The Best Museums ever!

..and both visited in the same week. I DO hope 2014 will be as fine as 2013 was
on the esoteric museums front.
Firstly…..

Wainwright D Class

Wainwright D Class

The National Rail Museum at York included the lovely 4-4-0 of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway. A 1901 class “D” by Wainwright. What a fabulous place and still with six A4s on display.
I like 4-4-0s more though.
Then in two days time it was off to Loanhead for a trip round the very private Speedway Museum.

Speedway Museum

Speedway Museum

This was even more amazing than York! Absolutely stunning and only lacking the smell of Castrol “R” and thankfully the reek of fags!
I hope I’ll get back for a further visit this year too, but if not there’s a nice wee railway just twenty miles from here and they have TWO 4-4-0’s in their museum.
Meanwhile, to both my readers – have a great, enjoyable and successful 2014!

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Peter Craven

He’s been here before, but last night I finished the Peter Craven picture. Just a bit more detailed than previously but hopefully in as loose a style as I can manage whilst still being recognisable as the speedy wee giant that he was.
I was at Meadowbank Stadium recently and enquired where I could see the plaque to commemorate Craven. It had been privately funded by enthusiasts and was unveiled by his wife Brenda amongst others. Nobody knew where it had disappeared to and nobody gave a bugger about the significance of it.

Peter Craven

Peter Craven

Meadowbank is “managed” by Edinburgh City Council. The same folks that gave us that internationally acclaimed tram system.
Hang your heads, you collective of useless bastards.

The Wee Wizard

After my recent visit to the speedway museum I looked out a wee oil painting that I had put aside having started some time ago and then quietly lost interest in. Today, in between looking out the window at the flying branches,slates and rain, I had a go at it again. So now it’s about halfway done and I think it’s going to be OK.
When I first started drawing it was mostly motorbikes. Until the time I could be competing on them myself.
Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh wasn’t always an athletic one. It was built for the Commonwealth Games on top of the bulldozed speedway track.
Speedway is pretty awful nowadays but in the Sixties and right back to the Twenties, it was second only to football (bah!) as a spectator sport.
Meadowbank Speedway was a magnificent purpose-built track and near the end of its existence there was a visit to the Edinburgh Monarchs from the Belle Vue Aces team.
Their captain and the reigning World Champion was this wonderful wee man. “The Wizard of Balance” he was called, although “The Wizard” would have been enough.
Anyone there that fateful night will always remember the last race of the great Peter Craven.

The Wizard

The Wizard