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David Holman

Arigna Town - this week's scenery

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If anyone is interested, there is a short piece of video on RMweb from the Farnham show last weekend. In the exhibition section, easy to find.

 

Superb David. What sublime realism.

 

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On 18/10/2017 at 8:27 PM, Irishrailwayman said:

 

A great depiction of the Slow Late Never Comes (the little railway with the big name)! Just gorgeous in 7mm!

GWR 0-6-0 Tank and an auto coach is one of my favourite combinations. Iconic GWR heaven. 

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On 27/10/2017 at 8:24 PM, Noel said:

GWR 0-6-0 Tank and an auto coach is one of my favourite combinations. Iconic GWR heaven. 

This is the combo that I have on order so watch this space...

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Bexleyheath today.

 The new G Class, Deutz diesel acquitted itself very well today, in somewhat trying circumstances. Nothing wrong with the show, or indeed the hospitality, but the weather highlighted the problems of a winter show. The day began in pouring rain and 1c, soon turning to snow, so by the time I reached the venue at 8am, there was an inch of slush on the ground and it was snowing hard. Not the best recipe for getting a layout 50 yards from car to halls, especially when other exhibitors vehicles blocked the way necessitating sackbarrowing the boards across more mud and slush. 

 With the doors open, the hall was pretty damned cold, but unfortunately it stayed that way as this was the entrance and, there was NO heating! Arigna Town lives in what was once an integral garage, but now my workshop, complete with central heating, so it does not enjoy the cold. Axles boxes seem to tighten, meaning the two small tanks especially suffer from wheel slip, while the turntable also tends to catch the coping stones around its edge. Add in a broken toggle on one of the points [meaning the wire in tube could only be push/pulled using pliers] and it was a more trying day than usual, with a fair bit of remedial work needed for the next outing at the end of January.

 Equally, such things are all part and parcel of the exhibition scene. Layouts lead a hard life on the road, with 7-8 hours of intensive use each day, so you tend to expect stuff to happen from time to time. If only it hadn't been quite so cold!

 However, the little G did itself proud, substituting for the J26 on the stores/coal trains. It could probably do with a bit of weight in the bonnet to help the four wheel drive, but has proved to be a smooth, slow runner, ideal for such duties. By packing up time, at least it had stopped snowing and the roads were mercifully clear on the way home.

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Milton Keynes, Saturday

 Interesting day in the land of the roundabout and concrete cows and probably the biggest single day attendance of any show I've exhibited at, with around 3,000 people.

 Not the easiest place to access, but the club worked hard in quite challenging circumstances when even traders were muttering about it being 'too crowded' at times!

 Challenging for Arigna too, with a broken point linkage and a broken pickup on Fermanagh early on. Nobody seemed to mind we had to change the goods siding point with a screwdriver, while the new Deutz diesel had to double up on both the stores and cattle trains as I have not yet got any new axles for the J26. Never hurts to have a spare engine at shows...

 Otherwise the day went ok as was topped off by us getting the 'best visiting layout' award. Thanks to all concerned, am sure the club treasurer will be very happy with around £20k on the door!

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Well done David- nice plaque.I can see I will need to be extremely careful when I assist at Lincoln!!

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Well deserved.  Congrats and well done.

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Posted (edited)

Royalty takes up residence at Arigna

 Following Richard Chown's death last year, his vast collection of models and layouts were made available for purchase. For those of you who don't know about Richard, he built Castle Rackrent in his bedsit in the early 1970s. It is 16' long and eventually was developed into a vast system around 200' long. Various stations have been sold off, including one which will be at Cultra this year and, I believe, then take up residence in the former barber's shop in Enniskillen. 

 Given that I have often said in these pages that, apart from Richard, I seemed to be the only person around doing proper [36.75mm] broad gauge in 7mm scale, it was only right to put in a few bids for locos and stock. It was tempting to go for his model of Lissadell, which ran on Arigna Town at Manchester in December 2016 [when I was privileged to meet the great man], but already having two SLNCR 'Small Tanks', I didn't really need a third - even if it did come in early Sligo livery with a polished brass dome. Instead, I cast my lot for one of the original Castle Rackrent locos: Waterford, Limerick & Western 0-6-0, Shannon - and much to my delight my bid secured this historic model locomotive.

 Shannon is quite an old lady, appearing in Richard's article in the March 1975 Railway Modeller & have included one of Cyril Freezer's photos from this. She is therefore well over 40 years old and, according to the short article, was Richard's first ever scratch built engine. Given her age, she is in pretty good condition and seems to run well. Indeed, she was part of the regular Castle Rackrent running sessions up to June last year. 

 The photos show her in 'as received' condition - more than a bit dusty and with paintwork a bit scuffed, but not bad for her age! It is going to be interesting to examine how the loco was built. First impressions are there seems to be a high quality motor [maybe and RG7?], plus what appears to be a speaker in the tender. Not sure if the loco is DCC though, it may be something like a Pacific Fast Mail analogue unit. If anyone out there knows, please tell me. 

 Am hoping to include Shannon on the Arigna Town operating sequence. She fits on the turntable [just!] and came with three brake vans. All have Alex Jackson couplings, so it will be interesting to see if I can work these with the magnets I have for my Dingham auto couplings. Any info on the brake vans will also be welcome too, please.

 Will aim to report on my findings over the next few weeks, but what I would also be interested in is what folk think about possibly updating Shannon? I don't intend anything major to the bodywork, just a general clean up and maybe touch up the paintwork here & there, but there is a gaping space between the frames that is begging for working inside valve gear, as per my Sir Henry 0-6-4T. Is that something I should be doing, or should I respect this historic model's heritage and keep it as it is?

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Edited by David Holman
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Hi David

Congrats on your purchase, you have a fine piece of model history there, also delighted to see it added to the history your making with this layout and stock.

I browsed through the brochure also and was very tempted on one or three items but decided to hold off as the Midland Railway Centre announced another run on their 12in. precision guillotine which I reckon I'll go for instead.......

Eoin

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Castle Rackrent inspired at least one other modeller to build a 36.75mm 7mm Irish broad gauge layout Dave Walker's Killaney appeared in the October and Nov 1985 Railway Modeller and was exhibited at several exhibitions including Hull & Chatham (where I actually saw it in operation. Killaney like Castle Rackrent followed a WLWR/MGWR theme and used some of Richard Chown's locos and stock before Dave Walker built sufficient stock to operate the layout including models of the WLWRs most modern loco 4-4-0 No 55 Jubilee, 2-4-2TNo 14 Lough Derg, 2-4-0 No11, MGWR 0-6-0T Bat and a GSWR 101 Class possibly assembled from a TMD kit.

The layout was end to end junction terminus to fiddle yard which could be erected in an L or straight configuration, the terminus was fairly large country station and had a GSWR style overall roof similar to Killorgling or Tullow, turntable release similar to Castle Rackrent, double junction with diamond crossing between WLWR&MGWR lines, island cattle bank served by two sidings, large goods shed and single road loco shed

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I must have just missed Killaney, as I joined the Chatham and District Model Railway club in 1986, taking part in the first Dockyard exhibition in 87 and only missing two shows since then. Certainly have no recollection of seeing the layout and clearly missed the chance to meet our Mayner before he headed off to the other side of the world!

 Shame on both counts. For my sins, I am now club chairman and very much involved in organising this year's exhibition on 2nd and 3rd of June. Having spent much of the morning going over Shannon and test running on Arigna Town, fingers crossed, she will be appearing at the show and hopefully also next weekend, 12/13 at Derby Roundhouse.

 More about Shannon soon, but she is certainly a tour de force - built in a very different way to how we tackle things today.

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David

 

You're a very lucky man to have acquired Shannon - lovely model.

 

Stephen

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Indeed, Stephen - and while not cheap, not exorbitant either. I guess the small niche in which I model helped. 

Going back to Mayner's comments about Dave Walker's Killaney, turns out I actually had dinner with him a few years ago! I was talking to Gordon Gravett on the phone this afternoon and mentioned the layout & he reminded me that, at the St Alban's show, we'd had dinner one night at the hotel, with Dave, Andrew Burnham [editor of Continental Modeller] and Tony Wright and his wife. As you might assume, this was a very entertaining and convivial evening - one of the plus sides of exhibiting when you meet such knowledgable [and lovely] people. Given I was at St Albans with Arigna Town, am surprised Dave didn't mention his layout, though the conversation ranged far and wide, by no means limited to modelling either.

 More stuff on Shannon will be appearing in the Workbench section, though have included a picture of a likely train for exhibitions - Richard's wagons, plus my own SLNCR cattle wagon. This was actually second hand from the WL&W, so seems appropriate to include it in the consist.

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The real Shannon had an interesting history. It was part of an order of six locos ordered by the WLWR from Kitsons. The first three had round topped boilers and were delivered towards the end of the 19th century. The fourth was Shannon, which was the first standard gauge loco in Ireland to have a belpaire boiler and arrived early in the 20th century.. There were meant to be two more similar locos but the GSWR was in the process of taking over the WLWR and there was a dispute over paying for them. As a result they were sold to the MGWR. After the 1925 grouping the former WLWR locos became class J25 while the former MGWR locos became class J19. Subsequent rebuilding saw the belpaire boilers replaced by round topped ones.

Stephen

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On 5/3/2018 at 5:42 PM, David Holman said:

Indeed, Stephen - and while not cheap, not exorbitant either. I guess the small niche in which I model helped. 

Going back to Mayner's comments about Dave Walker's Killaney, turns out I actually had dinner with him a few years ago! I was talking to Gordon Gravett on the phone this afternoon and mentioned the layout & he reminded me that, at the St Alban's show, we'd had dinner one night at the hotel, with Dave, Andrew Burnham [editor of Continental Modeller] and Tony Wright and his wife. As you might assume, this was a very entertaining and convivial evening - one of the plus sides of exhibiting when you meet such knowledgable [and lovely] people. Given I was at St Albans with Arigna Town, am surprised Dave didn't mention his layout, though the conversation ranged far and wide, by no means limited to modelling either.

 More stuff on Shannon will be appearing in the Workbench section, though have included a picture of a likely train for exhibitions - Richard's wagons, plus my own SLNCR cattle wagon. This was actually second hand from the WL&W, so seems appropriate to include it in the consist.

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Stunning scene.

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On 5/4/2018 at 4:42 AM, David Holman said:

.

 More stuff on Shannon will be appearing in the Workbench section, though have included a picture of a likely train for exhibitions - Richard's wagons, plus my own SLNCR cattle wagon. This was actually second hand from the WL&W, so seems appropriate to include it in the consist.

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It looks like a very good reason to backdate the layout to 1900 🙂, the WLWR presumably having running powers over the SLNCR from Colloney. the only snag would backdating your Midland locos back to pre-amalgamation condition. The goods brake looks like a GSWR standard 10t or 12t brake that were used all over the GSR/CIE system until the end of steam a few survived were retained for branch line use into the mid 1970s. The WLWR  brakes look very interesting

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On 5/12/2018 at 1:55 PM, Robert Shrives said:

Layout starring at Derby show this weekend - great in the "flesh" and running a treat.    

I'm so glad that you posted that! I would have missed out, otherwise.

Well, worth going to see it in the flesh.

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Great to meet so many people at Derby, including the group of Ulster modellers over for the weekend. 

 Took Shannon with me and she ran well throughout.

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The creaking/squeaking of the turntable mechanism was most atmospheric - it must have taken ages to perfect!

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Hi David

Very nice write-up on your creation in the Gauge O Guild Gazette this month, and thumbs up on plugging IRM forum to

Eoin

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