My kit-built Class 14 is to receive a new chassis and bodywork repairs

Yesterday was spent on a jaunt to Hatton's of Liverpool, in order to return a sample of their splendid Class 14. While I was there, I was treated to a guided tour of the shop and storage premises by Chris McCann and Richard Davies. The various floors of warehouse space are certainly packed to the rafters with model railway stuff and is testament to the company's organisation that the mail order and shop business runs as smoothly as it does, especially with the space constraints of an elderly building.

However, I've been informed that Hatton's are close to finalising a lease on a more suitable warehouse building on the outskirts of Liverpool which would streamline operations significantly while allowing the existing shop to become more of, well, a shop. Something that I must admit has been lacking since the move from the old Smithdown Road premises where customers could browse more freely. Anyway, many thanks to the Hatton's crew for showing me around.

Despite being tempted to buy myself one of Hatton's/Heljan Class 14s, particularly a BR green or NCB blue version, I resisted. Alas, my elderly car is need of some repairs, so my pragmatic self triumphed on this occasion.

As soon as I got home, I unearthed my kit-built '14' from storage (featured in Model Rail issue 105) and resolved to build a new chassis to replace the damaged original. As the image above shows, this model has been the victim of a couple of rough shunts and needs a bit of TLC. Thankfully, Dave Alexander (of Alexander Models - the maker of the kit) has let me have a new set of chassis etches at a reasonable price, so this now sits in the 'to do' queue. I still think it would be nice to have a pair of these locos working on Maudetown Colliery, so maybe I'll reconsider a Hatton's version after pay day!!


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