May 2010

Walworth Models have made it known that they are producing a kit for the GNR Class J14 (LNER J53). This could be good news as the 921 series was one of the constituents of that class. The kit was pencilled in to go on sale at Telford last September, however, as is the way of these things, there has been some delay. A quick email to John Percival today revealed that he’s had the artwork amended (not a bad sign), and is waiting for the etched sheets to arrive as well as some of the castings.

I say ‘could be good news’ because I’ve not built any Walworth Models’ kits, so their fidelity to prototype is currently an unknown factor. I suspect the kit will retail at the same price as their J52 kit – currently £125 – so in the grand scheme of 7mm kits, not terribly expensive and probably worth a punt.

Also in development is a kit for the GNR J15, seen here which bodes well for a future segment of Basilica Fields.

One facet of the East End life not yet touched upon was the ubiquitous public house; like a church, a pub was always no more than a stone’s throw away, and more often than not, could be found on street corners.

The Spencer Arms was located on the corner of Dean Street and Spencer Street, next door to Abraham Nerhard’s grocery shop (seen far left). In the early 1900s, Silas Hill was landlord of the establishment, and lived on the premises with his family.

This photo dated c1910 is packed with detail, from the sign written boards, the peeling block walls, the net curtains in the upper story windows, and the wooden panelling on the ground floor. Etched glass was perfected in the 19th Century, and the Spencer Arms doesn’t disappoint with a fantastic display on the large window panes as well as the doors. As with many East End pubs, this one had a fabulous lamp over the door, no doubt to attract the punters out of the cold or another greasy pea-souper.

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