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Mick's Drivel


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On 23/01/2018 at 19:41, ba14eagle said:

..Really sorry ive missed your clearout sale! Where have you been selling them?

I've been using the usual auction site Iain but I must stress that it's been a 'clearout' rather than a 'sale'. I haven't been hoarding things all this time for nothing and I've resisted the temptation to let anything go just for the sake of it. If I can't get either what I think they're worth or at a suitable profit over what I originally paid then I'm more than happy to hold on to them.

My indoor layout will go ahead and for that I'll be running all the things I remember from working on the railway between the 1980's and early 2000's, meaning BR Blue through to EWS maroon with the emphasis on freight traffic, especially coal. Outdoors will still be the preserved line with an assortment of stock but with the option to change to one with a Scottish theme so West Highland/Kyle line coaches and log trains etc.

34 minutes ago, markgd said:

....Dont get disheartened. You guys are the reason I came to this forum....for inspiration.

I've certainly not become disheartened Mark, I'm still really looking forward to running trains, it's just that I went way over the top buying all the latest models until I didn't know what to do with them all and I lost track of what I was actually trying to do. Now it's like a massive weight off my mind and I don't miss any of the ones I've disposed of - not even the ones I'd never used or ever opened. I thought I could have a layout where I could alternate stock and run modern image for a while and then change to steam era etc. I had enough models to be able to do so, but you lose sight of your original aims and it all becomes confused. Anyway, I'm just about back on track now - deckchair and glass of wine in waiting.

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Spent the whole day installing a shelving system and I now have all my remaining loco's in one place and grouped together by class. Much better! No more opening various boxes searching for a particular loco - I can now go straight to the one I want. After my recent stock clearout, that's another major step towards getting sorted and back to the garden railway.

I've also purchased another set of 'Really Useful' boxes to store some more coach rakes so that I don't have to faff about taking them from their original boxes each time I want to use them. I ordered them from Ryman as I've done before and quite a bit cheaper than I could find them elsewhere. I use the 10 litre ones which, if I remember correctly, are suitable for up to 11 coaches with a bubblewrap layer between each coach - if it's any different when I get the chance to check I'll let you know.

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Gemini Storage Solutions have a good range of Really Useful Boxes as well as some similar ranges. They attend several Train Sales/Swapmeets and I've found their prices unbeatable. They are based in North Lincolnshire I believe, so not too far away for you Mick, I should imagine. They also sell on eBay but postage puts the prices up.

They have attended the big Doncaster Exhibition in the past but I don't know whether they are going next month.

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Hi Mick and Riddles, don't forget to to take some pics of your locos on the storage shelf's be an awesome site indeed ,  I use the Oates storage draws  bought from Bunning  the large draw can fit my 18 car Indian Pacific and the two locos a complete train, they come with double draws as well, I can can fit 10 Lima passenger cars Australian  full set of 7 XPT set and two locos modeled on your HST .train.

They  have a double draw where I can fit two different passenger trains 11 cars each ,  same with the freight, containers take up one large draw  and , got two draws of container wagons, when I went to the club was hard to choose hat to take usually 5 boxes, not in the club anymore too far to travel  an hour to get there and same back home.

finely when I have my trains running I just take out what I want to run that day, leave most of the layout set up for a couple of days running trains, too hot to do any work outside and humid will wait till the afternoon see what it is cooler.

Tony from down under keeping on moving ahead


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10 hours ago, Riddles said:

Gemini Storage Solutions have a good range of Really Useful Boxes as well as some similar ranges. They attend several Train Sales/Swapmeets and I've found their prices unbeatable. They are based in North Lincolnshire I believe, so not too far away for you Mick, I should imagine. They also sell on eBay but postage puts the prices up....

Just taken a look on their ebay store 'geministoragesolutions' and the price of their 10 litre boxes are actually 49p cheaper than at Ryman's. I ordered 6 from Ryman's in order to take advantage of the free 'next day' postage (over £40) so it works out virtually the same in the end.

9 hours ago, aussietmrail said:

Hi Mick and Riddles, don't forget to to take some pics of your locos on the storage shelf's be an awesome site indeed...

In my case Tony, there's not a lot to look at. The storage system I mentioned is just a wooden shelving system on a metal framework upon which I'm now storing all my boxed loco's. It looks like a shop. Previously they were all randomly stored 15-20 at a time in various cardboard boxes. I have lots of cardboard for recycling this week.

I have two proper display cases, one of them still flat-packed, that I intended displaying loco's and stock on but I'm running out of wall space and you can't really have them in the living areas can you?

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Hi Mick, that will still look awesome with all your locos stacked in to shelf's  and very neat indeed, I reckon I have enough locos now with my late  uncles collection, some need TLC , will get them running again a couple I will repaint to make up another  passenger train, Silver Streak from the movie.

Here is my collection in those storage boxes, need to buy some more, won't be happening till mid March, going on another weeks holiday down the Gold Coast first week of march hope it isn't too bad on the roads  leading up to the commonwealth games in April.

As I said every box is a full train set, those two cardboard boxes are full as well, I need to make another loco  box, second one from the bottom, left hand side has Aussie locos in it.

Not work on the layout today washed the car inside and out, not till Monday now.

Have you run any trains on your layout Mick.


Tony from down under keeping on moving ahead.


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Like I said Tony, it's nothing to get excited about but this is a section of my shelving for locomotives...


In this photo there's A4's on the top shelf, various other steam class loco's next, then two shelves of diesels which still need arranging properly. Excuse the odds and ends which have nothing to do with model railways. Larger class collections such as 37s and 47s have their own shelves as do Heljan (including Prototype Diesels) and DMU's. At least now, no matter how they are arranged, they are easily accessible, which wasn't the case previously.

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17 hours ago, traingeekboy said:

...I see 22 boxes on the top shelf. So, 22 A4's in the collection? well done sir. :)

There's actually 25 on that shelf Griff but they form only part of my A4 collection (now you see why there's been a need to have a clear-out).

1 hour ago, TheQ said:

I reckon Mick bought a model railway shop..

I could possibly have started one Q but I'm getting back to a more sensible level now.

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Yeah, do you really need every A4 ever made for HO scale?

I got overly excited a while back and bought a taurus. Then a while later an even better Taurus loco comes on ebay. Do I really need 2 Taurus locos? not really. I am already feeling the need to thin the collection.


But I would say that as long as they make you happy, keep them. Perhaps you need a nice display shelf?

Edited by traingeekboy
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No I don't really need any of them at all Griff, it's just the collecting bug in me. I'm just glad that I chose to do it with a class of locomotive that only numbered 35. My second favourite loco is the class 37 diesel of which in excess of 300 examples of the real loco's were actually constructed!

My aim has been to collect one model of each actual A4 loco, which I know is a bit extreme when they're never going to play a major part on my layout, but should I ever have a change of heart they can simply be sold. I think back to 12 years ago when I was an habitual smoker and of all the money I used to spend each week on cigarettes, and what I've saved since then would have completed the class 37 collection several times over by now.

A display shelf for the A4's would be great but they'll probably reside in their boxes, with perhaps some occasional outings until, like all the others, their fate is decided.

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I have always really struggled to stop smoking. Help from Doctors, or Pharmacists, or anything else, and within a couple of hours I would be bad tempered and headachey. 55 years I have been a smoker, and just over a month ago, with no previous thought, I stubbed out a cigarette and thought to myself, "Why do I do this?" Haven't had a cig in that time. Haven't had the cravings or the mood changes or anything at all. I wonder why the difference. I also have close to £200 in an old wallet, that would have gone to the local tobacconist.

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I have every sympathy for all those who struggle to give up smoking. I know what it was like and it was many weeks of torture for me and more especially, for those around me. I'd had several failed attempts to stop prior to that so I understand how others feel. I would never lecture anyone who chooses to smoke but if you can make the effort to stop I would advise that you do because life is so much better without cigarettes. You will feel healthier, you'll smell better, your home and belongings and your friends/family will smell better too. In addition you'll be much better off financially.

When I stopped smoking I was paying between £5-£6 per packet of 20 and on average I was smoking 30 cigarettes per day - so we'll call it £9 per day. 12 x 365 x £9.00 equals £39,420!! That's enough to make anyone stop and think. And how much are cigarettes these days? Not sure about the US Griff but over here there's an awful lot of tax on tobacco products. 

I was trying hard to justify spending money on a new car last year but then I worked out what I'd have spent on cigarettes and it was a no-brainer.

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  • 5 months later...

I'd been making good progress on the layout over the past few weeks but a few days ago that came to an abrupt end when late one evening I discovered this little chap on the path at the side of my house....


It's a Pied Wagtail and it's my belief that it was ejected from the nest by its parents. The Pied Wagtails have nested beneath the solar panels on our roof for the past 3 years and usually have two broods - this being the second brood this year. However, the chappie seen in the photo is nowhere near as advanced as its siblings which have since fledged leaving leaving this one behind.

It was 9.30pm when I found it and just beginning to get dark. I couldn't leave it on the path so placed it in a box and fed it with some live mealworms that I use to feed to the birds in the garden. I had to chop them up to a suitable size.

The following day, before I came to the conclusion that the parents had ejected it from the nest, I attempted to get it back to the nest by placing it up on the roof just under the bottom edge of the solar panels. I kept watch on it all afternoon and into the night but the parents just weren't interested. I left it overnight but the following morning it became clear that they weren't going to feed it and so I decided I had to go back up and retrieve it otherwise it wasn't going to survive. In fact I had visions of it being dead as it was still where I had placed it and I hadn't seen it move. Thankfully we live in a bungalow so it was accessible and fortunately it was still alive.

After a few days of feeding mealworms and then waxworms it is now thriving apart from the fact that it appears to have an injured leg which requires attention, but have you ever attempted to get help from a vet for an injured wild bird! I'm sure the injury to its leg was from it being evicted from the nest, probably how it was dragged along to the edge of the roof before being tossed over.

This is how it looks this morning.


A cute little thing but very demanding in terms of the amount of attention it requires.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately there wasn't to be a good outcome regarding the little Pied Wagtail.

It was clear that his leg needed attention and after a good search for a 'decent' vet, I chose one on the outskirts of York who stated that they welcomed wildlife. Due to traffic congestion it took me almost 90 minutes to get there and at the reception I had to sign the bird over to the vet for them to accept it. 

It was immediately apparent that they weren't as optimistic as I had hoped they would be and I started to think I'd made a big mistake. I attempted to make it clear that I would have him returned if they considered him unfit to be released back into the wild. They were supposed to let me know the outcome but after a whole day without hearing anything I rang them only to be told that they'd put him to sleep due to a dislocated 'hock'.

This was the little fella shortly before I drove him to his fate....


Seems such a shame after all he'd endured up to that time and looking at him here you'd never believe there was anything wrong with him.

I'll never make the same mistake again even if it was ultimately the 'right thing to do'.


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  • 1 year later...

Looking at some of the progress on the forum I can see I've got a lot of catching up to do with several layouts now reaching the point of becoming fully operational. But while everyone appears to have been busy I've been taking things a bit easier, spending some time out and about in the countryside and as usual, I have a few photos that I'd like to share with you

On Wednesday 15th we saw No.70000 'Britannia' passing through Long Preston station on its return from Carlisle.


Yesterday, the 17th, 37407 'Blackpool Tower' was some distance away in Hellifield station with the Network Rail Track Inspection train. I  must admit to preferring the name 'Loch Long'.



Some of the roads around Long Preston are extremely narrow with few passing places and it's not surprising that some people can be caught out. To be fair it is difficult to make out the ditch but you soon find it if you move too far to the left to allow an oncoming car to pass which is what appears to have happened on this occasion.


Here's some photos taken beside the beck that runs through Long Preston. After disturbing what I initially thought to be a weasel that immediately darted for cover, we stood for a few minutes and were able to get the following photos of a family of Mink.

Firstly there was one...


...and then two....




and the family group of 5 making their way along the bank.


It's good to be able to get out and about again.

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