan.

Glenmutchins-MTs-version-of.gif
Signal diagram for Glenmutchkins

As can be seen, there is a fair amount to this as I have assumed that there is a junction off scene that is signalled from the station cabin (although this is still under review) and not only is the yard signalled onto the running line but both the run around loops and the shed are both signalled. It looks like this will be a 45 lever frame, so there is a fair amount to do……………

A particular signal to note is the one with arms 17,18 & 19 on it. This is a repeater for arms 15 & 16 so directs locos coming off the yard where they are to go to. This exact same situation existed at Kyle and in addition to being a surprising duplication between the two signals the former is that the signal is situated well up on the bank and faces fairly firmly towards the shed, not the running lines. I do not presently have a photograph that is free of copyright to illustrate this but there are lots in the various text books; try The Highland in LMS Days or LMS Engine Sheds.
Mark Tatlow

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Ian Everett
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Ian Everett » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:59 pm

This a fascinating story and I am looking forward to seeing the layout progress. I am fascinated by the West coast termini and I once saw Richard Chown's wonderful 7mm scale of Kyle of Localsh, which was possibly the first time I had seen a layout mounted at eye level.

I can see that Scaleforum is maybe a bridge too far but what about Scalefour North?

One minor point about the signalling diagram - should not signals 15 and 16 be on the other side of trap point 13? As it stands, locos leaving the loco shed would be permitted to derail themselves on the trap point before being stopped by a signal. :ugeek:

Ian

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: Glenmutchkin - In its Infancy

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:21 pm

clecklewyke wrote:One minor point about the signalling diagram - should not signals 15 and 16 be on the other side of trap point 13?


Yes they should; thanks I had not seen that although I would hope to have seen it when I modelled it. The real one at Kyle has them very much on top of each other, but perhaps not the wrong side of the line.
Mark Tatlow

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Re: Glenmutchkin - Cutting the First Sod

Postby Mark Tatlow » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:05 pm

Cutting the First Sod

Tomorrow should be a big day for Glenmutchkin, because if my brother remembers we will be cutting the first sod of the layout building.

Now all good railway lines start with a ceremonial cutting of the first sod by the Duchess of something or other; typically with a nice silver spade and after which everybody retires to the local hostelry for a fine dinner…………….whilst the navvies start the really hard work. Well we probably will little different but let us presume that Tavish Mctavish of Invertavish could not find his silver spade, so will be using one from his shed like this........

spadecompress2.jpg
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More seriously, as long as he does not get blown away in the forecast storms, my brother will be bringing his welding kit over with him, so we can make a start on the big chunky bits of the layout.

Welding kit……………on a model railway; am I going crazy? You’ll have to come back to find out!
Mark Tatlow


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