Done deal: Fairfield Halls £30m redevelopment starts in July

The inevitable!

Inside Croydon

The Fairfield Halls will close this summer to undergo a £30 million redevelopment, after the venue’s managment board finally agreed to the investment scheme proposed by the Halls’ owners, Croydon Council.

The Fairfield Halls, with College Green top left of picture, is about to be changed forever The Fairfield Halls, with College Green top left of picture, is about to be changed forever

The council’s plans – based on a secret consultants’ report which has not been seen by the public, despite a promise from council leader Tony Newman to release it – will see the half-century-old concert hall, Ashcroft Theatre and Arnhem Gallery closed for two years.

There was opposition to the closure proposals from Kate Vennell, the chair of the Fairfield Halls board, from its £90,000 per year chief executive, Simon Thomsett, and from Croydon’s Tory opposition, who identified a cause with which to try to score some political capital.

They wanted the council to spend millions more of public money on a phased…

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Quick Telford D+E show review

Good D&E modelling

The Model Railways of Oly Turner and Chris Matthews


As Evie paruses through the latest MRJ over breakfast the dust settles after the first D+E show at Telford.

Chris and I were invited by Mr Tatlow to help operate Portchullin along with Peter Bond (EM gauge modeller, racing car driver and professional dancer)

It was a great weekend as always, the show was held in a venue with carpet (small pleasures) and at times seemed rather quiet but that meant there was plenty of opportunity for mooching about spending money you do not have and meeting people.

Stand out for me was the utterly pornographic Worcester Road.



I also really enjoyed Kinmundy which with frost on is always going to be close to my heart


As far as I am aware the show is on again next year and the only thing missing was something from emgauge70s.co.uk

The venue looked perfect for Mr Hardy’s Hornsey Broadway…..

And I have…

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Norfolk, 1960’s

One of my fav regions


More closed railways.  The East Dereham branch was still open for goods in 1964, and the signal box was in very good condition.



The Eastern Counties bus service that replaced DMUs on the line was in the station yard.  The single decker in the foreground is an interesting specimen.  The blurred Morris Minor on the left is our family chariot.  The ‘L’ plates were for my mother – she eventually passed her driving test!


Moving north, Melton Constable in mid-Norfolk had closed in 1964, and the track had gone and things were very overgrown just 3 years later in 1967.  Melton was originally one centre of the Midland and Great Northern Railway.  It was the perfect modeller’s station – a small junction, with 4 single lines meeting, two from each end of the station into an island platform.  There was a fair sized engine shed and works – small compared with most…

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Support getting 35011 General Steam Navigation to original form

GrahamMuz: Fisherton Sarum & Canute Road Quay

A new Society, The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society, has been formed with the aim of not only restoring but more ambitiously returning Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific 35011 General Steam Navigation into original air smoothed condition.  35011 was introduced in December 1944, as one of the second series built (described and illustrated in more detail in model form here), and subsequently like eventually all of the 30 strong Merchant Navy class she was rebuilt in July 1959. The rebuilding entailed the removal of the air smoothed casing and more fundamental the replacement of the chain driven valve gear encased within an oil bath with a full set of standard Walschaerts valve gear.

Although the current preservation scheme is not all that short of Bulleid’s creations, such as number 35006 of which I am shareholder and whose restoration is nearly compete, however there is of course a missing link. The lack of an original…

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Watercress Line Spring Steam Gala 2016

Very enjoyable despite the weather

Loco Yard

Watercress Line Spring Steam Gala 2016 (30) Maunsell Q class 30541 and ex-LSWR T9 class 30120 RopleyThe Watercress Line’s Spring Steam Gala 2016 was especially fitting for its location. The theme being Guildford shed (70C,) a location not too far from the railway.  The railway was host to two visitors – the familiar and beautiful T9 class 30120 and the Bluebell Railway’s Maunsell Q class 30541 on it’s first outing away from the Sussex line since first being returned to working order in preservation.  The last time a Q class was seen on what is now the Mid-Hants Railway was in the 1960’s.

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