Campbell soups up attack as Pulis seeks more signings


Couple of weeks to go before the season starts

Originally posted on Inside Croydon:

RAY RYAN runs the rule over Palace’s summer transfer business so far

Tony Pulis performed a football miracle last season when he kept Crystal Palace in the Premier League, rightly earning himself the Manager of the Year award from his peers.

But now he’s really got his work cut-out.

Selhurst Park, as tweeted by Steve Parish, with new pitch and surrounds, looks ready for the season

Selhurst Park looking a picture as tweeted by Steve Parish, with new pitch and surrounds, all ready for the season

Pulis and his Crystal Palace squad arrive back in London this morning after their successful pre-season tour to America with some expectations, not least among Eagles fans, that the manager needs to delve into the transfer market before the league season gets underway at Arsenal on August 16.

So far eight players have left Selhurst Park this summer, either on loan or permanently, while Pulis has signed just two as he seeks to shape the squad which he inherited from Ian…

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East Kent Railway Part 2

I mentioned in part 1 I took a trip to Eythorne and back on the Thumper 1101. Arriving back at Shepherdswell I decided to wander up the road and have a look at the adjacent BR station which is operated by the South Eastern Train Operating Company.

Working down the approach road to the station I was met with a quaint building of I would assume London Chatham & Dover design? Being no expert I assume that is the company with Dover not being far away.


I timed my arrival right as a Dover bound service shortly arrived.

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Consulting the timetable shows that there is an hourly service on a Sunday to both Dover and London. I could have come down by train (to sample the beer) but decided against as I would of have to get to Bromley South and pick up the train from there (maybe another time). The Dover service left and the station returned to its Kentish slumber – time to go further exploring. There is a footbridge


And a tunnel at the Dover end


Crossing over to the London platform we find a small waiting shelter


I never realised just how hilly this part of Kent is, emphasized by this shot taken with the telephoto lens towards the London end  


And might it be the dream of the EKR to one day have a mainline connection?

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And finally dear reader you may of noticed one hidden gem – the old signal box still standing, I assume no longer used but in good nick never the less.



Time to go back to the EKR, but in the station forecourt a celebration of the area’s industrial heritage


So back to the EKR for a ride in an old EMU. You might ask how is this possible? The unit was sandwiched between two diesel shunters, class 09’s if I am not mistaken – the 09 was specially geared for running on the Southern having a higher top speed of between 27 & 29mph and having brake pipes compatible for working with emu stock at high level.

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So with a shunter each end we left for Eythorne. The emu has been nicely restored but I am pretty sure the fine was never £25 oh inflation!


On arrival at Eythorne another wander round found a nice MG in the station car park

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Back to the station and a shot of the signalbox at Eyethorne

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Ready to leave Eythorne


Back to Shepherdswell and one last look round (via the beer tent where I did manage to get a bottle of Old Thumper and a glass to put it in).

Ooh I found a steam engine


And last but not least a Trolley bus undergoing restoration (I did say it was a mixed bag!).

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Rumour has it they are going to put a dynamo inside and run her.

So that was the East Kent Railway. A very enjoyable day and a trip down memory lane.

Thanks for reading.


East Kent Railway Pt.1

One of the joys of belonging to Facebook is that you can join groups of interest. One of the groups I belong to is the Preserved Thumpers. For those of you who are non railway minded, this group supports preserved diesel units known as Diesel Electric Multiple Units specifically built for the Sothern Region of British Railways in the late 1950’s early 60’s, they are known as Thumpers due to the noises they make. They were used on non electrified lines such as those to Uckfield, Oxted, and also lines in Hampshire and on the Kent coast venturing as far afield as Cardiff on cross country services!

You may recall a couple of weeks ago I posted my visit to Bromley South to see the Hastings unit, well there has been active restoration of its cousins at a number of preserved railways, the East Kent being one of them. Unit 1101 has taken 10 years to be put back into service and this weekend saw it run on the East Kent as part of their Diesel/Beer/Bus weekend.

Sunday morning therefore saw me hop into my little Smart car for the trip to Shepherdswell which took about an hour and 20 minutes from Croydon down the A2 and then sharp left! Almost a country lane leads you to Shepherdswell and the East Kent Railway is adjacent to the main BR station (more in part 2). Once parked up I took a wander. The preserved East Kent (EKR) is very much likes its predecessor of Colonel Stephens Yore, a restricted site with all manner of preserved/waiting to be restored rolling stock abounding. I have a penchant for wagons so the following caught my eye

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The wagons were in various states of restoration and how long they this will take I have no idea.

Onto the main event and a welcoming station ticket office. The princely sum of £10 changed hands for as many trips as you like up and down the line with the added bonus of a visit to Dover Transport museum on an open top bus (more later).

First train into the station was the Class 101 Diesel Mechanical Multiple Unit or DMU for short. The EKR have hired this in for the season and it is mismatch of liveries.

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The DMU made way for the star of the show, 1101 which has been restored to the BR blue livery. The sight of the DEMU and above all the sound brought back memories of when I use to work on them as a Guard back in the eighties (basically a nostalgia trip then).

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In the background you can see a diesel shunter and also a green unit which I think is a 2 HAP more of which later. so off we went to Eythorne – a short 15 minute trip through the Kent countryside. The EKR is unique in having a tunnel – Golgotha tunnel to be precise – going through the tunnel enhanced the effects of the Thumper. No sooner had we started out then we arrived at our destination Eythorne, an island platform siding affair with a level crossing and old signal box.. More wagons and 2 trailers from another emu this time a CEP. One of the CEP trailers (Buffet), contained the micro brewery stand of which unfortunately I was unable to sample the contents as they did not have any bottled only draft.

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I could of taken the open topped bus to the Dover transport museum but given that storms had been forecast for later on did not fancy getting soaked! Still the bus made a lovely sight


So back to Shepherdswell we went on 1101. On arrival at Shepherdswell 1101 did another trip their & back and then was shunted into the siding next to the platform ready for the diesel shunter emu combination more of which in part 2.

Thanks for reading

Multi tasking


Nice Modelling

Originally posted on Kirkmellington - a journey into EM:

Recent work has been a bit sporadic, summer sun, exhibitions and milestone birthdays getting priority. No major projects have been worked on but many smaller or part finished work has been progressed.

So far, the track cleaner bought at a Perth from Lanarkshire Models has been built and tested. This will help keep the track clean at shows without too much intrusive hand action.


We have also completed the final colliery buildings – the pit head complex which sits around the winding gear tower. The tower is the Bachmann Scenecraft for the time being but I will be starting the etched brass Wrightlines kit shortly. Final painting will take place this weekend with installation on the layout in a couple of weeks time ready for ExpoEM North in September.



And finally, I have started the prep work on my rake of 6 Hudson Tipper wagons, etched nickel silver kits from

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Chasewater Railway’s Former Stock – Travelling Post Office


Here comes the Night Mail……………….

Originally posted on Chasewaterstuff's Railway & Canal Blog:

Travelling Post Office

TPO at Hednesford in the 1960s

TPO at Hednesford in the 1960s

Anyone who has been reading this blog may have noticed, in ‘Bits & Pieces’  in the 1970s and early 80s, the mention of a Travelling Post Office (TPO).  Our museum curator has recently acquired a book for the museum’s reference library – ‘An Illustrated History of the Travelling Post Office’ in which the Railway Preservation Society’s purchase is mentioned.  It was bought for £200 and housed at Hednesford, later being transferred to Chasewater and sold in 1983 for £1,000,

TPO at Tyseley

Built in 1909, London & North Western No.20 was renumbered 9520 by the LNWR and 3227 and 30244 by the LMS. The latter number, allocated in 1933, lasted until the vehicle was withdrawn in 1961. It was used on the Irish services until 1940 and its apparatus was removed in 1945.


After withdrawal it was acquired by the Railway Preservation Society, Hednesford…

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Locomotives on Display at Sheffield Park 2014


Amazing what the Bluebell has

Originally posted on Loco Yard:

2014 Bluebell Railway - Sheffield Park - SECR P class - 323 BluebellNo visit to the Bluebell Railway is complete without a peak inside the engine shed, which is home to the largest collection of locomotives of (UK) Southern origin.  The Bluebell Line has another remarkable claim to fame to add to this – it has the largest collection of BR Standard Classes.  Indeed, this collection is at least as impressive as any that you will find outside of the National Railway Museum, York.

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‘Cancer forced me to dance with the shadow of fear’


Something that can affect anyone of us at any time.

Originally posted on Inside Croydon:

Susan Oliver Susan DavisOccasional Inside Croydon contributor SUSAN OLIVER, pictured left, has not written for us for a while. Here she explains why

Winter 2013 was lousy for me.

And then it got a whole lot worse.

The downturn started last November. I became disenchanted with Twitter. I had been an enthusiastic tweeter for a couple of years under the handle of @beesnbeans, so it was surprising when I started to lose interest in it.

I deleted my account. Then in a fit of “What have I done?!?!” I went back and tried to un-delete it, but it was too late: Twitter had taken me seriously.

I continued on living… but around January I knew something was not right. I started feeling massively sad. I underwent a lot of catharsis – a lot of emotional cleansing. Looking back, I think it was a mini mid-life crisis where some unhealed residue from childhood surfaced.

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