Oooh matron! Kenneth Williams’ clock goes up for sale

Inside Croydon

Catherine Southon was thrilled when a woman walked into her auctioneer’s office in Bromley to show her a classic 1960s clock with some great provenance.

Wake up call: Kenneth Williams

The clock once belonged to Kenneth Williams, actor, comedian and diarist most famous for his roles in the Carry On films.

“I had always been a bit of a fan and once wrote to him after he recited a poem that made a reference to West Wickham and I got a lovely letter back from him,” Southon’s new client told her.

“Then I happened to go to a fundraiser for one of Robert Knox-Johnston’s sailing adventures in 1978 and the auction included this clock, which had belonged to Kenneth Williams, so I simply had to bid for it.”

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Going for a song? Our expert guide to buying at an auction

Inside Croydon

If you love watching Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip on television, you may have seen local auctioneer CATHERINE SOUTHON, right, finding some great bargains. Ahead of her next auction – at the Farleigh Golf Club next Wednesday, on March 7 – she offers you some tips on how to snare a valuable and beautiful bargain for yourself

You can watch a live auction, but you can have a go yourself. Auctions may look a little intimidating on television because of their fast pace, but you will quickly get a feel for it. There’s no need to worry about bidding by mistake because you scratched your ear; that’s not enough to become the sudden owner of a tea service you don’t have space for.

So what do you need to do to be able to bid in an auction?

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Peckham Rye



There is something interesting (to me at least) about the traditional carriage sidings.  They used to hold an interesting array of coaches, of differing types, and perhaps even some non-passenger parcels stock.  The only trouble in modelling such a prototype is its size, even in ‘N’. Operation is not especially varied, but like modelling a loco shed, there is a constant flow of stock in and out, for cleaning and maintenance, and to the terminus for the next train out.

Following the lines of South London around the wonderful National Library of Scotland mapping, I came across an interesting site – Peckham Rye maintenance sheds.

These were built originally for the maintenance of the LBSCR overhead electric trains for the South London Line (of which this is a part.)  They are relatively compact, as the large shed is only about 2ft long in ‘N’ and the small one shorter…

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Is This A Baseboard I See Before Me ?

Nothing like a new baseboard to get you focused

Steve's 009 and 09 Adventure

I am quite excited by the idea of the Granta Valley Railway. So much so that I decided to build the first baseboard.

I sketched out a simple design and went to my local builders merchant for the wood. The tops and sides are made of 9mm plywood. The builders merchant cut these to size using their large electric ‘sheet saw’. The cuts cost me nothing and saved me a lot of time. The frame is simple pine wood measuring 44mm x 19mm in section.

The first step was to attach the pine frame to the plywood edging. I pre-drilled holes in the baseboard so that I’d be able to attach the sides and ends to it.

The sides and ends were positioned and attached to the baseboard.

Here’s the finished baseboard, glued and screwed together. I know I’ll never be a cabinet maker, but I’m quite pleased with it.

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Palace pile on the election pressure over planning application

About time

Inside Croydon

Crystal Palace Football Club are determined to get planning permission to build their £100million new stand, and yesterday staged an on-pitch stunt in a show of defiance to the local council, getting loyal fans on-side just as local elections are looming.

Palace players in their Back The Plan T-shirts ahead of yesterday’s game

And expect to see Steve O’Connell, the Tory councillor with very close links to Selhurst Park, wearing a Back The Plan T-shirt soon, just as the Palace players did during their on-pitch warm-up before yesterday’s televised Premier League game against Tottenham.

The club wants its plans rubber-stamped by the council’s planning committee by April 19, just a fortnight ahead of the Town Hall elections, when O’Connell’s Conservatives will be hoping to prise control of the council from Labour.

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Different strokes for different folks


I was amused by a couple of snippets from this month’s model railway magazines.  Firstly, Hornby magazine, and the most excellent Mansion House.  Stephen Grant says:

One of the advantages of a city location is that it is much easier to model bricks and concrete than trees and grass…..

I found designing and building the railway’s built environment one of the most rewarding tasks of the whole project.

Meanwhile, in Model Railroad Journal, Jas Millham writes about his equally excellent, but much smaller, Abbey Street, a small ‘S’ scale urban terminus:

I know what I’m doing with a country branch; I’ve extended Yaxbury several times and managed to produce a convincing model at each phase.  I’m satisfied with Three Mills, but an urban setting is a different kettle of fish altogether.  Most of the prototype stations that I have researched have no habitation in sight or are on the outskirts…

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3mm Society, Railway, Railway days

3mm London Area Group meeting

Yesterday’s meet at Keen House covered resin casting with our very own Andrew Shillito demonstrating how to cast in resin with moulds he had brought with him. Wim Harthoorn provided the talk and gave example of the resin stuff he has produced for his Thailand 🇹🇭 railway which is 3mm scale on 9mm track and dcc to boot.

All in all a very enjoyable afternoon rounded off by a couple of pints 🍺 in the Parcel Yard at Kings X.

Photos above: members gathered round Andrew looking at him demo and then coaches produced by member Andrew Barnes (utility van and Crimson & Cream coaches produced by using resin method – plasticard formers and the Isle of Wight stock produced with layered plasticard using a method pioneered by Bernard Holland sometime ago)

Pictures above: Thai diesel produced using resin casting.