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Bury St. Edmunds Model Railway Club

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Issue Nine - 6th August 2020
Welcome to Issue 9 of this esteemed publication.

As you will have heard by now, the committee have been beavering away formulating a Risk Assessment aimed at re-starting club meetings on a four stage criteria, which will make the meetings as safe as possible for all attendees, which is fantastic news.

The newsletter has been distributed on a fortnightly basis since the word go. Unfortunately I didn't have enough material to warrant putting one out last week. I have managed to pad this one out a bit though.
I would really like an article or two from you. It doesn't really matter what it's about as long as it's either informative or entertaining.

Thank you to all those who've contributed to this issue. It is very much appreciated.


Foxvale - Simon Fox

Back in 2013 I decided that I would build a new layout. So plans in my mind began and I decided on a 9ft x 3ft design, work began on the boards and they were built by the end of that year. As 2014 came work had to come to a stop as a change in my career took place, causing no time or funds to continue. In summer 2017 my career changed again which then I was able to start again on the project. Over the last three years I have been hard at work constructing my layout with help from Simon Warnes and Rex Mounfield. My new layout is called Foxvale and is completed other than having perspex fitted on the front. It is still a N Gauge layout running on DC and will mainly feature my diesel locomotives with freight rolling stock. The occasional steam excursion will also been seen from time to time. I have included a couple of pictures of it for you to see but you can find more within the Photo Gallery on my new website, make sure to check it out:

This year is not been brilliant, since being put into Lockdown life has changed from when I use to be out and about all the time to now staying at home. Many of you might remember my Dad being a member of the club a few years back, he is a high risk for Covid-19 due to his health problems and therefore myself and mum have to be very careful that we don't catch it and bring it home to him. I've spent most of my time now playing Xbox One to keep me occupied, I also spend some time in the garden in the lovely sun (when it shows lol). During this lockdown has helped me to also finish Foxvale with the time I've had to work on it. Unfortunately I don't get out very much other than going to work and doing an essential weekly food shop. The sooner this is all over would be the better as I miss so much to do with my main two hobbies being Model Railways and the Car Scene going to car shows/meets. I'm only now in the last week just beginning to meet with a few friends socially distanced within our back gardens. I reckon it will be a while still yet before I return to things which have opened for a long time now through the easing of lockdown but I don't feel comfortable yet to do this as I believe the risk is still to high.

For now I shall say "stay safe all and all the best",

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Hand Built Track - Ian Norman

Ian Norman has very kindly written a very comprehensive guide to making hand built track.
I have not attempted to copy all the text and images onto this web page as it is quite lengthy.
Here is a link to the document in PDF Format, which you can either read on screen or print out and read at your leisure.

Hand built Track PDF

Parish End Update - Mike Hamilton

Quite a lot of fun and games have been going on with Parish End over the past couple of weeks.
I decided to make a start on static grassing. I'd got a couple of bags of 2 mm and 4 mm that I'd bought ages ago from Great Eastern Model, so armed with my home made tea strainer and fly swatter applicator, a bottle of PVA and a few offcuts of picture mounting card I decided to have a go.

I watched a few videos on YouTube and grasped the basics and made a start. Bad move. The tea strainer wasn't large enough to hold much more than a dessert spoon of the fibres and quite a lot simply wouldn't go through the mesh and the bits that did go through wouldn't stand up. I changed the battery and it made no difference.
What I needed was something with a bit more oomph and having different sizes of mesh. After a couple of hours doing research on numerous model railway web sites, I came to the conclusion that the one with loads of oomph and was highly recommended was the Pro-Grasser made by World War Scenics. A phone call was made to them and one was procured along with a couple of bags of different shades and lengths of static grass. I also ordered some different shades of static grass, which WWS didn't have in stock from The Model Tree Shop.

A couple of days later all my goodies arrived, so I spent a couple of hours having a bit more practice on the picture mounting board. The difference having essentially the right tool for the right job was amazing. Everything went through the mesh end caps and stood up as it should. A few minutes drying time and a quick vacuum with my computer keyboard vacuum cleaner and I'd got something that actually looked like a wild grassy meadow in winter.

I begged some greaseproof paper and a baking tray off the present Mrs Hamilton and made a couple of sheets of tufts in various colours and sizes for putting along the edges of buildings (to hide the inevitable gap) and along the bottom of walls and fences.

Tufts are a cinch to make: tape the greaseproof paper down onto the oven tray. Paint blobs of PVA onto the greaseproof, attach the applicator by it's crocodile clip to the baking sheet (all loaded up with fibres) and shake all over the gluey bits. Leave to dry and then shake off the excess and re-use. These turned out really well and a heck of a lot cheaper than buying ready made ones.

A few days later with my confidence boosted I made a tentative start on my layout. Actually I found it easier to do a few small areas rather than lots of small areas (if that makes sense?). Parish end is basically a loco depot with a few sidings and a few factories and is set in winter and there's not much in the way of "greenery" apart from an embankment and a few scrubby areas, the churchyard and vicarage garden. The layout is really drab and grimy so there's not much opportunity to do rolling meadows. However that might happen once I do a bigger layout, whenever that may be.

I'm really pleased with the results so far, but it'll be a while before I get to do the churchyard etc. as I've got gravestones / box tombs of different shapes and sizes and a civic memorial obelisk dedicated to the memory of the mill's founder to 3D print along with loads of other little jobs to do before that happens.
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Jokes / Humour

This first one is from Alan Chilestone.

He says "Some people may be aware of the “Oxford Reading Tree” books used down the years by primary schools (Ok some may not)
Featuring, Biff, Kipper, Chip and their Mum and Dad.
There are now some new “lockdown” versions available."
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Golf - John Frizzell

Two women were playing golf. One teed off and watched in horror as her ball headed directly toward a foursome of men playing the next hole.

The ball hit one of the men. He immediately clasped his hands together at his groin, fell to the ground and proceeded to roll around in agony. The woman rushed down to the man, and immediately began to apologize. “Please allow me to help. I’m a Physio Therapist and I know I could relieve your pain if you’d allow me.” she told him.

“Oh, no, I’ll be all right. I’ll be fine in a few minutes,” the man replied. He was in obvious agony, lying in the fetal position, still clasping his hands at his groin. At her persistence, however, he finally allowed her to help. She gently took his hands away and laid them to the side, loosened his pants and put her hands inside. She administered tender and artful massage for several long moments and asked, “How does that feel?” He replied, “It feels great, but I still think my thumb’s broken.

Signs Of The Times - John Frizzell

I used to think I was just a regular person, but I was born white, which now, whether I like it or not, makes me a racist.

I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which by today's standards, makes me a fascist.

I am heterosexual, which now makes me a homophobe.

I am mostly non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working class and an ally of big business.

I was baptized a Christian, which now labels me as an infidel.

I am retired, which makes me useless.

I think and I reason, therefore, I doubt much that the main stream media tells me, which must make me a reactionary.

I am proud of my heritage, which makes me a xenophobe.

I value my safety and that of my family and I appreciate the police and the legal system, which makes me a right-wing extremist.

I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair compensation according to each individual's merits, which today makes me an anti-socialist.

I (and most of the folks I know), acquired a fair education without student loan debts and little or no debt, which makes me some kind of an odd underachiever.

I believe in the defence and protection of my country and I honour those who served in the Armed Forces, which now makes me a right wing-militant.

Please help me come to terms with the new me... because I'm just not sure who the hell I am anymore!

Funny ... it's all just taken place over the last 7 or 8 years; prior to which I had no confusion or delusions about myself.

As if all this nonsense wasn't enough to deal with ... Now I'm not even sure which toilet to go into!


And that I think wraps up Issue 9 of The Anorak. I hope you enjoyed the read?

Any comments, articles, hints and tips etc. would be much appreciated.
Please email me at

In the meantime keep well and keep safe.

Cheers for now,