Pictures by Walter

A View With Every Picture

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Building Site – Garden Rebirth Imminent

Day 4 of Garden Make-over : The team from Gardens R Us arrived at 8:15 and immediately started to work on the extended raised bed/planter. In order to carry out the extension they had to clear out the contents of the shed, demolish it and then take all the residue down to the tip. Upon return they built the extra length taking it almost to the end of the fence. Next was prepping the ground to have the slabs relaid, as well as line the side of the planters. By lunchtime they had the planter filled with soil, hardcore spread in garden area . then it was off to get soil and slabs. then from 1:30 until 7:10 they slabbed 3/4 of garden area..

Again I was impressed by the teams work rate.  They covered a lot of tasks between 1:30 and 7:10.  As they worked I began to see the garden take a new shape  The addition of the raised bed added space by allowing the transplant from pots and very large pots at that.   The transplanted plants being at a higher level immediately removed the claustrophobic feeling of overcrowding.   I’m looking forward to tomorrow when with luck all should be completed and the grand unveiling of the reborn, made over garden shown to all



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Building Site – The Rise of the Beds

Day 3 of Garden Make-over : The team of three arrived just after 8 a.m. and immediately began to clear the site and prepare the area for the Raised Beds / Planters.  Jamie and crew wasted no time working straight through till just after 1 p.m.  The last task was setting the support posts in concrete and that was it.  The concrete had to be giving time to set so they went for lunch and onto another site.  Early start tomorrow to continue preparation for re-laying of slabs, laying them, powerwash and seal plus add extra 2 tier bed to top left hand corner as seen from gate.

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Timber Yard- Site Clearance

Day 2 of Garden Make-over : The plan was to start work a 11:30 am when the timber was due to arrive.   The timber would be 21 lengths of sleepers and some wood battens to protect fence.  This time things did go to plan, but not for long though <grin>.

Jamie was by himself and he unloaded all the heavy timber by himself.  Unfortunately the driver  was unable to assist and Jamie’s fellow colleagues were at another site which had a problem.   Prior to waiting the arrival of  his colleagues he cleared out the proposed working area ready to  create the protection batten and installation of the timber to form the  Raised bed or as they term it the planter.   Fate had other plans, Jamie received a call requesting his assistance at the other site as the problem was bigger than previously thought.

Full of apologies he explained what the problem at the other site was and made arrangements with me for an early start on the building tomorrow.  He assured me that the planters would be in place and the garden fully slabbed by Thursday with hand over by Friday.  Mind you I think one cat was pleased that the work came to a halt as he then spent most of the afternoon in the unfinished garden.  He had explored the changes to the garden this morning and passed his approval at the new design by have a roll in the sandy soil then settling down for a nap.  The current state may meet Felix’s approval but as he is not paying the bill the garden will be reconstructed (but I’ll make sure he has a wee dirt patch for himself) 🙂



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Timber stacked for start in Morning






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Demolition Site – Garden Goes West

Day 1 of Garden Make-over : The plan was to start work a 9 am, however, like all plans that went astray.  Brian (Garden R Us)  advised that one lad would soon be on site.  Not an auspicious start I thought.  I was soon to change my mind.  The one lad arrived full of beans and started to dismantle the garden that Susan and I had created.   He arrived at just before 10 am and by 11:30  he had gathered the trash that was to be dumped and headed off to Civic Amenity Site to dispose of it responsibly.

Upon return from the dump he was accompanied by two other lads.  The work began in earnest then.   By 1:30 the potted plants had been removed to a safe place as they would be brought back to be transplanted into the new raised bed or planter as they termed it.  Whilst two went with the load the other started to life the slabs, I was amazed at the rate of work he was doing.  By the time his mates came back he had approx half of the garden slabs lifted and stacked awaiting their return

By 17:10 all the slabs had been lifted and taken off site, partial preparation was started for the arrival of the sleepers to make the raised beds and leveling of the ground for the relaying of the slabs.  It may have been a slightly late start but the work rate of the 3 involved was very high and good time was made.  So much so the had finished by 5:30 though it was planned to work till 7pm.   On leaving the site site the cheerfully advised I could have a late lie as they would not be back until 11 tomorrow which ois when the timber will be delivered  and work would recommence.

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The next stage prepped for start in Morning






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It’s a Jungle Out There – Tamed Garden Goes Wild

Life is full of choices, some are good some are bad, but each choice has a knock on effect.  Susan and I agreed in 2015 that we would amalgamate our houses and she would move in with me.  In doing so Susan gave up her home not just her house and a her lovely front garden.  My house had a small garden which was once the pride of my late father.  However on his death my mum was advised that her pelvis was wearing away and that she would need walking aids and eventually the use of a wheelchair. This meant that the garden had to be slabbed over to allow a larger ramp that could take a mobility scooter be fitted and the back gate redesigned to allow said scooter to exit.  It had to be the doors from the living-room in order to allow a larger platform that the sidewalk could take.

After my mum passed away in 2010 the ramp was removed and the garden remained slabbed, it was easy to keep clean just a power wash every two months.  Potted plants appeared.  and a potted garden was established.  When Suan moved in the central slabs were removed opening up a small area for plants and the garden became Susan’s domain.  3 times a year it would get the slabs washed and tidied up, Susan looked after her plants with tender loving yet ruthless care.  This care came to an end in the latter half of 2017 as her cancer became more aggressive.

The choice made to provide Susan with the care and attention meant that the garden would be left to survive whilst we attempted to give Susan not just extend life but one that had quality so gallevants became more important right up to the week before she passed away.  Our last trip out was an Intrepids’ Trip to Rest and Be Thankful then onto Butter Bridge in Argyle:

Butter Bridge 20190907

The last choice was not mine to make it was life’s – how to deal with the intense grief I felt with the loss of my wife of 6 weeks and 2 days!  We had been partners ,longer that Husband and wife, 10 years and friends for 12.   All I can say is I bumbled my way through the fog, lackluster will from then until  two weeks ago.  Whilst the country and most of the world was in lockdown I had no need to think, to go out etc.  It is not trite but true that you will come to terms with such a loss, you will never forget but you will carry on with your life that is the choice you make.  Having unconsciously made that choice I realised I had a lot to do on the domestic side and did so.  House cleaned inside my attention turned to the garden.  My heart sank at the overgrown state as the once tamed garden had gone to the wild.  Susan and I had discussed a way forward for the garden and it was time time implement some of that Discussion – Cue in Garden’ ‘R Us

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Ennitoun – Update – 12th June 2020 – City of Sheffield Joins Ennitoun Stock

Hornby “City of Sheffield” & 2 Converted Black Fives Join Ennitoun   

Yet another model of Ex LMS Duchess/Coronation locomotive joins the stock in Ennitoun Shed.  The addition of this model brings the total up to 26.  However, I have three versions of City of Glasgow, 1 in BR Green 2 in LMS black (one will be renamed/renumbered as City of Carlisle),; 2 of “City of Bradford” 1 BR Maroon/Crimson, 1 LMS Black;  2x City of Chester, 1 BR Green and 1 BR Blue;  2x City of Edinburgh , 1 BR Blue, 1 LMS Black; 2x Duchess of Sutherland, 1x BR Green, 1x LMS Black.  That makes 6 duplicates and 20 originals only need 16 more to have the whole set.

46249 “City of Sheffield”

Black 5  44781


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Ennitoun – Update – 4th June 2020 – New Locomotives Join Ennitoun Stock

New Locomotives Join Ennitoun – Changes in Coast

On the 19th April the date that the change over from DC to DCC was implemented the system was in sudden lack of locomotives stage. as these figures from April’s blog revealed:

  • DCC Fitted 9 – able to be run on new system
  • DCC Ready 19 – awaiting fitting of DCC Chip
  • Non-DCC – 33 with possibility of 14 being converted to DCC by fitting chip
  • Possible DCC stock = 42 out of 61 as at 9th April 2020.

As of 19th June 2020 the tale is different:

  • DCC Fitted 23 – able to run on system
  • DCC Ready 22 – Waiting to have sound chips fitted
  • Non-DCC  16 – Confirmed too old (Coarse wheels or Split Chassis – they will be on display in Ennitoun Museum
  • Up-gradable (Previously Non-DCC) 16 (2 undergoing upgrade to sound @ Horns and Whistles Workshops.

Breakdown of DCC Fitted

  • 16 are LMS/Ex-LMS locos
  • 2 are BR Class
  • 5 are LNER/Ex-LNER

West Coast  engines out number East Coast engines by a considerable margine.  If you take in the DCC Ready figures:

  • 17 are LMS/Ex-LMS Locos
  • 2 are BR Class
  • 3 are LNER/Ex-LNER

The West Coast outnumber the East Coast.  Yesterday the balance started to be addressed with the arrival of 2 DCC fitted locomotives (no sound).

Bachmann 32-280 Class K3 61869  EX-LNER

Bachmann 31-716 Class B1 61180 renumbered 6103 Mayflower

A policy change is soon to be implemented – obtain more East Coast Locos.


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Ennitoun – Update – 3rd June 2020 – DCC Conversion Update

DCC Upgrade Modernisation Update 2nd June 2020

On 30th May 2020 we welcomed back Hornby R053 LNER B17  Manchester United and Hornby R1019 LNER A1 Flying Scotsman after Horns & Whistles Workshops  completed the conversion on both locos from DC to DCC.

The conversions went well and I must admit I thought problems would be encountered converting the B17 as Hornby released it in 1980  and ceased in 1982, making the model at most 40 years old.  Models at that time were not as scaled or detailed and had outsize wheel gauge to fit on the older Triang/Hornby system 4 and not the latest scaled tracks produced by Peco and Hornby.

The video of the test run on Ennitoun’s modern tracks confirmed my faint suspicions but by no means caused me to be disheartened as the problem is not unsolvable.  The stutter as she crossed the points is not the fault of the conversion done by Horns & Whistles Workshops.  The cause is the outsize wheel rim bridges the iso-frog and causes a small short as the wheel hits both metal parts of the frog (the V formed where the inner rails meet in the point).  This will be rectified when the layout undergoes its expansion to have a loop (tail-chaser) added.  In fact for a 40 year old model she ws in very good condition and on the straights proved to be a fast runner.

The A1 Flying Scotsman was part of a  Train set released in 1999 – 2002 so I did not expect any problems with the running of this model and pleased my  faith was well founded.

Further Locomotives will be sent for DCC conversion (with sound where possible) until all stock has been upgraded and available for traffic duties.  Those that are not up-gradable/convertible will be gracefully retired to the “Ennitoun Railway Museum).

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Ennitoun – Update – 29th May 2020 – DCC Conversion Update

DCC Upgrade Modernisation Update 29th May 2020

On 27th May 2020 we advised that Hornby R053 LNER B17  Manchester United and Hornby R1019 LNER A1 Flying Scotsman – currently in the workshops of Horns & Whistles Workshops awaiting upgrade to DCC (with sound if possible). Latest news the B17 had been converted but alas no sound as no space for speaker.   Horns & Whistles Workshops have provided two videos showing the test run of the B17 and A1 which completed its upgrade to DCC/TTS Sound.


B17 2862 Manchester United:

A1 4472 Flying Scotsman


Locomotives should be in shed Tuesday 2nd June 2020

Further Locomotives will be sent for DCC conversion (with sound where possible) until all stock has been upgraded and available for traffic duties.  Those that are not up-gradable/convertible will be gracefully retired to the “Ennitoun Railway Museum).

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Ennitoun – Update – 28th May 2020 – Steam Still Rules

Modernisation Is Not A Threat

The surprising introduction of a BR Class 110 DMU caused a mild panic and consternation in the ranks.  One colleague made the comment “This will go down in history”. He knows I am a died in the wool steamie fan.

Today’s arrival of two additional Steam Locomotives should reassure followers and colleagues that my feet are firmly planted in the “Steam Era” 1923-1966.  It wi9ll come as no surprise that once again a “Coronation/Duchess/Princess” has joined the ever growing stable of these loco motives.

Hornby R3111 BR 4-6-2 Princess Coronation Class 46241 “City of Edinburgh” in BR Blue has entered the stockbook/register of Ennitoun Locomotives. Unfortunately the loco is not DCC Fitted, but it is ready and has already been earmarked to be chipped, with sound of course. This is the second example of this locomotive.

The first being Hornby R3681 LMS Princess Coronation Class “City of Edinburgh” No. 6241 in LMS Black, also awaiting chipped.

It may have come to the notice of those knowledgeable, but, then perhaps not  noticed that the recent list of the current DCC stock ,only one was not West Coast – LMS pedigree.  The lone East Coast LNER is NB J36 673 Maude.  Worry not folks, no discrimination here.  There are A4s, A1s and A2s and the most famous engine in the world (reputably)  in A1 and A3 form.  Regrettably the A3 “Flying Scotsman” requires a very expensive service to get back into running condition. The most recent arrival will address this balance somewhat. I* source my pre-owned models from several sources , Hattons, TMC, Rails of Sheffield and Olivia’s Trains (6 locos had full conversion (Smoke,sound,Lights, Firebox ad crew). The majority of locomotives purchased since middle of March – when I started to prepare for DCC have come from Tri-angman .  In all my dealing with Tri-angman I have found him to be very reliable and his stock is high standard.  Usually I purchase from his stall at various meetings, this year it has been done by post.  The latest locomotive  arrived last night and for a change it was not a Coronation/Duchess/Princess though there is a link with Coronation.  Hornby R3280 4-6-2 LNER Class A4 “Golden Shuttle” No. 4496 fitted with ESU sound chip.

This was the test run of  model.  I know it is fitted with an ESU sound chip – but not which one.  I know what the loco hesitated on some of the points and will rectify that problem.  I am somewhat puzzled by the sound, it does not sound like an A4 sound file, at least to my memory of travelling behind No 9, not the whistle.  I have no complaints about the model it cam as advertised, however I’ll get it serviced and have the sound file changed.

I m currently waiting for The City of Sheffield to arrive hopefully tomorrow.

Further Loco motives will be sent for DCC conversion (with sound where possible) until all stock has been upgraded and available for traffic duties.  Those that are not up-gradable/convertible will be gracefully retired to the “Ennitoun Railway Museum).

Click on image to view Locomotive Register