Download Bulletin in PDF format here …


While HM Government takes some tentative steps to get the country moving again, the problem of contagion remains. This core issue will colour the way we interact with each other for some time to come. Enclosed spaces are particularly difficult environments for managing social distancing and so, for the time being, TSMEE remains closed.

In due course, and at an appropriate time, the Committee will put measures in place for compliance with social distancing rules so that some activities can re-commence. Sadly that time is yet to come.
In the meanwhile, here’s another good read for you.


A very warm welcome is extended to Robin Hedley and Adrian Morley who joined us recently. They are also both members of the Beamish Model Engineering Group.

Club Matters:
Grounds …

Covid-19 has not stopped the grass growing, nor has it got other important tasks done. Ian Spencer, Dave Nesbitt & Jim Scott are co-ordinating maintenance visits to the site. A special Risk Assessment is in place for these very limited activities. This is NOT to be seen as a partial re-opening, so Members must please not presume they can start turning up again.

Club Sign Peter Newby reports …

Just an update on the sign. I have had some correspondence with John Mills – the delay is that he is trying to get the stainless at a sensible price. I have put him onto M-Machine – maybe they can do something. He intends doing a mild steel test piece first and it will be part of a Sunday Night Night-Cap so that should be interesting.

The video is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9kx70i7c7A , 4 minutes 57 seconds in if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.


Because of the lockdown, the 2020 AGM was held on-line and by post. Closing date for voting was 5th June. Thirty-five voting papers were returned. The proceedings are thus deemed to be quorate. The outcome is as follows …

Chairman – Peter Newby, Treasurer – Ian Spencer, Secretary – Linda Nicholls, Site Managers (Joint Posts) – John Lazzari & Norman Blacklock, Workshop Manager – Steve Lowe, Programme Manager – Malcolm Phillips, Lay Members – Brian Benton, Stu Davidson, Robin Evans, Brian Nicholls, John Rowley.

In support
Newsletter Editor – Mike Maguire, Webmaster – John Rowley, Librarian – Stu Davidson, Assistant Librarian – Helen Yeeles, Accounts Examiners – Diana Blackburn & Peter Dawes.

Member’s Doings

hover/click – and image reveals all ….


Engineers can be curious creatures, in the sense of being inquisitive rather than weird (though they can be that too !). Manifestation of this trait can sometimes be seen in the strange or wondrous objects some have around their homes or workshops. They find them interesting, either because of some special significance or just for their own sake.
After reading Lindsay Oliver’s item about a piece of WWI trench art (Bull. No.3), it occurred to me that others might find these things quite interesting too. So, shamelessly plagiarising the title of the eponymous BBC TV show, I’m giving space for an occasional Quite Interesting feature where these things can be shared.
By way of example, I’ll kick off with a pair of railway signalling instruments. These came from a derelict ground-frame which once operated the crossover just south of South Gosforth Station. After BR abandoned the North Tyne Loop and its subsequent conversion to the Tyneside Metro, the redundant and up-ended frame mouldered in the line-side undergrowth by Stoneyhurst Road bridge for many more years. The remains finally disappeared in the 1990s.

On the left is a two-position indicator for Locked / Free and the right is a three-position indicator for Train on Line / Line Blocked / Line Clear. The original labellings were on thin card and so mildewed as to be almost unreadable. They disintegrated when removed and I never got round to making new ones. QI ? Now, what have you got … ?


“Newsletter” or “Bulletin” ? Various people have asked me what the difference is. In truth, there’s not much now ! The title “Newsletter” was inherited from my predecessor, and there seemed no good reason not to continue with it as it concerned itself almost wholly with Club News. However, when a couple of Workshop items came up for disposal, it was felt that a Newsletter wasn’t quite the right thing for just a single announcement, so the “Bulletin” was born. It was anticipated that this title would appear only very occasionally, in similar circumstances.
Fast-forward to Lockdown, and the idea of Members sharing their activities in print. As the content was expected to be anything but Club News, the “Bulletin” seemed to be the right vehicle. Unfortunately, this distinction is breaking down, as evidenced in this issue.
Casting around for a way out of this titular dilemma, I was aware of the Ffestiniog Railway’s on-line news sheet, rather cleverly called “Inside Motion”. As I’m sure they don’t have exclusive ownership of the words, I propose to adopt them here for future issues. Grateful acknowledgement is given to the FR for the inspiration.
So, there will now be just a single publication, produced on an ad-hoc basis, carrying anything and everything about the Club’s or its Member’s activities.
Of which, thanks and credits to the contributors who have made this issue possible. To the rest of you – get writing !
Finally, to those who get this via snail-mail, spare a thought and a thankyou for your long-suffering Secretary, Linda Nicholls, who does all the print-work and mailing for you at home.

Contact info …
  • Newsletter/Bulletin Editor – Mike Maguire – mike.maguire@btinternet.com
  • Club Secretary – Linda Nicholls – lindanic@sky.com – 01 670 816072
  • Website – www.tsmee.co.uk Webmaster – John Rowley – webmaster@tsmee.co.uk

Goings-on at the Site under Relaxed Lockdown Special Arrangements

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