BGRA Logo

Butterley Garden Railway Association


Newsletter.

An occasional newsletter edited by Lucy.

If you would like your photos published in the next issue, please email them and a short caption to: lucyatbgra@gmail.com

If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in ‘Last Month at BGRA’ please e-mail your suggestions to lucyatbgra@gmail.com


Easter At BGRA

Site Closed but Members going strong.

In line with government instructions (12/4/2020), our club is now closed. We are all instructed to STAY AT HOME. The MRT site closed until the end of April at least and any changes will be communicated as soon as possible.

Tom and Glenis

Tom and Glenis in their garden Tom and Glenis in their garden Tom and Glenis in their garden Tom and Glenis in their garden Tom and Glenis in their garden Tom and Glenis in their garden

Tom and Glenis enjoying the warm Easter weather by moving into the garden. Tom has extended his railway out into the front garden along a system of boards and trestles.

Tom and Glenis in their garden Tom and Glenis in their garden Tom and Glenis in their garden Tom and Glenis in their garden Tom and Glenis in their garden

To make it even more interesting, Tom has created a traverser. For the uninitiated, a traverser is a sliding or pivoting bit of track normally intended to move engines or stock into sidings.

Tom and Glenis in their garden

Glenis was impressed but determined not to be left out. She was proud to display her plants, labelled and priced up ready for the BGRA Summer Gala Weekend, which is very likely to be our first event of the year at the end of June.

Mike and Family

Mike dreams of better days

Sir Haydn resting at Dinas Ready on Mike Riley's Llantaliog Valley Railway.

Mike dreams of better days

Llechfan Garden Railway.

Mike dreams of better days Mike dreams of better days

Butterley

Mike dreams of better days

At home with grandchildren

Colin's Adventures

Colin in his garden Colin in his garden Colin in his garden

Colin sits out in the warm April sunshine and gets to grips with his wayward Lady Anne. A bargain purchase from Anything Narrow Gauge at Llanfair in 2019, it was a well built Roundhouse Kit but sadly with poor paintwork.

Colin in his garden

A blocked pressure gauge loop was cleared but preparing to paint has proved to be a problem. Now all stripped down and ready for painting but the original paint just doesn't want to be removed.

I'd be more worried about putting it all back together.

Colin in his garden

Hello from Clive at the AVLR

Clive Pics

In light of the current emergency situation, the AVLR has been mobilised to coordinate and distribute essential supplies to local communities.

Clive Pics

As you can see from the photo, an initial batch of essential goods is being stockpiled at Aston Vale station and will soon be on its way.

Clive Pics

In the meantime, stay safe and keep your spirits up! Cheers, more news to follow.

Clive Pics

P.S. It is anticipated that volunteers will soon be needed to help. If you can assist please send email to :-

avlremergencyessentials@talktalktalk/coved-19talk/godhelpusall.NHS.ukgov.planetearth.com


And as a final note we would like to wish a Happy Birthday to Norman, who was 81 on 12/4/2020. A deputation will be going to Anglesey ASAP to give him the customary BUMPS.


Guest Editor for this edition is John (Chairman).


If you would like your photos published in the next issue, please email them and a short caption to: lucyatbgra@gmail.com

If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in ‘Last Month at BGRA’ please e-mail your suggestions to lucyatbgra@gmail.com


Recently At BGRA

Site Closure

Following the latest government instructions (24/3/2020), our club is now closed. We are all instructed to STAY AT HOME. The MRT site closed recently until the end of April at least and so we should not attempt to visit without a very good reason.

Those of us lucky enough to have a railway at home will still be having steamy fun. Perhaps they could send some pictures just to make everyone else really jealous. Personally I plan to start a cleaning and repair program and maybe even use some of the stuff bought over the years at various shows. If you are kit building then maybe show us what you are doing.

Above all, this crisis will pass eventually, so stay safe and see you all later in the year.

Running In David Ashcrofts Garden 25/3/2020

Member David Ashcroft was so put out that our night run was cancelled that he held his own event with partner Tracey, complete with chip supper.

Running after the AGM

Collection of members stock after the AGM. Photo by Elliot.

The AGM

The AGM went very well and it was great to see so many members. The main change for 2020 was to increase subs to £25 a year. We discussed our planning for the year but had no idea how events were about to overtake everyone.

Also discussed were the plans for our 30th Anniversary Celebration in September. It's amazing to think that our club has been going since 1980. If you have photos or anything else, we would be delighted to be able to show them.

Upcoming Events

The Gala Weekend is the next event that is being planned. Though it's looking a bit hopeful at the moment. It is possible for it to be postponed and run in a different format but we are dependent on the MRT being open. We will communicate any updated plans as soon as we know them ourselves.

Colin cementing blocks

Colin cementing blocks during our push to complete track work.

Track Work

We decided to have a final push to complete the work we started in the Autumn. Although our trackwork is completed, there were lots of top stones that needed re-cementing in place. Also the ballast had settled and so needed topping up. The site needed a general tidy up, some gardening and some general TLC.

There was a good turn out of members and all of the jobs were completed in just one day. Many thanks to everyone who helped.

Top Track Renewal

We are still in discussion about this but the consensus is as follows. Raise the base level of the top track and widen it to take two concentric loops, one 45mm, one 32mm. This would be a major effort but if we can formulate the right plan then it would be a very worthwhile improvement.

We have some Peco SM32 track remaining from our bottom track renewal but we would need to buy some new points. We have a supply of 45mm track and points and have confirmed that the set curves will fit our track base

Difficulties ahead include renewing the bridges. To be positive, this should be seen as an opportunity to make improvements, put some more modelling into our layout. There would also be the need for a custom 32/45mm diamond crossing. No such thing is commercially available and so this is a potential problem.

We will continue to plan this and no start date is yet available.

Don Ballasting

Secretary Don carefully adding ballast during our effort to complete track work.

Phil Lowe

It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that Phil has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family.


Guest Editor for this edition is John (Chairman).


If you would like your photos published in the next issue, please email them and a short caption to: lucyatbgra@gmail.com

If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in ‘Last Month at BGRA’ please e-mail your suggestions to lucyatbgra@gmail.com


Last YEAR At BGRA

Twilight Runs

This year saw our usual Spring Twilight Run and Autumn Twilight Run. Both accompanied by complimentary fish and chip suppers provided by the club. Our Autumn Twilight Run this year saw a film crew called CloudedVision who were making a promo video on niche hobbies and the magazines that support them. They also left a donation of £100 to the club to help support us.

Doug's Train

Photo of Doug's Engine and Train by Elliot.

Bottom Track Relaying.

During the later end of this year, chairman John Rymer proposed a 3-phase plan to members for a complete renewal of the bottom track. After much thought about it, a group of members got together over many cold Autumn weekends to get together to finally complete the work the track needed. It started with Phase 3- the back loop. This was by far the most difficult feat as it required some out of the box solutions to stop old problems from recurring. A continuous sheet of aluminium was laid, supported by a screed of postcrete, layers of pond liner with the track firmly screwed down. To make things more fun why don’t we lay double track said John. Phase 1 and 2 although easier, were still not a simple task.

However, after many hours, a lot of manpower and some cold, wet weekends, the track was finally relayed and ready for running at our Autumn Twilight Run.

Gala Weekend.

The Gala Weekend is our yearly open weekend and gives us a chance to open our doors to the public. There were a lot of people running and entertaining the general public while John Sutton, Wood Valley Works and BlackCat Bridges did the trading, alongside Glenis’s Plat Stall and Elliot and Lucy’s Tombola.

Open Weekend Stalls

Ripley’s Big Day Out

Ripley’s Big Day Out 2019 was a successful Wednesday running this year and it also included an unexpected but very welcomed visit from a long-time member Phillip Lowe.

2019 Loco Olympics

This year was the second annual BGRA Loco Olympics. It was an extremely hot day but didn’t stop people from participating in the four events we hosted. These events were Pulling Power, Controlled Running, Tug of war and the new addition of the Shunting Challenge.

Tug of War

Brian Dominic

It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and valued member Brian Dominic. Our thoughts are with his family at this hard time. In memory of Brian, there has been a name plate added to his rat that will run at BGRA on occasions.


If you would like your photos published in the next issue, please email them and a short caption to: lucyatbgra@gmail.com

If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in ‘Last Month at BGRA’ please e-mail your suggestions to lucyatbgra@gmail.com


Last Month At BGRA

May was a month filled with fairly nice weather and a couple of events that got us excited to be outdoors. It was also another month of planning as we get ever closer to this years Gala Weekend.

Vintage & Oscillator Day

The May bank holiday offered up some dreadful weather for the member that attended our vintage and oscillator day this year. There was a reasonable turnout of members and some very nice engines on display. However, the weather seemed to want everyone to stay inside where the heating was.

Norman, one of our BGRA members, brought a very impressive Wilesco static steam engine and workshop and ran it on compressed air all day.

Mamod Day

On the first weekend of June, we held our usual Mamod day. The weather treated us nicely on this Saturday, however it was a small disappointment that there were a lack of people running.

Norman had set up an excellent display of static engines that gathered a lot of the public attention. Despite some small issues that Mamods tend to have (blown sight glass or two) it was a successful day of running for all who attended.

Mamod Day
Mamod Day

Photo on the left: “Norman’s impressive display of static engines from our Mamod day.” Picture and caption provided by Lucy

Photo on the right: ”Old whiskers puzzling over a loco he and his son bought at Peterborough!”. Picture and caption provided by Don Butterell


If you would like your photos published in the next issue, please email them and a short caption to: lucyatbgra@gmail.com

If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in ‘Last Month at BGRA’ please e-mail your suggestions to lucyatbgra@gmail.com


Last Month At BGRA

Spring Twilight Run

Our annual Spring Twilight Run commenced at noon on the 27th March. It was our first event of the year and it started off the year with great positivity.

Running started at 12 noon and went on until it was too dark to see who was left at the railway. At around 6pm running almost came to a complete standstill while most of our members stopped to enjoy the fish and chip supper from Leebrooks Fish Bar.

The event was a great success and everyone who took part seemed to have great fun doing what they love and of course, enjoying a free meal.

Butterley In Bloom

Thanks to our gardener Glenis and her various helpers (Tom and Norman), the garden has now begun to bloom beautifully. Visitors at BGRA get to appreciate a wonderfully looked after garden whilst viewing our trains.

We would like to take the time to thank all those who put in the hard work and effort with our garden.

A Call to All Members

A quick reminder that our two-day Gala show is slowly approaching, and we would like to ask you to consider donating any unwanted gifts or small prizes for our tombola this year.

Also, any plants, pots or garden related items that could be donated to Glenis would be greatly appreciated.

Norman will be running a member sales stand and will sell all sorts of garden railway and other goodies. If you have things you want to sell then contact Norman.

This newsletter also relies on member input and information so please take a minute or two out of your week to e-mail any pictures or text that you would like to be placed in the next newsletter.

Night Run
Night Run

A well-lit and well attended Twilight Run. Pictures by Keith. If you would like your photos published in the next issue, please e-mail them and a short caption to: lucyatbgra@gmail.com

If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in ‘Last Month at BGRA’ please e-mail your suggestions to lucyatbgra@gmail.com


Last Month At BGRA

Annual General Meeting

February was a good start to the year for the club as our AGM came around on the 24th. The weather decided to play nice and it was sunny for all the members who came out. At 2pm however, it was time for all to venture inside and discuss the year that the club has had.

The AGM was started by a talk from Garden Rail’s Editor, Phil Parker who discussed with our members about how to make a little money back from documenting their modelling.

After that it was time to get down to business and discuss what our last year had presented us with. For all members who couldn’t attend the AGM, a copy of the minutes will be available in the cabin for you to read.

Track Maintenance Group

During the AGM, there was a formation of a new track group who will be undertaking discussions of track improvements and maintenance throughout the next year.

If you wish to be a part of this group, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with John Rymer, who will pass your name on to the right places.

Train running on AGM day
Train running on AGM day

Two of the many trains that were ran during the AGM. Photo’s provided by member David Ashworth. If you would like your photos published in the next issue, please email them and a short caption to: lucyatbgra@gmail.com

If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in ‘Last Month at BGRA’ please e-mail your suggestions to lucyatbgra@gmail.com


If you want to contact us or send photos to be put onto this site then please email to bgrawebsite@gmail.com.