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Where am I up to? 2018

At Thornton Hough on 20th September 2018. Photos by Les Dobbing: Words by Alan Pennell

The day had been terrible with rain lashing down and a very strong wind. Fortunately the rain had ceased by 7pm so hardy souls made their way to Thornton Hough.  

The tables were drawn out at the W.I. for members to place their model offerings. We were not disappointed. It was possible (sometimes) to see how the items were made but the owners were happy to explain what the item was and gave hints and tips where something might not have been straight forward to produce.  

Trying to record, as each item was mentioned, was difficult but here is a somewhat cryptic commentary!

IJ displayed his finished boiler for a 5”G LNER K1 locomotive.

The barrel is 10 gauge, there are 40 stays each side of the firebox with 180 joints to silver solder. It took 12 weeks to put together and used oxy/propane to do most of the soldering. The regulator is connected to the wet header and needs the stainless steel superheater tubes fitting and connecting to a hot header. It all weighs a ton!! – good for traction! 

LW showed a 5”G LNER B1 4000 gallon tender. Reportedly 20 years in the making and the tank had been on the bench for 18 months!! Also shown were 2 lubricators, made by others, similar to the ‘Dholpur’ and fitted with roller clutches.

AP showed a 5”G BR1G tender chassis for ‘Evening Star’. All components are laser cut by Malcolm High. Be advised to be aware some adjustments had to be made for the chassis width to match the drawing being worked to and commercial kits for this chassis.

BS showed a 5”G GWR 3500 gallon tender tank frame. As shown the build had taken 5 weeks from the start. The castings were from Blackgates.

MS showed a 5”G 0-6-0 Saddle Tank engine. It is ‘Jack’ from a Reeves design. The only castings are the wheels, everything else made by hand. The boiler is fitted with a superheater and has passed its steam test.

JS showed a 7.1/4”G Tender for ‘Lion’. This has been 2 years in the making, with a steel tank (very carefully rivetted as per the original, as we would expect of this builder!) and the wheels are of fabricated construction.

AK/EK displayed a Woodroffe ‘Verto’ engine, with boiler, from EIM magazine and the kit from Bruce/Polly Engineering. The boiler is fired with a gas burner. The frame is mounted on wheels the rims of which are rolled from flat. The full-size original was built in 1880.

DW displayed a Vertical Boiler for a Kennion Mill Engine from 16 years ago when it was built during a College course. The engine (not on display) has been built and run on air.

Sadly, we failed to take a picture of this, apologies to him!

All these items show that something is ‘going on’ somewhere within the Society and display a range of skills which were not necessarily acquired during full-time employment but acquired by ‘rubbing shoulders’ and talking with other members. There is no limit to the knowledge and skill base within the Society and we invite anybody with a modicum of interest in matters mechanical to not hesitate to join and get great pleasure from creating something no matter how simple.

Alan Pennell

Where am I up to? 2017

At Thornton Hough on 21st September
The evening showed what a lot of very talented people ‘’had been up to’ since last year. Six tables were laden with a very varied display.
Tony A showed a plain box with a switch on its lid. Operating the switch caused half of the lid to be pushed open by an illuminated hand which then reached out and pushed the switch off and withdrew itself and the lid closed. Quite a surprise first time!
Photos by Les Dobbing

Allan P brought the chassis for a 5” BR 9F, the plates were supplied by Malcolm High.

Jon S presented a 7.1/4” ‘Lion’ tender chassis with the frame in solid timber, as the original. All the fittings were hand-made including the bolts!

Don W brought a rotatable loco construction frame and also a 3.1/2” GNR tender. The engine for this is complete and steamed.

Bill S showed an LBSC 5” Maid of Kent, frames were laser cut and had already taken 4yrs in the building.

Len W displayed components for a tri-tone chime whistle for a 4” scale Maclaren traction engine.

Geoff M brought parts for a BR Class 2 loco – mainly for advice, which was not lacking!

Ian J showed a 3.1/2” LNER K1 loco which so far had taken 18 months.

John H presented a 3.1/2” LSWR Adams Radial tank engine chassis, named ‘Copyne’, representing 12 months work.

John O showed a 3.1/2” LNWR Jumbo tender chassis (Chris Raywood). Also shown was an axle with driving wheels for a 7.1/4” ‘Lion’.

Graham R had brought components of a Winson kit for a 5” GWR 14XX Tank engine.

Dave M showed something in a very different scale, a 16mm Peckett spirit-fired tank engine and a part-built plywood carriage.

Les D brought his Gold Award-winning (some 10 years ago at the Ascot M.E. Exhibition) freelance Side Lever steam engine for a paddle steamer. He read out the model’s constructional details and what had been used – all items of scrap!

Matthew S presented components of his 5” Don Young design 0-6-0 Saddle Tank ‘Jack’.

The builders gave description/advice of their offerings from which all present gained deeper knowledge.

An excellent evening of which all exhibitors should be very proud !!


Rail and Sail Day, 8th July 2017

Photos by D. Morris and R. Couche. Text F Stephen.

This event was a joint venture between Wirral Model Engineering Society and the Wirral Model Boat Club, based in West Kirby.

The day dawned fine, clear, sunny and warm and it stayed that way all day which helped to make the day very enjoyable.

Our friends from the boat club arrived prompt at 10.00 and set up the stands and gazebos. Both societies had exhibits on display. Society members mingled, chatted and enjoyed rides on both the ground level and raised tracks.

Lunch then followed and from the compliments received, was enjoyed by all! Our thanks to the ladies who so delightfully served all the refreshments during the day.

At 1.00 pm the exhibition was opened to the public and it was very gratifying to record that there were a good number of visitors to the exhibition. The atmosphere was enlivened by Tony playing his organ during the event and also allowing others to ‘have a turn’ with popular tunes. The crane and loading model was well used during the afternoon with many children obtaining a certificate to say they had unloaded the goods safely.

Around 4.00pm the event closed and was rapidly dismantled!

Thanks to members of both societies for the loan of the models for the exhibition, it was good to see and enjoy such a variety of items.

Thanks also to everyone who came along and supported the day, we were all pleased to see you.

Hand Cranked Organ

This organ was made by the man turning the handle. If you have any questions stop him and ask.