Friday 30 June 2023

Filthy Friday

Filthy Friday… “I love you 💕”, “Stop it, you only want my cupcakes”.


Thursday 29 June 2023

Polbrook Gurney Colliery Talent Competition

Terry Tuttle Thomas Smythe hosts the very first ‘Polbrook Gurney Colliery Talent Competition’, that’s our favourite smarmy chap stood on the engine announcing the next act. And here we have the The Railway Guards’ Barbershop Sing & Dance Troupe from nearby Midsomer Norton about to perform their short set. 

Liz & Teresa have been invited as ‘celebrity’ judges for this inaugural event. Somehow or other Nasal Nigel has managed to get on to the ‘stage’, that’s him in the sticky green bus-spotter flasher-mac (it has special pockets with holes on the inside to allow him to adjust himself surreptitiously in public) on the right. Secretly he’s thinking of entering the competition next year with a bus-spotter flasher-mac dance troupe. The thought of that is pretty horrific to be honest, for the Polbrook Gurney Colliery Talent Competition we all know is a family show. 

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

Secure your spot in Nigel’s dance troupe next year

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Tuesday at Windmill Sidings

Tuesday 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 Tuesday afternoon.

Monday 26 June 2023

Wupert & Henwy, Fiddlestick-Chinstrap-Fugg

 Monochrome Monday

Upper class twits Wupert & Henwy, Fiddlestick-Chinstrap-Fugg have just arrived for their new senior management roles at the colliery. Working in the boarding school tuck shop and running around the perimeter of their school naked shooting ‘oik oik’ at the locals makes them more than qualified for their positions which are mostly about making life as tricky for the little people as possible. 

3 years from now after being sacked for indecent exposure in the engine winding house whilst messing about with a grease gun and a rather large spanner, they’ll be working for The Ministry of Misery further feathering their nests. What a couple of tools. 

The railcar is standing in for the more usual steam hauled service should anybody give a….. 


Help me to bribe my way to the top, I won’t be naked though

Saturday 24 June 2023

Saturday Shenanigans

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 standing 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 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 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 23 June 2023

Here Comes The Train!

 Front end Friday #FEF 

View through a 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’. 


A huge thanks to those who help keep these posts regular

Thursday 22 June 2023

Grease Guns & Stopcocks

It’s another Thursday down by the canal. Doug, George & Barry are dealing bottles of illicit booze as Andrew & Barclay trundle past with a wagonload of lose unpasteurised air. Pete & Dud are waiting for Archibald to fix the water tank stopcock. Shortly Archibald will discover that the water tank has been repurposed as an undercover moonshine production plant. Running water and plenty of nearby coal to heat the mash and still within make it ideal. 

In the distance, outside the pickled winkle factory, Comical Ned (with the funny shaped head) tries to capture the attention of Beryl who has just arrived in her Austin 7. Ned has had a crush on Beryl for years, he likes the mature ladies. Beryl however is after an engine driver, or any man who knows how to use a big spanner and is a dab hand with a grease gun - despite a recent rebuild her car is unreliable and her own joints regularly need attention to loosen them up.


A huge thanks to those who help keep these posts regular

Monday 19 June 2023

Summer Storm

Monochrome Monday during an unseasonal downpour in June 1968. Somewhere a little north of Preston, a Black Five 4-6-0 speeds past our intrepid photographer (there with permission I hasten to add). His Rolleiflex loaded with uprated Ilford HP4 b&w film capturing this gritty image inspired by celebrated ‘new wave’ photographer Colin Gifford. In just a couple months scenes like this would be gone forever, with many photographers giving up photographing railways or the more wealthy heading to foreign climes to capture working steam. 


A huge thanks to those who help keep these posts regular

Sunday 18 June 2023

The Mendip Hills Light Railway

High up on The Mendip Hills Light Railway which runs from nowhere to the edge of nowhere, the little people are trialing their new 2ft 3 inch gauge tourist train imported from that there mainland Europe. 

But the locomotive has come to a grinding halt, despite a full head of invisible steam, so as usual many of our regulars are dishing out misguided advice and generally pontificating about the situation with comments like ‘foreign junk’, ‘should have bought British’ and ‘where does the key go?’

But there is a glimmer of hope, for standing on the engine is Dud with his famous notebook which contains more information than the whole of the World Wide Web, though of course in this pre internet time, it will be mostly about spiders and cobwebs - the latter being the only web, so that glimmer is immediately extinguished.  

However looks like Hubert the conversational Latin speaking shunting horse has just appeared on the horizon, and with his unparalleled hauling power, he might be able to drag the stricken train to the next station. Hurrah for Hubert! 


A huge thanks to those who help keep the nonsense flowing

Saturday 17 June 2023

A Lovely Summer Day

It’s a lovely summer day in the land of the inch high at Catcott as the 11.05am Templecombe to Highbridge service trundles over the crossing. The train will pause for a moment to allow Arthritic Arthur to swap his empty milk churn for a full one, of water that is. Though why Arthur doesn’t perform this swap from the comfort of the platform just out of shot to the left I have no idea, for the train is timetabled to stop here at Catcott. 

In olden times very few of the crossing keepers’ cottages on ‘The Branch’ of this remote part of the former Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway had running water, so the supply came in milk churns delivered by rail. This indeed lasted right through to closure in 1966. I discussed this the other day in a post of course, but this photograph has just come to light, so it’s a shame to waste it, and not everyone catches every post I’m sure. 

Ivan Locksmith stands on the weak concrete bridge smoking something no doubt grown in his huge potting shed as he waits for the train to pass. He’s so involved in his own self indulgent narcotic brain fugg of ecstasy, he’s not  noticed his hero Ivo Peters pull up in his famous Bentley. Ivo knows this so jumped out and made a quick ninja like dash to the goods yard with his trusty 16mm Bell & Howell film camera to record the passing train leaving his car on the bridge to aid composition much like Bob Geeza cat has in previous posts. Sadly old loco 43216 is soon to be withdrawn so deserves being captured on celluloid for posterity, especially seeing it’s such a lovely day. 


A huge thanks to those who help keep the nonsense flowing

Friday 16 June 2023

Line Inspection

 Front End Friday #FEF

Once a week the little people do a visual inspection of the line. Derek and Deliberation Dave have taken up key positions on the veranda or whatever it’s called of the diesel loco, their combined 4 eyes being keener than those of a thermal soaring buzzard looking for mice and other vermin from 500 feet above. 

Clive, or possibly Pete (I get confused) stands on the platform with folded arms waiting for the 5 mph train to pass. He’s desperate to run in to The Pedant & Armchair on the left to relieve himself. Though if he was Nasal Nigel he’d probably just pop it out right where he is and shout “look at me, no hands” - but less said about Nigel the better. 

Doug, West Of England Gravedigger Championship winner 1956-57-58 just gazes on whilst casually leaning on his shovel. He’s in his own little dreamworld thinking of digging 6 foot deep rectangular holes. Maybe he could dig 12 holes and set them out like a sundial or suchlike, but quickly comes to the conclusion that such an exercise would be pretty pointless and wouldn’t go down too well with drinkers in the pub beer garden. Though some of the regulars are pretty ancient so potentially he could be onto something here. 


A huge thanks to those who help keep the nonsense flowing

Thursday 15 June 2023



Thursday morning at Moorewood Colliery and the eagerly awaited 2ft 3 inch narrow gauge locomotive has finally arrived. 

It was a bespoke build to the colliery management’s spec. But something appears to have gone wrong with the interpretation, for whilst the gauge is around half that of standard gauge, which is of course correct, the loco body is as well. 

Hubert the conversational Latin speaking horse looks on as Barry Bullhead who ordered the locomotive ponders on how he’s going to explain his error to those above him. And more importantly, will be be able to find a suitable locomotive crew. 


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Wednesday 14 June 2023

Wide View Wednesday

It’s Wide View Wednesday, and as we look across this section of the Somerset Coal Field there is much going on…

In the immediate foreground we have part of the Somerset Coal Canal, it never did close btw, despite many books suggesting it did. Derek & Dave are having a conversation to discuss what they’re going to talk about in 5 mins time. Stavros on the engine suggests that it might be a good idea if one of them at least uncouples the train from the engine. 

The loco was a swap for a Barry Manilow CD in 1959, which is funny, because CDs had yet to be invented and our Barry wasn’t really known at the time. It’s believed that Roxey Mouldings based their ‘Famagusta’ Cyprus Govt Rly 2-6-2T kit on the one here, though that’s just a rumour. 

Arthritic Arthur has just arrived, and has spent the last 15 minutes trying to get off his bicycle, in the end Comical Ned with the funny shaped head and Hubert the conversational Latin speak horse helped. We all need a Ned and a Hubert from time to time. 

Beryl’s Austin 7 and Ivan’s Bentley are parked up, so something potentially nefarious is afoot. Ivan’s Bentley is not to be confused with that of the great Ivo Peters, for Ivan’s is never shiny and often has strange pot plants on the rear parcel shelf. Milky Malcolm has arrived in his van from the diary, though he’s more likely to be running moonshine than raspberry flavoured yoghurts, though there is probably room for both. 

And finally, Barry Bullhead from The Ministry of Misery and his submissive sidekick Timid Timmy are planning what changes can be made to save a few sovs whilst at the same time making his pals at the ministry more wealthy. 

Of course there is much more going on here, I’ll let you fill in the gaps, for sadly I’m near the limit of how many words will fit on the Instagram version of this page. 

How it was shot… 


A huge thanks to those who help keep the nonsense flowing

Tuesday 13 June 2023

Moaning Minnies

With the current heatwave, formerly known as ‘summery weather’ here in the UK, some of you might like this wintery scene at Fountain Colliery as a reminder of winter. 

Here in little England we like to moan about the weather, it’s always too cold, too hot, too mild, too dry, too wet, too windy, too still, too sunny, too overcast, too muddy and so on. I’m not sure what weather would be acceptable to the bungalow dwelling tabloid press reading hybrid driving support stocking beige Marks & Spencers clad nimbies, probably some kind of light grey, or support stocking beige stillness hovering around 18c. That would be ideal for them as they sit in their 1990s built conservatories playing Candy Crush or some other kind of inane nonsense created to keep them off the streets and under control. 

Gosh, that reads like some kind of mild rant, but to be honest just the result of starting to type with no particular direction in mind. And by the way, some of my best friends live in bungalows and even drive electric cars - but you make such a great targets to poke harmless fun at, they know I’m a sarcastic sod so I’m sure won’t be offended.


And finally, a huge thanks to those who help keep the nonsense flowing

Friday 9 June 2023

The Devon Belle

 Front & Rear End Friday, I say….

A once in a lifetime achievement photograph as celebrity snapper Ivan Locksmith manages to capture the passing of the up and down Devon Belle, or is it down and up? I’m sure you the loyal viewer/reader will be able to tell from the angle of the light and highly distinctive giveaway location. 

Travelling in the observation coach, retired bank robber and stockbroker Edwin Smythe-Groom-Pynch, his feeble son Hilary (known as Hells Bells by his public school mates) and timid semi estranged wife Fiona ‘Fifi’ are travelling in style. When booking the tickets he thought that the observation car would be facing forward in the direction of travel. He has however calmed down after having a go at the locomotive fireman who handed him a lump of burning coal from the firebox as a thank you souvenir for being so delightful and charming. 

The Devon Belle, reputedly named after pole dancer in a Soho club frequented by leading members of the Southern Railway publicity department was an express train which ran between London Waterloo, Plymouth and Ilfracombe. When ordering tickets, you couldn’t choose your final destination, whether you ended up in Plymouth or Ilfracombe being left to the whim of the ticket office. Your tickets were sold in a gilt envelope which could only be opened after purchase. For this reason, the service only ran between 1947 and 1954, the wealthy moving to air travel to continue the joy of never quite knowing where they or their luggage might end up. 


And finally, thank you to those who support the nonsense

Tuesday 6 June 2023


It’s Tuesday morning at Brew Street, as as usual there is the usual discussion as to who does what - with multitasking being very much a feature in the land of the high. You’ll have no doubt noticed over the last year or two that many roles are covered by the little people, all very much on a first come first served basis. It can be anything from driving engines, making moonshine, propping up the bar at the pub, more moonshine production, running moonshine, distributing moonshine, playing tricks on Barry Bullhead from The Ministry of Misery and finally the occasional bit of wagon shunting. 

Douglas and Deliberation Dave as usual were a little slow off the mark, so it looks like they’ve got the shunting tractor, Pete & Dud claiming the engine - though they have been on site since 5am to fire it up. Colin meanwhile has grabbed the guards van, for Colin knows that it very rarely gets used, so he’ll use it for having plenty of rest whilst keeping half an eye on the moonshine stored within, for tonight will be spent distributing it.


And finally, a huge thanks to those who support the nonsense

Monday 5 June 2023

Monochrome Monday

Monday morning at Combwich, and 53809 simmers in the siding next to The Star after a weekend ballasting job. The loco and crew should have returned to Evercreech to drop the ballast hoppers off and then on to Bath late yesterday afternoon, but apparently the engine suffered some ‘mechanical problems’. Though it’s more likely that they were invited to a Sunday night lock in at the pub. 

But for them, the downside now is that they now have to shunt Combwich goods yard in addition to taking the hoppers back to Evercreech Junction. After all, as far as control are concerned, they had a good 12 hour rest in the local railway lodging house. 

Beryl might be involved, that her refurbished Austin 7 next to the engine. The old lass tends to pop up when there is any kind of naughtiness going on.


A huge you those who support the nonsense

Sunday 4 June 2023

Then & Now

53809 crossing over the B3110 next to the Hope & Anchor at Midford.

It’s a composite of a shot of of the real location taken in 2011 and a Bachmann SDJR 7F. The photo here being the result of 20 mins in photoshop. The vintage car just so happened to be passing. I imagine back in the day there wouldn’t have been the double white lines down the centre of the road. Whilst it would be a doddle to remove them, I left them in much like the height warning on the bridge, liking the mix of present day (almost) and what might have passed over the bridge 60 years ago.

Saturday 3 June 2023

Chasing the Rainbow

It’s Saturday morning, and ‘the chaps’ have been caught speeding again. ’But we’re chasing the rainbow’ doesn’t really cut it with PC Rob Banks and PC Nick Gold. Quite conveniently for the law, the gates at Catcott have been closed for several minutes whilst the engine crew drop off a churn of drinking water and a few lumps of coal in exchange for a few jars of the crossing keeper’s cider. 

On the ‘The Branch’ in this remote part of rural Somerset, despite it being surrounded by watery bogs, none of the crossing cottages had running water, so it was delivered by rail in the aforementioned milk churn. For these were the good old days we all yearn for. 

I like ‘aforementioned’, it’s proper tweed clad railway enthusiast speak, rather like ‘said locomotive’, ‘said bus’ or ‘I think you might find’. It makes one sound like an expert, especially when smugly participating on toy train forums and Facebook groups whilst sat naked in front of the computer eating a pot noodle at 3am in the corner of mother’s bedroom. 


A huge you those who support this nonsense, without you, these post wouldn’t happen

Friday 2 June 2023

Clive’s Notebook

Colin is going through his notebook trying to find something he wrote 9 months ago. He’s been paging backwards and forwards for the last 10 minutes. “I’m sure it’s in here, I only saw it the other day when looking for something else”. 

Deliberation Dave, who surprisingly predicts the future rather well, silently thinks to himself that one day we’ll have an electronic version of Clive’s notebook. It will also be able to take and store photos as well as make phone calls. Hopefully Clive won’t buy one of those, for we’d be here all day whilst he faffs about looking for something on it. 

Meanwhile Elvis over near the pithead is looking for a guitar plectrum he dropped last week. Whatever happens to all those guitar plectrums? I buy several packs a year, far more than ever get found in the washing machine or pub carpet. 


A huge thanks to those who support this nonsense, without you, these post wouldn’t happen

Thursday 1 June 2023

WTF Thursday

 It’s #WTFthursday, formerly known as #titfieldthunderboltthursday

Today marks the inaugural run of a brand new service. It’s aimed at those who wish it was the year 1883, but want to enjoy 125 mph travel - though on the rails here 125mph might be a tad optimistic. 

Sandwiched between two HST power cars is a vintage 1883 carriage decked out in the finest of Victorian comfort with leather, silk, tweed and polyester - though we’ll keep quiet about the latter. It even has a built in smoke & methane generator to recreate the smells of olden times (and modern day Little England). There is also an advanced in-train sound system to replicate the noises associated with a throbbing hot steam locomotive running at speed over jointed track - though at Brew Street, the jointed track sound will be turned off, for there are already many joints (and broken rails). 

However, Deliberation Dave has just spotted the point switch blades are facing the wrong way. Immediately attention turns to Bob Geeza Cat who might have something to do with things. For Bob is a well known activist in the feline ‘Just Stop Soil’ pressure group, a campaign started by posh pedigree cats to stop their owners using garden soil as cat litter. They preferring scented clumping kitty litter. 

However today Bob is innocent, he is standing in for Member of Parliament Jacob Rees-Mogg to wave off the departure, for he is unavailable today. But Bob, of course being a moggy was able to stand in short notice, and we all know Bob loves taking the limelight. 


Thank you those who support these posts