Earlier this year, I spent the day helping to operate ‘Simply Narrow Gauge’ (MR172) at an exhibition. My friend Keith Willows built the distinctive circular ‘O-16.5’ narrow gauge layout to indulge his love of colonial and North American narrow gauge. He was modelling right up until his death in 2014. The last time I saw him he asked me to get him some handrail knobs for a model he was working on. I now have that locomotive, as his widow offered me the chance to complete it. She gave me a tray containing the model, some parts and all of Keith’s reference material, but I have to admit I know nothing about the subject. It’s a Cyprus Government Railways 2-6-2T, built by Nasmyth Wilson & Co. The CGR had two of them, numbered 31 and 32. A Google search didn’t help much, and it kept showing me links to Chris Nevard’s ‘OO9’ model of the same locomotive, rather than providing much information about the real thing. The reference material shows a handsome little tank engine. Keith’s model is largely complete, the body being built from plastic card, with wood and metal fittings. It appears to have been built to fit a Lima ‘Small Prairie’ tank mechanism, which was in the tray with it, but I reckon Keith intended to make new pony trucks, as the tray also contained a pair of new wheelsets. The handrail knobs are absent, and I think the ones I bought are too small. I have many projects of my own to get on with, but I feel that I ought to finish this one. It is nearly complete and it will look good running on ‘SNG’, as Keith intended. I think, however, that I will give it a nicer livery than it carried in real life. I’ve always wanted to try something in Great Eastern blue.
Above: I ran some of my own stock on Simply Narrow Gauge, including another ‘memorial’ vehicle. The White Pass & Yukon did not have any combines, so I named it after my wife.
Left: The tray of parts and the reference material for the narrow gauge 2‑6‑2T.
Far left: The handsome little British-built tank engine model. It doesn’t seem like there’s much work to do to get it finished.