The new Carningli Centre website is online at

I still don’t fully understand how the template system works. In fact the aspects of web design I don’t get far outnumber those that I do. At times my head has felt like a cupboard stuffed so full of random, awkward stuff that the moment you open the doors, it explodes out all over the room.

However,  I have reached a stage of letting it loose on the internet.

Now it includes current items in the shop – only a few so far but more to come – and I know how to delete some and add others.



After a long period of ‘thinking about it, I’ve decided to take the plunge and make a new website for the shop.

Using a template-based service should make it straightforward, shouldn’t it? Well, maybe, relatively but it is looking like a slow job to me – I am in that January mood though – persevering with something new and difficult seems like the right way to go. It is the quiet season in Newport. So many times I have said “I’ll do it in January!”

Watch this space to see whether I finish the task myself – or throw in the towel and call in a professional. 



Autumn is definitely here now. I love Summer, especially when it is a good one like this year’s and so always slightly dread the change of season. Now it’s here, though I have to say it feels pretty good.

August holidaymakers have melted away, giving us time to start a major ‘spring’ clean, spurred on by a 4 week exhibition of paintings by Graham Brace and Clive Gould. The artists arrive with their work tomorrow, with the exhibition running from 13th Sept. to 12th Oct. I am excited to see the work. It is such a long time since we had a special exhibition – now it is happening I can’t think why we left it so long!

The past few weeks have been focussed on railwayana. I have attended 3 auctions and a collector’s fair.

Anyone who knows me will be aware of  how much I enjoy these events. The Great Central Railwayana Auction was the first of the autumn season.  The venue, a building at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry is pleasant and always easy for parking and unloading heavy stall stock. Each time I lift it, I promise myself  I’ll give up cast-iron signs etc. Then up pops a bargain and yet again I can’t resist. Financial gloom and doom fills the media but (so far) Stoneleigh is always buzzing. Quality of entries is high and prices are good to stratospheric.

Next up was a new railwayana fair in the Town Hall at Welshpool in Powys. It was a beautiful day in Mid-Wales, a spacious hall and a small but interesting selection of stalls. I had fun sorting out my new poster display sleeves, to pleasing effect. Sales were rather slow – but it was the first event there, so we’ll see.

Two weekends later we trekked up to Crewe for the Lewises’ auction. Non-railway enthusiasts seem baffled by my delight in the location. They appear to imagine Crewe as a dull sort of town. Little do they know! After emptying a pile of railwayana out of the van and onto the stall at Crewe Heritage Centre on the Friday evening I had time to hang about  in the old signalbox. Trains coming  out of the station  seem sure to crash through the picture window, veering off only at the last moment. This event is the hardest work of our current crop, for the organisers as well as us, I think. As well as a full-size auction in one building, there was a huge array of items in an ‘Alpha Lots’ sale, using written bids. As this was held in the old signalbox, a good walk away, things were pretty hectic. There is always plenty to see in the centre, too. Star attraction this time was the massive ‘new’ steam crane. I felt I could have done with being in 3 places at once but, thanks to Graham, all stayed under control – a good day all round.

After Crewe, it was only a short wait for the GWRA auction at Pershore High School. We have been attending this one for at least 15 years, I realised on the day. A while back, the hall became too crowded to allow sales stalls along the walls, so this is the only sale where my stall is in a side room. This gives us stallholders much more generous space and certainly makes it easier to chat without worrying about irritating the auctioneer. However, even though we are efficiently piped for sound, I sometimes feel I miss  nuances of the bidding. As so often at recent Pershores, there was a wonderful array of advertising signs attracting prices I could only admire from afar. I did hear there was a slight slackening of interest in some traditionally popular locomotive etc.  items. I’d be more specific if I had listened more closely! The stall was busy, the school dinners substantial and good as usual. Another excellent outing was enjoyed!

To top it all, during October I had the chance to spend a day driving a DMU at Llynclys, near Oswestry (Heartfelt thanks to Alice & Ellie!). I was a bit nervous beforehand – 64 tonnes of train to handle, even at a maximum of 15mph was a little daunting. No need to worry once I got started. It did prove quite taxing but the instructor was patient, everyone was really welcoming and I had a brilliant day.

Did I mention – I love trains?

It has been a quiet week in Newport.
Quiet enough to allow me time to start a blog for Carningli Centre – with news from the North Pembrokeshire coast and topics connected with our interests in antiques, books and local art.
Watch this space!