East Sussex Finescale

Ewhurst Green

(Latest Running Sessions)


Fellow Finescale Modellers,

As my current layout (Ewhurst Green) progresses there has been a significant number of running sessions thereon as friends from the East Sussex Finescale group bring their 4mm-1ft models to run. Some of these friends are still building their layouts; others want the opportunity to run full-length trains on somebody else’s metals (i.e. mine). Indeed, unless stated otherwise all the locomotives and much of the rolling stock featured are visitors; even the 8-car Metro-Cammell Pullman set was a visitor having taken ‘residence’ between 2015 and 2019.


As it stands the longest bogie train has been eighteen, behind a Hornby ‘Duke of Gloucester’ visiting from the Algarve; the slowest locomotive a pre-WW1 Prussian 0-8-0 at eighteen minutes eight seconds for a complete circuit. This could probably be improved now more-modern controllers are employed.

With layout construction ongoing, the vantage points for photographs are currently somewhat limited (so apologies here). But these will increase with time – currently layout wiring is a priority. Only then can the trackwork be fully tested and adjusted before more scenery can be added.

Typically, these running sessions started with an excellent lunch at ‘our’ nearby friendly beach-front café; which is just a very short distance away. Except I am in protective isolation during these unprecedented times

Only the last six months of running sessions are recorded. However, with a move to our dedicated domain www.EwhurstGreen.com they may remain a little longer. A thank you must go to www.BloodandCustard.net for previously hosting these pages at no charge to Ewhurst Green and to the support from the East Sussex Finescale group.

Hopefully you will enjoy these images.



‘Longest-day (almost)’ Saturday 20th June 2020

Whilst the 20th wasn’t quite the longest day it was sobering to realise the nights would slowly start to draw in and we still hadn’t been able to visit our favourite beach-front café! Even more sobering was seeing all the rolling stock which appeared for this session had a distinct western flavour!


In numerical order no.4962 ‘Bagley Hall’ took the crimson-liveried Mk1 train on the Up Line; the photograph being taken as an unfitted goods train trundled past on the Down Line.

Some 259 of these locomotives were built at Swindon Works. Designed by C B Collett, they were numbered 4900–4999, 5900–5999 and 6900–6958 they followed the prototype rebuilding of a Saint Class (with smaller wheels) number 2925 ‘Saint Martin’ (later renumbered 4900).

All but one made it into BR ownership with withdrawals commencing in 1959; all were withdrawn by 1965. Fortunately, eleven have now been preserved, including no.4962.


Hauling the unfitted freight was 56XX-class 0-6-2T no.6639. Some 200 of these locomotives were built; most at Swindon Works with others contracted-out. Designed by C B Collett, they owe much to the well-proven reliably sturdy designs of locomotives inherited by the GWR from the South Wales valley companies.

While originally intended for South Wales coal traffic, they rapidly saw service across much of the GWR (including into the Midlands) before the last were withdrawn by British Rail by end-1965. Fortunately, nine have now been preserved.


Large-logo class 50 010 ‘Monarch’ took charge of the Up-passenger train although this was not entirely successful for the model’s three-link coupling kept fouling the model’s tension-lock coupling derailing the 4-wheeled PMV in the process (removed from consist). This led to no.50 010 being carded!

Having entered service as D410 in March 1968, the real 50 010 was scrapped at Laira in 1992 having been withdrawn from BR service in 1988. It had received is name on 16th March 1978.


Back in their heyday it was often claimed these locomotives were designated class fifty was you had a 50-50 change of getting there! Today’s running session appear to support that claim for large-logo no.50 031 Hood’ ran faultlessly with the unfitted freight,

Having entered service as D431 in July 1968, the real 50 031 still survives having been withdrawn from BR service in 1991. It had received is name on 26th June 1978.


Accepting the interest class fifties still generate today
nos.50 031 and 50 010 made a special photo-stop!



‘Train Spotting’ Saturday 6th June 2020

Quite a few models appeared and a simple train-spotting session was operated!


No.6825 ‘Llanfair Grange


No.25 054


No.30777 ‘Sir Lamiel


No.40 075






WR ‘Blue Pullman’



‘Spring Holiday Weekend Services’ Saturday 23rd May 2020

More rolling stock appeared for this Spring Holiday Weekend’s Saturday running session including a local manufacturer’s personal delivery of a new model!

The lunches in ‘our’ beachfront café are sorely missed as are the social gatherings; but in these unprecedented times needs must!


The ex.LSWR K10-class locomotives only just made it into nationalisation with the final three being withdrawn in 1951; no.30382 was not the last to be withdrawn. Although many were allocated BR numbers it was only no.30382 that only carried its BR number, albeit in Sunshine lettering and with ‘Southern’ still adorning the tender. The model looks superb!

None of the class received BR-style numbers or Lion & Wheel crests. However, following popular demand OO Works produced this fictitious BR Lion & Wheel version along with LSWR green, SR Olive, SR Malachite and SR wartime black editions.

Although available to all, this model of no.30382 is unique as this was the only one produced by OO Works as it actually appeared with its BR ‘sunshine’ number!

After oiling and a gentle period of running-in this smooth-running no.30382 was placed on an unfitted goods train thence a CLC liveried set of Bulleid multi-door stock!


Two-tone green class 29 no.6112 made an appearance. Initially with the late-crest Pullman set which has now been substituted by its owner for a maroon Mk1 /Mk2 set more appropriate to his locomotive!

Built by North British 20th May 1959 and allocated to Stratford thence Eastfields (30th September 1960). It was rebuilt September 1966 (TOPS class 21 to class 29 – fitted with a Paxman Ventura engine rated at 1,350 h.p.) but withdrawn 31st December 1971 and scrapped at St. Rollox, Glasgow. Certainly it was carrying this livery (including full-yellow ends) on 24th May 1968.


Southern Region allocated BR Standard 4MT (2-6-0) no.76053 (with its BR1B tender) takes on one of Ewhurst Green’s six-car CLC 9in this instance set no.525). Built 30th April 1955 this visitor to the layout was allocated to Redhill thence Salisbury, Guildford, Feltham, Eastleigh before withdrawal just twelve years later on 31st January 1967 from Guildford shed.


No.33 063 made an appearance on 21st March 2020 except this isn’t the same model; March’s 33 063 was a Lima model; this visitor is a recent release by Heljan.


By way of a comparison Ewhurst Green’s Heljan ‘Slim Jim; D6587 was given a turn of duty!


Not long after arrival visiting BR Standard 4MT (4-6-0) no.75062 started disgracing itself on the double slip under the second wagon; it tried to take the track leading into the headshunt. The fault was found to be tight back-to-back dimensions on the leading bogie. Once reset and shimmed to reduce lateral play the locomotive performed flawlessly.


Portorbrook liveried no.47 807 on the intermodal train; both are visitors. This is a Lima model in a livery none of the other model manufacturers have currently chosen to replicate. Built as D1639 December 14th 1964, it became 47 055 thence 47 652 before renumbering to 47 807 in July 1989. It is now 57 304. (from September 2002).


A four-car emu passed by comprising 2 HAL no.2611 and 2 BIL no.2090.


Finally one of the latest releases from Heljan – no.33 012 in faded & weathered BR blue livery visits Ewhurst Green. The manufacturer really has captured the locomotive’s exceedingly condition well!



‘Southern Services’ Saturday 16th May 2020

These running sessions rely on the availability of rolling stock being able to delivered legally. Unfortunately, opportunities were scarce leading up to this Saturday but this didn’t compromise the quality of stock that was running.


Visiting ‘Sunshine’ liveried N-class No.1854 hauls Bulleid 3-set no.865 on the Down Main.


On the Up Main visiting T9 no.729 with scratch Maunsell set.



‘May Bank Holiday weekend’ Saturday 9th May 2020

The movement of the May Day Bank Holiday to coincide with 75 years of VE day didn’t affect the ‘closed doors’ running session and there was still a modest change of visiting stock!


The session started with my MN no.35026 ‘Lamport & Holt Line’ bringing around six-coach Mk1 set (plus cycle PMV) from the fiddleyard on the Down Line. This location is to the south end of that station being the junction to Cranleigh & Guildford (the switch tips are just visible). Alongside the train is the Up Line then the Branch Reversible. Ballasting (etc) will be completed once the track is fully tested.


On the Up Line 47 406 ‘Rail Riders’ in Inter-City livery hauls a blue /grey Mk2a set. This was a Gaugemaster Exclusive from when Bachmann first produced a class 47 model. Accompanying the locomotive was a promotional Rail Riders ticket from when the locomotive was named in 1981.

The naming of 47 406 was undertaken at Newcastle Central station on 10th December 1981 by nine-year-old David Atkins. On 12th November 1985 an additional full-colour circular plate carrying the Rail Riders logo was added; these all being removed in May 1988.

Originally into service 11th January 1963 as D1505 it was renumbered in January 1974, withdrawn 13th August 1990 and cut-up December 1995.


Ex. SECR C class no.31227 is a Ewhurst Green locomotive hauling coal wagons on the Down Line. A most elegant locomotive these were frequently found on passenger trains!


The eagle-eyed will immediate spot the ‘red-ground’ number plate as MN no.35028 ‘Clan Line had taken over on set 525. Clan Line was rebuilt in October 1959 and the nameplate would suggest post-1962. However, the electrification flashes weren’t added until c.1966 for possible railtour workings off the Southern.


The WR Blue Pullman is a delightful model and is proving very popular. One of the eight-car sets undertook a reversal at Guildford (twice) on 25th April 1970; the nearest one of these sets ever gor to Ewhurst Green!


‘Skinhead’ class 31 102 took charge of the Mk2a set (SO+SO+SO+FO+BFO) hauling it with ease. Into traffic as D5520 on 26th February 1959 it was renumbered 31 102 on 1st January 1973. Four decades after being reclassified as TOPS class 31 in April 1967 (from class 30) it was scrapped in April 2007, having been variously allocated to March and Stratford with a brief spell at York.


Finally, ex. LMS 3F no.43474 took on the coal train; designed by S. Johnson and built by Neilson, Reid & Co. this locomotive dated from 1896 and was withdrawn on 18th March 1961. This locomotive lasted some seven years longer than the C-class no.31227 (1900-1959) – ultimately both were a successful design of locomotive.



‘May Day weekend’ Saturday 2nd May 2020

Like the 12in=1ft railway just a few yards away there was a reduced service on Ewhurst Green this May Day weekend, but at least an opportunity to run repaired T9 no.30119!


Class 47 569 The Gloucestershire Regimenton a RES parcels and mail train. Into service 17th October 1964 as D1629 in February 1974 it was numbered 47 047 under TOPS. As an ETH fitted locative it was renumbered 47 569 in January 1981 (whilst at Immingham) before allocation to Eastfields on 15th May 1988 and subsequently named ‘The Gloucestershire Regiment’ by Brigadier S.D.A. Firth OBE at Gloucester TMD open day on 1st July 1990.

As D1629 it carried two-tome green (with yellow warning panels later full yellow ends)  thence Monastral Blue (which it also carried as 47 047 into renumbering as 47 560 when it went on to carry Monastral Blue (Grey/silver roof), Monastral Blue (Large logo (grey roof)) BR Parcels (red/dark grey). Post-BR as 47 727 it carried RES livery, EWS (original), Colas Rail before being on the Caledonian Sleeper in GB Railfreight (GBRF)  ownership.


With Hornby in lockdown fortunately Peter’s Spares were able to assist for they make replacement T9 motor-mounts. These require a little fettling but are an excellent fit; fortunately I already had a pare motor retainer in stock for this two was rotten. Mazak-rot has affected a number of model railway locomotives and manufacturers need to do far more in respect of their quality control for the current situation is a shambolic lottery.


Type JB no.73 128 in EW&S livery took on the visiting mail /parcels train. This locomotive was withdrawn into preservation before reappearing on the mainline with GB Railfreight (GBRF) in 2014. AT one stage it had carried the name O.V.S. Bulleid C.B.E (around the time of Brighton 150) in ‘Dutch’ livery losing its name when it entered EWS ownership.

Withdrawn and sold to the Pontypool & Blaeavon railway (with only two traction motors operative) before GBRF bought it and had it refurbished; it is still in operation today as 73 128.


BR Standard class 5 no.73109 takes over the three visiting Maunsell coaches on the Down Line. Built at Doncaster works, no.73109 was allocated new to Eastfield shed (65A) in January 1956 and was withdrawn from there in October 1964. Scrapped the following year at Motherwell Machinery & Scrap (Wishaw) its short working life was just 8 years 9 months.


English Electric no.37 104 in Railfreight ‘General Sector’ sector livery with Stratford’s Cockney Sparrow.  It is understood that this was the only class 37 to receive this livery.

Into service as no.D6804 in January 1963, under TOPS it was renumbered 37 104 in 1974.  With Railfreight’s rebranding in 1987 (and its six sub-sectors) not only was no.37 104 an early recipient of the new triple-grey livery, it was one of only a few locomotives to carry the ‘General Sector’ logo.  No.37 104 later joined the engineering fleet before withdrawal in 2000 and subsequent scrapping.



‘Sunny South’ Saturday 25th April 2020

A deserted beachfront and empty café on this sunny Saturday suggested most are choosing to keep safe during these unprecedented times; East Sussex Finescale being no exception. Accordingly, the visiting rolling stock remains much reduced; this weekend it was a Southern bias.


U-class no.31638 was a recent acquisition for Ewhurst Green and is seen here on test with coaches intended for last week’s running session with the (railed) T9. This locomotive needs a full overhaul and lining before it is added to Ewhurst Green’s traffic roster.


On the Up Line Adfam’s Radial ‘0415’ class hauls two-coach set no.43. Unfortunately the model room’s daylight simulation lighting isn’t particularly conjusive to photograph and Crimson Lake can appear in some strange hues.


On the Down Line visiting Terrier ‘A1x’ no.32636 hauls a short train formed of Maunsell corridor stock. That the Terriers lasted so long was a credit to both their design and usefulness on the railway.


Q1 no.33037 hauls rebuilt LSWR set no.43. I had intended this visiting Q1 to take out the coal train instead, but time just started to run away as a new motor-mount was being fitted to last week’s casualty T9 no.30119 following delivery of spare parts from Peter’s Spares.


Finally Type ‘JA’ 73 004 ‘The Bluebell Railway’ made an appearance; this being a smooth-running Lima model. The real 73 004 was the only JA to be scrapped; this took place at St. Leonards just before the value of rebuilt EDLs was realised. Two Jas are now TOPS class 73/9 operating the Caledonian Sleepers is Scotland! Just one JA is currently moribund at Eastleigh (73 002).


‘Hornby’s Failure’ Saturday 18th April 2020

Our favourite beachfront café remains closed and the country is in lockdown. Whilst many brave souls continue to place themselves at risk (particularly NHS staff but also postmen, bin men, police, fire & rescue etc. thank you all) lockdown could be far worse without a model railway room. Ironically as a key but vulnerable worker I’m also in protective isolation.

So, the items left for running are sparse, but at least Ewhurst Green can still have visiting stock – all delivered well-within ‘lockdown’ rules.


Lima type JB no.73 101 ‘The Royal Alex” in Pullman Livery takes charge of the five-car Pullman set on the Up Line. This model runs well and handled the Pullman cars with ease up to the locomotive’s ‘scale’ maximum speed of 90mph.

Into service as E6007 no.73 101 (as it eventually became) was named “Brighton Evening Argus” in 1980. Painted into Pullman livery it was subsequently renamed “The Royal Alex” in 1992 after the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Brighton. It carried two versions of Pullman livery (following a vandalism attack) and is no understood to be out-of-use at Eastleigh.


Ewhurst Green’s no.35026 “Lamport & Holt Line” brings the six-coach CLC set around from the fiddleyard. Ths locomotive carries black-ground nameplates; these were subsequently changed to red-ground in the sixties.


Just as Schools class no.30932 “Blundells” was being photographed the CLC set passed by on the Down Line; this was not a staged photograph – chance simply intervened.


The British Railways Board considered 4-4-0 locomotives to be antiquated so would only permit them to carry mixed traffic livery, no.30932 “Blundells” received lined black livery in February 195 (having been painted Malachite Green in July 1948). It was withdrawn in February 1961 being one of the class not to receive BR Green.


The locomotive on the Down Line hauling the CLC stock was none other than Bulleid ‘Leader’ class no.36001. The model is well-built, quite heavy and powerful. It is seen here running chimney first which was disliked by its drivers due to the heat from the smokebox. The locomotive was regularly turned to avoid this.


Now running bunker first the open door into the fireman’s compartment can be easily seen. Although coal-powered the intention was to be oil-fired except the project was cancelled in 1951. More of the class were in production – no. 36002 was almost complete, no.36003 awaited its outer casing and nos.36004–5 were essentially sets of frames and major components.


Finally there was great disappointment when ex.LSWR T9 no.30119 failed with a broken motor-mount. Purchased new and only tested in the shop this model had never been run since then.

As can be seen in the photograph the Mazak motor bound has disintegrated with a replacement having been ordered from Peters Spares. The plastic retainer backplate (part no.x9945 has also disintegrated) and Hornby are not shewing availability on their website. This is it seem a common manufacturing fault so Hornby’s response will be interesting……



‘Easter Weekend’ Saturday 11th April 2020

At any other time, I might have ventured to London and back by train as engineering works were leading to an unusual routing of trains. However, whilst colleagues in the railway industry carry on their duties, I must remain in protective isolation albeit very much continuing to work full-time. Although I no longer drive, my car’s trunk is performing a useful function as a safe-drop for all manner of items including postal /parcel deliveries and any models intended for running on Ewhurst Green by members who can legitimately walk here as part of their daily exercise.

Just when I thought this Easter Weekend would give me an opportunity to run my own stock, four locomotives became available for today’s session!

Had the country not have been in such unprecedent times, it could have been possible that Ewhurst Green’s completed station building might have been in place (having being repainted and detailed by ESF member Ian Sneyd). However, this will have to wait so please be patient with the ‘factory backdrop’!


Once again Ewhurst Green’s Merchant Navy no.35026 “Lamport & Holt Line” brought the CLC-liveried six-coach set no.525 plus CCT round from the fiddleyard.


Sound-equipped class no.37 409 in Direct Rail Services (DRS) ‘Compass’ livery heads an Up-direction intermodal train; the sound on this model operating on Ewhurst Green’s DC control system. DRS currently has five 37/0, nine 37/4, three 37/5 and five 37/6 locomotives. The model is Bachmann Cat. No.32-381QDS and was a limited edition for Model Rail.


Once again Ewhurst Green’s Merchant Navy no.35026 “Lamport & Holt Line” brought the CLC-liveried six-coach set no.525 plus CCT round from the fiddleyard.

Except now it isn’t no.35026, but no.35027 “Port Line”! - This locomotive appearing in its current preserved condition with electrification flashes (these were never carried by no.35021 in BR days).


Class no.66 407 in Direct Rail Services ‘Compass’ livery takes its turn on the Up-direction intermodal train. DRS’s fleet comprises classes 20, 37, 57, 66 68 and (as of 2017) class 88 locomotives. These are used for freight services across the UK’s national rail network including support to both Network Rail Infrastructure Limited and the Train Operating Companies; services which include intermodal traffic. The model is Bachmann Cat. No.32-731 from 2006-on.


Visiting Merchant Navy no.35027 “Port Line” was given a turn on Ewhurst Green’ Bullied set no.865. This three-coach set has been detailed with cast roof vents, painted interior (including passengers), dynamo belts, corridor connections, flush-glazing and Romford wheels. On the Branch Reversible Ewhurst Green’s C-class no.31227 awaits it next turn of duty.


Class no.47 853 “Rail Express” in Direct Rail Services ‘Compass’ livery takes its turn on the Up-direction intermodal train. It is understood that this model was a Rail Express limited edition produced by ViTrains.

Into service as D1733 on 12th June 1964 this locomotive was renumbered 47 141 in January 1974 thence 47 614 (July 1984) and finally 47 853 in February 1990. It carried an interesting rage of liveries as follows:


XP64 thence Monastral Blue (Standard)

47 141

Monastral Blue (Standard)

47 614

Monastral Blue (Standard) thence Monastral Blue (large logo /grey roof)

47 853

Monastral Blue (Standard), InterCity (Mainline with yellow lower front & white nos), InterCity (Mainline with yellow front & white nos), Intercity (Swallow), Virgin, Virgin (XP64) and DRS (Compass)

I am given to further understand ViTrains obtained the class 37 & 47 moulds when Lima ceased production; much improving the models in the process. Although no longer producing UK-outline, it is believed they still manufacture continental models.


Whilst the locomotive deriver keeps a hand on the regulator his fireman stops to mop his brow!

The Merchant Navy in the background wasn’t intentional – it just happened to be passing during the photograph – so yes, these running sessions are real!


A little while ago it transpired that ESF member Rod’s young lady (with whom he has been walking out with for a little while) is quite a dab-hand in modelling. Accordingly, she was recently persuaded to turn her hand at painting a Masterpiece crew for one of Ewhurst Green’s C-class. Via a rather circuitous route, these arrived today and were absolutely superb!

As a consequence (and from my protective isolation) I have arranged for a large box of chocolates to be dispatched as a big thank-you to this talented young lady. Intended specifically for the C-class, these were fitted to no.31227; making a huge difference in the process.


Finally, by popular request the session ended with a WR Blue Pullman train; its two power cars purring away. This particular set having become a resident visitor until its owner is able to collect – in the nicest possible way this hopefully may be some time! 



‘Behind Closed Doors’ Saturday 4th April 2020

Whilst some might mumble about the current ‘social-distancing’ restrictions I’ve already passed my first month in protective medical-isolation but have continued to work more-or-less as normal. Indeed, all East Sussex Finescale group members have accepted and adapted to these unprecedented times of our favourite beachfront café being closed; the beach may only be ¼ mile away but I’ve not ventured out particularly as there are some who believe ‘social-distancing’ rules do not apply, even though their arrogant (sometimes aggressive) ‘me-me-me’ attitude is potentially putting our lives at risk.

Fortunately, some members were able to drop-off models (into 72hr quarantine ready to be added to Saturday’s roster) whether that be via their daily walk or when delivering essential shopping (as a highly-vulnerable person I am grateful for their support). Some are not in a position to do this, so apologies that their models cannot feature and that the roster is limited.

In this respect the running session could be enacted at any time (when I’m not working). However, it was simpler to retain the Saturday afternoon timings so members can at least enjoy the photographs from Sunday afternoon onwards.


First out of the fiddleyard was Ewhurst Green’s Merchant Navy no.35026 “Lamport & Holt Line” with the six-coach set no.525 plus CCT; this being one of two such CLC-liveried six-car Mk1 sets on the layout having been updated with additional detailing, Buckeye couplers within the set, corridor connections, dynamo belts and Romford wheels.


On the Up Line Schools class no.30913 “Christ’s Hospital” brings the visiting late-crest Pullman set around from the fiddleyard. The locomotive is a detailed Hornby ‘ringfield’ model (predating the ‘Railroad’ branding) and once warmed up runs very well. Ballasting on this section of the layout has yet to be completed; currently the fitment of cable trunking and location cabinets are awaited.


‘Bacon Slicer’ BR Standard 4MT no.80032 took charge of set no.525, hauling it admirably on the Down Line. Built at Brighton Works the Southern was allocated a number of these locomotives, no.80032 being allocated to Brighton Shed (75A) from new despite being intended for the NER. In 1964 it was allocated to Redhill (75B) thence Bournemouth (70F) in 1965 from where it was withdrawn on 21st January 1967 and scrapped at Cashmore’s yard (Newport) during the following May.


Visiting BR class no.40 066 was placed on the late-crest Pullman train. This was a Lima model with the motors & underframe having replaced from a Hornby model.

Into service 21st Match 1960 as D266, it obtained its TOPS number 40 066 in October 1973. Allocated for all of its working life at Edinburgh’s Haymarket depot it was withdrawn 5th March 1981 (thirty-nine years ago) and scrapped at Swindon Works during October of that year.

This was one of six class 40 locomotives that were modified by the Scottish Region very early on (1965); the end-doors being replaced with a four-digit centre-headcode panel (which differed from later locomotives). This difference in headcode panel design is correctly captured by the model and is the reason for its retention /conversion by its owner.


On the Down Line BR standard 3MT no.82029 was placed in charge of set no.525 which it too hauled without issue. One of a class of forty-five built at Swindon Works no.82029 was originally allocated new to Darlington (Dec-54) thence West Hartlepool (Jan-58), Malton (Sep-58), Scarborough (Jun-60), Malton (Sep-61), York (April-63), Guildford (Sep-63), Bournemouth (Jan-64) and finally Nine Elms (Sept-64). It was withdrawn on 9th July 1967 and scrapped at Birds (Rica) between November 1967 and January 1968.


A second visiting Lima locomotive appeared on Ewhurst Green’s Up Line in the form of type JB locomotive number 73 108. Although now dated, this mid-eighties model is still very credible, especially when updated with Ultrascale wheels.

Into service in 1966 as E6014 it was renumbered 73 108 in January 1974 while based at Stewart’s Lane depot. It was withdrawn thence scrapped by Both’s at Rotherham in September 2004. Built to the ‘Hastings Line’ restriction ‘0’ loading gauge, the slab sides of these locomotives aren’t vertically-parallel with each other; for they taper together towards cantrail level.


As a prelude of things to come, the Brighton Belle was let loose on the Down Line. The Brighton Belle is a ‘resident-visitor’ to Ewhurst Green. However, whilst between both the two visiting 5 BEL units and Ewhurst Green’s two 5 BEL units, set no.3051 doesn’t yet feature; indeed, Hornby has only produced that particular unit in its earlier guise as no.2051!


For a very short period in time between December 1968 and May 1969 it wasn’t unusual to see mixed liveried ten-car Brighton Belle trains operating on the Brighton line as units went into Eastleigh for their final overhaul and re-livery. Unfortunately, Hornby chose not to equip these units with end-couplings, so these have to be added. Currently ‘in works’ are Ewhurst Green’s Umber /Cream set nos. 3052 /3053 having their end-couplers fitted.


A visiting WR ‘Blue Pullman’ train made an appearance on the Up Line; hence a Brighton Belle on the Down Line in the livery of around the same period. Despite the ‘shutter lag’ associated with digital cameras it was possible to capture the Brighton Belle speeding past (eventually)!

Both power-cars in each Pullman set are motored with sound-speakers (which do work on DC). Having never encountered these units during my railway career I cannot testify to the accuracy of the sound apart from saying it appears to be very much in accord with that on the excellent BTP film ‘Blue Pullman’.


In 1966 (and following electrification of the West Coast Main Line) the Midland Pullman were no longer economic so the two six-car sets were moved to the Western Region for non-stop Paddington – Oxford services. Along with the Western Region’s three eight-car sets, these units were withdrawn in May 1973.


Following their move down from the Midland, the two six-car units were equipped with high-level jumper cables to enable multiple-unit operation. In terms of overall design these units bore basic similarities with the 1957 six-car Hasting units (i.e. unit-end motor-coaches with above-floor diesel engines powering traction motors) and the 1976-on High-Speed Trains.



‘Unprecedented Times’ Saturday 28st March 2020

"On hearing ill rumour that Londoners may soon be urged into their lodgings by Her Majesty’s men, I looked upon the street to see a gaggle of striplings making fair merry, and no doubt spreading the plague well about. Not a care had these rogues for the health of their elders!"

A modern quote (March 2020) written in the style of Samuel Pepys.


Whilst we are in unprecedented times the title of today’s theme comes not from the troubles of the country (nor the loneliness of today’s running session) but the choice of trains and the intended theme of the session – Chocolate & Cream.

With the self-isolation and the disappointment of a closed beachfront café, the Ewhurst Green group-running sessions have been curtailed for the foreseeable future; this closed running session being dedicated to group members at home (with some still ‘out-there’ working to keep the South-East’s 12”-1ft trains running).

However, like the 12”-1ft railway just a few yards distant, there is still a reduced service running at Ewhurst Green with three visiting locomotives having already been dropped off in anticipation that group-running sessions would have to be suspended. The only question being which of the three cats would be willing to join me in the trackroom!


As a Southern modeller (and railwayman) shock-horror for upon opening the box all visiting coaches were Great Western (as were the locomotives) hence the suggested theme of ‘Chocolate & Cream’. This presented a small dilemma as my working knowledge on matters Great Western isn’t huge, so if I’ve incorrectly placed locomotives with coaches then I must apologise!

I’d concluded a Small Prairie tank no.4527 would sit well with the first a pair of corridor coaches – these being Graham Farish ‘generic’ coaches from five decades ago – personally I still like them as they were very different at the time and still look good today.

Designed as small mixed traffic locomotives, the 45xx class were mainly used on branch lines. Capable of 60 mph a total of 75 were built; fifty-five between 1906 and 1915 and a further twenty in 1924, No.4527 was included within builds originally numbered 2161 to 2190; renumbered 4500 to 4529 during 1912. Three survive, but not no.4527.


Next was an outside-cylindered Pannier tank no.1368 – a delightful model that whilst probably saw little service with a ‘B-set’ did haul passenger trains down Weymouth Quay.

Built in February 1934, the 1366 class was just one of two GWR-built pannier-tank classes with outside cylinders. Developed from the 1361 Saddle-tank class they were intended to replace the 1392 class.


The pairing of a 0-4-2T no.1466 with an Autotrailer was an easy guess; despite their age these Airfix models still looked the part. There was an issue with the Autotrailer’s back-to-back wheel-dimensions; particularly as rather than ‘give’ on the axle to be adjusted the nylon wheels stayed firm with the tip of the pin-point being compromised.

Built by Swindon Works seventy-five engines of this type entered service between 1932 and 1936 as the 4800 class; later reclassified as the 1400 class carrying running numbers 1400 to 1474. No.1466 is preserved at Didcot.


A Great Western saddle-tank no.1362 was placed in charge of a short coal train which it hauled admirably. Except now somebody has spotted there have been four Great Western locomotives; not the three left behind a week ago. Well, that is true except this one had arrived from Kernow having been sent to my address on behalf of an East Sussex Finescale member who is still out working during the day (a lone worker undertaking essential duties) and delivery here meant less interaction with others at a postal collections’ office. With permission to ‘test’, this DJ Models locomotive is rather fine and runs very well – I was impressed!

Just five of these 1361 class locomotives were built by Swindon works in 1910. Working alongside ex-Cornwall Minerals Railway locomotives they were principally based at Plymouth Millbay (thence Laira) working in both Millbay Docks and the Sutton Harbour branch. Up to 1928 some of the class could also be found at St Blazey engine shed and Moorswater on the Looe branch.

Later allocations included Newton Abbot (12920-1952), Taunton for Bridgewater (1953–1961), Swindon (1956–1961) and St Philips Marsh, Bristol (1962). It is understood that one locomotive was briefly trialled on the Weymouth Harbour Tramway in 1949; possible the closest one ever came to the Southern (thus ruling out an example for Ewhurst Green).


However, I was about to have the last-laugh!

Whilst fellow ESF members were well-aware that my own 5 BEL units no.3053 is ‘in works’ (having its yellow warning panel removed and replaced by the earlier Pullman crest) and no.3052 packed away, in trying to create a Great Western ‘Chocolate and Cream’ theme they had overlooked this visiting 5 BEL unit!

Uniquely Southern, this unit no.3053 had been ‘in works’ here at Ewhurst Green having its interior, underframes and bogies exchanged with my unit no.3052.

Hornby’s first three 5 BEL releases (nos.2051, 3053 in blue /grey and 3052 with 60’s-style Pullman crest) used a complicated electrical coupling intended for DCC operation (the lights being supplied from the powered motor-coach through the chip. The next release (no.3053 in umber & cream with yellow warning panel) came with NEM-style pockets and tension lock couplings.

I’d purchased the no.3053 ‘umber & cream’ version to run with no.3052 but did not need the DCC-coupling of no.3052  my intention being to close-couple within each unit. Conversely ESF member Rod Stewart was seeking to run a no.3053 ‘umber & cream’ version with a renumbered blue-grey no.3053 on his DCC layout. So, the solution was simple – just swap the bodies over with no.3052 – hence unit no.3053 being ‘in-works’!



‘Spring Equinox’ Saturday 21st March 2020

This running session was much quieter than usual; even the promenade and ‘our’ beachfront café weren’t exactly bustling – basically it had closed (like every other café across the United Kingdom). Although it wasn’t necessary to actually cancel our regular booked table, the staff were appreciative of the telephone call shewing our support and that we actually cared.

It had already been mutually decided to reduce the running session to those of us who would still need to be meeting regularly for essential non-model railway reasons during these unprecedented times. We are effectively within our precautionary self-isolating circle and this was going to be our last visit to the café for the foreseeable future. However, it was not to be (with the situation accepted).


The session commenced with a Q1 class no.33017 on the Down Line hauling a coal train formed of mixed wagons.


On the Up Line a Railfreight triple grey-liveried class 33 passed by with the intermodal train.


On the Up Line a Railfreight triple grey-liveried class 33 passed by with the intermodal train.


On the Up Line a Railfreight triple grey-liveried class 33 passed by with the intermodal train.


On the Up Line a Railfreight triple grey-liveried class 33 passed by with the intermodal train.


On the Up Line a Railfreight triple grey-liveried class 33 passed by with the intermodal train.


Hang, isn’t this is getting repetitive?


Well, actually there were five of them visiting today!

33 033

33 050

33 051

33 063

33 205


All bar no.33 063 (Lima) were Heljan models with nos.33 050 “Isle of Grain” and no.33 051 “Shakespeare Cliff” being new releases. In addition, former class 33 (now a DVT) no.83 301 had been brought back for examination with respect to having its bogies changed for more prototypical ‘TGV style’. Furthermore, there were another six unseen Cromptons sitting in the fiddleyard (albeit all in green livery) – perhaps a ‘class 33 day’ is required?


A special edition by Kernow, the locomotive sits on a standard class 33 underframe unit; not surprisingly it wasn’t commercially viable for Kernow to commission new bogies for the model. No.83 301 should sit on French TGV bogies but these aren’t available in 4mm. However, class 373 ‘Eurostar’ bogies are similar (slightly shorter with detail differences) and more to the point, readily available (a pair having been obtained since the last running session).

Accordingly, ESF member Rod Stewart’s no.83 301 is going to be re-bogied. Examination shews there are two courses of action. The first is to remove bogies, cast motor mount, motor (etc) from the Heljan underframe and re-equip with the class 373 bogies. The second option (seen crudely trialled here perched precariously on a class 373 bogie) is to place the Heljan body onto a Lima underframe (a surprisingly good fit) and to modify this with the replacement bogies (thus retaining the Heljan power unit intact). However, with locomotive-detailing text on the Heljan solebar the first option may prove best.


Back to the running and Q1 class no.33017 caught the afternoon sunshine!


As did type-JB no.73 105 “Stewarts Lane 1860-1985” on the intermodal train.


Nos.33 050 & 33 051 were then placed on the late-crest Pullman train.


The two Lima models no.73 105 and no.33 063 took to the on the Down Line.


Finally, new arrival to Ewhurst Green was D5579 in Bronze Gold livery on its return to the Eastern Region with the Pullman excursion train. This locomotive is a limited edition by Kernow and depicts the locomotive as delivered to Stratford in this prototype livery; this bore much resemblance to the Western Region’s ‘Western Class’ locomotive in Golden Ochre livery.



‘Panic buying’ Saturday 14th March 2020

This running session was slightly quieter than usual; even the promenade and ‘our’ beachfront café weren’t exactly bustling – perhaps many were out panic-buying in the shops? - this did make for a more relaxing lunch. However, it will soon become apparent that the title of today’s session is actually related to Kernow’s latest model release – class 33 DVT no.83 301.


First out of the box was Metro-Cammell class 101 DMU comprising DMBS W50304 (built 1958 to lot no.30275), TC W59122 (built 1957 to lot no. 30277) & DMC W50329 (built 1958 to lot no.30276). All were constructed by Metro-Cammell at Washwood Heath (Birmingham).

This is a Hornby (modified) release of the Lima model so the engine detail is limited and the Hornby wheelsets would benefit from replacing with Ulrascale’s finescale sets.


Former class 33 locomotive no.83 301 is a recent and most welcomed release from Kernow Model Rail Centre and is a superb model save one obvious error which Kernow fully acknowledge; DVT no.83 301 was equipped with unpowered TGV motor bogies (similar to the class 373-type ‘Eurostar’ bogies). However, there is absolutely no criticism here as the manufacturing costs involved in producing the model with TGV bogies (and sealing up the bodyside vents) would have simply been prohibitive. In any event some modellers may seek a powered version of no.83 301.

In this instance East Sussex Finescale member Rod (who purchased this model) is seeking to modify with (almost) correct bogies and per-chance a pair of 4mm class 373 bogies (being about 2mm shorter than TGV bogies) were available on that well-known online auction site. To be fair it wasn’t quite ‘panic buying’; just a rapid telephone call to confirm authority to ‘buy these now’.

With its engine seized and declared out-of-service 17th June 1989, no.33 115 was reclassified as a DVT (Driving Van Trailer), loaded with additional ballast and renumbered no.83 301 to be used as worked as part of a bogie test-train (formed in 1990) prior to the introduction of Eurostar units. Nicknamed ‘Zebedee’, no.83 301 was eventually scrapped at St. Leonards West Marina (East Sussex) in October 1994.


Type JB no.73 105 hauling the Eurostar test train comprising DVT no.83 301 and 4TC set no.8007. The train was usually hauled by no.73 205 ‘London Chamber of Commerce’ to which no.83 301 was semi-permanently coupled.

In March 1991 the 4TC was lengthened to six-cars with TCK 70871 (ex. unit no.8028) and 70866 (ex. unit no.1903); these two vehicles being renumbered but remained in blue /grey livery. Following completion of the tests during 1993, unit no.8007 was stored at Eastleigh with five cars scrapped during October 1996 and the sixth scrapped in October 2005.


Rattling past on the Down Line was Virgin Voyager unit no.220 018 ‘Dorset Voyager’. This is a smooth-running model and looks impressive even though it is just four-coaches long.

When travelling down from Manchester to East Croydon in one of these I found the onward connection in the form of Southern’s equivalent four-car units (class 171) much preferable to the Voyager railbuses. In terms of the (former) Central Division, regular Voyager operations ceased in November 2008 when the Brighton – Manchester service was withdrawn; a shadow of its former locomotive-hauled Mk2 formation upon which I regularly travelled.

As a Manchester – Gatwick Airport service the train (usually a class 47 and up to ten coaches) would turn in the Up sidings running ecs to New Cross Gate (where we would have a P&T break) before returning ecs to Gatwick ready for the run up to Manchester.


By comparison another cross-country train (this time from the sixties) was also operated on Ewhurst Green; this being hauled by visiting 9F locomotive no.92220 ‘Evening Star’.




‘The Rarest of Dates?’ Saturday 29th February 2020

Ewhurst Green’s regular running sessions are held on a Saturday and 29th February 2020 fell on this day. Indeed, the 29th February only falls on a Saturday once every 28 years so the next Saturday 29th February will be 2048 thence 2076. For Ewhust Green this made our Saturday 29th February 2020 running session one of the rarest of dates.

During lunch at ‘our’ wind-lashed seafront café a toast was made in respect of an absent friend and East Sussex Finescale member whose birthday falls on the 29th February. Unable to join us, we toasted his health with mugs of tea – he was no doubt celebrating (glass-in-hand) with his family in his mountain retreat.


Hornby’s 6124 sits in front of Dapol’s D6129.

Four decades separate these two models.

Dapol’s D6129 sits in front of Hornby’s 6124.

The class with withdrawn nearly five decades ago.

One of the East Sussex Finescale members brought along his old and new class 29 locomotives for group members to compare. As just over forty years separate these two models it would be unfair to make a critical comparison, save to say after a recent overhaul the Hornby locomotive no.6124 (dating from 1978) put up a very credible performance on Ewhurst Green and is likely to remain a visitor in years to come.


On the Down Line ex. LBSCR class E4 0-6-2 tank no.32503 hauling set no.525 (as a three set BSK-CK-BSK). Dating from 2006, the E4 is a 00 Works model and it’ll haul far more than this simple load with ease.


On the Up Line Hornby TOPS class 29 no.6124 streams past with a five-car late-crest Pullman train (which to its credit it handled with comparative ease). Produced from 1963 onwards using the North British Type 2 (Class 21 under TOPS) by replacing their original unreliable licence-built MAN engines with Paxman Ventura V12 engines.

The first locomotive to be re-engined was D6123 at Paxman's Colchester works. A further nineteen machines were subsequently re-engined in 1965–1967 at Glasgow Works and Inverurie Works. This further nineteen were additionally equipped with four-character headcode panels on each end; the locomotive’s end doors not being needed. After rebuilding, the class were allocated to Glasgow’s Eastfield depot.


Ex. GWR autocoach no. W190W in CLC livery hauled by 0-4-2 tank-locomotive no.1409 starts the first of a number of Pull-Push sets during the day. This 1933 Swindon-built coach (to Diag. no. A33) is currently at Didcot being one of fifteen preserved out of two-hundred and fifty-six autocoaches built.


Dapol’s TOPS class 29 locomotive no. D6129. The rebuilt locomotive offered both much-improved reliability and increased power over the original TOPS class 21 locomotives. However, the still had a short life due to their small class size and the use of a non-standard high-speed diesel engine. First to go was D6108 withdrawn May 1969 (scrapped by McWilliams of Shettleston 1971), with the remaining nineteen being withdrawn between April and December 1971 for scrapping at BR's Glasgow Works 1971-72. None survive.


Wainwright H-tank no.31518 steams south hauling Pull-Push corridor set no.735; this being a Northstar kit. Set no.735 was converted from 1907 /1908 coaching stock (re-framed in 1934) in April 1943 and was used up to February 1961; the Driving Brake Third being to diag. no.101; the Composite (a converted Third) being Diag. No.288. Seating 12 first and 64 third-class passengers, the set was allocated to the South Western (Exeter relief) alongside set no.734.


Ewhurst Green’s Hornby Schools class no.30913 ‘Christ’s Hospital’ took a turn on the Pullman train (which it handled with ease). This is the only such tender-drive locomotive on the layout and has received much additional detailing. Along with a repaint.

The locomotive is named after the coeducational independent day and boarding school with Royal Charter located to the south of Horsham; the station bearing it name being a junction for the now closed railway to Guildford. Founded in 1552, Christ's Hospital school received its first Royal Charter in 1553 and remains open today.

Dating from 1553, the school's Tudor uniform consists of belted, long blue ‘Housey’ coats, knee-breeches and yellow socks; the nickname "Blue-coat School" comes from these blue coats.


Hawksworth-designed BR(W) autocoach no. W228 in maroon livery hauled by 0-6-0 Pannier tank-locomotive no.6412, being the third Pull-Push set to be hauled on Ewhurst Green this day. This 1951 Swindon-built autocoach (to Diag. no. A38) is currently on the South Devon Railway.


Painted up for its Royal Train duties OPS class 25 no.25 233 hauls the Pullman train as a Pull-Push set passes on the Down Line. Like the Hornby class 29 (no.6124), this locomotive has been overhauled with its wheelsets shimmed to reduced lateral play and its back-to-back dimensions set to 14.6mm. Despite its age it runs rather well.


BR(S) Maunsell-conversion Pull-Push set no.601 being hauled by H-tank no.31518. This set was used from November 1959 to December 1963 and operated on the London Central District being used on both the Horsham to Guildford Branch and Horsham - Shoreham - Brighton cross-country services (local to Ewhurst Green). The set was formed of coaches no.1338 (ex. Maunsell Diag. no.2005) and no.6693 (ex. Maunsell Diag: no.2403).


Finally, on the Down Line 1934-rebuild of the LBSCR Baltic tanks (into N15X class) no.31332 ‘Beattie’ hauls set no.525 in its six-coach form (BTK-TK-CK-FK-TK-BTK) plus van ‘C’. This is a Nu-Cast kit equipped with Romford wheels.

No.31332 was the last N15x in service being withdrawn in July 1957, having hauled a special train out of London Bridge for the Riverside Special Runnymede Rally on 23rd June 1957.



‘Counting Up’ 8th February 2020

The glorious warn sunny day betrayed little about the storms that came just 24hrs later. During lunch at ‘our’ beachfront café there was a short discussion about Bachmann’s 202o model announcements; indeed, there was so little to discuss. The main part of the conversation was around the 2 HAP units and whether Bachmann will release the two visibly different body styles.

Units nos.6061 are 6062 being 1957 type Phase 1 units (roof-mounted water fillers but no lighting conduits) whereas nos.4308 and 4322 are 1961 build of Phase 2 units with external window frames, one-piece lavatory windows (no sliding ventilators) and Commonwealth bogies at the inner ends of each coach. These units did not have external roof conduits or filler pipes.

Back to the running session and in addition to the day’s theme of ‘Counting Up’ (to follow last week’s ‘Counting Down’ of type 2 diesels) an outside-framed locomotive had been brought along to provide steam interest.  


However, back at the trackroom the session commenced with one of Ewhurst Green’s C-class locomotives as no.31227 undertook a positioning move with the coal train. These are super models and there are several on the layout, no.31227 being currently the number currently in use. Built at Ashford works and outshopped on 31st December 1900 (as SECR no.227) locomotive no.31227 was last allocated to Nine Elms (70A) from where it was withdrawn on 31st October 1959.


On the Up Line GWR ‘Dukedog’ 3200 class no.9003 hauls some delightful Collett coaches (mostly) in ‘shirt-button’ livery. It appears that these coaches aren’t particularly common these days having been out of production for some time.

In 1929 the cab, cylinders, and motion along with boiler and smokebox from withdrawn ‘Duke’ class no.3265 ‘Tre Pol and Pen’ were fitted to the straight-topped frames of ‘Bulldog’ class no. 3365 ‘Charles Grey Mott.’ This resulted in an engine with stronger frames but which could still be used on yellow weight-restricted routes. The conversion was a success and from 1936 some twenty-nine locomotives were rebuild from withdrawn Duke and Bulldogs classes, acquiring the nickname ‘Dukedogs’ in the process.


During these running sessions side-shots of locomotives are taken to record numbers, names and liveries. Just as this photograph on no.9003 was being taken the visiting blue-grey Mk.1 set rattled past at speed on the Down Main although I was unclear what was hauling it.

In any event this started the Counting Up of Type 2 locomotive classes.




Baby Deltic D5903 was given one of Ewhurst Green’s six-coach CLC-liveried Mk1 sets to haul. The Baby Deltics were a short-lived class. However, they did appear on Southern metals at least until 1966 when freight traffic ceased on the East London Line.

D5903 is seen here in its post March 1967 guise with full-yellow ends. Built at English Electric’s Vulcan Foundry D5903 entered service on 17th April 1959 Hornsey (34B). It was withdrawn from Finsbury Park on 30th December 1968 and recorded as being scrapped at Cohens, Kettering on 1st June 1969.



Lust a decade could have separated these two locomotive and coach liveries. On the Down Line D5000 sporting green livery hauling Green Bulleid coaches (BR’s MK1 stock took much of its design from these coaches) whereas on the Up Main, no.24 081 appears in the (then) new corporate blue with TOPS numbering hauling a six-coach Mk1 set.

In the second photograph D5000 is on the Down Main with plate wagons in the Down Siding. No.24 081 is on the Up Main with the Branch Reversible alongside. Ballasting of the sleeper ends and ten-foot will occur in due course. The two curving sidings awaiting ballasting are the Electric Siding and Carriage Siding respectively.



With the visiting Mk.1 coach set now on the Down Main, no.25 279 (as allocated to Liverpool Division thence Cricklewood East) took over. Into service from Beyer Peacock Gorton Ltd as D7629 on 7th September 1965 (to Tinsley depot) the locomotive received dual-brakes in the summer of 1969, it was renumbered 25 279 on 29th January 1974 and withdrawal into preservation came on 18th March 1987. It is understood to reside on the Great Central Railway as D7629.



Lima BRCW no.26 038 hauling the coal train on the Down Main. Although these models have a reputation for being noisy, once lubricated this model spent an hour or so’s smooth running whilst only emitting a modest level of sound. Heljan also produced a ‘Scottie Dog’ class 26. However, the Lima version of the logo is much crisper in terms of its presentation. Although dated, the model would simply benefit from Ultrascale wheels and care.

Built as D5338 by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company and into service at Haymarket on 28th June 1959; it moved north to Inverness on 12th March 1960 (where is stayed) and was renumbered 26 038 on 1st January 1973. After just over 33 years in service it was withdrawn on 19th October 1992 and is now in preservation carrying the name “Tom Clift 1954-2012” (after the well-known career railwayman and latterly Managing Director of the Grand Central Railway open-access train operator).



Built as D5376 by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company and into service at Thornaby on 21st February 1962, it moved north to Eastfield on 28th February 1970 and was renumbered 27 029 on 1st January 1973. After nearly 24 years in service it was withdrawn on 9th January 1986 and scrapped on 30th April 1987 at Vic Berry’s Thornton Yard.



Ewhurst Green’s Metro-Vickers Co-Bo D5714 made its second appearance this month; this being only one of a couple owned by East Sussex Finescale group members. It was at this point that one of the attending group exclaimed they should have brought their TOPS class 29 along before declaring they had a class 22 as well – so it was decided to have a complete running session of Type 2 classes when somebody buys one of the recently released TOPS class 21.


To sound an end to the session a Bell was Rung, sorry, I meant a Belle was Run.



‘Counting Down’ 1st February 2020

Upon arrival ‘our’ beachfront café was relatively quiet but rapidly filled up (fortunately we always have a table booked). Sadly, they had changed suppliers with some of the menu no longer up to its previous standard.

There were a few speculative words in respect of Bachmann’s anticipated announcement next week although expectation is rather limited. The general perception is towards there being a position of consolidation with nothing significant upon the horizon.

With one interesting exception, the theme of the session was Counting Down – perhaps a satirical reference to some recent political event – I’m not quite sure. However, this made for some interesting appearances and could have continued on if I could have recalled where my Baby Deltic (TOPS class 23) was stored and TOPS classes 21 /22 been available. Before any reader ponders on the prospect of a Baby Deltic at Ewhurst Green this had been purchased for my previous London-based layout (they used to work onto the Southern via the East London Line from which freight ceased in 1966) but may remain as my only example of a ‘bonneted’ mainline diesel.



No. 28.

TOPS Class 28 number D5714 running light engine on the Down Main; the day’s only non-visitor. This location will see a level crossing between the footbridge and facing turnout. The brick retaining wall just being placed there for effect as a bay-window house will stand behind the locomotive facing onto the public highway.

Number D5714 was the only known Metropolitan-Vickers Co-Bo to come onto the Southern Region, working through to Norwood Yard thence down to Three Bridges in April 1960; hence its inclusion on Ewhurst Green.


No. 27.

TOPS Class 27 (no.27 104) hauling a Mk2 formation on the Up Main. This visiting locomotive had only just been released by Heljan with its owner keen to put it to the test.

Into service in May 1962 as D5387, it was equipped with air-brakes in July 1971 before renumbering to no.27 104 on 1st January 1973 (whilst at Eastfield depot) thence no.27 048 on 1st September 1983. Withdrawn on 1st May 1986, it was cut-up on 1st September 1987 at Vic Berry’s Leicester Yard.


No. 26.

TOPS Class 26 (no.26 044) then took charge of the Mk2 formation on the Up Main. Into service as D5034 in October 1959, it was renumbered 26 044 on 1st January 1973 whilst at Inverness shed. Withdrawn on 17th January 1984 it was cut up 28th February 1987 at Vic Berry’s Thornton Yard.


No. 25.

TOPS Class 25 (no. 25 034 ‘Castell Aberystwyth / Aberystwyth Castle’ on a Down coal train. Following a year-1277 order from King Edward I, construction of several formidable castles was started including Flint, Rhuddlan, Builth and Aberystwyth; two of these setting a standard for future castle construction. Designed as concentric fortresses, Rhuddlan and Aberystwyth Castles were of innovative design comprising defensive rings (walls-within-walls) enabling the stronghold’s guards to defend from several heights without firing upon their own men.



TOPS Class 24 number D5085 in two-tone green livery looks entirely at ease with the coal train. Into service in August 1960 at Willesden shed it was withdrawn just two months prior to sixteen-years’ service and cut-up at Swindon works having been renumbered 24 085 in May 1974.


The count-down led to BR Standard Class 6 (Clan-class) no.72008 Clan MacLeod hauling a visiting late-crest visiting Pullman set on the Up Main. Ten Clan-class were constructed between 1951 and 1952, with a further fifteen planned (before cancellation). The first five of these fifteen locomotives were intended for use the Southern Region; having been allocated the names Hengist, Horsa, Canute, Wildfire and Firebrand. The remaining ten would have been given names from Scottish clans.



‘Southern Steam’ 18th January 2020

Yet again the beachfront café was quite busy but now they serve Croque madame – a pleasant change from their excellent sausage, bacon and eggs.

There were only a few words on Hornby’s disappointing 2020 range; indeed, most of the discussion surrounded Hornby’s ongoing error with its BR(S) green Mk1 coaching stock.

With few exceptions, Southern Region coaching stock did not carry carriage roundels; their application being were almost exclusively the preserve of multiple-unit motor coaches and special carriage sets such as the Ocean Liner sets. Even though Hornby are well aware of this error it is still perpetuates this error and will do so again (it seems) the new Mk1 restaurant car.

Whilst many of Hornby’s excellent models appear on Ewhurst Green their errant Mk1 BR(S) coaching stock has not; it seems nobody within the ESF group has bought them because of this silly error.

Friday, the 17th January had been an East Sussex Finescale modelling meeting looking at the Brighton Belle 5 BEL units and LBSCR station architecture; the latter carrying on today (18th). So today’s running session was slightly more muted with only four visiting Southern locomotives (all early BR crest) and two trainsets in use.



First on the layout was an ESF member’s newly acquired N15 no.30792 ‘Sir Hervis de Revel’ which was placed in charge of six-coach CLC Mk1 set no.525 on the Down Main. Built by the North British Locomotive Company in September 1925 it was known as one of the ‘Scotch Arthurs’.

In Le Mort d’Arthur, Hervis is first mentioned (as one of the heroes in the battle at Terrabil between Arthur's forces and those of Rience and King Lot (of Orkney). Hervis becomes a knight of the Round Table after Arthur's war with the five kings.



On the Up Main was Schools class no.30915 ‘Brighton’ in its June 1953 Royal Train guise for when the locomotive was used on Saturday 6th June 1953 to haul the Royal Train from Victoria to Tattenham Corner and the Derby races. On this occasion the Driver was John Nash and Fireman Syd Turner. For the day itself the leading buffers would have been changed for a buffed & polished set.

At this point in history the British Rail Board had decreed that 4-4-0 locomotives were to archaic to receive passenger green; a decision that was eventually reversed. The Schools hauled the resident-visiting five-car Pullman set.


Back to the Down Main rebuilt Merchant Navy class no.35023 ‘Holland-Afrika Line’ took over passenger duties. This was the first time this model had run since purchase back in year 2000 and initially it did not run smoothly. However, some light lubrication and gentle running-in meant it could take on the six-coach train.

Rebuilt in February 1957 no.35023 was withdrawn ten years later in July 1967. In terms of shipping Verenigde Nederlandse Scheepvaartmaatschappij (VNS) was a company formed and jointly owned by SMN, KRL, Holland Amerika Lijn, Van Ommeren and KNSM. However, VNS operated under different names which included Holland Africa Line (which was founded in 1934). After successive takeovers VNS is now owned by Maersk with all previous names including Holland Africa Line now being extinct.


Last locomotive of the day was air-smoothed Bulleid Battle of Britain class no.34067 ‘Manston’ on the Pullman train. The locomotive was named after the East Kent airfield which came into being during WW1 as a base for the Royal Flying Corps. During WW2 Hawker Typhoon and Gloster Meteor squadrons were based at Manston and on 27th July 1944, RAF 616 Squadron became the first allied jet equipped squadron in the world to become operational, using Meteors to intercept German V-1 flying bombs being used to attack London.

In the sixties Manston saw joint military /civilian use becoming Kent International Airport in 1989. However, after several changes of hands closure too place with the last flights comprising one cargo service and one passenger service (KLM to Amsterdam) ceased in April 2014 thence formal closure taking place on 15th May 2014. However, in July 2019, it was announced the airport may restart operations by 2022 for short-haul and cargo flights.

Being the UK’s 11th longest runway it is understood Manston had been one of the many emergency-landing runways for the USA’s Space Shuttle program

It was not without irony that the last time I flew by aeroplane was in a Douglas C-47 (Dakota) into Manston.



‘Into the new decade’ 4th January 2020

On World Braille Day the beachfront café was quite busy on this cold but sunny Saturday; presumably many making the last of their Christmas break before the ‘sobriety’ of January sets in. The first East Sussex Finescale meeting of the year was also seeing in the new decade.

It had been intended to run two Brighton Belle sets, but unfortunately time got the better of all those attending.


A large long train on a steel track

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First to start the session was S15 no.30830 placed in charge of the unfitted coal train.


A large long train on a steel track

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With a train speeding past on the Down Main, on the Up ‘Whistler’ no.40 106 hauls the visiting five-car ‘late crest’ Pullman train. This visiting locomotive is a Lima model with a replacement underframe, motor and bogies from a later Hornby offering. Built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns at Darlington in October 1960 (thus enabling Vulcan Foundry to build the Deltics), no.40 106 was last example of the class to remain in British Railway’s green livery.

As carried by the model, in August 1984 no.40 106 was named ‘Atlantic Conveyor’ (the name was dedicated by John Brocklehurst, Chief Officer of the ship) after the Cunard-owned ship that was hit by two missiles in the Falklands war on 25th May 1982 with a loss of twelve lives; the ship sunk on 28th May 1982. The Atlantic Conveyorwas the first British merchant vessel lost at sea to enemy fire since World War II. Although in tradition with the original class names, this naming was very sadly not well-received by some enthusiasts.

Finally, on 29th October 1987 no.40 106 gained considerable attention as D326 in the ‘Great’ Train Robbery film ‘Buster’; undertaken at the Great Central Railway. No.40 106 remains in preservation.


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Green liveried BR Standard Class 3MT no.82005 hauling the six-coach Mk1 CLC-liveried set no.525 plus van on the Down Main. Allocated new to Tuseley in May 1952 no.82005 received green livery June 1958 just before it went to Chester shed and was certainly lined by September 1962; by this time, it was at moving back and forth between Shrewsbury and Machynlleth sheds. In April 1965 it moved to Nine Elms from where it was withdrawn in September 1965.


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A ‘first’ on the layout was this Engineer’s yellow D.C. Wickham’s Type 27 trolley; a Christmas present received by an East Sussex Finescale member. The trolley runs exceedingly well and is an impressive model – this being the smallest visiting model brought along to a running session.


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As the Wickham trolley was being photographed the unfitted coal train rattled past on the Down Main.


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Bachmann's 158 746 carries the Alphaline livery of the time albeit possibly incorrect for this particular unit. The Alphaline livery dates from ‘Wales & West’ (the predecessor of Wessex Trains). Units, 158745 and 158746 were both re-liveried by Wales & West (silver with yellow along each sides). The Wales & West franchise was divided into Wessex Trains and Wales and Borders Trains with the Alphaline service (the brand dated back to Regional Railways) being shared by both companies (each company had remained part of National Express).

Based at Cardiff Canton, both units nos.158 745 & 158 746 entered the Wessex Trains fleet; the livery being altered; the branding changed (wording plus blue to purple including door colours) but with yellow along the sides retained. However, refurbished units carried a simplified version of the livery, dropping the yellow along each side but retaining both the Alphaline ‘A’ and links across the doors. Bachmann’s model of 158 746 is presented in this ‘refurbished’ livery which does not appear to be correct for this unit.


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Finally, a comparison in size between the Wickham trolley and class 40.



 ‘New Year’s Day’ 1st January 2020

Although the eighth day of Christmas the festivities seemed to be quite distant as a new decade commenced. However, based on the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song ‘eight maids-a-milking’ the opportunity to run a milk train was resisted.

Like Christmas day, it was a good opportunity to enjoy some ‘me time’ on Ewhurst Green. This would include testing a new purchase (a U-class locomotive) on the Up Main (taken under an engineering ‘possession’ to enable this). With much to do this day it wasn’t until relatively late in the afternoon that I finally made it into the trackroom.


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 ‘00’ Works E4 no.52503 hauls six-coach CLC-liveried MK1 set no.525 on the Down Main.

The van ‘C’ is an excellent weathered model from The Model Centre.


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This was followed by Southern Region-allocated Sulzer Type 2 no.D5000 hauling Green-liveried Bulleid three-set no.865.


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E4 no.32503 takes a turn on an unfitted coal train.


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U-class 31627 hauling a three-coach Crimson Lake non-corridor set around to the fiddle yard (to be boxed and stored).


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No.31627 was then placed in charge of the six-coach Mk1 set which it hauled with ease.

Only just acquired, this DJH kit is a nice model although needs a few minor adjustments including rewiring the connections to its Portescap motor to provide conventional running direction. On the 3’ curves the one wheel of the leading truck occasionally catches the cylinder block so minor adjustment will be required here. Easily rectified, this is not an uncommon problem and both of Ewhurst Green’s kit built H15 locomotives needed a similar tweak to cure the same problem.


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E4 no.32503 was given a run on the six-coach Mk1 set (plus van) which it too capably hauled.


Click for 2019 running sessions


I hope these will have been of interest.

Kind regards,




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In memory of Moser
A companion dearly missed



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