Lemons to Lemonade – How a Computer Mishap Improved Hintock

Have you heard of the idiom, lemons to lemonade? A recent computer calamity left me without the means to frequent the model railway oriented websites that I am a member of (RMweb, YMR, MRC and MRG – some more than others), and perfectly illustrates this saying.

I felt a little bereft. What to do? What more natural then but to return to spending time with Hintock? And that was what I did.

What pleasure was gained! I hadn’t realized how much I was missing.

After attending to all the little matters that I had neglected, I then turned to projects that I knew would make a difference; like bringing into use a set of ex-Ocean Liner coaches. These I had gained by exchanging them for a pair from John Dew’s Granby Operating District, changing the bogies, adding Kadees, and weathering and painting the roofs. Satisfied with results from this reworking, I also did the same to a pair of ex-Triang Dean coaches that I had had for many years.

Lemons to Lemonade - Improved ex-Ocean Liner coaches

The former pair replace a B set running on services from and between Hintock and Weymouth. The set, I felt, never looked entirely in place on the Hintock Branch and the latter are used on the local passenger services for workmen and school children between Hintock and Dorchester. This working also deals with the milk traffic from and to Hintock Dairies.


I then too made several more removable loads for my coal wagons from scrap extruded foam with a cut down paper clip inserted in the top to lift the load in and out.

I also refined my operating procedures.

All most rewarding.

So the lesson I learned was: that spending time actually operating Hintock was more pleasurable than, possibly wasting valuable time, at my computer.

Do you spend too much time at the computer on ephemera and not enough getting solid pleasure in running your model railway?



  1. Allen Grice says

    Hello again John. “Lemons to Lemonade” – how true are your comments about “wasting time” on the computer. Computers are a double-edged sword; they allow me to send this message, but whilst doing so, I am not fitting the handrails on the LNER brake van I have just built. The clerestory coaches look fresh and new, and as you say, more in place.
    Very best wishes,

  2. john flann says

    Hello Allen,

    It was pleasing to see your comment and I’m glad you found the blog pertinent. It does concern me, as much as it does you, how if one isn’t careful we can spend so much time on the www when it could be used for other things especially for adding handrails or changing the bogies on coaches.

    There, I’m delighted with the outcome, to a purist they are probably of the wrong kind, but how can they be wrong when the coaches run so much better? Equally considering their age-they are vintage Triang-how useful they are today and on Hintock. It was time well spent.

    Please do keep in touch. The comment is a very valuable one.



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