Sorry to say that owing to the on going Covid problems my garden railway will not be open to the public in July, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe we'll at least get a chance in September.
This week I lost a very good friend to cancer, Tom Cunliffe who I first met when working in Hastings 30 years ago lost his battle with cancer last week. Tom was always very supportive to me in many ways especially when it came to music, a excellent guitarist and mandolin player he gave me the push I needed to keep playing and to try new things. In the YouTube link above you can see him performing one of his own songs which is, in my mind, brilliant and is part of a lovely legacy - please do give it a listen and also please do search for his many other musical clips on YouTube.
Not that I'm much good at it but over the last few weeks I've been playing a lot more with my guitars and added a couple of new ones too. None of them are high value instruments but all play nicely and are fun! The latest two to enter the collection are a Revelation RTE54 which is a very close run thing to a Telecaster and a Vintage V100 which is similar to a Les Paul.
Here's a couple of things that might entertain you whilst you try to keep clear of anyone else during the continued lock down. Firstly my good friend Eamonn MacNeill has been compiling a database of folk and acoustic artists from all round the world, the database contains reviews, links to the artist home pages and YouTube clips. Do have a look and feel free to comment and offer Eamonn further suggestions on the pages and other artists he might include:-Eamonn's real music pages
Secondly many of you will already know that apart from the railway round my house I also have an N gauge model railway indoors. This model has engines fitted with DCC sound i.e. the locomotives sound like miniature versions of the real things. This is all very well I thought but the rest of the layout seems dead so with that in mind I started my 'soundscape' project to pipe various sounds into the layout. Now birds, dogs, cats and many other noises can be heard, follow the link below to have a play and please do let me know what you think - especially have a play with the Tannoy announcements!The soundscape project
Well here we go with 2020! I wonder what this year will have in store for us? 2019 was a busy year, loads of new bits to discover in the high tech world of computing and smart phones and of course the railway had more visitors than ever before. Lets hope that 2020 sees more of the same!
I've been doing a bit of work behind the scenes on these pages so hopefully the photos should be set out and look a bit better - please do let me know if there are any odd ones.
The blatchington branch garden railway was open for visitors three weekends during 2019, over the 6 days hundreds of people came along for a ride round and sample Jan's increasingly famous buffet. A really big thanks to all my helpers who keep things going over the weekends, with their help and your generosity we raised a total of £1,860 for 3 different charities! Thankyou everyone and see you towards the end of April 2020 for the next event!The blatchington branch garden railway
With slightly over a week till the next open weekend I was invited by Len Fisher of Seahaven FM to come along to their studios to talk about the railway and what we get up to over the open weekends. All went very well as you can find out for yourself by clicking on the listen again links below!The branch on the radio part 1 - about 1 hour
There are now several text to speech services that you can plug into your web site to get them 'talking' to you but so far few sites take advantage of this facility. I've recently been playing with such systems to get the Tannoy working on my soundscape project and as a result of this work have added some new features to the feedback form on the contact details page listed in the contents section above. Now if you miss a field in the feedback form and try and submit it you will be told which field is missing or if there is a problem with the email address, please try it and let me know if it is useful or annoying! I certainly think that the technique would be very useful on large forms where it can be quite tricky to spot where you've gone wrong.
NVDA 2020.1 has now been released offering the usual range of updates and performance improvements including technical upgrades that will make differences possible in future releases, link this with BRLTTY 6.0 and Firefox 77.0.1 and users will have a very fast and effective web access suite which is all free of charge! (please make donations to the products if you can to keep the development of future releases possible).
Many visitors to my garden railway will have come across my good friend Marc Tiltman who helps me run & maintain the engines & track, few will know that he suffers from Meniere's disease which effects his hearing & balance. To help spread the knowledge about this disease we have drafted a new page on this site with details of the problem & possible sources of help.The new Meniere's page
Following a visit from David & Alexander Henshaw from Miniature railway magazine earlier this year I'm very pleased to say that the Blatchington branch, my garden railway, is featured in issue 39 of the publication which is released today. For more details click on the link below:-Miniature Railway issue 39 is out now as a 99p digital download!
For those of you currently on DLA you might find the following link of interest, it's a very strange & scarey process for many, people being told that you cant be blind as you are looking at them etc. & that is from the expert assessing you for the benefit! Don't panic though, many are successful with their claim.PIP assistance
Went to my good friend Mike gold's 50th a few days ago & Jan managed to catch this picture of St. Paul's church Chigwell - hope you like it.
Great to be able to say something nice about a shop for once, I'd like to thank the staff at Morrisons Seaford for their friendly help when I visit the store with my guide dog Kraken. Even at the busiest times they manage to assist.
Thanks to John Squire I was lucky enough to get a trip to the Lynton & Barnstaple railway in his 1931 Rolls Royce to attend the lines gala weekend at the end of September. Pictured above is the car with Sid, one of the locos that was in steam for the weekend - a boys dream too, I had the chance to drive the loco for a couple of minutes! Many thanks to Tony Nicholson for the copy of the picture - my camera decided to play up at the vital moment!
Just to show the world my mum was not the only person with green fingers in this family, mind you it does help that it is the sort of plant you can forget for up to a month without the bloody thing dying on you!
Just a small bit of legal stuff here, although most of the material contained in these pages is largely in the public domain please do contact me before using any text, photos or videos to double check that they are free to use.
Site last amended - 22 June 2020 at 16:30