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Saturday, 30 April 2022
Friday, 29 April 2022
Thursday, 28 April 2022
Wednesday, 27 April 2022
As the layout has evolved it’s had several names, it was initially called Churchstanton, then Stogursey, and finally Combwich when I resurrected the layout around 1999 from its polythene wrapped incarnation.
Combwich never had a railway, but in my make-believe world it grew in to a town which warranted a railway, an extension of the SDJR from Highbridge. A ridiculous idea, but that’s half the fun of the parallel universe.
But people in the real world have been taken in, several years ago I received an email from a resident of Combwich saying that they know where the station used to be. I didn’t reply, for I didn’t want to spoil their joy. And whilst the layout is completely fiction, the last bit is completely true.
Tuesday, 26 April 2022
Saturday, 23 April 2022
Every St George’s Day, Nasal Nigel swaps his trusty sticky green bus-spotter flasher-mac for a brown suit. It dates from his office days working for a company that manufactured sprocket holes for 16 and 35mm film. Every Friday the boss allowed the minions to ‘dress down’, Nigel confusing this with ‘dress brown’. Next to the gates is our loveable little chap (well, mother loves him anyway) chatting to Daphne Dando the crossing keeper about her prize cabbage. Daphne is a keen gardener, and between trains attends her vegetable patch, giving it much love and attention growing runner beans, sprouts, carrots, hemp, cabbages, weed, magic mushrooms and marijuana. The latter of allegedly being very popular in nearby Glastonbury.
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Friday, 22 April 2022
Thursday, 21 April 2022
It’s a lovely sunrise at Combwich West (not many know that Combwich has 2 stations, but that’s a story for another day), as the first train of the day departs. To the left we see lights are on at The Thong & Flasher, well that’s what the locals call it anyway. The pub has 2 letting rooms, they’re popular with crab fishing types and trainspotters, also Cindy Proper-Job the landlady attracts a certain type of customer. As our train trundles over the crossing, we note that the lights are on in the loco shed office. It looks Barry Bullhead’s powder blue Morris Minor is parked outside (he wanted a Vauxhall Cresta as a company car really). Barry, the former time and motion man from the Ministry of Misery has just started his new position under the infamous Dr Beeching. We all know what that might mean for the railway. The good people of Combwich have been expecting Barry Bullhead’s visit for some time, and have been putting clothing shop display dummies on all the trains to give the appearance of more passengers than there really are. It’s hoped that Barry won’t actually want to travel on any of the services, shop dummies aren’t exactly known for their conversational skills. Fingers crossed.
As always, click, swipe, tap, lick, wiggle or whatever you do to enlarge.
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Tuesday, 19 April 2022
Andrew and Barclay are chatting to the engine crew, favourite subject being beer and OO gauge checkrail flangeway clearances. Poor old Dave is desperate for the loo, and wishes they’d hurry up and move the engine nearer to the water tower so he can fill the tank. Spotting the crate of beer at their feet, Dave moves it closer to the water tower. Magically Andrew, Barclay and the engine follow. Result.
As previously seen in my regular spot in Model Rail magazine.
Sunday, 17 April 2022
Sunday morning, and Terry Tuttle-Thomas-Smythe finds his beloved Triumph ‘babe-catcher’ balanced on some ale casks. The cad and bounder finally gets comeuppance for his regular cheating ways which are often at the expense of those closest to him. Many of our regulars have come to witness the amusing spectacle. Terry Tuttle-Thomas-Smythe (aka TTTS) demands the crane is used to lift his pride and joy off, but despite bribery with a crate of out of date bottled beer, the key for the crane has gone missing. TTTS will have to try harder if he wants a favourable result. From left to right… Derek would like to borrow TTTS’s ‘babe-catcher’ next weekend. Dennis (on the loco) wants a nice new shiny diesel. Doug wants a new shovel. Arthritic Arthur wants a new hip. Comical Ned (with the funny shaped head) would like a date with a lady who doesn’t come with a puncture repair kit. Clive would like a new notebook (he’s always on the darn thing and he’s been after an upgrade for ages). And finally, Nasal Nigel wants some well-soiled latex gloves, we’ll leave that bit there….
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Saturday, 16 April 2022
Apologies for late post today, real life and all that, and it’s a lovely day to be outside in the UK. But I did pop the lights on earlier and woke the little people up. As usual they’ve all been up to no good overnight. I turn the lights on and they freeze. Sneaky….
Thursday, 14 April 2022
Thursday morning and our much loved Beryl starts her new job in Customs & Exorcists. There she’ll be investigating illegally imported ectoplasm and other illicit spirits. Her old Austin Seven isn’t really up to the windy country roads to take her in to town, so she’s travelling by rail. As the train arrives, she spots the spooky looking exhaust being emitted from the engine. Something doesn’t look quite right, it looks slightly odd and supernatural. For our Beryl, it looks like the the beginning of a long day, for she also notices that the engine doesn’t have a crew 👻
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Wednesday, 13 April 2022
Nasal Nigel in his new slightly sticky green bus-spotter flasher mac loves to watch the passing trains at the level crossing. But he really must stop putting his wiener through the wire mesh. He’s been here all morning shuffling to and fro with the gates as they open and close. Still, it’s okay, mother has some ointment to relieve any tenderness later. Mother always knows best.
Monday, 11 April 2022
Whilst The Pedant & Armchair is a popular pub with Hornby fanciers (other brands are available) and trackmat fiddlers, the newly opened Jolly Farmer is starting to be a hit with the enthusiast fraternity. The quality of the passing trains and engines is a cut above that if the grubby old Pedant, it even has proper outdoor seating and The Royal Mail can deliver those recent toy train purchases straight to your pint glass table. You might even spot a jolly farmer, but it’s said that they’re a thing of folklore, rather like Bigfoot or politicians who have your interest at heart before theirs.
Sunday, 10 April 2022
Sunrise at Combwich, the warm radiant light illuminates an ex GWR ‘Small Prairie’. I’ve no idea how some of these names were arrived at in the pre war clenched buttock world of tight British stiff upper lip formality, but I’m sure Nasal Nigel will advise. A mile from Combwich, the railway split, with the S&DJR line to Highbridge and a GWR line to Bridgwater. The railway history here is complicated, much like the railways in Wells - the complexity requiring a book to explain. I’ll probably get it all wrong even if I try. The little goods train here is destined for Bridgwater shortly, the crew are in the cab frying their bacon and eggs on the firing shovel, this culinary delight being called a ‘footplateman’s fry up’.
Saturday, 9 April 2022
It’s a right old cavalcade down on the docks with further experiments of the new ‘Motor Railway’ car carrying service. With the cost of diesel at an all time high, Hubert (the conversational Latin speaking horse) is rostered the pull the short train. But Hubert is an old boy, and has suggested that the dockyard shunting tractor which runs on used cooking oil from the local greasy spoon is a far more capable tool. Hubert, being such a resilient horse, during the 2020-2022 Zombie Apocalypse of Doom, successfully completed the highly regarded online ‘Teach Your Horse How to Drive a Tractor’ course. And here is the clever chap demonstrating his newly acquired skills to an appreciative audience. And as we can see, all our regulars are here. From left to right: new boy Frank Twist with his crooked hip, Comical Ned (with the funny shaped head), Herbert (the conversational Mayan speaking horse) enjoying an elevated view, bullish charmer Barry Bullhead (the time and motion man from the Ministry of Misery), Derek on guard duty, our Hubert of course, local bounder and cad Terry Tuttle-Thomas-Smythe, Clive and his notebook, and finally our favourite posh girls Liz & Margo who’ve borrowed Beryl’s bubble car for the weekend.
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Friday, 8 April 2022
These are the men who work on the track, all lining up in acknowledgement of the passing goods. From left to right we have Cyril Flagshaft, on days off he’s a pigeon fiddler, enthusiast and Piccalilli fanatic. Next we have Edwin Jones, originally from Caerphilly, he creates miniature tea clippers from matchsticks with sails from cut up pillow cases. He sails them on the local pond where they capsize and sink in finest Mary Rose style. Next we have Albert Clenchworm, he’s been digging a deep hole on his allotment for decades, no one knows quite why, but he keeps muttering about Australia after too much brown ale. Then we have Doug, we all know Doug, the 1954 gravedigger champion from Plymouth. And finally we have Harry Hi-viz, he loves everything orange. His favourite meal is a big bowl of tinned Alphabetti-Spaghetti washed down with a pint of Lucazade.
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Thursday, 7 April 2022
Wednesday, 6 April 2022
Tuesday, 5 April 2022
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Pickled winkle fund www.buymeacoffee.com/Nevardmedi3
Monday, 4 April 2022
Sunday, 3 April 2022
Sunday at Windmill Sidings - in a part of forgotten Norfolk which cannot be found on any maps. It’s first thing, and not a soul is yet to be seen next to the ancient disused windmill, which last saw traditional use 100 years before the railway came. However, the locals maintain it for pagan correction rituals; those with eyes too close together, witches, vegans, tee-totallers, Prius owners, those who wear spandex sports attire, Lambrini drinkers, shandy drinkers, young men who wear their jeans too low, latte drinkers, those who leave half a pint of beer undrunk, couscous eaters, trainer wearers, politicians, despots, local government officers, those who order posh coffee in busy pubs, pot noodlers, virtue signallers, those who demand sprinkles on their ice cream, shouty people on mobile phones, Candy Crushers, smug app users in pubs to order food & drink, banjolele players, and anyone from out of town. These often lost souls are attached to the windmill arms and spun around until they repent. Other than that, it’s a lovely spot to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Saturday, 2 April 2022
Hemyock is my current project in OO (Hornby sized) and very much a work in progress. More images will appear in due course.
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Friday, 1 April 2022
Down at the docks in Little Britain, Customs & Exorcists welcome the arrival of the new ferry service, (P&O having had their operating license withdrawn). From now on, due to zero customer demand, only small ferries will be required - for fully working unused fishing boats are easy to source. They discuss between themselves what a ridiculous April fool the government are playing on the little people of Little Britain, ”54% on the price of an average household fuel bill, that’s even too unbelievable for the 1st of April!”