Tala Anodised 50% off and tiny trains

If you have been reading my emails for 3 years or more, you may recall that, amongst other things, I’m a railway enthusiast, and for a number of years I’ve been going to a modellers retreat, held for a week in the summer, at Missenden Abbey (Great Missenden). Here there are tutors to help us, when needed, and we can take along, pretty well any project that we like, to work on.

So put out of your mind, if you would, a bunch of grown men standing around looking at a circle of track with trains chasing each other’s tails, and instead picture a bunch of men (why no women?) sitting studiously at desks or tables, concentrating hard on filing a “coupling rod” carefully, to the perfect shape, or watching mesmerised as the wheels of the loco chassis they’ve just built, turn without hesitation, (deviation or repetition) a sigh of relief spreading briefly across their face. Yup we’re a dedicated lot. It may be fun but it’s very serious fun. Until that is, it comes to meal times. The breakfasts are good, the lunches, very tasty and, after a pleasant hour or so in the bar, the dinners superb.

I’d not done anything to the layout since mid 2021 and was a bit afraid that I’d have forgotten what I was doing and why! But happily, whilst I was there, I was able to sort out gremlins in the track, another in the engine I took to test it all, and even managed to remember how the all the magic electronics worked under the baseboards that control the points and signals. Yup, serious railway modelling is no longer as simple as laying a bit of track and shoving 12 volts up its chuff.

No, these days we have decoders in the engines, that we programme for speed, acceleration, braking and even sound. The point blades move across slowly and smoothly, as in fact they do on the real thing, and the semaphore signals have bounce (semaphore signals on returning to “on”(RED) typically bounced as they came to rest).

I took the last incomplete section of the station that I’m building in my shed in the garden (Yeovil Pen Mill Station, Somerset, set in 1922) with me.

This bit is about five foot long, and as with all the other boards, all the track is hand made.

I started building the station back in 2014, so progress has been slow, but I’ve now got to the final board (the north end of the station) so the end is in sight!

Last week’s email

Touching briefly on Andi’s email on “The future of wine in a warming world”, last week, he got quite a reaction. Coincidentally, a friend of mine who reads the emails, tells me she has PhD students working on climate change and its implications for UK viticulture, which could well make interesting reading. If allowed to do so, we’ll share the highlights with you, when the research is complete.

And so to product.

Two or three years ago, Silverwood (the bakeware manufacturer) were running into trouble, a mixture of cashflow problems and the then owner just unable to cope with the huge workload that a manufacturing business generates. As a result, supplies eventually dried up and at that time my friend Nick Squire of George East (since renamed Dayes) stepped into the breach and started to produce some of the lines, under the Tala brand, that Silverwood had previously done.

When Silverwood resurfaced again however sales slumped, which leaves the Tala range, unwanted and unloved, as although it had all the great qualities of a Silverwood product, it just doesn’t have the Silverwood name.

It does however have most of the same great characteristics, chief of which is the very fast way it transmits heat. This means very well and evenly baked cakes, biscuits and bread, and there’s no non-stick to wear off. A very good product. Only downside is you mustn’t put it in the dishwasher. It is, however, generally very easy to clean, but if you do get something burnt on, soak for 5 or 10 minutes and the anodised surface releases better than most.

Tala Anodised Bakeware at 50% off

So, we are now selling it off at half price, which is, I think, a bit of a bargain.

There is a full range of

1.      Sandwich pans from 6” (15cm) up to 12” (30cm)

2.      Deep round Cake tins from 5” (13cm) up to 12” (30cm)

3.      Savarin moulds, large and small

4.      Battenburg tin

5.      Tray Bake Tin 12” (30cm) x 8” (20cm) (makes lots of different sizes)

6.      2Ilb Loaf Tin

7.      Heavy Duty Baking tray 15” (44cm) x 14” (34cm) very heavy quality.

Prices vary from just over £10 to almost £70 for the large baking tray.

But all of these are now half price.

That’s it for this week. I’ll leave the last word to Oscar Wilde.

Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

I trust you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.


Kind regards



Andrew Bluett-Duncan


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