The Tradition of Maundy Money


Stephen Liddell

Often in the shadow of Christmas due to the rampant over-commercisation, it is often forgotten that Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the greatest joy.  As we approach the annual 4-day Easter holiday weekend I thought it would be interesting to look at the tradition of Maundy Money.

The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony, inspired by The Bible.  As the Head of the Anglican Church, the Queen has various religious duties which she takes very seriously, this being one of them.

On the day before Good Friday, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and commanded them to ‘Love one another’. Since at least the thirteenth century, the Royal Family have been taking part in similar ceremonies known as Royal Maundy.  By washing the feet of the poor and…

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London Festival of Railway Modelling – 2018 #3


We’ll start today with some thoughts on layout design.  It is noticeable how the classic branch line layout has been supplemented at shows by the ’roundy-roundy’ with few points.  It was interesting to compare a few of those layouts on display.  (An apologies to the builders for any critical comments – as ever, it’s your layout, but my thoughts!!!)

Lacey Dale, in ‘N’ is another of the Model Railway Club’s ongoing projects.  I do like the way they bring along their projects to show layouts under development.  And Lacey Dale also shows the potential for a N-mod or N-club modular layout with an operating section below the through lines.  The only issues here are perhaps the depth of the baseboard, and also that the through lines are at the back, not the front, of the layout.

Bluebell cutting is another ‘N’ gauge layout, much smaller, and a simple double track…

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Island Hopping (Island Line’s listed railway stations)

The Beauty of Transport

This week, I am mostly redirecting you to something I’ve written somewhere else, for the excellent London Reconnections website. If you have any interest in considered analysis of London’s transport then it’s a site you should be subscribing to anyway.

I currently live on the Isle of Wight, where the future of the island’s tiny railway, Island Line, is under some scrutiny. If you don’t know the Island, you might be surprised to learn that the 8.5 mile railway is operated by ex-London Underground tube trains dating from 1938 (yes, you did read that right).

This unusual state of affairs surprises and often charms tourists who visit the Island and have need of travelling on the train. For some transport enthusiasts Island Line is an attraction in and of itself. Almost by accident, it’s become a heritage railway experience. But it was never meant to be this way. London…

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Holland, no seriously……..

highland miscellany

After Oly’s somewhat mischievous description of our trip to the Rail 2018 Modelspoor in Utrecht, I thought it might be worth taking a slightly more serious look at some of the layouts that will be unknown to most of the readers of this blog.  Thus, even though there were some fine UK based layouts, I won’t include pictures of these as I am presuming more will be familiar with them (and if you are not, get out there and visit them at a show!).

First up was a model of Montherme station in N gauge.  The real station is in the Ardennes and the railway really does come out of a tunnel, through a small station, across a river and back into another tunnel.  The builders have used N gauge to its full effect, the hillsides rise up 3 feet (although this does make the layout excessively low) and…

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London Festival of Railway Modelling – 2018 #2


Durham Road TMD followed the standard loco shed conventions that are quite common now we all have too many locomotives.  But this is an excellent example of the genre, especially due to the size, being in ‘O’ gauge, and with good diesel sound.  And also by the sheer number of locomotives.  The fiddle yard is a small traverser, but the table next to it held a long line of locomotives, the estimated total value of which made me slightly weak at the knees.  Although set it north Kent, here we have a ScotRail visitor.

Although set around 1990, the occasional preserved locomotive appeared…

And a steam special…..

Brighton East (EM) is another good example of a Southern Region urban terminus, based on a slightly simplified version of the old Kemp Town station in Brighton.  The compact, low-level, station layout and the tunnel mouth at the end of the station are…

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Preparing ‘First’ for Narrow Gauge South

Steve's 009 and 09 Adventure

My layout ‘First’ will be appearing at Narrow Gauge South at Barton Peveril College on Saturday 7th April. If you are going to NG South please drop by and say ‘Hello’. It’s a small layout in a large exhibition, blink and you’ll miss it 🙂

To prepare the layout and check everything is working well I cleaned the track thoroughly and ran a loco for over an hour. I haven’t used the layout for over 8 months (Gasp!) and it was a real pleasure to run it again.

On the NG Railway Modelling Forum Michael Campbell recommended running a carpenter’s pencil over the rails to create a layer of graphite and improve the electrical connection. It sounded like a good idea. After I’d thoroughly cleaned the track I ran my brand new carpenter’s pencil over the rails. It’s definitely helped the slow running and I’m very intrigued to see how…

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London Festival of Railway Modelling – 2018 #1


Late March and it’s time for a visit to Alexandra Palace, and the London Festival of Railway Modelling.  Once again I visited with my old work colleagues, Peter and Malcolm (otherwise known as the Old G*ts Day Out).  We all seem to be getting older, and we put Peter on the bus up from Alexandra Palace station to save his legs.

My overall impression of the show (probably incorrect) that there were less layouts and more trade and open spaces.  But it was still an excellent day out, and I think that the quality of the layouts was better than some recent years.  This is, of course, a purely subjective view coloured by my own interests and what I had for last nights supper (Chinese takeaway) and today’s breakfast (MacDonald’s in Redhill).

So the next three posts will be a selection of my favourite layouts.  As ever, apologies for those…

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