This site was first published on 16th April 2008 and has been updated on the dates below. It is usually updated for the first day of each month, but may not be updated every month as there may be nothing to add, and there may be extra updates, if required, at other times. To read this page from the beginning click here.

 1st November 2017

In October Sunderland District gained a Wheel Table at the end of the blacksmith and wheelwrights shop and the Beamish Venture bus is finally finished and running.

 1st October 2017

September has been a busy month with all of the stored articles from various magazines and the local paper published over recent years scanned and added to the main menu under Magazine Articles while on Beamish the 'Venture' bus body has finally been painted and the automatic control for the buses is now installed and working.

The Foxwood Park Double Fairlie is now finished, the faulty IRDOT-2D has been replaced, the new servo motor controller has been fitted and both analogue servo motors have been replaced with digital ones. Finally the second cross bench Pier Tram has been completed for Ravenscar Pier.

 1st September 2017

The main news this month is that Ravenscar Pier Tramway and Funicular was described in a three page feature in the September edition of Railway Modeller which can be read here. The Beamish horse bus is finally finished and is displayed at the end of the Co-op.

 1st August 2017

For a number of reasons there has been very little time spent on the tramways so, for the first time since 2012, there is no update this month.

 1st July 2017

Because of holidays and other distractions the update this month is much smaller than usual with some extra links added to the Home page and an update to the Beamish Construction Blog.

 1st June 2017

The Beamish 'Access' bus build is continuing and, instead of being unpacked and packed at each exhibition, the steam road vehicles have all been fixed in place with a screw into the fixing hole between the rear wheels.

Last month, Rebecca Flynn, one of Railway Modeller's photographers, visited and took lots of photos of Ravenscar Pier for an article in the magazine and Steve Flint has indicated that it should appear in the September issue.

 1st May 2017

The Beamish 'Newcastle Corporation' Bus is finished and the Access bus is progressing. Two new pages have been added in conjunction with Alan Kirkman, The first page describes how a common Tenshodo problem can be solved and the second page describes how to build a variable wheelbase chassis using Halling all-wheel-drive bogies, a Halling motor and silicone tube.

A second cross bench tram body for Ravenscar Pier has arrived as a birthday present from the family. A trial run on Beamish for Sunderland No.100 proved unsuccessful so, reluctantly, it is only able to run on Foxwood Park.

 10th April 2017

Today sees the upload of a brief illustrated report describing the enlarged and very successful sixth Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition held as part of the Great North Steam Fair which was enjoyed by its visitors, exhibitors and traders.

 1st April 2017

The Beamish 'Newcastle Corporation' Bus is almost finished and has been added to the Buses section of the Photo Gallery, the bus stops are all finished and working using the dual servo controller from Foxwood Park to control two of the stops and the Access Bus is being built and may be ready for the enlarged Sixth Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition on April 8/9th so please come and support us as we'd love to see you there.

 1st March 2017

The Beamish 'Northern' Bus is finished and has been added to the new Buses section of the Photo Gallery but the 'Newcastle' Bus needs a rebuild before it is painted. The Foxwood Park Sunderland Tram No.100 is now Halling powered so that it can run on Beamish and the new Ravenscar Pier Tram was a great success at its first exhibition in South Shields.

 1st February 2017

January has been rather busy with the Foxwood Park Double Fairlie locomotive finished for the time being, the Ravenscar Pier Tram finished ready to be exhibited at Model Rail 2017 in South Shields this month and the Beamish magnetic tape removed, re-installed the right way up, tested with the bus and the road surface re-instated.

The Ravenscar Pier Trams & Seascape page has been updated with a photo and text added describing the new cross bench tram and the Foxwood Park Trams, Trains & Townscape page has also been updated reflecting the locomotive changes which have occurred.

 1st January 2017

The Beamish Northern and Newcastle Corporation Buses have both been painted in primer, the Northern in grey and the Newcastle in white, and two Christmas presents will give a Double Fairlie locomotive for the Foxwood Park railway and a new tram for Ravenscar Pier when they are assembled and painted.

As two of the Blackpool trams in the Beamish fleet are being returned to their home town, and one has never run at Beamish, two of the Beamish pages have been amended to reflect the changes. These are the Trams and Townscape page and the Photo Gallery where the page layout has been split into three sections, so Blackpool No.284 has been removed and Sunderland No.101 has changed from being a Beamish tram to become a visitor.

A new page entitled Halling Tram Chassis has been added to the Beamish menu. It describes the Halling four wheeled chassis and the Halling based bogie chassis which are fitted to the Beamish fleet.

 1st December 2016

The Ravenscar Cliff Tramway is finally 'finished' with the addition of a Peco Town back scene behind the top station, more details on the Construction Blog. The Building the Cliff Tramway page has been revised with the addition of a wiring diagram for the reed switches and diodes, some new photos and a new video. In the light of new information received the Background and Board Plan page has been revised and a fourth video has been added to the Video Gallery.

The Beamish Daimler chassis is almost finished so another photo has been added to the Construction Blog and Model Town Tramways was exhibited at the Tyneside Exhibition with its second board, details on the Construction Blog.

All pages have been updated to meet the relatively new 'Responsive Website Design' guidelines as Google have decided that, in future, if a website is to appear in their listings it needs to be more tablet and mobile phone friendly.

As this will be the last update before Christmas, may I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. The next update will be ready for January 1st 2017.

 1st November 2016

Last month I received some letters that our friend and T.L.R.S. NE Area member the late Bill Davison sent to one of his friends between 1990 and 2003. Amongst these letters were some photos of his G scale model tramway and an article from the May 1994 edition of CONTINENTAL MODELLER describing his method of making G scale buildings from polystyrene ceiling tiles.

This brought back memories of a talk and demonstration he gave to our T.L.R.S. North East area many years ago and prompted me to describe his method here. There are four pages about Bill Davison, including his G Scale Tramway, Buildings and Obituary.

One of the KeilKraft B type London bus kits has now been motorised for Beamish but the chassis is not yet finished. Some details and photos are on the Construction Blog. This month a request was received for a diagram of a 2-rail wired automatic crossing which has been prepared and added to the revised Single Stops for Two-Rail page.

 1st October 2016

Bayer-Garratt NG/G16 No.143 at Caernarfon

A holiday at Porthmadog in North Wales watching, and riding behind, Double Fairlie's on the Ffestiniog Railway and Beyer-Garratt's, the most powerful narrow gauge steam locomotives in the world, on the Welsh Highland Railway has meant that not much has been done this month.

However, in response to a website request, two Double Track Automatic Crossing diagrams have been produced and added to the Linked Stops for Live Overhead page so all three of the Automatic Tram Stops pages have been revised.

Next month Foxwood Park will be at the Shildon Model Railway Exhibition on the 8/9th and Ravenscar Pier will be at the Hartlepool Model Railway Show on the 22/23rd.


 1st September 2016

The number of visitors to this website finally passed the magic 100,000 on August 10th, so my thanks must go to everyone who has viewed my efforts and others who have contributed articles or photos over the last 8 years, while not forgetting my website widow Margaret for her patience and understanding for the thousands of hours I have spent at the keyboard producing what you see today.

This date arrived somewhat sooner than expected due to a mention in an article entitled 'Lochsanda Tramway' in the August edition of 'Railway Modeller' which dramatically increased our visitor numbers. The authors, Lyn and Jim Owers, used the information from the Single Stops for Live Overhead page to provide automatic running on 'Lochsanda Tramway'.

Another visiting tram has arrived for Beamish and the Ravenscar Pier cliff tramway board has received its back and end scenes and a polycarbonate enclosure on the front so it now matches the pier board. The 2017 Beamish Tramway Exhibition is now fully booked and the page has been updated with all the latest details.

 1st August 2016

Before its appearance at the Festival of Model Tramways, Beamish had new track laid in the fiddle yard to move all of the stops out of sight behind the back scene. The magnetic strip for the buses was moved to clear the new traction poles, the bus road through the fiddle yard completed and the street lights replaced with LED ones.

The Beamish Photo Gallery is now available to view and a video of Beamish in action at the Festival of Model Tramways in Manchester has been added to the Video Gallery.

 1st July 2016

Best in Show Awards

After exhibiting since 2002 we finally won our first 'Best in Show' award in 2014. Here are the three awards our model tramways have won since then.

The Ron Railston Memorial Trophy on the right was won by Foxwood Park at the St. Bede's Model Railway Exhibition, Blyth in October 2014.

The Malcolm Priestman Memorial Trophy in the centre was won by Sunderland Tramways at the Hartlepool Model Rail Exhibition in October 2015.

The one on the left was won by Ravenscar Pier at the Middlesbrough Model Railway Club Exhibition in May 2016.

Foxwood Park was out on June 18/19th at the first Bowes Railway Model Railway Exhibition at Springwell near Gateshead. Four additional photos have been added to the end of its Photo Gallery. A question about the availability of Swansea & Mumbles model trams has been added to the Your Questions Answered page.

 1st June 2016

The frontage of the corner building which houses the Photographer and Chemist shops on Beamish has been updated with a photo of the actual building.

Ravenscar Pier won the 'Best in Show' Award at the Middlesbrough Model Railway Club Exhibition on only its first outing to a model railway exhibition after the funicular tramway was added. The Photo Gallery has had some extra photos added.

At the Middlesbrough Model Railway Club Exhibition there were many questions about sources and painting of Edwardian figures, so a new page 4 mm Edwardian Figures has been added to both the Build Your Own and Ravenscar Pier menus which goes some way to answering them.

 1st May 2016

Peter Rose has supplied some recent photos of the improvements to Country Town which Peter and Harry have made. Details and photos can be found on a new page entitled Additions & Improvements.

The latest improvement to Ravenscar Pier has been made to the carousel which now has a more traditional style banner giving the owners name rather than the decorated one.

The 2017 Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition page has now been added. It will be held on April 8/9th and the list of invited exhibitors is included on the page.

 1st April 2016

Four more visiting trams have arrived for Beamish. They are Manchester No.765, Blackpool 'Boat' No.233, Blackpool Ex-towing Car No.280 and Blackpool Standard No.147. Newcastle No.102 has had its new Halling based chassis fitted so it has now run on Beamish as well as on Foxwood Park.

The almost completed Ravenscar Pier cliff tramway was exhibited at the Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition early in March. An illustrated page describing how it was built has been added to the Pier menu and most of the other pages have been rewritten to include it.

 7th March 2016

Today sees an upload of a brief illustrated report describing the very successful Beamish 'Power From The Past' Model Tramway Exhibition.

 1st March 2016

Ravenscar Pier improvements have continued with 16 LED's being fitted on the carousel as a number of the LED's on the original strip had stopped working. Work has continued on the second board with the electrics and most of the buildings completed.

The Fawcett Street Circular construction page has been rewritten by its builder Ian Jameson and now includes some of his photos. Some of the original material from the Construction page has been added to the Background and Board Plan page.

Work on Beamish has continued with another 50 figures being painted and added before Model Rail 2016 at South Shields. Please remember that the Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition is next weekend, March 5/6th, so please come and support us as we'd love to see you there.

 1st February 2016

This month sees the first pages describing a new 4 mm / ft model tramway added, Fawcett Street Circular is the work of Ian Jameson, another North East modeller, who is exhibiting it at the Beamish Exhibition in early March.

Ravenscar Pier improvements continue with work starting on a second board which will have as its main interest a funicular cliff tramway which will be ready in time for the Beamish Exhibition in March.

Beamish has had more figures, including the band, added mainly in the park. It will be exhibited again at South Shields in February and Perth Green (Jarrow) in March.

 1st January 2016

The Linked Stops for Live Overhead page has been amended and now includes an extra diagram, Figure 3a, which describes how a stationary tram on one track can be started by a tram on an adjacent track.

Ravenscar Pier is booked to appear at the Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition next March so a start has been made on some repairs and improvements.

Beamish has had its first 40 figures (visitors and staff) added and now has a Video Gallery with one video taken at the Blyth & Tyne Model Railway Society's RAILEX NE Exhibition in December.

 1st December 2015

After being told that Windows 10 Edge will not play any of the website videos, this has prompted an upload of all the video files to Gordon Bulmer's new YouTube channel. All of the videos can be viewed on here as they were before the change as well as on YouTube.

Beamish has been out again, this time at Tyneside Model Railway Exhibition which was held in Gateshead Stadium but because of the yellow lighting there is only one photo. After the exhibition the overhead in the fiddle yard was transferred to the new poles and some potential visiting trams were run for clearance trials.

Moving Road Rollers is the new name for the Driving the Road Rollers page and now includes the 4 mm / ft Oxford Diecast Roller and 5 mm / ft Dinky Roller as well as the 5 mm / ft Matchbox Roller. The second copy of the page has been moved from Sunderland District menu to the Sunderland Tramways menu.

 1st November 2015

Sunderland Tramways was exhibited at Hartlepool Model Rail Exhibition where it was voted 'The Most Enjoyable Layout' in the show and was awarded the Malcolm Priestman Memorial Trophy.

There were so many questions asking how the road rollers on Sunderland Tramways work that an extra page entitled 'Driving the Road Rollers' has been added to the Build Your Own and the Sunderland District menus.

The park board backscenes have been added to Beamish and some new Tramalan traction poles have been fitted in the fiddle yard area behind the backscenes.

 1st October 2015

Beamish had its backscene sky paper and temporary photo backscenes added before the Heaton Park Exhibition in early September and the photo scenes added to the town board permanently in the days following.

The park board backscenes had to be redesigned and reprinted so they should be completed by the next update. The Co-op canopy has been built and added to the front of the building. Details and photos on the 'Construction Blog'.

 1st September 2015

As John Docherty has sold Blackpool Seafront to a new owner, it and the Gordon Douglas' pages have been moved to the Retired Tramways section at the bottom of the Model Tramways page.

 1st August 2015

Holidays have again intervened with no further work being done on Beamish but some additions have been made to Foxwood Park, see the Construction Blog for the latest news. An additional page entitled Building the Bandstand has been added to both the 'Beamish' and the 'Build Your Own' menus.

John Docherty has just announced that his Blackpool Seafront tramway is for sale, on the Tramway Modelling Facebook page, as he is currently building another model tramway and does not have room to store both.

 1st July 2015

Not much news this month but significant progress has been made on Beamish. See the latest news on the Construction Blog.

 1st June 2015

Holidays have intervened but some more work has been done on Beamish. The new dates for the 2016 Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition have recently been confirmed. The home page slide show has also been refreshed with new photos.

 1st May 2015

A lot of work was done on Beamish before the Beamish Exhibition but there is much more still to do. A striped roof has been added to the Ravenscar Pier carousel, details are on the Pier Blog. An additional page, Trams and Seascape, has been added to the Pier menu and the Pier Photo Gallery has been updated.

 12th April 2015

Today sees an upload of the brief illustrated Beamish 'The Great North Steam Fair' Exhibition Report.

 1st April 2015

Don't forget to see the only Model Tramway Exhibition in the North East of England at Beamish on April 11/12th in the Collections Study Room close to the Foulbridge tram and bus stops.

Work on Beamish continued and will be exhibited at the Beamish Exhibition in April and Model Town Tramways was 'completed' and exhibited at Perth Green Exhibition in March. An additional page, Trams & Townscape, has been added to the Beamish menu.

 1st March 2015

This month there is a further update to the Beamish Blog and a major update to the Model Town Tramways Blog, which according to John Docherty is now 'finished', describing progress made with both tramways.

Don't forget that Ravenscar Pier will be at Birtley Model Railway Exhibition on March 7/8th and Blackpool Seafront, Foxwood Park, Wearmouth and our new Model Town Tramways will be at Perth Green Exhibition in Jarrow on March 14/15th. Location details are on the Where to see Us page. Please call and introduce yourself.

 1st February 2015

The main news this month is that we have had another young tram modeller join our ranks, as after requests from his son Jack aged 8, John Docherty has helped him build an N gauge tramway. It is called 'Model Town Tramways' and has been added to the Model Tramways menu and its Background, Board Plan and Front View, Exhibition Diary and Construction Blog can be found by clicking on the links.

This month there are updates to the Beamish Blog, the Foxwood Park Blog and the Ravenscar Pier Blog describing progress made with each tramway. A new page has been added to the 'Beamish Model Tramway Exhibitions' menu giving early details of the 2016 event and more questions have been added to the Your Questions Answered page.

 1st January 2015

This month there is an update to the Ravenscar Pier Blog and the addition of a new page entitled 'Converting a Liliput H0e Coach' to both the Ravenscar Pier and the Build Your Own Menus. There is an update to the Beamish Blog and the addition of a first draft Construction & Automation page to the Beamish Menu. This page will have occasional updates as the tramway is built. For 2015 the Home page slide show has been refreshed with new photos.

 1st December 2014

This month there are updates to the Beamish Blog showing the prototype for the eighth tram in the model fleet, the Foxwood Park Blog and the Ravenscar Pier Blog describing how the Liliput coach was converted into a tram.

 1st November 2014

This month there are updates to the Beamish Blog, the Foxwood Park Blog, the Ravenscar Pier Blog and the Home Page Gallery.

 1st October 2014

Holidays have again slowed progress, but there are updates to the Beamish Blog, the Foxwood Park Blog, the Ravenscar Pier Blog and to the list of exhibitors for the Beamish 2015 Exhibition.

 1st September 2014

7 year old Harry Trueman's Country Town has been added to the Model Tramways, there are three pages, Background and Track Plan, Construction and Exhibition Diary.

Alan Kirkman has supplied some photos of the first two trams he has built for Beamish. They are Oporto No.196 and Sheffield No.264. Three photos have been added to the Blog.

A Video Gallery has been added to Blackpool Seafront. At present it contains one video which was taken at the Perth Green Exhibition in March 2014. The home page slide show has also been refreshed with new photos.

 1st August 2014

Due to holidays and an extended bout of ill health, nothing more has been done on Beamish, so there is only a small update this month. The September update will describe 7 year old Harry Trueman's Country Town tramway. It will include a Background page, Construction page and Exhibition Diary.

 1st July 2014

Alan Kirkman built the Beamish overhead at the end of May. He also brought two of his trams, Stockport No. 5 and Grimsby & Immingham No. 26 (Gateshead No.10), to test the overhead and track.

The recent purchase of a Model Sounds Master Blaster was used successfully with Ravenscar Pier at the Shildon Exhibition and played beach sounds for most of the weekend. Its use to play occasional steam train sounds, on Beamish, will be investigated at some time in the future.

The date of the 2015 Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition has been announced. It will be part of the 'Great North Steam Fair' and will be on April 11/12th during the usual Beamish opening times of 10 am until 5 pm.

 1st June 2014

All of the Beamish traction poles have been fitted and the overhead will be built by Alan Kirkman late in May so there should be some photos next month. Further progress on Beamish will be rather slow as the buildings are needed before much more work can be done although the road will be brought up to just below rail head level.

All of the photos on the site have now been given a black border which has improved the look of the pages concerned and most of the drawings have been updated and some are now shown in white but the board plans remain in page colour. The 'Build Your Own Trams, Buildings and Points' page has been renamed 'Build Your Own'.

 1st May 2014

During April the Movie Maker Home page slide show was replaced, after some experiments, with one from Cincopa.com which gives an immediately available show which will have the photos changed more often in future.

The new motor for the roundabout has arrived and been fitted. Its control board is fully adjustable and full details are on the Ravenscar Pier blog. As a result both of the Building the Roundabout pages have been updated,

As some Edwardian ladies were made for Sunderland District and Ravenscar Pier last month's feature on 'Making Edwardian ladies from Dapol men' on the Beamish blog has been added to both the Ravenscar Pier blog and at the end of the Sunderland District Trams, Townscape & People page.

Finally some progress has been made on construction of the back scene boards for Beamish.

 8th April 2014

Today sees an upload of the brief illustrated Beamish 'The Edwardians at Play' Exhibition Report.

 1st April 2014

Don't forget to see us all at the Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition on April 5 / 6th in the Collections Study Room which will be signposted from the Foulbridge tram and bus stops.

The Beamish track and power supply are now wired and one tram has been run using a wander lead. As some extra figures are needed for the Beamish Town Street some Dapol men have been converted into Edwardian women. Details and photos are on the Beamish blog.

The Narrow Planet name plates for the Foxwood Park locomotives have arrived and been fitted. At the Perth Green Exhibition the tram was run with the battery trailer and Hudson coach all day on both days, details and photo are on the Ravenscar Pier blog.

 1st March 2014

Track laying has been completed on Beamish. It will be built with live overhead and have automatic tram stops, single line access and fiddle yard, all of these are described on the Single Stops for Live Overhead page.

A video taken at Model Rail South Shields has been added to the Foxwood Park Video Gallery and the 'Building 4 mm / ft Sprung Tramway Points' has been added to the Beamish menu in addition to being on the 'Build Your Own Trams, Buildings and Points' menu.

 1st February 2014

The 3D printed locomotive body from C W Railways is now ready for use, photo on the Foxwood Park blog and some more exhibition dates have been added to the Where to see us page. Little progress has been made with Beamish Town, details are on the blog.

The menu 'Trams and Building from Card' has been renamed 'Build Your Own Trams, Buildings and Points' and has had a new page added entitled Building Sprung Tramway Points in 4 mm / ft using photos taken by Alan Kirkman while he was building one of my sets of points.

One visitor in January received a 'Page not Found' message when he clicked on the faulty link at the bottom of the Sunderland Corporation Trams & Townscape page. The link has now been corrected and tested.

 1st January 2014

This month sees the start of our latest tramway which will be based on the Town at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North. The Introduction and Track Plan, Exhibition Diary and Construction Blog pages are now available to view. The intention is to have it ready for the Beamish Exhibition in April 2015 and the blog will be updated with the latest progress in the construction of the tramway.

As the Tramways and Model Trams links page was getting too long, the Model Trams links have been split from the Tram and Tramways links to give an extra page.

 1st December 2013

The second C W Railways 3D printed side tank locomotive body and Kato 11-103 power unit have arrived and the body is being cleaned up and painted ready for its debut on Foxwood Park next year along with an ambulance attending an emergency.

The Ravenscar Pier bathing machines are built and in place, a photo can be found on the Construction Blog and an alternative method of motorising Corgi 4-wheel trams using a Halling Vario has been added to the Motorising Diecast Trams menu.

 1st November 2013

The Foxwood Park Baldwin steam locomotive has been replaced by a steam tram engine and some trees have been added to the Park. Details of the changes and a BCH Minitrains spare parts warning can be found on the Blog.

The Sunderland Corporation Trams and Townscape page has been rewritten to describe, with photos, how the Corgi trams were modified to be more accurate models before being motorised and repainted. The Sunderland District Trams and Townscape page has also been changed to include how the window alterations to two of the trams were done.

 1st October 2013

As Mark Casson has confirmed that the 2-rail Automatic Tram Stop works with 4-wheel trams the page has been updated to cover this new development.

After seeing a photo, in our local paper, of an Edwardian family beside a bathing machine we thought some would be a useful addition for Ravenscar Pier. View the blog to see the photo.

The Motorise a OOC Feltham and the Motorise a Matchbox Y-15 pages have both had a extra photo and extra text added.

 1st September 2013

After looking at this website on an iPad it was discovered that the video files used are not supported by the iPad operating system so the home page slide show and all of the videos have been changed to mp4 format.

In addition a number of exhibition bookings have been added to the Where to See Us page and to the relevant tramway exhibition diaries.

 1st August 2013

As Internet Explorer 10 does not display the slide show on the Home page, it has been replaced with a Windows Movie Maker slide show.

The Ravenscar Pier Video Gallery has been added and both of the Building the Roundabout pages have had the last photo replaced by a video. These were also prepared using Windows Movie Maker. The three petrol locomotives and the Hudson coach have arrived on the Pier. Details can be found on the Pier blog.

As the Foxwood Park railway locomotives have been doing too much running, the electronic modules have been removed and it has been re-wired to provide an automatic stop with a manual start.

 1st July 2013

A new Windows 7 computer was purchased in early June which has taken some time to get to grips with. It was surprising to find that Internet Explorer 10 does not display the website as it did in Explorer 8 so a lot of time has been spent this month making changes to almost every page on the site to suit both 8 and 10.

After the next update on August 1st, when almost all the pages making up this site will have been updated, its appearance in Internet Explorer 10 should be similar to that in Explorer 8.

 1st June 2013

The replacement photos of the rebuilt Sunderland District Works Car have been uploaded to the Building the Works Car pages and the Photo Gallery. Some dates have been added to the Where to See Us page and there is also a small update to the Ravenscar Pier Blog.

 1st May 2013

As Blackpool Seafront is now exhibition ready, this month sees the last major blog update from John Docherty. There will be further small updates as additional work is completed and more pages, including a photo gallery, will be available in the future. The Sunderland District Works Car has been rebuilt, improved and weathered by Margaret, new photos next month.

 8th April 2013

Today sees a special update of 'Our Friends Electric' Exhibition report, and an addition to the Foxwood Park blog with photos showing the two trams which were on loan for the event.

 1st April 2013

The Blackpool Seafront blog has been updated and the home page slide show has been refreshed. As I now have a camera which takes quality video, a Video Gallery, with one video, has been added to the Sunderland Corporation menu and the trolley reverser video has been replaced and a second video added to the Sunderland District Video Gallery.

Our next exhibition is the 'Our Friends Electric' Model Tramway Exhibition on the 6 - 7 th of April at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, where it will be helping the Museum celebrate the 40th Anniversary of its Tramway. At Beamish there will be at least one additional tram running on Foxwood Park as Alan Kirkman has built Grimsby & Immingham No. 26 which should be running during the exhibition.

 1st March 2013

John Docherty is making great progress with Blackpool Seafront, his latest update has been added to the Blog.

A new page showing how to motorise the Oxford Diecast N gauge tram has been added to the Motorising Diecast Trams menu.

 1st February 2013

An update from John Docherty about the progress made on Blackpool Seafront has been added to the Construction Blog and Peter Rose has sent me a new page entitled Additions and Improvements made to Wearmouth.

A recent question has been added to the top of the Your Questions Answered page and the Beamish Exhibitions pages have been reformatted in line with the rest of the site.

For those who have asked, the March update should contain a new page describing how to motorise an Oxford Diecast N gauge tram.

 1st January 2013

This month sees the addition of a photo gallery to the Ravenscar Pier menu and a change of presentation for most pages. These changes have photographs and diagrams on the left side of the page and text on the right.

A further update from John Docherty on the progress made on Blackpool Seafront has been added to the reformatted Construction Blog. In addition, as John now has some exhibition appearances booked, a Blackpool Seafront Exhibition Diary page has also been added.

 1st December 2012

John Docherty has updated the Blackpool Seafront construction blog which you can read. This month has seen work start on the scenery.

 1st November 2012

This month sees the launch of the Blackpool Seafront Construction Blog written by John Docherty. This blog will be regularly updated by John with the latest progress in the construction of his tramway.

Another tram has been added to the Foxwood Park operating fleet. Newcastle No. 96 was built by Alan Kirkman and as usual is motorised by a Bachmann Brill mechanism. To view more details please click on the Construction Blog. No. 96 has also been added to the Foxwood Park Photo Gallery.

The 2013 Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition is now fully booked. A list of the Tramways to be featured can be found on the Beamish 2013 Exhibition page. It is being held in the Collections Study Room (same place as last year) on April 6 / 7th as part of the 4 day celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of Beamish Tramways which has been titled 'Our Friends Electric'.

 1st October 2012

This month, the beginnings of 'Blackpool Seafront', a 2-rail wired exhibition model tramway in 4mm scale has been added. It is the work of John Docherty, another North East modeller and T.L.R.S. member. It has been added to the Model Tramways menu.

This is the second model tramway built by John and will be described in the usual format with the addition of a construction blog with photos, taken during its construction. Follow the menus for its background and track plan.

 1st September 2012

A Lledo TT scale tram has been motorised and a new page has been added to the Motorising Diecast Trams menu. A number of items have been added to Ravenscar Pier so the blog has been updated.

Some details of tramways invited to the Beamish Tramway 40th Anniversary Exhibition and who have confirmed their attendance have been added. More details can be found on the Beamish Tramway Exhibitions 2013 page.

 1st August 2012

Major progress has been made with the Ravenscar Pier carousel which is now finished and working. A full description of how it was built has been added to both 'Ravenscar Pier' and 'Trams and Buildings from Card' menus.

The dates for the Beamish Tramway 40th Anniversary celebrations have been announced. They will be from Thursday April 4th until Sunday April 7th 2013 and will be complete with a Model Tramway Exhibition on the 6th and 7th. An additional page has been added where you will be able to see any news about the exhibition and I have put both Beamish Exhibition pages on a new menu.

 1st July 2012

The Matchbox Y-15 tram has been motorised using a Halling Vario chassis unit and Halling Old Timer tram floor, which mounts the chassis unit as a clip fit. It has been added as a new page to the Motorising Diecast Trams Menu.

Three packs of Modelpower H0 scale horses and a Faller 180629 motor have been purchased which will be used on a scratch built carousel for Ravenscar Pier. Some early construction details have been added to the Ravenscar Pier Blog, but a full description will follow when it is finished.

 1st May 2012

An extra item has been added to the main menu called 'Trams and Buildings From Card' and have added three pages covering building Trams in both 7 mm and 5 mm and the Windmill in 4 mm. In the near future, Plans are in hand to build a 4 mm working Carousel to go on to Ravenscar Pier, which will be added when completed.

It is unlikely that there will be an update next month as holidays again intervene, but you can see us at Locomotion at Shildon on June 9/10th. The next update should be available on July 1st.

 16th April 2012

Sealane, Sunderland Tramways and Wearmouth have all been on show at the Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition which took place over Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th April. It was the first exhibition that I have organised with the Beamish Museum Events Team and it was both enjoyable and very successful with over 4,000 visitors. A short illustrated exhibition report has been uploaded today.

 1st April 2012

The Sunderland District Works Car is finished and will be in service at the Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition on April 14th and 15th. A new page has been added to the Sunderland District Menu called 'Building the Works Car' which gives the Car's background and describes how the model was built. One photo in the 'District Photo Gallery' has been replaced with one showing the Works Car.

'Ravenscar Pier' has had its first successful outing at Perth Green Railway Exhibition in Jarrow where it was well received by visitors with many favourable comments.

 1st March 2012

George Wilkinson has sent a photo of Sunderland Tram No. 61 (known locally as the Icebox) which he has just built to run on his '0' gauge 'Sealane' tramway. It has been added as the sixth photo in the 'Sealane' photo gallery to keep the trams in fleet number order.

Considerable progress has been made on Ravenscar Pier and the blog has been updated. It may not be finished but is now ready for its first outing at the Perth Green Exhibition in Jarrow later this month.

A number of pages have been updated as John Whitehouse has moved his East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies web site to a new address at www.eastlancsmodeltrams.net/ .

 1st February 2012

Work on Ravenscar Pier is progressing and the blog has been updated to reflect this. It will be ready for display at the Perth Green MRC Exhibition at Jarrow on the 17 / 18 th March.

An extra page entitled 'Construction & Operation' has been added to the Ravenscar Pier menu which, as it says, gives a brief description of the tramway construction and its operation.

 1st January 2012

A decision has been made to build a model of the Sunderland District Tramways only works car. It was a Track Sweeper / Snow Broom supplied in 1906 by Brecknell, Munro and Rogers of Bristol.

It should be completed in time for the Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition in April when it will join the District running fleet. At that time a new page will be added to the Sunderland District menu describing how it was built.

The TramCam is finished and working thanks to some assistance from Jon Laws who has modified the camera and fitted it to the Brill tram. More details have been added to the Foxwood Park blog. The Ravenscar Pier blog has been updated with two photographs added.

The site Hit Counter logged that two visitors to this site had been directed to the Error Page because of faulty links. One was on the Foxwood Park Trams, Trains and Townscape page and the other on the Sunderland District Construction and Operation page. Both links have now been corrected.

 1st November 2011

When the 'Motorise a Feltham' page was completed, the next priority was to prepare a 'Motorise a Horsfield' page. David Voice was contacted to see if I could use the Horsfield chapter from his book entitled 'More Modelling in '00' Gauge'. Fortunately David readily agreed and has updated the text, which can be found here. Pages describing how to motorise the Matchbox Y15 and the Lledo trams will follow at some time in the future.

Mark Bliss and I have been researching the possibility of automatic tram stops using the cut rails method for Two-rail wired track. The initial results using N gauge bogie trams look very promising and the use of 4-wheel trams needs to be investigated. A new page has been prepared describing our findings and including a YouTube video clip showing 3 trams running on Mark's track. If you need any further information, please use the Contact page.

As at least one more new model tramway will be featured over the next few months, and another one or two in the future, the home page has been redesigned making it shorter, simplifying the main menu and moving all of the model tramways to a new page. As part of the changes the new home page has a slideshow with images from each of the model tramways featured.

 1st October 2011

As an increasing number of spam emails have been received from the 'Contact' page recently, another box has been added to the page which needs an access code entering before submitting the message. This code is, for the time being, on the 'Contact' page next to the box, but may need to be moved to a different page at some time in the future.

After a question was received about motorising the OOC Feltham tram the preparation of a new page on this subject had become very urgent. With the assistance of Alan Kirkman, who supplied the photographs and the experience, the new page has been added to the now re-named 'Motorising Diecast Trams' sub-menu.

More progress has been made on Ravenscar Pier and the Blog has been updated accordingly. The Your Questions Answered page has also had some additions made to it.

 1st August 2011

As I am involved in the organisation of the Beamish Model Tramway Exhibition, I have added a new page giving more details of the event which will be part of the 'Great North Steam Fair' in April 2012.

It is available from the Main Menu and any further news of the Exhibition will be shown on this new page.

Some additional work has been done on Ravenscar Pier and it is described in the Blog which has been updated. Due to family commitments it is unlikely that there will be an update in September. Monthly updates should resume on October 1st.

 1st June 2011

The Ravenscar Pier Blog has been updated with the progress made this month. Due to impending family commitments, holidays and an exhibition it is unlikely that there will be an update in July.

 1st May 2011

The Foxwood Park Blog has again been updated with some more repairs, the Ravenscar Pier Blog has been updated with the progress made this month, and the 'Where to see Us' page has had some additions made covering new exhibitions in 2011.

 1st April 2011

Since the March update Gordonstrams.net has its own 'Error 404' page which will appear if a page is not available. This outlines some of the reasons why a page may not be available and provides a link to the Home page.

Both the Foxwood Park and Ravenscar Pier Blogs have been updated with the progress made this month.

 1st March 2011

Our new Tramway which we have been working on occasionally as time has permitted, is to be called Ravenscar Pier and as you can imagine from the name, it has a pier with a narrow gauge tramway. There are more details on the 'Background' and 'Construction Blog' pages.

Peter Rose has uploaded another video to YouTube showing 4 trams running and controlled by the automatic tram stops. I have added a link to the Wearmouth Video Gallery.

Foxwood Park has been having some pre-season repairs carried out and one new mini scene has been added in the events field. More details are in the Blog.

 1st February 2011

For this month a new model tramway has been added. 'Wearmouth', a model tramway in 4mm scale, is the work of Peter Rose, another North East modeller and T.L.R.S. member.

This is the first model tramway built by Peter and is described in the usual format with the addition of photos, taken during its construction, in the text. Follow the menus for a full description, photo and video galleries.

More questions have been added to the 'Your Questions Answered' page. This will be an ongoing process as more questions are received and answered about Tramway Modelling.

 1st January 2011

As a result of some recent questions from the 'Contact' page I have added a page entitled 'Your Questions Answered' to the main menu. Any future questions and the answers will be added to this page.

During the recent snow, some thought has been given to our next model tramway. A pier tramway has appealed for some time, so the entrance kiosks and pier head cafe have been built. A new entry on the main menu and some new pages will follow soon, so watch this space!

 19th December 2010

I am delighted to announce that we had our 10,000th visitor today December 19th. I would like to thank YOU, our visitors, for your continuing interest and my website widow Margaret for her continuing patience.

This should be the last ever mention of visitor numbers, but I do think that 10,000 is a significant milestone after less than 3 years online.

 1st December 2010

As my daughters are both slightly dyslexic, they have indicated that the white background on my pages makes reading them difficult. Because of this the background colour has been changed to cream which should improve the site for other readers as well.

Sealane built by George Wilkinson won the award for the Most Entertaining Layout as voted by the visitors to the Tyneside Model Railway Exhibition in November. I have added a photograph of the trophy to the Sealane Gallery.

 1st November 2010

New this month is an extra page about Gordon Douglas entitled 'Some Memories of Gordon' written by David Innes who was, for a time, one of Gordon's assistants when he operated his trams.

The Foxwood Park Blog has been updated with the recent changes made. The 'Building the Windmill' page has been improved by adding a paragraph covering the construction and fitting of the outer wall instead of it being part of the finishing instructions.

As a result of an enquiry from the 'Contact' page, a schematic drawing for preventing collisions at a 90° (or diamond) crossing has been produced. It has been added to the Single Stops page of the Automatic Tram Stops section. These pages have been renamed 'Single Stops' and 'Linked Stops' as these titles more accurately describe the content of the pages.

 1st October 2010

We have just returned from the Rigby Road Open Day Celebrations at Blackpool. Some progress was made on the TramCam before we left and is described on the Foxwood Park Blog.

George Wilkinson has uploaded a new video to YouTube. I have added a link to it to the Sealane Video Gallery.

 1st September 2010

A project has been started to show a tram drivers view of Foxwood Park, using a tiny camera, on a small screen when it is being exhibited. Some details and photographs have been added to the Blog with more to follow as work progresses.

George Wilkinson has sent some more photographs of Sealane which have been added to the Photo Gallery since the last update. A link has been added to George's first YouTube video showing Sealane to the Video Gallery.

 1st August 2010

George Wilkinson has been invited to exhibit Sealane at Perth Green Model Railway Exhibition in March 2011, so anyone attending will see Sealane and Foxwood Park at the same event. This has been added to the 'Where to see Us' page.

 1st July 2010

George Wilkinson has been invited to exhibit Sealane at the Model Railway Weekend, Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre, Mere Way, Ruddington, Notts, NG11 6NX on 21 / 22 August. This has been added to the 'Where to see Us' page.

As a result of a misunderstanding the IRDOT explanation in the Railway Modeller Foxwood Park feature was incorrect and it has highlighted the shortcomings on the 'Construction & Automation' page. The paragraphs concerned have been rewritten to make them easier to understand.

 1st June 2010

Having checked my hit counter statistics, it does appear that most people now view at either 1280 x 1024 or 1024 x 768 pixels; I have redesigned the whole site to suit these higher resolutions. This change has allowed me to increase the size of all of the images used (diagrams and photographs), but the text size remains unchanged.

For the June update the 'Motorise a Corgi 4-wheel Tram' page has been rewritten so that the photographs are included in the page, instead of having them in a separate gallery. In addition there is a new page describing how to motorise the Corgi Balloon and Railcoach trams courtesy of Len Squance and his 'Blackpool in the Box' website. I am most grateful to Len for allowing me to add this page. A new page is being prepared describing how to motorise the Corgi Feltham and perhaps one describing motorising the EFE Horsfield at some point in the future.

 16th April 2010

As the website has been live for two years a fresh look has been introduced with a new menu style, applied to both side and gallery photo menus and to all pages, although the site still has the same basic structure.

A Contact form has been added to the Contact page where you can enter your comments, some extra video clips in the Foxwood Park Video Gallery and an additional links page where you can find the sites which have been used when developing this website.

 1st April 2010

The April update features a new page from George Wilkinson where he describes the building of his new Sunderland Car No. 26.

 1st March 2010

For the March update I have been researching Frank Charlton who was a long-time friend and helper of Gordon Douglas. I have met June, one of Frank's daughters and have found amongst his collection a photograph of single deck model No. 26, an unknown model.

I have received from Gordon's family some recent photographs of No. 98, another unknown model. I have added images of both of these models to the photo gallery. All of the models I have located are in safe hands and other than No. 50, there do not appear to be any more of Gordon's trams to be found.

As a result of the new information received, I have split the Gordon Douglas page, so there is now one about Gordon (and Frank) and one about the trams and track, and there are replacement and additional images added to the photo gallery.

 1st February 2010

For the February update a new page has been added entitled 'Building the Windmill' to the Foxwood Park menu. This page has a full description of the windmill construction illustrated by the photographs used in the construction blog and two new diagrams to show how the motorising was achieved.

A new link called 'Where to see Us' has been added to the main menu. It is to a page which has all of our future exhibition bookings in one place.

An addition to the tram fleet in the shape of Gateshead No. 77 (ex-Newcastle No. 52) has just arrived. The Foxwood Park Photo Gallery and Blog have been updated to include this new tram.

George Wilkinson has sent me a photo of Sunderland No 26, the tram he has just finished building. As the trams in all of the galleries are shown in numerical order, I have added it as the first image in the Sealane Photo Gallery and moved the others back to suit. He is going to write a description, with photographs, of the construction of No. 26 to be included in a future update.

 1st January 2010

In order to improve the Home page, a diagram and some extra photographs have been added. The next planned update, will include an extra page describing how the motorised tower windmill was built.

We have been invited to exhibit at Scoutrail at Wylam next month. This is a one day event so we have decided to exhibit "Sunderland District". Details can be found in the Sunderland District exhibition diary.

George Wilkinson has been invited to exhibit "Sealane" at Nottingham Model Railway Exhibition in March. Details can be found in the Sealane exhibition diary.

 1st December 2009

For December a page has been added about the life of Gordon Douglas and the trams he built and ran on a large track in Roker Park in Sunderland. Gordon introduced me to tramway modelling in 1990 when I met him, while he was raising money for his charities by exhibiting his 1/16th scale trams, at the Gateshead Metro Centre. There is a gallery showing many of his model trams using photos from a number of sources.

A link has been added to 'London Model Tramways'. This site by John Howe describes his two exhibition models of London Tramways.

 1st November 2009

For November the site has been renamed 'Model Trams and Tramways', this more accurately reflects its content. This update also sees the completion of the changes to the menu presentation which started back in August.

Four additional pages have been added giving full details of Foxwood Park which include a photo gallery containing 25 images and a video gallery. It is now set out in the same format as the other model tramways described here but the Blog has been retained and updated this month. The Perth Green video has been moved from the blog into the new video gallery.

For the next update research has been continuing on the 1/16th scale model trams of Sunderland built by Gordon Douglas who lived in the Town. The intention is to publish an article about Gordon, who was probably the first tram modeller in the North East of England, and a photo gallery showing as many of his models as possible. Three of these models are now in the possession of the Tramway and Light Railway Society and are being run, by members, at exhibitions.

 1st October 2009

George Wilkinson has supplied a number of new photographs of 'Sealane', his '0' gauge Sunderland Tramway which have been used to update the Photo Gallery.

A link has been added to 'Transport Models' website on the links page 1. This is a world-wide image library dedicated to all transport related scale models. So all models, from fire engines and military vehicles to trams, trains and buses are covered.

The next update will include a full description and photo gallery of 'Foxwood Park' which will be featured in 'Tramfare' and 'Railway Modeller' in 2010.

 1st August 2009

A start has been made on scratch building a tower windmill to replace the post mill on Foxwood Park. Details and photographs have been added to the Blog with more to follow at the next update in early November. This update will have full details of 'Foxwood Park' and will then be in line with the other tramways described on this website.

Some extra images have been added to the Sunderland District Photo Gallery, which now contains 20.

 1st July 2009

Not much to report this month but the Foxwood Park Blog has a short update on the Middlesbrough problems. An invitation has been received to exhibit Foxwood Park at the Heaton Park Tramway exhibition on the first Sunday of September. Full details are in the Exhibition Diary.

 1st June 2009

The Foxwood Park Blog has again been updated including more of the finishing work done before, and a short report on the problems encountered at Middlesbrough Model Railway Exhibition.

 1st May 2009

As mentioned in the last update, both of the Sunderland system histories are now available to view. As they have been adequately covered by S. A. Staddon in his two editions of "The Tramways of Sunderland" these histories are, of necessity, brief with only one short page for the District system and a longer page covering the work of all the General Managers of the Corporation system. These have been compiled for me by Malcolm Fraser, an acknowledged expert on the Sunderland systems.

 16th April 2009

As it is now 1 year since the site was launched to the web, it seemed to be an appropriate time to introduce a new colour scheme which I hope will give more impact and be easier to read. Some parts of the Automatic Tram Stops pages have been rewritten to include an extra diagram.

By the next update, in early May, there should be brief Sunderland tram system histories available for view. These are being compiled for me by Malcolm Fraser, an acknowledged expert on the Sunderland systems.

 1st April 2009

The Foxwood Park Blog has been updated with details of the work done before the Perth Green Exhibition at Jarrow. A short video clip has been added to the blog, which was taken at the exhibition last weekend.

A new video of Sealane has been uploaded to YouTube by George Wilkinson. The Sealane video page has had the new link added.

 1st March 2009

As Foxwood Park is almost ready for exhibition later this month the Blog has been updated with details of the work done. Over the next few months, a full description, photographs and video will be added in line with the other model tramways described in these pages.

 1st February 2009

Not much change this month but the Foxwood Park Blog has again been updated and the Links pages have also had some additions made and all pages are now linked back to the Home page instead of to their own menu page.

 1st January 2009

Two new pages have been uploaded, complete with diagrams, explaining how the Automatic Tram Stops work. The Foxwood Park Blog has been updated and the site map now shows the additional pages. The Main Menu has been changed to show the Automatic Tram Stops and Motorise Corgi Trams pages at the top with the Model Tramway pages below. There is a new YouTube video from George Wilkinson on his Sealane 'O' gauge tramway featured this month.

 1st December 2008

The Foxwood Park Blog has been updated along with its Exhibition Diary. Additional pages are being written describing the basics of automatic tram stops using cut rails which should be included in the next update due in early January.

 1st November 2008

The links page has been extended and split into two pages with the addition of suppliers of model railway scenic accessories and buildings we have used on our tramways. The Foxwood Park Blog has also been updated.

 1st October 2008

Early construction details for Foxwood Park, our new tramway have been added as a blog. This will be updated as and when progress is made. The first exhibition for Foxwood Park will be at Perth Green Model Railway Exhibition on 21 / 22 March 2009.

 1st September 2008

Today a major redesign of the site was uploaded, which now includes side menus on all pages, and for the first time, a separate Updates page and a Site Map. These changes should make the site much easier to navigate. All of the Exhibition Diaries have been changed to show the latest dates at the top of the listings instead of the bottom. This change should make it easier to find out if we have any new exhibitions booked.

 1st August 2008

Sealane (Sunderland in 'O' gauge) layout built by George Wilkinson who is a fellow TLRS North East member has been added this month. This includes the usual descriptive pages, an exhibition diary, photo gallery and a YouTube Video link.

 1st June 2008

The first video clip was added to the Sunderland District Video Gallery. It shows the trolley reversers in action.

 16th April 2008

After six months spent learning HTML, my first attempt at website design 'www.gordonstrams,net' was published to the web today. It features 'Sunderland Corporation' and 'Sunderland District' Tramwys and 'How to Motorise a Corgi Tram'.

© Gordon Bulmer 2017