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Dave

The Fry Model Railway

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Hi Guys, I have been working on the Fry Model Railway with Fingal county council. As part of the museum they would like information and photos of the Fry Model Railway.

They would like to hear personal stories and possibly use these with photos to tell the story of the Fry Model Railway. 

So if you don't mind sharing your memories and pictures please comment below!

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No official announcement yet, but I am aware of what's going on in the background. Funding is available and budgets finalised. Archictects, designers and others are working on it as we speak. A meeting this day last week started the ball rolling with all of the various advisors and interested parties planning the practicalities of a way forward. Email exchanges in the last few days have finalised further matters, and all concerned with putting the whole thing in place will meet with local councillors shortly.

While it's impossible to be certain, the plan is that it will be substantially advanced on the ground next spring.

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Update.

Contact has been made with Cyril Fry's daughter, who is now a very elderly lady, but fully "with-it" and very enthusiastic about the whole scheme. Fry's collection of railway artefacts including one very nice loco nameplate is safe in storage and in the hands of the local authority. Other small exhibits are being sourced.

Contact has also been made with several people who visited the house in Churchtown and saw the layout operating. Fry's own photographic collection has been made available through the good offices of the current owner of both the collection and its copyright. Fry was not the best photographer in the world, but some of his stuff is of great historic interest. Most is black and white, and while he took many colour slides in the late 1950s onwards, the film he used hasn't stood the test of time well, and while some of his images have been photoshopped to an adequate standard, many are way beyond repair; I spent two full weekends going through the entire collection a few years ago.

His models are going to be professionally evaluated in three categories: (1) Those fit to operate with little or no encouragement. (2) Those which should be operable, but will require significant work first. (3) Those which operationally are a hopeless case, and will be displayed in glass cases instead. It is considered that ripping Fry's handmade motors out of them to put modern ones in, would be pure vandalism! Better to make a working replica and keep the original, if it's really that bad.

It must be remembered that these are antique models, and irrespective of age, some have already clocked up huge mileages.Not all may be aware that when the layout was operating in Malahide Castle, few if any of the model locomotives to be seen operating on any one day were actually Fry's. Thus, the intention in the new building is that there will be a large newly built layout in 00 with a selection of Irish trains; these will be the ones that will clock up huge mileages, operating 8 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week. It would be unrealistic to expect an old model to do that, in in curatorial terms, irresponsible. Instead, parallel to the 00 gauge layout, selected Fry models will make occasional forays on a separate track (well, different gauge!), while others will be on display with, hopefully, pictures of the originals in action, and a brief history of each.

More news as it arises.

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Thanks, Jonathan. I’m on the Enerald isle at the mo’ but this is a trip to be postponed to next visit, I guess.

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Just something that may be of interest

Envelope  from JC Dwyer of Harrington & Goodlass Wall Ltd, of Nassau St to Cyril Fry, then working for Jacobs of Bishop St

Apparently Mr Dwyer made all Cyrils transfers for his locos

Cant find the letter at the moment but enquiries are continuing ........

 

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So here is the letter

I reckon its Fry's original order and it has been returned with the transfers

 

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So it looks like all the B101 & C201's were used
Turf burner is not there either, looks like he was in a hurry for it

601 is also missing 

 

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That's an extraordinary find. Wonderful.

Recently read a nice piece in Pat Hammond's Triang book about the Hornby lad's coming over to look at Fry's smoke unit for trains which they later developed themselves.

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The red numbers were on the silver carriages. Silver locos had “eau-de-nil” snails and numerals (not black, as sometimes seen on some models).

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