Saturday, 20 October 2012

Fosseway Show Day II...

Morning guys. Well, it was - now its evening and I'm writing this post watching repeats of Countdown on the box - isn't life meaningful! Anyway, all day today was spent at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, up on the Fosseway, at the annual Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition. I was again rostered to drive an afternoon shift on the 5" gauge Portable Track; on behalf of CMES. However: free pass at the ready: I arrived at the exhibition just before opening, allowing me over 3 hours time to look around the show and enjoy the various displays and bargains on offer. Indeed, "Achilles" has added a brand new steam-raising blower and set of tube brushes to her kit box! If I'd have had the appropriate funds it would have had a 6" Allchin sat next to it in the workshop as well but I just didn't have my traction engine cap with me and so a purchase would have been pointless. (Thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it). The morning shift on the portable track was being covered, not by the Golden Slipper, but by a lovely blue 0-4-0, from Polly's 'Caroline the Koppel' range. The little blue steamer hammered up and down happily with the 1 truck on its morning stint, closely watched from the other side of the mud flats by the public.
The Koppel Doing Its Bit
Inside the two exhibition halls there was so much to see from all gauges and scales. The smallest 16mm locomotives right up to 10.25" gauge examples were represented. The traction engines were great in number too, from the Mamod SR1's right up the big-boys-toys; the 6 inchers (oo-er). There was an awful lot to see. One model that caught my eye was the 5" gauge model of our Shackerstone-based Peckett "Sir Gomer". We all looked at it on Ebay, sat there looking all unique and pretty. Unfortunately in my case a slightly larger blue engine is priority and so this one slipped away. I did wonder where it ended up until it turned up a little closer to home, at the GEC, owned by a Shackerstone member would you believe!...
Brilliant 5" Model of "Sir Gomer"
After having various conversations and meeting a few faces from the past, my shift on the track drew nearer. The 1:30pm start time moved to a slightly earlier 1pm as the Golden Slipper (Polly V) needed steaming up prior to her hauling the trains on the track this afternoon. The blue O & K had done her bit and was getting ready to retire for a rest.
Smoking Up The Tent!
You will appreciate that the term "Golden Slipper" is only stuck on the 'Polly V' as a joke. I'm sure that on a good quality track, rather than this box bar, the engine would be very economical. Indeed, it steams like a witch on very little coal with reliable injectors. Surely as a kit it provides the very best in simplicity and ease of use. The 2-6-0, in my mind, would probably benefit from a lead bufferbeam and a week's worth of Brasso but thats by the by. I can't grumble, apart from its slippery nature it went very well and did just what it set out to do...back & forth, back & forth. For your information, "Polly V" is readily available from Polly Models for a, shall we say, 'realistic' price. A lady did approach me asking what you would get for £500? I replied, "half the boiler!".
The 10.25" beast that I drove briefly last night was again in action, giving rides alongside us with her two Thompson-style suburban coaches. I still can't believe that its the same engine I saw on Station Road Steam: its a sensational job.
"Starlight" Pushing Well On Her Demo Line
The engine continued to perform well, right up until the end of running at about 4:30pm, whilst I shared the driving with Emma again.
I left the muddy fields of Fosseway at just gone 5pm, after a very enjoyable day. Thanks very much to Emma and CMES for a good day, and thanks for reading folks. Well, thats MMEE over for another year! Cheers. Sam.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'Golden Slipper' I love it! LOL!
Cheers Sam, kind regards,