Bloke with a camera essex
Other kits from the likes of Wills, K's, Nu-Cast, Cornard/Mc Gowan and Craftsman gave me quick routes to other types as well.
RTR locos were rejected as being unsuitable (how times change), apart from some Hornby-Dublo A4 bodies running on scratch-built chassis, hauling Wills' tenders.
Although I'd spotted that you'd just been to Bishop Auckland*, contrary to the impression I may convey at times, I don't spend hours every day glued to my computer, scouring every possible page of every model railway website for new entries, so I've only just noticed that you're active on here again Tony - but it's good to see! * With soap and clean clothing too, let's hope the fashion catches on with some show visitors.......
Fordley Park, from Wolverhampton MRC, had been invited to the Warley Show at the end of the '70s/early-'80s.
Gadgets like an accurate horizontal milling machine, Boxford lathe, large pillar drill and Gabro bending machine allowed the almost mass-production of body bits and chassis (four A4 sets of frames along with their rods could be made in one go - sweat eight strips of curtain rail thickness brass together, do the same with the rods (strips of code 100 bullhead rail), mill a true edge, use the rods for marking out the axle spacings, centre drill, one eighth interference drill and ream out, mill the cut-out for the motor, separate and He-Presto there you go.
Because the frames were so thick, no bearings were necessary. Niceties which I expect today (indeed, insist upon) were not considered.
In those days it was held at the Harry Mitchell Centre, and was considered one of the top shows (obviously, it is now THE top show).
How Fordley Park became an Eastern Region layout is a complex story, but suffice to say, as originally exhibited, the layout was a bit of a disaster - even after all those years, its appearance at Joseph Leckie School in Walsall still makes me shudder.
In a way it was 'old-fashioned' modelling as I saw it.Compared to what's seen on RMWeb now, Fordley Park doesn't stack up.