Shifting Sands: Home and Away in 2009

Shifting Sands seen both out on the road, and at home in 2009.

For several years the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association's Trent Valley group have held an event in the Community Centre at Mickleover, Derby, primarily to enable them to work on/play with the group layout 'Henmore Vale'. This year we took Shifting Sands for a new year outing, and everything managed to work, which is largely down to the extended running in session as quite unusually the layout has been up and operated since the Christmas break.

A busy scene with Pandora, Thunderbolt and Jay:

Jay prepares to depart with a passenger train:

An overview of the layout from the left hand end:

Pandora and Thunderbolt outside the shed:

Thunderbolt on passenger duties:

I don't often get to photograph the layout from this end - so made the most of the chance!

Later in the afternoon Cumbria was out and about:

Cumbria heads around the curve past the kiosk:

The grounded example of one of my original O9 coaches (built from Keil Kraft 'Routemaster' bus parts) behind the caravan:

Two 4w coaches I had on display at the members day:

It was good to catch up with Howard Martin, Association Chairman and the proprietor of The Avalon Line. Howard is re-releasing the former Owen Ryder kits of Heywood and R&ER prototypes and allowed a couple of items of stock to be borrowed for photography:

I couldn't resist photographing the Ravenglass coach with my tram loco Cumbria, based on the R&ER's 'Flower of the Forest' - as a result I have a kit to build, which will make an unusual diversion into etched brass and whitemetal for this plasticard fan....

The Avalon Line Heywood 4w wagon and coach:

After Derby I decided that the bogie coach behind the caravan was too much, and eventually this was replaced by a new representation of the 4 wheeler, but in a much more run down state than before. At the same time I added some Knightwing pallets and oil drums around the shed area, and a fuel cube from Buzz models:

Some new oil drums have appeared in the shed yard:

The layout next appeared at Cleethorpes over the weekend of 6th/7th September, in 'Griffin Hall', the former Sutton Miniature Railway engine shed:

Cleethorpes saw the d├ębut of 'King George VI', the SMR's new pacific and it got some admiring glances from the CCLR team (although try as I may I couldn't persuade them to build a real one!):

Also on show was a prototype N-Drive 'Katie' kit, brought along by Paul Windle and Peter Leadley of the Hull club. This ran extremely smoothly and should be an interesting addition to the O9 items from the trade:

Whilst at Cleethorpes Chris Shaw commented on the lack of loco coaling facilities, so soon afterwards a loco coal wagon emerged based on an Avalon Line/Owen Ryder bogie etch. This is purely a cosmetic addition to the layout and has no couplings:

Painted with acrylics, lettering from dryprint transfers and weathered to represent a working wagon:

Real coal completes the job along with a couple of Sidelines sacks:

The wagon in place on the layout, with the Pacific:

In readiness for the final show of 2009 at Retford over 21st/22nd November, I took several photographs of 'King George VI' around the layout, here ready to depart from 'Shifting Sands' station in bright sunlight:

Returning from the other end of the line:

Having returned and uncoupled from the train, 'King George V' backs into the headshunt:

The Pacific rests outside the shed with 'Pandora' tucked away inside:

Another view outside the shed, looking slightly overcast!

Retford will actually be the final show for the foreseeable future for 'Shifting Sands', the layout was not built to withstand carting about and was never really intended for exhibitions. Don't worry, it won't be vanishing from the internet!

O9 Modeller would like to thank Mick Thornton for his help in creating this page.

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