What’s on my iPod?

Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Foden’s Band CD. Hailing from South Cheshire and spending a lot of my banding years in and around Sandbach, Foden’s should – in all probability – feature higher up my list of bands I listen to. 

Yet it’s only recently they have. And I’m glad they now do. A couple of cheap eBay purchases of CDs from their Patrons Choice range, added to a few earlier volumes I already own mean I now have a wide range of their recordings. However, as my own musical tastes change (I much prefer major work discs to ‘in concert’ items) it is their CD Masquerade that I find myself returning to. Partita by Heaton and the title track (another stoned from Wilby) are worth the price alone on what is a quite stunning CD. In fact, I think I would go as far as saying it’s up there with YBS’ ‘Music of the Spheres’ disc in my all-time favourite major works discs. 

I’m already awaiting Foden’s next disc!

The dream


Copyright arleystation.org.uk

If space and budget was no option the dream layout would be a station that is, now I’ve relocated, not a million miles away from me; Arley Station on the SVR.

It has a lot going for it. Firstly, the picture postcard location. It’s beautiful. The sloping, flower surrounded path on the platform for trains heading to Bridgnorth is rather splendid. The station building is imposing yet charming and the station is kept in excellent condition, with plenty of little details that are crying out to be modelled. There is a couple of sidings that adds shunting potential and play value, as well as the chance to model long trains – something space has never allowed me to do previously.

Amy and myself have often discussed future home plans (one step at a time though, we get married this summer) and I have been allowed a ‘man shed.’ Although this is mainly to get my train stuff out of the house it would also mean I have the space to build something such as Arley.

This is very much something I would see as a long term project. My first baby-steps would be to mock up some plans. The over bridge just south of the station is an obvious scenic break heading towards Kidderminster but the northern end would pose more problems.

Whether Arley will ever properly take off, I don’t know. However, it will remain a dream – my ‘forever’ layout.


A portable workbench

Recently I’ve had an urge to do some work on a few bits of rolling stock. However, having to head to the office and set everything up soon knocks all enthusiasm out of me. So I’ve got nothing done. 

Luckily, an early finish yesterday gave me a bit of spare time before Amy arrived home and I set to work creating something I’ve been thinking about for a while; a compact, mobile workbench.

No blow by blow account needed, it’s a box I had a set of acrylic paints in, an off cut of an old cutting mat and the paintbrush holder out of aforementioned box. It’s not quite finished yet but it is more or less there. Have a look at the pics. 

Quite pleased with how it’s turned out, particularly as it all folds away to take less space than an a5 sheet of paper. Perhaps that lonely 7 plank wagon will get the weathering I want it to receive after all!!

All aboard the TSR

Today Amy and myself went back to Spring Village to take a trip on the Telford Steam Railway. 

The rainy weather didn’t deter from the enjoyment that this small, but friendly, preservation railway offers. 

Below are a selection of pictures from the trip. 

Out with the old…

Recently I decided to end my subscription with Model Rail. I’ve been a reasonably long-term subscriber but had found that recent editions – with the odd exception – had left me quite cold with lots of articles that were of no interest. 

I left it for a while, trying out Railway Modeller via an app but didn’t enjoy reading on a phone or tablet so ended that. Then it hit me. Where best to get inspired? The real thing of course. 

I’d bought the odd edition of Heritage Railway in the past and always enjoyed it, so when a 3 for £5 welcome offer was spotted I went for it. 

Wonder if it will help me finalise some plans!


The 009 wagon kit has, so far, been a delight- if fiddly at times – to build. I’ve not yet decided which couplings to fit (if any) or attached the brake lever. This will be done after painting. 

Here’s some pics of progress so far. A few bits to clean up but generally I’m very pleased with it.

So far so good!

A change is as good as a rest


(c) Corris Railway

Recently I’ve become quite enchanted with the Corris Railway. During our break to Porthmadog back in February I browsed a book ‘A Corris Celebration.’ Since then I’ve looked into the railway a lot more and found it all rather lovely, particularly the station area where the train squeezes in between the wall and the station.

Therefore I’ve ordered one of these…


It’s just a dip of the toe into the water initially. I’m aware that 009 locos – or more accurately the chassis – are not exactly cheap. With the 00 Gauge Hornby Peckett on order, perhaps there is room for a micro that has the charm of the Corris railway, but in 00.

However, for now I fancy a go at something a little different.

The hills are alive…

… with the sound of musicals. 

Or, rather, Manchester’s Bridgwater Hall was last night as Amy and myself made the journey (and what a horrendous journey it was) to take in a show full of toe-tappers from shows across the ages.

Featuring four fabulous singers, Oliver Tompsett, Hannah Waddingham, Tim Howar and Louise Dearman the music took you from the witches of Wicked to the streets of Les Mis, via the Lion King and a quick call in at 42nd Street. 

I couldn’t really pick a favourite singer as each had their own stand-out moments; Tompsett’s Oh What A Beautiful Morning was wonderful in its simplicity and the ease of performance whilst Waddingham set herself up brilliantly in Spamalo’s hilarious Diva Song. Gethsemane – performed by Hower – gave me goosebumps but perhaps my favourite moment of the night was Dearman’s version of Popular from Wicked. Cheeky, charming, witty; it had everything. 

What a wonderful evening spent with four extremely talented singers. I lost count of the times I was sat there and then suddenly realising I had a smile on my face. Simply brilliant.