sed30's Blog

Railways & other things

Foxed! Scotland Yard calls off hunt for ‘Croydon Cat Killer’

Inside Croydon

After a three-year investigation, Scotland Yard this morning announced that they have closed Operation Takahe, after finding that there is no human suspect behind the spate of dead cats attributed to “the Croydon Cat Killer”.

The police have closed the Croydon Cat Killer case, after dozens of much-loved family pets have been killed

A feature in New Scientist magazine, published in July and which placed blame for many of the killings on urban foxes, has been cited by the police as influential in their findings.

But in their statement, a senior police officer also mentioned resourcing issues, and asked that the public in future use the RSPCA as its first point of contact in matters relating to animal welfare.

The Met’s lengthy explanation for an estimated 400 pet killings in and around the M25 since 2014 was dismissed by animal lovers as surprising and unconvincing, with the animal charity based…

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NCE Power Cab

Steve's 009 and 09 Adventure

On my way to the Beccles exhibition I stopped in Ipswich to visit Coastal DCC.

I’ve brought from Coastal DCC online but this was the first time I’d visited them. They are co-located with Orwell Model Railways who specialise in models of British railways and Scograil who are European outline model specialists. I was impressed with the well stocked shops and I had a good time browsing the displays.

However, I wasn’t window shopping. I wanted to investigate the NCE PowerCab. This is a complete DCC system cleverly built into a hand held controller. It seemed like an ideal starter system. As everything is built into the controller I was concerned that it would be big and heavy.

The guys at Coastal DCC were very helpful. They explained the system to me, compared it to the alternatives and let me try it. I was surprised. The controller isn’t small…

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Relief for Newman as Labour drop leader selection proposal


Inside Croydon

Tony Newman, Croydon’s £55,546 council leader, can breathe easy again. Radical proposals to allow Labour Party members – yes, the members – to decide who is a fit and proper person to be their party leader on the local council have been “kicked into the long grass” after a marathon meeting of the national party’s rule-setting executive.

Labour’s Tony Newman: recently increased his own allowances to £55,546

Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee spent nine hours considering a range of proposals yesterday, with much interest focused on moves to make sitting MPs face re-selection ballots.

But also on the table was a move to have the selection of local authority leaders taken out of hands of councillors – the people who owe their loyalty to the leader who decides who receives the tens of thousands of pounds of allowances.

In Croydon, rank-and-file party members, who do not benefit from Newman-determined council…

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The day we rioted as the government stole 11 days of our lives!

Stephen Liddell

If you think moving the clock an hour in October is a tedious, weird thing to do that only cheats you of an hour of precious useful daylight in the evening then do spare a thought for our forebears who centuries ago were trying to come to terms with the government stealing 11 days of their lives.

In 1750 the United Kingdom and our empire, including the American colonies, still adhered to the old Julian calendar, which was now eleven days ahead of the Gregorian calendar, introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII and in use in most of Europe.

Attempts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to adopt the new calendar had flounded on the rock that is the Church of England, which denounced the idea as popish. The main figure behind changing the situation was George Parker, second Earl of Macclesfield, a keen astronomer and a Fellow…

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Council killjoys ban bikes and scooters from play street

Inside Croydon

Saturday is World Car-Free Day, though Croydon Council’s efforts to mark the event are hardly fun-filled.

There will be a play street in the town centre on Saturday

There’s no grand gesture, no scheme to close off the Croydon Flyover, that monument to the primacy of the internal combustion engine.

Somewhat more modestly, the council has designated Croydon High Street as its traffic-free area for the day. The High Street is already closed to traffic.

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Report warns that Tory-run Surrey council could go bust

Killian worked for Croydon Council for a short while

Inside Croydon

All those residents in true blue wards to the south of the borough, who dream of the day when Coulsdon can declare their own little version of UDI and hitch themselves to a neighbouring council, might want to be careful what they wish for.

Surrey County Council could be the next large local authority to go bust, with a budget shortfall for the next financial year of nearly £100million, according to the findings of an independent report.

Croydon’s southern neighbours face an “unbridgeable budget gap in 2019-2020”, says the report into the council’s struggling finances.

Surrey County Council is Conservative-run. Over the past eight years, it has consistently received a better settlement from central government, per head of population, than many urban local authorities, including Croydon.

MPs in Surrey – all of them Tories – include cabinet “big beasts” Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Philip Hammond and Chris Grayling.

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ESNG PlayDay – 16 September 2018


A sunny September afternoon, and a good turnout of 15 for the PlayDay.  We started rather than finished with curry, as Allan was on a 2am start milk round on Monday.  Miles did appreciate the buffet and certainly got his money’s worth….

Meanwhile, Paul brought along his Kato modules, so we had a 25′ x 9′ layout to run on…


Trains running included two HST units and some German steam.


I brought along some American stock, and this express reefer train…


The diesel was then replaced by a GG1 electric….


It was one of those afternoons.  A baggage car shed a coupling and the GG1 shed a traction tyre.  But it was still a good afternoon’s running….

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A holiday from hell for two Russian murderers!

😂😂😂with a UNESCO world heritage site known as Stonehenge they decided to visit Salisbury not once but twice!

Stephen Liddell

I’ve been on my fair share of nightmare holidays.  Sank on the Nile, cars blown up, marooned in a live mine-field… that sort of thing but even I haven’t had quite as rough a time as Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, Russia’s answer to Michael Palin or Levison Wood.

I've been to holiday hell so you don't have to!

Just two every day men, absolutely not spies, assassins or muderers from Russia who last week were revealed to have the most convincing alibi in the history of travelogues.     For these two intrepid traveller went all the way from Russia to London and then Salisbury (twice in a weekend) for a spot of sightseeing but it all was to go so terrbily wrong.  Become wanted men across the globe is alost the least of their problems.

No wonder the pair turned to that most neutral and authorative news channel to demonstrate their innocence, Russia Today.  Of course this is all…

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Renovations in Purley and Coulsdon deliver five new homes

Inside Croydon

Unwittingly, perhaps, but the brains trust in charge of the council’s housing policy – led by Alison “Nothing To Declare” Butler – have gone out and demonstrated quite how inadequate their over-development policy with house-builder Brick by Brick has become.

This was how the over-grown house on Chaldon Way looked before the council and its partners stepped in

At the end of last week, the council issued a press release to crow about how it had acquired and refurbished two large family homes in the south of the borough, on Foxley Lane and Chaldon Way.

After renovation and conversion, that’s five homes more provided to house families in the borough than Brick by Brick has managed to deliver in three years, and all at a fraction of the multi-millions spent by the council’s house-building arm.

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Quay industrial tanks for use on Canute Road Quay a @Hornby W4 Peckett and an @Hattonsmodels Andrew Barclay, albeit slightly modified…

W4 is a lovely model

GrahamMuz: Fisherton Sarum & Canute Road Quay

Whilst many when asked about Southampton Docks will generally immediately think of the ex LSWR / Southern Railway docks with ex LSWR B4 0-4-0 tanks and later SR USA tanks, however there were a myriad of rail served private docks and wharves in the area including inner and outer docks and those along the River Itchen such as Dibles Wharf, Notham, Britannia and Victoria wharf,  many of which had their own locomotives.

The recent advent of ready to run industrial tanks, that it has to be said are pretty cute really, such as the Hatton’s Andrew Barclay 14″ 0-6-0t and Hornby W4 Peckett 0-4-0t has opened up a few quick win options for use on Canute Road Quay. One thing I like about many of the locomotives used in such private wharves and quaysides is their use of dumb, usually basic wooden blocks, buffers.

The modified Hattons Andrew Barclay…

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