Thursday, 4 August 2016

Tia Rescue

Once more I find myself mentioning my favourite charity Tia Rescue.

Tia do a brilliant job rescuing unwanted greyhounds and lurchers and also shire horses. They are unfortunately struggling for cash at the moment.

How you can help:

Send a donation.
Sponsor a greyhound (or other rescued animal)
Give a home to a greyhound or lurcher. (These dog make wonderful pets).
Visit the new cafe and visitors' centre.

Read their website for details.

Tia are located down a country road, but they are actually quite handy for the A1 or M18 if you are in that neck of the woods. Quite near to Doncaster or Bawtry.

The address?

Tia Rescue
Mill Race Farm,
Wroot Road

I know that all donations, however small, will be much appreciated right now.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Updates - important note

I have tried to update some of the outdated information relating to suppliers on this blog. However, I can only pass on what I glean from the model press and similar sources. Details such as addresses should always be carefully checked, especially if you are sending money.

There has been a great deal of change lately, and sadly most of it is in a negative direction as traders have retired/fallen ill or generally fallen by the wayside. Unfortunately this has not been matched by Dapol (or anyone else) bringing out RTR GCR items! This trend is likely to continue, so please support the remaining traders and buy what you can when you can.

If anyone has additional information, or wishes to correct errors or outdated data, please let me know. Similarly, if suppliers would like their products mentioned I am happy to oblige. I do not make any charge, as my objective is simply to help other modellers of the GC.

Finally, although I try to keep things factual and rarely offer criticism, I have quite likely made mistakes and do not accept responsibility for any difficulties or loss caused thereby. Or to put it another way please check for yourself that any product I mention is suitable for your needs, and is still available before dishing out any money.

Gladiator Loco Kits

Gladiator is now under new ownership. As I understand it, they will be slowly reintroducing the kits, and for the GC the Director is first in line. If you want to buy one, or one of the other GC kits, or if you want to 'encourage' the J10 that Geoff Stratford was working on before he retired, the best way forward is to contact the new owners with expressions of interest.

GCRS Website

The GCRS website is now blessed with a growing number of online drawings from the archives. The great majority of these are only available to Society members through a password. However, this is a very good reason to join the GCRS, as the subs are very modest by modern standards.

For example, I didn't know that the GCRS had a dining saloon 'for football parties'. But I do now, and what's more I've seen the drawing.

GCR Signalling

I just wanted to share a couple of URLs that give access to some very interesting GC siganalling diagrams. However, please note that most (but not quite all) show post-1923 amendments and so must be used with care when GC era arrangements are what you want.

LNER Signal Box Diagrams  As you might guess from the title this site is not just about the GC. But it does have an extensive selection of GC section diagrams and some from the joint lines.

Lymm Observatory   Another exceedingly useful collection. Again, not just the GC, although for the GC there is a particular focus on Woodhead and the adjoining lines.

For anyone wishing to make models there is an excellent thread on RMWeb. Suffice it to say that the OP, Jon Fitness, has probably forgotten more about making signals than I shall ever know. He works in 7mm scale but the principles apply to all scales.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Manvers Main Wagon

Some time ago I mentioned the sad fact that the extremely useful Manvers Main wagon had vanished from the Slater's range.

I am glad to note that Manvers Main transfers and/or pre-lettered kits and RTR kits are now available from Powsides. This is excellent news. The reference is ID0956.

There are of course many other wagons that are suitable for the GCR (or parts of it) available from Powsides. Although for the present the South Yorkshire coalfield is lamentably under-represented, while there are hosts of wagons for obscure railways serving the south and west of England. This probably reflects customer demand, as it certainly doesn't reflect the proportions of prototype wagons.

If you are modelling pre-group, avoid anything intended for 1923 standard wagons. This ought to be obvious, but observation at exhibitions suggests it isn't. If you look at the Powsides online catalogue, the pictures of the various transferred can be 'zoomed'. This does not always, unfortunately, enable the subsidiary lettering to be read. Again (obviously) for pre 1923 any reference to LMS or LNER (or indeed SR) should be avoided. If in doubt, ask Powsides. The converse is not necessarily true, as pre-group designations on wagons remained, in some cases, until BR days!

As ever, I recommend the excellent books by Keith Turton and Bill Hudson on this subject. One thing is certain - if you are modelling the GC at any time up until the 1960s you will need some PO wagons, and if you are modelling pre 1939 you will need (relatively) a lot. After 1939, they did get grubbier, and some were eventually repainted plain grey. Again, do check the published works for details.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

N4 (GCR 9A class)

The owner of Gladiator Models is retiring at the end of March 2015, and at the moment (sadly) it looks as if this valuable range of loco kits will vanish.

Some months ago I bought a kit for an N4/N5 class. After much pondering I decided I wanted to build it as an N4 (GCR class 9A) with a round top boiler. Essentially to make it as different as possible to the N5 I already own. This meant procuring a different cab front from Gladiator, which should be winging its way to me very shortly.

The main difference between an N4 and and N5 is that the former had Joy valve gear. This has made me think. Should I fit working Joy valve gear? Have I got the ability? Well, it would certainly be pushing the envelope a bit, let's put it that way. Building a Connoisseur models diagram 17 van is within my scope - but a locomotive with working inside valve gear? Possibly a bridge too far.

Well, we shall see. Truth is, I shall probably bottle it!