Sunday 6 November 2011

Beer, Cake & Toy Trains

Operator's cake, this hospitality rapidly becoming the
trademark of Wycrail, with the cakes becoming more
 luxurious year on year!
Wycrail is always a shining jewel in the toy chuff chuff calendar, it being a wray of virtual sunshine the weekend after the clocks change plunging us into dismal, miserable darkness for 5 months. I gather it's to do with farmers in the very north of the British Isles, though why they cannot just set their clocks an hour later than everybody else for the winter months I have no idea, especially seeing most of them are being subsidised by the UK tax payer.  In the UK we've always been rather too obsessed with the minority and underdog at the expense of everybody else, well almost, the almost pointless Channel 5 stills needs to be replaced with 'Channel Rail' for us nutters with minority hobbies. Best stop, I'll get in to trouble and have my trainset trampled all over by a flock of irate sheep, men in kilts and Channel 5 employees!

Ian Mellors' 91000 'R. A. Riddles' powers through
Catcott Burtle with a secret test train on a sunny late-summer morning.
With my morning grump over; Wycrail was great fun with a good crowd around Catcott Burtle for most of the day, even during those silly moments put on especially to wind up enthusiasts from Tonbridge Wells featuring Ian Mellors' facinating 'could have been' creation of a Riddles 91XXX 2-8-2 (that's it above by the way). His stunning loco had on-board sound which even works with DC. Clever chap that Ian, and you can find out more about all of his smart stuff here. Rumour had it 'R.A. Riddles' will be appearing in the popular press soon as well - top man! I'm waiting now for some person who lives in a bungalow or who shares a bed with mother to tell me that such big locos would never have run along the former SDJR - I wonder if they've ever heard the sound of a raspberry?

Cheers 'anonymous benefactor'!
Beer? Yup, correct! Halfway through the morning a top chap (who wishes to remain anonymous) took me to one side and handed by a couple of bottles of ale from the Loose Cannon Brewery in Abingdon. They're a thank you for all my silly BLOG postings apparently, silly fool, there's far better stuff to read on the interweb I'm sure. Still, thank you kind sir - I will enjoy these very much!!! It's also great to know that the smell of boiling hops and malt now floats over Abingdon again now that Old Speckled Hen has become an ex-pat living in Suffolk after running off with somebody called Greene King.
A visitor in the form of Ian McKechnie's ex-GWR Collett 0-6-0 No 3218
 is captured plodding through Catcott Burtle with an afternoon
empty return milk trains destined for the dairy at Bason Bridge.
Finally I must thank Ian Mellors and Ian McKechnie who kindly gave up their Saturdays to play trains on my trainset. And before I go, I must point you in the direction of Ian McKechnie's website featuring his photography of the real SDJR in the mid-1960's, without it, Catcott Burtle would not be the layout it is -

1 comment:

  1. Looks like operator heaven at Wycrail! Absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of sensible what might have been - that 2-8-2 looks good. But must question use of the words "chuff chuffs" - much prefer "puffer trains!" I do enjoy your blog - keep it coming please.


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