Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Meeting 6th July

Posted 8/7/2016

A report on the meeting from Peter Cox

Meeting 6th July – Garden Steam 

Notes on the meeting by Peter Cox


    At a time when the weather was not expected to look kindly on those who choose to take their hobby outdoors, some ten members were lured by the promise of live steam to the delightful home and garden of Nick and Sue Coppin in Broseley.  We were amply rewarded for our willingness to risk the threatened showers by a warm, dry evening, and by an even warmer welcome. 

    Our hosts’ garden is on the side of a wooded valley, and there was interest immediately as we descended steeply into the dell; a working water-balanced 10 1/4 inch gauge funicular.  This was the first example of Nick’s ingenuity on display, and it performed smoothly as water was poured into and out of the balance tank.  The only slight disappointment was that, while several of us had hoped in view of the steepness of the slope that it would be man-carrying, it was not.  The balance tank just could not hold enough water to raise our weight.  We looked in vain for a small child to try it out!

    Once down below the funicular, the sound and smell of steam reached us, and we reached the track set amid fruit trees.  It was an oval of 32mm track with a 'Y' junction connecting it to the sidings.  The oval was level with the ground at the uphill end, and raised on wooden posts to a height of about 3 feet 6 inches at the other end.  The sidings too were at this height and placed under an open-sided shed, providing a convenient and sheltered spot for raising steam.  We were treated to runs, immaculately executed, by four different steam locos, one gas fired and three meths fired, in two different scales: 16mm and 7/8" to the foot. Three were Nick’s - a modified Accucraft 'Ragleth', a single cylinder tram and a Kerr Stuart 'Sirdar' 0-4-0T.  The fourth engine was Andrew Vaughan’s improved Mamod which, apart from the flawless running he achieved, was still Mamod enough in looks to bring back some happy childhood memories.  There was also an electric quarry engine, powered by a car battery, which maintained interest by running a smooth automatic shuttle service on a separate track.

     Our enthusiastic enjoyment of the locos’ firing and running was further enhanced by the splendid drink and food cooked and served by Sue -  Oh, those wonderful olive, salmon and brie puff pastries!  Who says railway modellers are only interested in trains?

     We then had an opportunity to see Nick’s enviable workshop and the garage where, in addition to admiring the carpentry work of his new experimental circular 32mm layout, we could see the possible inspiration for this circle by looking upward to the coracles, no less, stored in the rafters.

     It was a full, varied and thought provoking evening - everything one could have hoped for - and we all left full of ideas and inspiration (and puff pastry).  Nick and Sue have set a very high standard for those who follow, and we are all very grateful for the time and effort they put into making the evening so successful.

 Peter Cox