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Warbonnet last won the day on October 22

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  1. And then there was 1.... Thank you to everyone who supported this worthwhile cause!
  2. There were a few surprised faces when we launched our Chaldron waggons as the genesis of our "Powering Britain" series last month, as we opened our range to a whole new era of operation and modellers. Naturally, doing these wagons "The Accurascale Way" means creating several different body, brake and wheel variations to offer a comprehensive coverage of these distinctive and rather cute little hoppers. Oh, and of course, our love for distinctive markings and extra attention to detail! Decorated samples have now arrived for assessment, and over the next week we will reveal all decorated samples. Each of our packs have been themed by colliery, or user, with each waggon depicted being based on photographic evidence and reference to colliery records to confirm the lettering styles, but what of the Collieries and users themselves? Here, we provide a brief outline for each operator, and where the depicted lettering style sits within the timeframe for that operator. Today is packs A- D, so let's get started! Pack A: North Eastern Railway P1 style Chaldrons, circa 1890 On its formation in 1854, the North Eastern Railway inherited a fleet of ‘Chaldron’ waggons from the constituent companies that numbered somewhere in the region of 15,000 vehicles, with the major influx coming from the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway, who supplied around a third of the fleet. When the Stockton & Darlington Railway was absorbed into the NER in 1863, creating the ‘Darlington Section’, a further fleet of Chaldrons were added to the fleet. By June 1867, the survey of NER waggons recorded a total of 19,587 Chaldrons, with an additional 14,557 being under the ownership of the ‘Darlington Section’, giving a combined figure of 34,144 waggons. From 1858, the NER had committed to reducing its fleet of Chaldrons in favour of 8t waggons, so the influx of more Chaldrons was a hindrance to the NER’s plans and an active policy of either scrapping, or selling on to internal users such as collieries ensued. By 1880, the total had been reduced to 9181 vehicles and by 1904, barely 1000 remained on the NER’s books. The NER legend is taken from photographs of wagons at West Hartlepool and Percy Main, dating from around 1890 and features the distinctive pale area caused by the constant chalking and rubbing out of waggon information by the weighbridge checkers, as clips and labels were not in use during this period on these vehicles. Pack B: Hetton Colliery Railway - ex-NER P1 style Chaldrons in pre-1911 lettering. Built by George Stephenson, Hetton Colliery Railway celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2022, being the world’s first complete railway system that utilised just steam power. The Hetton Coal Company began sinking the first colliery in December 1820, with work being completed during the summer of 1822 and a railway was therefore needed to carry the coal to the River Wear at Sunderland, for onward shipment to London, the main market. Using only steam and gravity power throughout the eight mile length of the line, it was opened on the 18th November 1822 and used two of George Stephenson’s steam locomotives to haul the Chaldrons for the first 1½ miles, before two steam stationary engines took up the strain, hauling waggons to the line’s summit at Warden Law, over 600ft above sea level. Four gravity-worked rope inclines then took the waggons down to North Moor near Silksworth, from where Stephenson’s steam locomotives took them down to the Staithes on the River Wear for shipment. In 1911 the HCC was absorbed into Lambton Collieries, being renamed L&H Collieries before becoming the Lambton, Hetton and Joicey Colliery in 1923 and just over 1800 Chaldrons were in operation over the Hetton system at this point, albeit that some were heavily modified. The fleet lasted in operation well into the 1930s, with some waggons lingering on into nationalisation of the coal industry at the beginning of 1947. The HC legend was superseded in 1911 by L&H, then again in 1923 by the LH&JC legend. Pack C: Seaton Burn Coal Co. - Two ex-NER P1 style Chaldrons and an S&DR style Chaldron, circa 1902. One of the smaller coal companies, but with an extensive railway system that extended to the Staithes on the River Tyne at Howden near Percy Main, and at Wallsend. Sunk in 1838 and in operation by 1841, the Seaton Burn Coal Colliery was sold to C. Palmer & Co. in 1850 and then purchased by the Seaton Burn Coal Company in May 1899. The line to Percy Main was abandoned post-WW1, but Chaldrons continued to be worked over the line to Wallsend until it to was closed in 1942, Seaton Burn Coal Co. having been absorbed into Hartley Main Collieries in 1938. Brenkley Drift was the last producing element of this long worked site and was latterly the smallest National Coal Board pit in Northumberland, but was closed on August 17, 1965. In operation, the S.B.C. Co Ltd legend was carried between 1899 and closure in 1942, the waggons never being noted with a "Hartley Main Colliery" legend. Pack D: Pontop & Jarrow Railway - Two ex-NER P1 style Chaldrons and an S&DR style Chaldron in pre-1932 lettering, circa 1910. The Pontop & Jarrow Railway was a sinuous development of separate colliery lines stretching from Dipton Colliery in the west, to Jarrow on the southern bank of the River Tyne and which eventually became the Bowes Railway; of which the surviving 1½ mile section between Black Fell and Springwell is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and the world’s only operational preserved standard gauge cable railway system. The line opened on January 17, 1826 using inclines and horses until steam locomotives were delivered in April 1826 and the railway was gradually extended over the years; to Kibblesworth in 1842, Marley Hill in 1853 and Dipton in 1855, the length of the line increasing to 15 miles. At this point the railway was named the Pontop & Jarrow Railway and continued to operate using the same methods of six inclines, (two gravity worked and four powered inclines) and two locomotive worked sections at either end of the railway. In 1932, in honour of the Bowes-Lyons family, the railway was renamed as the Bowes Railway. The P&JR was one of the first lines in the North-East coalfield to withdraw its Chaldrons, favouring the new 10t waggons from 1887 onwards and vast quantities of Chaldrons were disposed of in 1911, being scrapped by burning (this meant that the iron work could be salvaged for scrap). Those Chaldrons that survived the cull continued in limited use working from the line’s western collier ies to Marley Hill Coke Works, many having their PJR legend replaced by an ‘MH’. Just click here if you wish to pre-order any of our Chaldron packs, just £44.99 per triple pack with 10% off when you order two packs or more! View the full article
  3. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi yesterday, it was fantastic to see so many familiar faces once again and meet some new ones too. I was kept very busy on the IRM stand too so thank you to everyone who made a purchase and offered such amazing feedback on the As. Finally thank you to the gang at Wexford MRC who were so welcoming, helpful and who put on a great show in what is still a very difficult time. Everyone had a very enjoyable day. Cheers! Fran
  4. Exactly! We have a man primed and ready to go, but with their strict lockdown it's not possible right now. But we will get it, you can rest assured on that.
  5. Hahaha I heard the Antonov 225 landed in Shannon this week. Did you send it??
  6. Hi everyone, I will be there with my IRM hat on with some As, wagons and our buses for sale, as well as some nice accessory items and a couple of warehouse finds too. So, make sure you drop by, say hi, and check out what we have on the day. Will be fantastic to see some familiar faces after so long. Oh, and something new too (small but very nice announcement!) Cheers! Fran
  7. Hi everyone, Wondering how many more A Classes there are to be sent out? This much... This pile represents the stock of which the final third of orders will be picked from and and will be sent out between now and next Friday. It's only when you see the volume for itself do you begin to understand just how many of these had to be picked, box made, wrapped, labelled and shipped. Our warehousing team will now work throughout the bank holiday to pick, wrap and label orders to get them out to you as quickly as possible. This is by far the biggest order volume we've ever handled, with it dwarfing any previous run of wagons for either IRM or Accurascale. It's fantastic that our A Class locos have seen such a huge demand. It's been a learning curve for all of us, and we will put in measures to streamline order dispatch, but if we want our locomotives to be wrapped securely so they arrive to your layout in perfect condition it takes a lot more than a bit of card, tape and bubble wrap. It takes a bit of time to ensure you can enjoy them out of the box for many years to come. Thank you once again for your continued patience and understanding. If you are still waiting then it's worth reading the customer testimonials from those who have received theirs so far to know it is well worth the wait. Thanks also goes to our warehouse staff who have done trojan work, including 15 hour days to get them out the door. They're flat out and have been for 10 days now. It's been a long wait, we know that better than anyone, but we've been overjoyed to see them arrive in peoples hands, enjoyed on their layouts and the feedback on the locomotive itself has been fantastic and very much appreciated. If you knew half the story over the past three years, particularly since the pandemic, then you'd be slightly amazed they got here at all, but that's another story for another day. In the meantime, plaudits should go to Patrick for his extensive research, Richie's extensive surveying and project management, our CAD man Eugen who drew the locos in 3D, Gareth for his excellent decoration artwork, the late Anthony McDonald who was instrumental in assisting Patrick with research, the ITG gang in supporting us from day one with research and access to A39r, ESU for coming from Germany to record the sounds for the decoders and assisting on all DCC functionality IWT for shipping them from China to Dublin and dealing with all the rail challenges that sprung up along the way, Stephen for putting us all together in the first place and our factory who have manufactured a masterpiece in OO scale and once again our warehouse staff who are shipping them out. (I've sure I've missed people, if I have I'm very sorry!) However, the biggest thank you of all is to you, our customers, who have supported us from day one, offered us great encouragement and understanding when timelines slipped, and most of all, opened your wallets and believed in our models. Thank you from all of us at IRM. Oh, and those boxes? Well, more on that this Sunday. Cheers! Fran (On behalf of IRM)
  8. Hi Blu Bianco, Not at the moment but when our backlog is clear we will put a note up here, Facebook and via email to let everyone know. If you haven’t heard about your order by that stage then we will get you to email us so we can look into it for you. Cheers! Fran
  9. Hi Tony, Many thanks for that. We have a policy of dispatching order earliest date fully paid first, then by order date thereafter, with order first pay later slotting in there, but it seems a few slipped through the net in this case. We have informed the warehouse team to ensure this is strictly adhered to going forward in fairness to everyone. Cheers! Fran
  10. Victims of our own success, perhaps. If it's any consolation, us IRM folk will be the very last to receive their As!
  11. Hi everyone, It's safe to say that the A Class is our most ordered IRM model to date, ever. Pre-orders for our first locomotive dwarfed any wagon release by three times at the very least. We always knew dispatch would take longer than it did for any wagon run we have done, particularly when considering the weight of the locos and the extra packing required. However, we didn't quite anticipate just how long. The good news is that the mountain of pre-orders has now become a mere hill, but we still have a good bit to go. Our warehouse crew have been packing A Classes for over a week now, and such is the deluge of orders we have received we have them working overtime in the evenings and this weekend to get the orders out as quick as we can. To speed things up further, we approached a temp agency and asked for four additional temp staff members to come and join our drive to get the locos out the door. Sadly, none of them showed up, such is the demands currently for labour in the logistics industry, especially at this time of year with Christmas fast approaching. So, that's where we are. Our warehouse team estimate that the current backlog of A Class orders will be cleared by next Friday, October 29th. We do apologise for this delay, but we are flat out going as fast as we can. This also goes for any orders that have been requested for collection, as they are in the same queue as postal orders. We want your A Class turning up properly protected, in one piece and ready for action on you, so we must take the time to pack them properly. Thank you for your patience, understanding and continued support for IRM, and of course your passion for our first locomotive. We promise that it will be well worth the wait. Thanks, Fran (on behalf of IRM)
  12. You lot come up with some off the wall stuff sometimes! Extra A Classes? You's shall be so lucky!
  13. We just like to be proactive is all. We didnt want your As sitting on a step or getting wet and to save you a trip to your local sorting centre, so we thought to hold off for a few days would be wise. I have released them for you so should get wrapped and packed tomorrow, all going well. Cheers! Fran
  14. Hi Noel, As you said you were away last week we held them for you. Would you like us to release them now for you? Cheers! Fran
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