J15 Early BR in O Gauge

This is a Loco purchased by a friend in LNER livery – my job was to turn it into a loco that was used on the Haughley to Laxfield branch before it closed in the early 50’s. Part of it is now called the called the Mid Suffolk Light Railway and operates on some re-laid track.

After research we discovered that 65447 was the Ipswich engine most photographed on the line on both Passenger, Goods and mixed Trains.

This Sunday 9/6/24 will be ‘The Middy’s’ O Gauge Exhibition and this Loco will be operating on a layout that I made about ten years ago and since sold to Graham. It is called Little Sefton – come and have a look – all proceeds go to the track extension.

J15 in O Gauge

Here is a O Gauge J15 recently purchased by Graham, a group member. It was partly in LNER Livery and it needed a partial repaint of the tender after original lettering removed. It also is awaiting a smoke box dart to finish off. A footplate crew will also be added later.

It has now been numbered and lettered into BR Early Logo as 65447, a loco that was a regular on the Mid Suffolk Light Railway until Closure.

It still has to be medium weathered when the varnish is dry.

O Gauge J68

Here is an O Gauge J68 – partial repaint after removing old numbering. I then renumbered it as required – just waiting for the varnish to dry and then a light weathering will take place. Sadly due to the vacuum brake and air brake pipes being soldered on the buffer beam in the wrong places, I could not put the numbers on the buffer beams.

I am afraid to say that the transfers I used have doubled in price over the last two years – this can not be good for the Hobby.

Photo Plank – idea

I recently refurbished my OO and O Gauge photo planks, they are several years old and needed some TLC. I also put photos of the O Gauge plank on a superb website called – Realistic Model Railways – it is a very friendly site and cultivates ideas for yourself and others. Anyway a kind gentleman suggested that I should try a ‘curved’ corner on the plank – this was to improve the photos and cut down on sharp shadows formed by the corner. I think I have seen this method used on a few layouts over the years.

I intend to re-do both the O and OO planks when I get time – but in the meantime I had a go at the suggestion on the OO plank and ‘patched’ it in – did it work. Yes it did, thank you kind Sir.



Please Note – this was quickly done and the replacement will have a photographic background. By the way the Tamper was scratch-built 40 years ago by myself and a friend.

Rushed Decisions

Now all the fuss has died down, I thought I would update you all on my considered decisions. Firstly I would like to thank you all through this trying period, I never thought so many people cared about me and this great hobby. Special thanks to Peter R, Graham S, Graham M, my Son John, Ian H, Mike B and Colin F for some excellent advise. I have decided to modify my retirement plans. My original plans were a ‘knee jerk reaction’ and on reflection was not good for me, my friends and family.

Sadly my health is an issue that is not going to go away and everything I do still needs consideration. But my plans are now going to be amended as below:-

1/ I am NOT going to send all ongoing projects back to the people I am helping. There will however be some slowing down and extending of timescales. I want to enjoy my work and not rush or be pushed into timescales that push me to the limits – I still want a better life full stop.

2/ I am NOT withdrawing from the Exhibition Circuit so all my bookings for this year and next year will be honoured. Please come and say hello and lets talk Railway Modelling.

3/ I will try and continue with helping to organise Charity Exhibitions although in a lesser role. I would like to thank the management of the Mid Suffolk Light Railway who accepted me so well, especially as I am a Non Member. I would also thank my rock – Colin French for — just being Colin. Please support The Middy on 9th June and again – lets talk Model Railways with all the Exhibitors, Traders, Displays and Societies. Don’t forget to talk to the Middy Staff about all things Light Railway.

4/ I will continue with the Local Modelling Groups that I belong to, One Track Minds, Just Modelling Friends, Norfolk Model Railway Syndicate and Nationally with the O Gauge Guild.

Well that’s that – please do not see me as a ‘Drama Queen’ suddenly I saw my modelling life as worthless and coming to an end, and that ‘Knee Jerk Reaction’ took over – SORRY. I will not bear any grudges against anyone for what happened – but remember – its just a hobby.

I will not post this final (I hope) declaration anywhere else – THANK YOU ALL – and more importantly – great modelling.

What a mess!

I seem to be making an awful mess of things linked to my retirement. My wife want’s me to continue with my modelling – but I am not sure I can. The guy that slagged me off on that website has really given me some more stick on my website – he was going to confront me today if I went to Ely – not nice. however I do believe he is a genuine enthusiast and felt strongly about completing an Anglia Set in model form – so as usual I take full blame for everything. Had enough unpleasantness! If he wants to meet me – I will meet him – I might be lots of things but I am not a coward Harry.

People are asking me about Exhibitions – Yes I will be at the Middy and I will offer both Bury St Eds and Stowmarket the chance to pick up the layouts and stock from me and bring them back when they have finished with them.

I just can’t work like I used to, a need a break.

I ask my Sons to keep out of this! don’t block anyone – things will sort themselves out.


I have decided to retire from most of my modelling work with immediate effect:-

I will not attend or be involved in any further Exhibitions this year. I have only two booked Bury St Eds and Stowmarket – all others are group bookings so no problems.

From today I will not be helping any friends or family with their projects – I will contact them and arrange the collection of what I have. And pay any debts I owe. I never charged my time or took profit – just materials, electricity and travel expenses – weathering especially was my reality escape – loved it.

I have been ripped to shreds by some people recently and it has effected me – however that is only part of the problem. I always thought I would know when it was time to call it a day – that day has come.

I have helped organised seven charity exhibitions over the last 20 years and made several thousand pounds for three charities – it would have been two more but for covid. I have been asked to do two next year – but not now.

I have attended 271 Exhibitions since I went onto the circuit – had hoped to top 300 – but not going to happen. About 50% of these were charity shows and I took no expenses.

I have sold 19 of my Ex Exhibition layouts on for re-use after withdrawing them from the circuit.

What am I going to do now?

Long Walks – Get fit – Go Fishing – Painting and Drawing – Finish my O Gauge layouts off – four of them! started them 2017! Meet friends at Coffee Shops – Continue train spotting. Visit Historic and wildlife sites around East Anglia.

I will stay on Email – not sure about Facebook – not sure about this website, may continue – would like to add videos if I do! WordPress is paid up for the next two years – so might as well use it!

Thanks for a brilliant time.

Very Sad Day

I am afraid I have been attacked by a keyboard warrior on a site that says I am a bad person. Firstly I am not a trader, never have been and never will buy to sell for profit. I do however love my hobby of the last 55 years and do sell layouts that I make after I have finished with them on the Exhibition circuit, this also applies to stock that ran on them. I am moving from OO to O gauge at present because at 75 years old so there are some surplus stock. I can work on O Gauge better.

I was selling some OO stock that I no longer had a layout for to people I thought were nice people – I like my hard work of over 50 years to go to a good home. These people asked for a price on four items and I told them I wanted £220 total but would except £200 – they then came back and said £180, I said no, it was £200 or no deal, they then said £190 – by this time I was fed up with the whole thing and did not reply to them, they then came back and said OK £200, again I did not reply as I had had enough. I then started getting Emails and Facebook messages asking me to reconsider, even from this chaps wife – it was overpowering so I just wanted to walk away from them and possibly the hobby. Now they have posted on a Bad Sellers website saying I am a bad person and don’t buy from me. Well that’s it folks – no more helping people with talking them thro’ modelling problems for nothing and painting and weathering for people at the cost of the paints – its over. I am also considering coming off the Exhibition Circuit immediately. Its great how one keyboard warrior in these awful days we live in can spoil many peoples pleasure.

This will be my only reply – and will not reply on that site as I do not want to stoop to their level – thanks friends for the last 55 years – it was great.