The Roundhouse Journal September 2004

EDITOR'S NOTES (or Words from The White House)

Many thanks to the people who took the trouble to pass on words of encouragement and congratulations with regard to my first two issues of "Roundhouse". Hopefully, with your help the journal can only get better. Thanks also to the members who helped on "Mencap Day". Members will be sad to hear that Mrs Conacher, who ran Mencap died in March.

The roundhouse manager, lan Proctor has relinquished the post and John Hampshire has agreed to take over. All enquiries regarding the Roundhouse should now be addressed to John. We would like to thank lan for managing the Roundhouse for so long.

Help is still needed in the shop and ice cream parlour, if you can spare the odd hour, it really would be much appreciated. Have a word with Michael Evans if you can help.

We welcome five new members to the club, Wayne Ballard, Mark Keefe, Steven Coughtrie, Keith Jennings and Robert Bishop who has rejoined.

Dates to note- 19th September, next "play trains" day
10th October, visiting clubs day

Included with this edition is the membership renewal form, please note the last paragraph.

Thanks to Peter Pullen for his summary of committee notes and to Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway for permission to use the photo of "Pixie".

We were sad to hear of the sudden death of Brian Rapley, who first joined the society in 1976, condolences to family and friends.


I can be contacted at: The White House, 8 Sandy Lane, St Ives,
Ringwood, Hants BH24 2LE
Telephone: 01425 474395 E-mail:

With the 2004 running season in full swing, it is good to see fellow junior members lending a hand where needed and doing necessary jobs like guarding and crossing gate duty.

On other weekends, Stephen Henley is a face that regularly appears to help with routine maintenance, and can often be found in the cab of Mark Adlington's electric loco hauling the flat truck around with wheelbarrows. Another fairly regular person is Bradley Henley, I have noticed him involved with barrowing items around or helping with concreting.

Although it doesn't normally feel like it, I have been reasonably busy as well. Work has resumed on my 7 1A" class 08 shunter, the frames have had some work done to them and should start to appear a bit more 3D rather than a 2D Ikea flat pack!

I have been involved in building up the embankment under the raised track on the approach to Rythe Station, there used to be quite a difference in height between the ground and track. I would like to thank Stephen, Emma Rose Goffe, William Goffe, lan Tiplady and James Mottram for their help as well.

I have spent any remaining time painting, I must also thank Emma Rose for her assistance in painting the new 16' crossing gate now in place next to the raised track, it took a lot of pleading to get some help though! However, three coats of paint later - one undercoat and two white - it is in use and should remain well protected for a good number of years.

Now to my first triumph in the engineering department, and a big step forward for painting equipment. It was some months ago that I was painting a new crossing gate that leads from Willowbank Station into Maiden Works. My method of propping up the un-hung gate was rather crude, using bits of old conduit pipe and bricks.

Martin Baker suggested that I made a jig to support un-hung crossing gates while they are being painted, and even suspend them so I would be able to paint the underside at the same time. After discussing a few ideas, I came up with a final design, which would be relatively light making it easily transportable and simple to erect. Oh, and most importantly of all, to be able to fit inside a relay cabinet that I had recently acquired as a paint store.

I set to work with much help from more senior members. The jig is formed mostly of 3" x 2" box section steel, welded together with any open ends having a blanking plate welded on. A bolt with a sawn-off head is welded on each of the bottom members. A large cross-piece with three holes in, sits over the bolts. The nuts are screwed onto the bolts and secure the cross-piece, thus holding the two jigs upright. The three holes allow me to set the jigs for 3 different distances apart, allowing me to paint gates that are 3' up to 20' in length.
Once completed, the whole assembly was painted using the excellent QD90 and was put into service very quickly for use on a new 16' gate that now hangs next to the raised track steaming bays. As with most things, there are teething problems, and mine were in the way of how the gate was actually hung on the jig. I had left this part of the design to Martin; he had suggested that two vertical pieces came down from the 'arm', with a pin that went through the two of them. On this pin would hang the gate. To make setting up easier, one of the vertical pieces

would be on a hinge, however the hinges failed in service and broke. Fortunately no one was hurt and no paint had been applied. The hinged vertical member was replaced by a chain, which I have found much easier to use and has proved itself to be much tougher.

Cross Piece ARM

Crossing Gate

Bottom Member

May I thank Martin for his help and encouragement, Len Broadley and Bill Smith for their assistance in the workshop, Brian for doing all the welding and lan for being an extra set of hands when needed.

I would also like to use this space to say thank you to Tim Reynolds for helping me get two weeks Work Experience at Wimbledon Train Care depot. I had a great time there and really enjoyed myself; I even got involved in a re paint of a class 455, unit 5910.

Jonathan Wright

5" Driving truck suitable for the raised track and also a blower suitable for raising steam.

Contact Simon Fellows on 0208 892 0189 or E-mail-

ZYTO 33/s" centre screw cutting lathe plus motor with 3and 4 jaw chucks + some tooling.
£200.00 DRUMMOND hand shaper 5" stroke.
£50.00 Various small tools, large set of box spanners, pedestal drill, no motor, old, in need of attention.
£10.00 Surface plate 18"x 12" needs attention to top plate.
Buyer collects, contact lan Tiplady on 07730 262711 or E-mail-


On a bright and sunny 21st June last year a team of Maldenites descended upon the Cogmans Farm Railway, in a delightful setting in Outwood Surrey.

The 7/4" Gauge railway was in the shape of a dumbbell bent through 90° at its centre. It twisted through the trees and shrubbery of the garden and was in all about 700' long, it even had a spur to a tiny engine shed. The railway had been built and operated by Crawford Sugg. The track was obviously well planned and must have been laid initially to a very high standard - essential considering that some of the corners were very tight (down to 15' radius). The locomotive and the two passenger cars all had very small wheels and short wheelbase and seemed to cope alright. Paperwork shows that our members Bobbie Jones and Tom Snoxell were involved in the early setup of the railway. It was these links to MSDME that led to our return last year.

It was not to be a happy day playing trains, however. The railway had lain disused for about 10 years. A shallow cutting had all but filled with soil and grass grew a couple of inches above the railhead - all you could see of the track route at that place was a shallow depression in the lawn. Crawford Sugg had sadly passed away and there was no one to tend and care for it. Our task was to dismantle the railway and to remove the track and locomotive Pixie to Thames Ditton. We arrived in the middle of the morning and left in time for a late pub lunch nearby.

loco pixie Pixie At the club, Pixie had to lie in wait for its turn to be refurbished. Pat Eagle and Len Broadley have now dismantled the locomotive and performed a thorough inspection. Although the engine had been stored outside in a small unheated shed for all that time, it was remarkably unaffected by its period of solitary confinement. The motion is worn and needs a complete re-bushing and the boiler has a leak that it is hoped can be repaired. We all hope to see the locomotive back in steam, possibly next year. It will be used on the raised track where, we hope, it will become a regular sight on running days.

Our thanks go to Mrs Sugg for donating the track and locomotive to the club and to his son Christopher and son-in-law Bob Colvill who both assisted with the arrangements.Thanks also to the team who dismantled the railway and brought the parts back to Thames Ditton - Alex Baker, William Goffe, Steve Gray, John and Shaun Hampshire, John and James Mottram, Derek Smith, Len Broadley and David Marsh who also kindly provided the lorry.

Martin Baker

Crawford Sugg, entrepreneur and innovator, the story of the man and his railway by his son Christopher will be in the next issue. Ed.

Progress on Martin Baker's Black 5

Inside the boiler Photo by Martin Baker
Inside the boiler Photo by Martin Baker Partially soldered up viewed from the front. The thing "just above one's
head" is the water feed tray to disperse the injector water as it arrives via the top feed.

More boiler work Photo by Rod Janes

An occasional series, this edition, John Bellchamber

My ambition to be a model engineer began at the very early age of three years old. I had been watching my Dad doing some soldering, heating the iron in an open coal fire, then using it to melt the solder onto the job. I was fascinated and thought that looks easy I must have a try.

So one day whilst playing with my toy trains, I decided to repair my tin tunnel, not that it needed mending. Naturally Dad kept his workshop locked so I had to find my own soldering iron. After a search I found a bamboo cane just long enough to poke through the fireguard into the fire, and some lovely red crayon for the solder. With the bamboo cane smouldering nicely, I was soon applying my new skills and melting the crayon onto my tin tunnel. I didn't get very far before Mum came rushing into the room to see what was burning. So ended my first attempt at soldering.

Whenever Dad was in his workshop I would go in and watch him use the lathe, perhaps to help him or more likely hinder him. The lathe was a 3inch Grayson with a big flywheel and treadle which Dad had bought in 1934 for five guineas. It was on this lathe that Dad had made LBSC's 21/2 inch gauge Dyak and extended the frames to convert it to a 2-6-4 tank loco.

As soon as I was tall enough to work the treadle and see over the lathe I began to try my hand at turning on pieces of scrap bar and with Dad's guidance was probably more successful than the soldering.

As a boy I would always be making something. I remember the cardboard models on the back of Weetabix packets, the lady in the grocery shop got to know me and used to sort through her packets to see which models I hadn't made yet. The Hobbies Annual was another favourite for things to make, the best being a model trawler which went very well with an electric motor in it, until it sunk one day in the Rushmere pond on Wimbledon Common. I wonder if it is still there.

With trains in the blood I had always had a railway of some sort, starting with the clockwork tin plate, then when Triang started up, or Rovex as it used to be, I became the proud owner of a Princess Elizabeth loco and coaches, no doubt a collectors item these days. I wonder what happened to that. Dad made me a layout on the usual 6x4 baseboard and I spent many happy hours watching the trains go round, and so did the neighbour's cat. I'm sure he was a train enthusiast. He used to come in and sit at the side watching for the engine to come out of the tunnel. I'm sure he went home with less whiskers than when he came.

When Triang introduced their TT gauge (3mm scale), it was decided to change to this small gauge and between my brother David and I, we built up quite a large collection, most of which we still have today stored in the loft. I built several layouts in this gauge in what was to be the railway shed. I still have a small layout today and I am a member of the 3mm Society.

In between model railways I made a few model aircraft but I got fed up watching them crash after the hard work of building them, so it was in 1962 I decided to build my first live steam loco. Catalogues were sent for from the many advertisers in the Model Engineer and finally in the Kennions catalogue I saw the design for LBSC's 3'/2 inch gauge Doris. The decision was made and castings sent for.

Work started on the chassis in earnest and by now the Grayson lathe had been motorised, what luxury, and great progress was made using LBSC words and music until milling became a problem as the only machine tools were the lathe and a sensitive drill. How Dad ever made his 2'/2 inch loco I'll never know. Work stopped on the loco for a short time while I built myself a vertical slide for the lathe from a design in the M.E., it's much bigger and more robust than the Myford design. I still use it today as I still have no milling machine. It now has an added refinement of a readout from a worn out digital vernier. Work continued on the loco until the big day arrived when I connected a foot pump to the cylinders and to my surprise and delight the wheels went round, in both directions.

In 1962 I decided to join the Maiden club. I had known of the club since the 1950s when David and I were often taken by Mum and Dad to see the engines and have a ride. I can still remember my first Friday evening when I came to join, where I was greeted by a young John Mottram, spade in hand, who asked if he could help me, and welcomed me into the club.

With the Doris chassis finished I began work on the tender while thought was given to the boiler. This would need more than a bamboo cane in the fire, so I bought myself a Sievert propane set to build the boiler. In 1965 I turned up at the club one track day to find on the raised track steaming bay a 31/2 inch gauge Molly for sale, which belonged to Jack Davis. I had a good look at it and Jack "Molly" asked if I was interested. I told him I was but not sure what Mum and Dad would say. Jack's words were "Take the engine home and show them and bring it back on Friday evening." I didn't have to bring the engine back on the Friday as Mum and Dad bought it for my 21st birthday. Molly turned out to be a great little engine and was often seen running on track days until I sold it in 1985.

In 1967 Doris was eventually finished. It was a good day when the fire was lit and the thrill of driving my first loco. For many years both Doris and Molly took turns at running on track days, also on visits to other clubs. In 1971 I bought my Myford Super Seven and sold the Grayson lathe. Over the next few years, in between replacing worn out parts on the Molly and keeping Doris running, I made several accessories for the Myford, a fourway tool post, automatic facing and boring head, dividing attachment for the headstock spindle using the change gears and a George Thomas rotary table to fit the vertical slide already mentioned. Other George Thomas designs I have made are , tapping and staking tool with sensitive drilling head, versatile dividing head and a set of bending rolls, all of which have had good use.

1976 saw me start my second loco, a 5 inch gauge Speedy. I had seen many of these running at visits to other clubs and thought it was an ideal engine for serious passenger hauling on the raised track. Although I had heard and read about the valve gear not being right on Speedy, I was told that the drawings had been corrected? A start was made first on the boiler with formers which I borrowed from Tom Snoxell. You may remember the summer of 76 turned out to be a scorcher. I know I won't forget building that boiler. I'm sure the sun provided the back up heat.

With the boiler completed and tested, a start was made on the frames. I soon thought about making Speedy look more like her big sister, the GWR 1500 class and sent off for some works drawings and photographs which helped to add the more detailed parts. With the chassis almost finished I was keen to try it out with compressed air. The compressor was home made from a fridge compressor provided by Geoff Evans. The wheels spun round in both directions but it wouldn't notch up. Who said the drawings had been corrected! I took the chassis to the club one Friday evening to see what the experts could suggest, and after a lot of discussion I came home with my head buzzing and more confused. Would I have to start again?

After several weeks of playing around with the valve gear, chopping a bit off here and adding it on there, I eventually got it to run with more valve travel and notching up almost to the middle. I was more than happy. Anyone reading this who intends to build a Speedy would be advised to use the Don Young version of the valve gear as Denver Watkins has done, as his engine goes very well.

Next I returned to the boiler and made the fittings as described by Roy Amsbury in the Model Engineer 1973. Being nearer to scale I had doubts if they would be practical, but even now after 20 years service they are trouble free. The only problem however was that I needed an extra bush on the boiler backhead so a visit was arranged one Sunday morning over to Tom Snoxell with the boiler and extra bush for Tom to silver solder it in using his oxyacetylene.

The loco was first steamed without side tanks or cab in the back garden on an up and down track which I then had, in March 1979. It was during a thunderstorm I seem to remember, but who cared. It was a great day and everything seemed to work better than I had anticipated, the only problem being the hydrostatic lubricator which was soon put right with help from Ernie Widdowson and George Marsden. During that summer the loco was run on the club track while the tanks and cab took shape. It was probably run in before it was finished. Speedy was finally completed in November 1980 and has seen regular service at Maiden and on visits to other club tracks.

In 1981 a new boiler was made for the Molly as during a boiler test it was found to be leaking inside the firebox around the tubes and stays. I decided to cut the boiler up at the barrel and throatplate joint so I could re-use the barrel and found the water space between the inner and outer firebox and around the tubes solid with sediment! Some members may remember this when I brought it to the club one Friday evening. LBSC had never specified a blowdown on the Molly boiler so after 35 years steaming without a clean out it hadn't done badly. A lesson was learnt here when I made the new boiler and fitted a blowdown and washout plug.

Photos and article by John Bellchamber

In 1983, after moving house and setting up a new workshop, I started my present loco, a 5 inch gauge GWR Manor, working mainly to works drawings and photographs of the prototype, and with a little help from Martin Evans. This appears to be a long term project but I have taken time off to work on other projects such as another 3mm layout as already mentioned, and a new boiler for Speedy in 1995. At the time of writing, the loco is almost finished except for the pipework inside the smokebox and some of the plumbing which I shall do when I strip it down for painting. The tender is well under way, with lots of bits made and ready for assembly. When, or if, the Manor is finished what's next? I've always liked the BR Standard 4, 2-6-4 tank engine, but that's another story.