Hi, Welcome.


Ever since being a very young child I have liked to make things. I suppose it was my Fathers influence, himself a Master Carpenter and Joiner, time served in the family business of building contractors, started by my Great Grandfather ( It may have been  Great Great Great Grandfather as my Uncle has now discovered bill heads suggesting establishment in 1817)  in the east end of London, Bow to be precise where my Grandfather was born within the sound of the “bells”.  With some of the Family moving to Rayleigh, Essex in the early 1920’s my Grandfather started a branch of the firm to which I joined and trained as a Carpenter & Joiner (City & Guilds apprenticeship served), as my Father’s apprentice in the Family firm.

I would often go with my Father to his workshop when very small and play with the wood shavings that seemed to cover everything , watch and probably drive him nuts with too many questions about what this and that does and “can I have a go”. Eventually I became old enough to have some tools of my own and use them, just like “Dad”. So my destiny was set, no pen pushing for me.

My Father was a keen aircraft enthusiast and made models in his youth.  He taught me how to build kits properly, the way to clean up the parts, how to correct mistakes and best way to paint and apply transfers to Airfix and Frog plastic kits. Another favourite was Keil Kraft model aircraft, remember those? test flying in the local park. I also had the classic Tri-ang  train set, this being added to on birthdays and Christmas time.

A 1/8th. scale model of the lych gate at Rayleigh church. Built by Edward R. Dowling, my Father, who also built the full size prototype in 1956.

With the mix of both I happily built plastic wagons and the odd non – powered loco and buildings from Airfix and so started my interest in model railways.

Now as you well know when you get to your teens things change , in more ways than one, and along come the distractions, firstly, members of the opposite sex, well they will always be a distraction what ever age you are ( Hi liz,” love you darling, what ?, Yep do it in a minute Luv’ ” ) and secondly, well in my case, there was motorcycles.

From my mid teens to my early thirties, motorcycles took over my life, my social scene was all based around m/c clubs, but what I really liked to do was take the damn things to bits and re – build them. In time I was doing it properly, buying an old basket case restoring/ replacing parts, using it for a while and then moving on to the next one. Yep, I was a right old petrol ‘ead as they say.

This fizzled out in my thirties,  what with losing a few friends on the road, lack of finances or I should  say other priorities. My interest in railways had not disappeared for I did buy the odd magazine now and again and wandering through Smiths one day I came across MRJ magazine.

To cut a long story short, ( your saying he’s gone on enough already, I’ll bet ) I got involved with P4,going to Scaleforum regularly and for a few years I dabbled with building some loco’s and stock, even an attempt at starting a layout which didn’t amount too much. Then one weekend I went to a general model railway show, I think it was in Chatham and there was a 7mm scale layout, I don’t remember which, but it kept my attention with the shunting going on, long enough for me to decide, there and then, that it was 7mm scale for me. And it had to be Scale Seven, as I’d already realised the finer qualities of the P4 standards.

Now my railway interests have always leaned to the eastern side of the country, particularly the ex Great Eastern lines, probably something to do with the fact that not only was my home town of Rayleigh in Essex on the Shenfield to Southend Victoria branch, but I also realised that my Great Grandfathers building firm had premises, amongst others, in Iceland rd. which was the other side of the canal over looking Stratford Works of the old Great Eastern.

Steam had gone from the Southend Victoria line during 1956 and my main memories as a child are of the “Shenfield” stock EMU’s which had sliding doors much to our amusement as kid’s, as I got older I began to appreciate the types of stock that was running on the line with the diesel loco’s. A regular through my home town of Rayleigh was the cl15 BO-BO type on the parcels, and cl 31’s and later 37’s & 47’s on goods and excursion traffic. On trips into Southend Vic you would have seen the 03 0-6-0 diesel mech. at the coal concentration depot there.

One of my earliest memories is of around the age of three, confirmed by my parents, of a trip to Bath, Somerset from Rayleigh, Essex. This would be 1959 and we would have travelled to Liverpool St via Shenfield on the early electric sets, (steam on the Southend Vic. branch had finished in DEC.’56) I don’t remember any of that part of the journey, but what I do remember is having got off the train at Liverpool St.  standing holding my Fathers hand , looking at a large loco, surrounded by steam. then being startled by the noise of a valve or drain cock being opened, which made me jump and on turning round to see a smaller, dark blue loco with red coupling rods move off up the platform away from the buffer stops. This I now know , as some of you will no doubt know, was one of two Liverpool St. station pilots, the Eastsidepilot 68619 to be precise.

The Eastside pilot. Liverpool St. Station. London

I’m damn sure it was the Eastside pilot, a J69 0-6-0t, (there was a Westside pilot, an N7 0-6-2t), because the Southend trains always ran into the eastern side of the station , platforms 17 and 18, they still do I believe.

So now you know the reason for the title of my web site. www.eastsidepilot.com

Thanks for looking at my web blog, ATB Colin.

12 responses to “Hi, Welcome.

    • Hi John,
      Probably one of the best kits for the 08 is by Modern Motive Power although I don’t know of any kit manufacturerer making them specifically for S7. MMP’s kit is F/S so there would be some work for conversion to S7.


  1. Lovely site Colin, very interesting and there’s some very nice modelling there, I especially like the LSWR EMU. I have an affinity with Bow as my father, grandfather and great grandfather all came from Bow and worked at the loco works there. Consequently, I too build railway models but in gauge one and funnily enough also live in Rayleigh! (Bit of an LMS nut though!)

    • Steve,
      Thanks for your comments, yes the LSWR emu involved a lot of work but I did enjoy building it.
      I’d be interested to know what your Fathers did at Bow works.

      ATB, Col.

      • Hi Colin, my father was originally a draughtsman in the drawing office but later trained as a fitter and repaired locos during WWII. He worked on most LMS types including Tilbury 4-4-2 tanks, Stanier 3 cyl 2-6-4s and the NLR Park 0-6-0 tank locos, one of which is at the Bluebell railway. When Bow works closed in 1962 I think, he moved to Ilford works and repaired EMUs for the Liverpool street-Southend line so I have a soft spot for these types also. Having built 2 and a half! locos in Gauge one, I am moving on to carriages (a la Jenkinson) and wagons , then a small line in the garden.
        Keep up the good work.

      • Steve,
        You’re Father must have seen the arrival of diesels at Bow works in his time as well, an interesting period I feel.
        I too like the early EMU’s, I am working on building some Shenfield stock in the future.


  2. Great blog very interesting and I’ve just learnt some stuff about my Great & Great Great Grandfather I did not know plus some memories of Colin….who just happens to be my big bruvver…….by the way while they were all enjoying themselves in Bath in 1959 I was but a twinkle in Mum & Dad’s eye. If any of you are wondering Scoobydoo was a nick name given to me by our Dad long before the cartoon character was around. xx

  3. Hello Colin, great website, I can’t believe I’ve not found it before now.

    I’m a O gauge finescale modeller planning to dip my toes in the Scale 7 standards. I blame being born within sight of Paddington Station for the GWR being my first love, but having lived for nearly all my life on the East Coast Mainline the GNR/LNER run it a very close second. I will follow your blog with interest.

    • Hi Neill,
      Thanks for your comments, have you found a ScaleSeven area group near you ? having asked that, what area do you reside ?
      There is also a strong gathering of S7 members on the Western Thunder forum which may be of interest to you.

      ATB, Col.

      • Hello Colin, thanks for your email. I live in Welwyn Garden City, and I don’t think i have a S7 area group nearby, but I won’t let that stop me giving it a go. I’ve visited the Western Thunder forum, but not joined it as yet, but I may give it a go.

      • Neill,
        Indeed you do have an area group close by, infact you have a choice of two in some ways.
        There is the East Anglian area group at Sudbury, Suffolk if you don’t mind travelling. This is the group I belong to and we have several members from the Buntingford/Bishops Stortford area.
        But the closest to you will be the South East area group who meet at both Northwood, Nth.London and Sawbridgeworth on different dates.
        You would be most welcome to just turn up if you wish, we meet on the last Sunday of every month, but best ring first to check as it sometimes get shifted because of Bank holidays /Christmas etc.
        The South East area also meet once a month.
        I will contact you via private email with contact details
        Both Groups are working on extensive S7 layouts and you will be made very welcome at either or both groups as some of us tend to gravitate between the two.
        ATB, Col

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