Saturday, 25 June 2022

Saturday Morning at the Terminus

Saturday morning at Combwich. Starting on the left, Barry Bullhead (the time and motion man from the Ministry of Misery) is happily accepting a boozy bribe from Shamus landlord of The Star, in return for keeping quiet about his sales of illicit moonshine. 

Gaylord Grip, ex pro boxer and wrestler leans awkwardly against a bench, he’s  been that shape ever since losing his final bout at the 1954 West Somerset Wasp Chewing, Boxing & Cider Festival. Gaylord, like many of the little people here, tends to turn up when there is a crate of booze around - something I’m sure many of you here will have noticed. 

Pete stood next to the engine, is wondering where he left the loco lamp - it could be anywhere around the yard. On the brake van, guard Clive is looking at Waving Wayne trying to work out if he’s just being friendly or practicing semaphore. Waving Wayne has been waving nonstop for years, rumour has he even does it in his sleep. 

And finally on the the far right, Comical Ned (with the funny shaped head) has just started his new job as beer delivery driver for Starkey Knight & Ford, the well known local Bridgwater brewer. He’s hoping it will make him popular with the local fleshpots of Combwich, other villages and small towns around the area. 

Help support me with this regular nonsense, these little scenes take quite a bit of time to create and photograph  - cheers 🍻

Friday, 24 June 2022

Less CO2

The new even greener ‘Tesco Express’ has only taken 14 days from Southampton Docks, travelling at less than walking pace with plenty of breaks. Poor old Hubert, the former conversational Latin speaking horse has found little use for his language skills since Britain formerly became Little Britain and the cost of diesel doubled. But at least the green agenda has been satisfied, but sadly at the expense of the perishable fruit within the containers which is now well past its ‘best by’ date - it’s all bananas. 

Help support me with this regular nonsense, these little scenes take quite a bit of time to create and photograph  - cheers 🍻 

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Up The Grade

View through the bridge, as Radstock shed’s ’Pug’ wiggles its way up the grade towards our photographer. The gradient is 1 in 20, so the photographer has plenty of time to move out of the way. In the distance exhaust can just be made out indicating another engine is on the rear to assist little ‘202’. 

Saturday, 18 June 2022


Saturday morning in the Somerset coalfields. Many of you will be familiar with my photography in the proximity of The Pedant & Armchair seen in the middle distance of the photo here. Here is a rare view showing the wider scene, and as always some of the regular tiny people of been allowed to roam and pose for the camera. Not that I have any control over them, for they tend to move when I look away or blink. I’m sure there’s a sci-fi drama in the making there. 

I’ll get around to finishing the loco one day, it’s been awaiting handrails since 2004, so at the current rate that unlikely to happen in my lifetime. It’s from the delightful Roxey Mouldings kit based on Cyprus Govt Rly 2-6-2T ‘Famagusta’, it’s a lovely runner with its heavy white metal body perched on a Bachmann/Farish 2-6-2 chassis. Narrow gauge locos outside little Britain tend to be larger, this engine being completely to scale. 

The rustic wagons behind are some resin castings from a few years ago, a short run by OO9 guru John Thorne based on ball clay wagons that used to run on the Isle of Purbeck. The portaloo/brakevan I built from scratch around 1980, it sits on an N gauge wagon chassis.

Help support me with this regular nonsense, these little scenes take quite a bit of time to create and photograph  - cheers 🍻 

Friday, 17 June 2022

Harry the Hammer

It’s #frontendfriday again folks. Harry the Hammer, loves his small lump hammer. He uses it for everything, including breaking eggshells on raw and hard boiled eggs. After adjusting the aperture of the colliery screen behind the loco to allow taller engines through, his focus it now the engine. For years he’s pondered on reworking the front of the colliery Peckett to make it look like a streamlined A4 pacific express loco. Just a few taps is all it will need….

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Martin, Taylor & Gibson Moonshiners

Saturday, and here we are behind The Pedant & Armchair, our photographer hanging off one of those new mini helicopter ’photography sky hook’ devices to grab the elevated photo here. It’s the early 1960s, so of course it’s simple technology, the rotor blades are powered by a large wind up rubber band. The flight is brief, only 23 seconds in fact, so the photographer suspended underneath has to be quick to get his or her shot. 

Sorry, I’m droning on, but looking over to the tiny halt we see an ex GWR pannier tank arriving with an old auto coach. Our engine isn’t auto-train fitted, so it will have to run around its train at the destination at Frome. But the bonus for the passenger is the fabulous view afforded by the large windows not only on either side, but also out of the rear. 

There’s music at the pub this lunchtime, and country & western trio ‘The Martin Taylor & Gibson Moonshiners’ are setting up for a bit of yeee harrr plinky croony strummy winky. That’s their blue Morris Eight Series E in the foreground. 

Quite how they managed to get themselves and all their kit in it I’m not sure. But in these olden times we’re a little more resilient generally. Most likely, Gibson being the shorter of the three by around an inch or so travelled on the rear parcel shelf. 

Help support me with this regular nonsense, these little scenes take quite a bit of time to create and photograph  - cheers 🍻

Friday, 10 June 2022

Front End Friday

It’s front end Friday #frontendfriday folks. In the latter years of the Evercreech to Highbridge line, engines were usually limited to ex Midland and SDJR 0-4-4 tanks, Midland 3F 0-6-0 tender locos, BR Std Class 2 & 3 tank engines, and later ex GWR Collett 0-6-0 locos. But very occasionally other locos would appear, this being one of them. In the early 1950s for a couple of years, Bath Shed homed a small number Ivatt 2-6-0 engines, and here we have 43017 blasting through Catcott. I’m not sure what the service was, for it certainly wasn’t going to stop at Catcott if the exhaust is anything to go by. 

Join those kind souls who’ve supported me with this regular nonsense - cheers 🍻 

Thursday, 9 June 2022

A Man Who Can

Thursday morning at Catcott, and celebrated ace railway snapper Ivan Locksmith enjoys any opportunity to feature his well-known Bentley in his railway photographs. It’s almost the same as the famous Bentley owned by the even more celebrated photographer Ivo Peters, but Ivan’s is a slightly lighter shade of blue and not nearly as shiny. This is Ivan’s photograph taken on that new fangled Kodachrome 2 on his even more fangled Nikon F.

Today the 11.05 from Highbridge to Templecombe is only a single carriage, and hauled by an ex GWR Pannier tank. The Western Region of British Railways are certainly making their stamp in this former Midland/Southern joint line by slowly downgrading things. Sadly it looks like the railway will close forever, but nothing has been confirmed yet. 

Looking over at the crossing keeper’s cottage, Herbert Half Job Fugg, popular local rogue roofer and half-jobber, is chatting to crossing keeper Deidre Dando about her missing ridge tile. It blew off in to the rhyne in the foreground last October during one of those strong northwesterlies. Herbert will sort it for sure, but the repair will be in a different colour and he’ll only charge 30% more than Proper Job Pete from nearby Wedmore. Hopefully British Railways will do the repair, but 8 months on nothing has happened. But Deidre enjoys the chat with ‘a man who can’, even though he won’t be the man. Being a crossing keeper on The Levels can be a lonely job 

If you enjoy these posts, you can join those kind souls who’ve supported me with this regular nonsense - cheers 🍻 

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Pedant’s Passage to Glory XXX

Tuesday morning, this is the view from the rear of The Pedant & Armchair looking across the polluted pond just as the 8.03am Frome to Bath via Chilcompton rumbles past. This service is somewhat lengthy, and Nasal Nigel will be quick to point out that it’s quicker to get the GWR line direct to Radstock West. You’ll then need to alight and walk across to Radstock North, thus saving 13 minutes and 74 seconds. But, that’s not the reason for this post, and anyway the time saving will only be enjoyed if travelling from Frome, not here. Confused? I am too. 

The orange colour of the pond, is mostly due to the high iron content of the water pumped up from deep underground to stop the mine from flooding. Rumour has it, the water is used for the small brewery at the rear of the pub, one of its qualities aiding the rich ruby colour of the ale produced. The high iron content also gives the beer medicinal properties, and is very popular with those of anaemic disposition. However a night out drinking copious quantities of ‘Pedant’s Passage to Glory XXX’, a 6% ABV strong bitter ale, can change bowel habits for at least a fortnight. It will also turn your teeth browner than those of heavy smoking Clintus Capstan who’s been running the local newspaper stand for 47 years. 

A big thank you to those kind souls who’ve supported me with this regular nonsense - cheers 🍻

Sunday, 5 June 2022

One In Twenty

Sunday morning, and work carries on around the colliery. Captured through the photographer’s telephoto lens, standing in for the more usual steam loco, a small diesel moves wagons between the canal wharf siding and the colliery on the right. It’s a 1 in 20 incline up in to the colliery, but the wagons are empty and the train is short. Luckily today the rails are dry, but when wet quite often another engine will be needed to assist, but not today. The building on the left is the side of The Pedant & Armchair, a watering hole familiar with a few here I’m sure. 

A big thank you to those kind souls who support me keeping these posts going, they take time and patience to set up and photograph - cheers 🍻

Saturday, 4 June 2022


Saturday morning, famous railway snapper ‘oh dear boy’ Ivan Locksmith and local cad and bounder Terry Tuttle-Thomas-Smythe are about to do a bit of train chasing in their sporty little numbers. 

Today’s chase is against the 8.30am Highbridge to Evercreech Junction goods. They’ve placed a bet with the crew, Ivan and Terry thinking that their speedy arrival in Evercreech Junction goods yard will be assured. This would normally be the case, but today, our loco and train crewed by shrewd Derek & Clive and guard Clive will be going nonstop, missing their usual Glastonbury stop to collect an assignment of ‘comfortable shoes’ from the Clarks shoe factory. Also little do our racing motorists Ivan and Terry know, but Glastonbury is rather congested with one of its regular historic pagan King Arthur inspired hippy-dippy events blocking the main thoroughfare through the town. 

Deliberation Dave and ‘I don’t believe it’ Oliver Awkward observe from the platform, they’ve just walked the long drove up from Catcott village which is nowhere near our little halt it shares its namesake. They’ve been to collect a heavy crate of moonshine spiked rough cider from Daphne Dando’s dairy, orchard and boudoir. Their train isn’t for another 45 minutes, but they want to see the start of the race, their bets being with Derek & Clive. It’s good to be in the know. 

A big thank you to those kind souls who’ve supported me with this regular nonsense - cheers 🍻

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Purple Thursday

 “Look, One knows you chaps mean well, and one knows that times are tough for you peasants, but there’s no way that one will be travelling in that! But one does approve of the colour”.

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Weird Wednesday

Weird Wednesday… Some mad sign writer has been creating a futuristic fantasy sign, ‘2022’ is way in the future. Norman and Barry discuss what ‘2022’ might be like, thinking it will all be about flying cars, robots and holiday homes on the Moon. 

Behind them, the sky is looking rather dramatic over the Bristol Channel, quite sinister in fact. They’ll soon find out that Derek & Clive’s moonshine plant on the tiny island of Steep Holm has exploded, creating this most beautiful but highly alcoholic cloud. Shortly it will rain hooch, so any teetotallers will be advised to stay indoors whilst everybody else has a party. 

Help to keep the nonsense flowing

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Booze Train

The narrow gauge tramway along the wharf hasn’t been used for many a year. But after decades of disuse, our little people are getting it running again using an old rail bus built mostly from timber, corrugated iron and the remains of an old greenhouse. It uses an engine and transmission adapted from an old petrol charabanc. 

Gaylord Grip, former pro boxer and wrestler is in charge of the project and is aware that the little tramway must be profitable, so in association with the Star Inn have set up booze trips up and down the wharf. Here we have the inaugural train being loaded up with casks of illicit hooch which will ensure all participants will have a great time, and one they probably won’t remember the following day. 

But it looks like Barry Bullhead from the Ministry of Misery and PC Philip Fuzz have had a tip off, but in our miniature rose-tinted land of nonsense they’ll soon turn a blind eye after a couple of test runs with free hospitality on the little train.

As always, click, swipe, tap, lick, wiggle or whatever you do to enlarge. Help me to keep these scenes of nonsense going when I really should be doing something more productive or

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Bogroll Fight!

Commemorating the toilet roll fights of a couple of years ago much enjoyed in Little England during the Zombie Apocalypse of Doom, Terry Tuttle-Thomas-Smythe is exploring yet another business opportunity. Bets can be placed on who manages to end the bout with the most toilet paper. We’re currently in round 3, as poxy monkeys Sharon & Tracy, champion toilet roll hoarders of 2020 do their best. 

Many of our favourite little people are here including Liz and Margo who never miss out on a good flutter. Nasal Nigel is enjoying an elevated position from the top of a beer cask, and already has ideas for a similar competition involving cling film. Maybe we won’t go there. 

As always, zoom in to capture the action, and if you really enjoy this post, you can support me.. or

Friday, 27 May 2022

Missed a Trick

It’s that #FEF or #frontendfriday many in social media land get excited about. It’s particularly popular with diesel fanatics and soft porn fanciers for some reason - though ‘mother’ won’t be impressed with the latter. I’m sorry it’s not a Class 37 or a Deltic, but I don’t have too many diesels, so this is about as diesel loco-horny as it gets. But there are many more sites out there, especially featuring loco hungry traction maintenance depots for the disappointed who need that multi loco English Electric fix, ideally in BR banger blue of course. 

Anyway, and finally: here’s the morning goods from Evercreech Junction arriving at Combwich, which today is most unusually hauled by old ‘sad eyes’, aka a Class 22. It’s loco 13 and a Friday - specially for those glass half empty types, of which there are many, especially when the major toy train manufacturers announce their forthcoming releases for the year. 

I missed a trick here, for I should have posted this load of nonsense on Friday 13th a couple of weeks ago. Sorry. Help me to sharpen my act and keep these almost daily posts happening


Thursday, 26 May 2022

Blocked Loo

Thursday morning on Combwich shed. Old ‘216 gently simmers between assignments whilst basking in the warm sunshine in this remote part of the Somerset Levels. On the left we see local guesthouse owner Mrs Miggins’ mauve coloured Morris Traveller - another one of those bad colour choices if resale is ever in mind. But at least it’s not metallic brown, so it could be worse.

The brave old lady is using the loo just to the left of the car, her own one being temporary unusable due to a human head being found in it. This is of course from the days before bathroom en-suites, with just one shared loo for both residents and owners. 

Her 58 year old live-at-home son Timothy Miggins works on the railway, his job is to count fishplate holes between Highbridge, Combwich and Bridgwater once a week. He’s allowed ‘mother’ on site to use the stinking loo whilst the local constabulary investigate the rancid head which is blocking the one at the guesthouse. 

Help me to keep these posts regular of bowel and flowing nicely

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

A Bit of Slap & Tickle

First time booze runners and part time pub circuit folk music duo Cyril Slap & Toby Tickle have just taken delivery of 3 casks of illicit grog produced on Steep Holm, a little known island in the middle of the Bristol Channel. They’re using Beryl’s old Austin 7 to transport the casks to a secret den somewhere on the nearby boggy levels owned by our favourite local cad and bounder Terry Tuttle-Thomas-Smythe. 

Their chariot to be honest isn’t really up to the task, for these cars are tiny, and the rear leaf springs should have been replaced years ago, and there’s certainly not any room for even one cask. Maybe the old narrow gauge wagon can be used, but it’s only a 300 foot line built to transport freshly caught breaded fish fingers and potted winkles to the kitchen of the quayside pub just out of shot to the right. 

Sadly for Slap & Tickle, it looks like they’ve failed in their first task for TTTS, so they’d best go back to entertaining the local ciderheads with their fiddle, flute and banjo. 

If you like this post, you can tip Slap & Tickle with a couple of sovs here, they really need it


Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Funny Handshake

It’s Tuesday at the colliery deep in the Nettlebridge valley, and Comical Ned (with the funny shaped head), Barry Bullhead from the Ministry of Misery and Arthritic Arthur are waiting for the Bath service as a coal train rumbles though. Bath being the the beautiful Somerset city, not a bath tub - though many of you here being model railway nuts might not be familiar with such inventions of course. 

Our trio, it’s thought are going on a pub crawl, Bath of course having many delightful hostelries - though to be honest their friendship appears most unlikely - but they do have a funny handshake it’s been noticed. Barry knows of a few pubs that stay ‘open’ all afternoon, a clever handshake and palm tickle being the key to such success. 

In the distance, former boxer and wrestling champion Gaylord Grip can be seen posing next to his new Landrover, I’ve no idea what that’s all about, but that crate of moonshine spiked cider in front of Doug might have something to do with it. 

If you enjoy these posts, please consider supporting me with a sov or two, no funny handshake required


Saturday, 21 May 2022

Motor Rail Service

Saturday morning at an undisclosed colliery location, British Railways are running secret trials for a forthcoming 'Motor Rail Service'. The revolutionary trains will allow keen motorists to drive to the pub, drink a skinfull, and not have to worry about driving home drunk. If successful, roll-on roll-off wagons will be introduced, however for now, cars are craned onto short wheel base wagons. The main problem I can see, is that very few pubs are served by a bespoke railway siding. But let’s just enjoy the moment for what it is.

From left to right if you zoom in, it would appear that Comical Ned (with the funny shaped head) is in charge of the crane. Waving Wayne is waving for no apparent reason, but he’s a friendly kind of chap, and always a joy to have around, for he hasn’t stopped waving since 1953 when he discovered this skill. On the engine, Deliberation Dave is wondering about the gaudy shade of blue on the Ford Popular, thinking that the colour won’t be great for resale. But thankfully it’s not metallic brown, that would be really bad news. 

Barry Bullhead from The Ministry of Misery has been hired in the make the whole experience less than impressive for the customer. In little Britain customer service should never be pleasant, for us Brits like to moan, in fact it’s good for business, especially with dowdy timeshare in Torremolinos plague mask wearing beige bungalow dwelling hybrid car drivers (in metallic brown of course). 

Beryl is standing to attention next to her bubble car in finest military style, it being reminiscent of her of her days in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) during the war. Honorary guests Posh Liz and not quite so Posh Margo are here witness the event. And of course we have the appearance of local bounder and cad Terry Tuttle-Thomas-Smythe, no doubt involved in some semi-legal weeze. 

As always, click, swipe, tap, lick, wiggle or whatever you do to enlarge. 

Help me to keep scenes of nonsense going when I really should be doing something more productive

Friday, 20 May 2022

Abducted by Aliens

It’s that #frontendfriday thing again. Unusually a ‘USA’ tank engine is shunting the sidings at the colliery. But nobody can be seen, the reason for this  being that all our favourite miniature weirdos and fruitcakes have been abducted by aliens. But to be honest it’s quite nice to experience a bit of peace, quiet and ‘me time’ without them cluttering up and getting in the way of the camera. I’ve a feeling that Nasal Nigel will be the first to return, for it’s unlikely that even the little green men from planet Zob 13a will be able to cope with him for more than a few hours. 


Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Vintage Digital

It’s Tuesday morning at Combwich as the 8.35am from Evercreech Junction via Highbridge arrives. 3206 can be seen to the right shunting the yard. 

This early digital photograph dates from around 2003 and was taken on an HP Photosmart 945, which at the smallest aperture gave the most incredible depth of field. When the camera was released 19 years ago, it was cutting edge, with what was then a whopping 5.3 million pixels. It lasted to around 2007 before making a strange pop and expiring. It most likely now graces exported landfill somewhere in Asia after futile attempts to fix it. 

Monday, 16 May 2022

Before Colour Was Invented

It’s monochrome Monday at Hemyock, the day of the week when all colour is removed. It can be a hazardous day, because green and red lights look the same and can cause dangerous confusion on the roads and railways. This is why semaphore signals were used on the railways in the olden days, we simply had to look at the angle of such rather than colour. Busy road junctions were often policed by a chap (or a chapess) wearing big white gloves to direct traffic. But we didn’t know any different back then, unless one was really rich and could see in colour or lived in the USA where everything has always been in colour.

Hemyock was unusual, in that it had no signalling due to the ‘one engine in steam’ (or diesel if you can afford it) status of the line. This by the way, is the main reason for the location being a popular choice with railway modellers, for they don’t need to mess about with pesky signals that are a pain in the whotsit to get to work - okay, I made that bit up.

Anyway here we are at the terminus, as old ‘sad eyes’ runs around its recent arrival of milk tanks destined for the creamery in the distance. Norman and Barry look on, and are keen for Tuesday when colour is to be invented.

As always, click, swipe, tap, lick, wiggle or whatever you do to enlarge. 

Help me to make tomorrow’s post a colour one