Model Rail Scotland 2019

One thing that never ceases to amaze us is how quickly this event comes around every year. We have been attending this show for over 11 years now from our base in the midlands,  11 with the Shawplan stand. Although its a 3 day show, it becomes a 5 day event due to the traveling required to get to and from the venue.

Our trip started out on the Thursday morning with Pete dropping his car off and Brian’s before we started on the road up the M1 and across the A66. Its a great run and the weather made it very pleasant. We were in contact with Bill who was traveling up from work in Coventry via the M6 and he was trying to catch us up. Our first pit stop was Southwaite services for a coffee and a burger. Pete was bemused that what he had ordered looked like half the size of Brian’s, which necessitated a top up with a Gregg’s sausage roll. A bag of doughnuts for the trip also found their way to the van somehow. Onwards then up the road and by the time we got to Hamilton Services Bill was with us. Our arrival at the SECC was later than usual but we got the van into the hall quickly and set up, shoehorning into the gap left for us by our neighbouring trader, who never noticed we had had to shove him back a bit.

Once we were all set up it was a short walk over the Bells Bridge to the Premier Inn, our digs for the next few days. Soon it was time to get something to eat and as custom has it it was out to the Lord of The Isles at Braehead for Curry Night. The hotel offered to get us a taxi and when a Hackney rolled up I feared the worst regarding what the fare would be out to Renfrew. It turned out to be almost double the return fare using Braehead Taxis on the way back!  This year we were joined by James Hudson of Bill Hudson books. James is not one for curry so he played it safe, with the rest of us tucking in and taking on a few beers.

Friday morning was an early start as the early entrants (or window lickers as they are affectionately known), were already starting to queue up to get in.

Friday is traditionally the modellers day when it comes to the type of visitor and the busiest on the stand. The venue quickly filled up and it was show-on!

Calcutta Sidings 2 dominates the top corner of the hall.

The standard of layout at the show is getting better with many now invited from across the country, including this year the mammoth that is “Calcutta Sidings 2”. There was one other celebrity layout in attendance at the other end of the scale but more of that later.

As Friday drew to a close Bill had to head back home as he had other business to attend to so after a quick freshen up Brian James and Pete headed out to the Panda Chinese buffet and a call in at the Old Toll Bar on the way back. None of the group were tempted by the cocktails this year which included a “Peaky Blinders” selection.

After breakfast on Saturday it was back to work at the show. It was another busy day and lots of chatter and eating of Tunnocks products took place. We had to reign back on the eating though as Brian and Pete had lined up a meat-fest for that evening. With James deciding to stay at the hotel, Brian and Pete headed for Viva Brazil in the city centre. All you can eat meat and a very comprehensive salad bar awaited. No sooner were we seated we were presented with the first of many meats to try. In the end Brian tried about 16 meat offerings and I had about 13. Absolutely stuffed we headed out into the mild evening weather for a cultural tour of the city centre with Pete as the guide. One thing that really disappointed us was the mess they are making of the new look Queen Street station. Having exposed the full splendor of the southern glazed arch they are now proceeding to hide it again with some monstrosity of a building, sacrilege.

Sunday as expected was a quiet day which gave us a chance to see a bit of the show and for Brian to spend a bit more time liaising with other traders and manufacturers. By the end of the day we were ready to pack up and once the van was in the hall it was time to load up and get back to the hotel.

Due to being a bit knackered we decided to eat in the hotel on the Sunday night, and had a nice meal. Before that we joined the RevolutioN and Accurascale guys for a bit of banter in the hotel bar. We had a few laughs and it was a nice way to finish off the weekend.

And so in line with tradition we award the DEFine $hite Modelling award (just a bit of fun). This year it goes to none other than the celebrity layout by Aberdeen Model Railway Group that won the “Great Model Railway Challenge” on TV, “City of Tiers” (Or is it City of Tears?). Unfortunately the Shawplan stand was opposite this and we had to look at it for 3 days. OK, it was built in 3 days and it was TV entertainment but it doesnt represent railway modelling in its true form. It does for railway modelling what Charles Ratner did for the jewellery business.

And so that was another Glasgow Show weekend over. Pete stayed behind to fit in a visit to family on the Monday whilst Brian and James headed their respective ways home. Roll on next year. Its one of the friendliest and sociable shows on the calendar, but then I might be biased 😉

Pete and Brian on the stand ready for another busy day

The CS2 crew leaping into action to get trains running

Tim and Bertie manning the control panel on CS2

A shot of Phil operating his layout, collectors item

Terry and Phil having a chat over CS2

Nobby poses with the big layout, he had threatened to short it out with a 2p to give the picture interest

Nobby again, drinking tea whilst George does all the work

One for the ladies, Rodders and Dave pose at Dave’s layout

Who has been feeding Clive the blue smarties again?

James, the proprietor of Bill Hudson books adds up the weekends takings

Mike ponders what to spend his second million on whilst Ben checks out “This just in…” on his phone

Brian and Terry ponder the merits of Peco Setrack, is there a change coming?

Scottish Modellers stand hard at it

That’s better chaps, guest southern softie on the stand MikeC

Another gaggle of the Scottish Modellers contingent

And so to “City of Tiers” this years winner


You can never have too many Lava Lamps on your layout

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DEFine Modellers Day 2019 – Review

Having decided that DEFine Modellers Day #3, would go ahead early last year its incredible how quickly it comes around. With all the planning done it was soon time for the event to take place. The week before involved a lot of work in the background sorting out insurance, signage and of course getting all the refreshments purchased.

And so to the day itself. It was an early start for the team with Bertie having to travel from Mansfield to open the hall and get the tea urns fired up. Bill had agreed to head up the A1 to help Paul Marshall-Potter get “Shelfie2” to the event and Paul was assisting Pete in getting “Brunswick Yard” over to the venue. No sooner had the hall opened for exhibitors, it soon started filling up with layouts and demo tables. We had a wide range of demos this year mainly stock based, with examples of coaches, wagons, weathered locos and on-track plant. Each of the demos, as in previous years, were busy all day. We had 6 layouts at the event, 7 if you count the small shunting plank that Mike Whitchurch had brought over from Spain in a suitcase!

By 10am we were ready and had people waiting to come in which is always a good sign. The attendance was similar to previous years and by lunchtime there was a healthy throng within the hall. Many people took advantage of our “Social Zone” to just sit and chat and help themselves to the piles of free magazines. The kitchen was doing a roaring trade all day in tea and coffee with a selection of pastries and filled rolls on offer served up by Sylvia.

We received many comments about the quality of the layouts in attendance. Our first 2mm layout at the event “Sutton St Annes” seemed to be a hit with even the 4mm modelers. The P4 gauge masterpiece that is Howard Bolton’s “Minories” was a big draw and had a healthy audience all day. It was the first outing for Pete’s “Brunswick Yard” with fiddle yards fitted and all went to plan. It was obvious from the interest being shown throughout the day that “Shelfie2”, “Caradon Junction” and “Ashton Steel” were all equally entertaining our guests and feedback on the layout selection was very positive.

As in previous years it seemed that no sooner had we let the first visitors in, we were starting to get ready to pack up. The day seems to fly by and there is never enough time to spend chatting with all the friends that come to support us. Again, as in previous years, we still had a good number of people in the hall, many of who had visited for the whole day.

If anyone is interested to see more of the event, a video can be accessed with this link. Credit for the video goes to Martin Edwards

The DEFine team would like to thank everyone who turned up for their support and hopefully we break even and can do it all again next year.

PMP shunting away on “Shelfie2”

“Shelfie2” has some first class modelling on show

Chatting on “Caradon Junction”

A heavily weathered Sentinel shunter traverses “Caradon Junction”

Ashley on operating duty behind “Ashton Steel”

A very studious bunch of visitors

That’s better! Nobby, Richard and Mike share a laugh whilst Clive reaches for more reading material.

“Sutton St Annes” drew a lot of interest at the event and is a great example of 2mm modelling.

Time for a chat with Tom, Colin, Bertie, Paul and Dave

Andy and his excellent demo stock showing whats to come on “Glasgow Queen St” in EM gauge

Mike and Phil deep in conversation over “Span Yard”

Alex’s On Track Plant demo went down very well and had a full audience all day

The Demo Room

Bill takes a break from P4 and tries the smaller gauge for size. GQS in 2mm anyone?

Pete having a play on his “Brunswick Yard” layout

A view along “Brunswick Yard”

Alex with his weathered stock demo

The control side of “Minories” with Howard’s interlocking lever frame mechanism

A multiple unit awaits the signal on “Minories”

Bertie takes the helm of “Shelfie2” whilst a worried PMP looks on.

Fresh off the nightshift, Dave chats about wagons with Phil

Last but not least our refreshments hostess for the day, Sylvia


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DEFine Modellers Day 2019

DEFine are pleased to announce that we will be holding our third DEFine Modellers Day on Saturday the 12th of January 2019. The venue is as previous years, Risley Village Hall, Risley, Derbyshire,  DE72 3SU (beside the church).

Planning is well underway for the event and the line up of attendees so far is as follows.


Sutton St-Annes (2mm)

Ashton Street (OO)

Brunswick Yard (P4)

Cromer (OO)

Minories (P4)

Shelfie 2 (OO)


On-Track Plant – Alex Hall

Working on wagons – Phil Eames

Weathering stock – Dave Roome

Stock display for Glasgow Queen St in EM – Andy Clayton

Building a “plank” – Mike Whitchurch

As in previous events, there will be no traders present. There is lots of parking and refreshments will be available on the day. Doors open at 10am and close at 4pm.

The venue can be reached within 5 mins off J25 of the M1. Take exit (Bostocks Lane) heading for Risley  and then left at the lights on to A5010. The Village Hall will be signposted about half a mile along on the right hand side.

We are also pleased to announce that admission is being maintained at only £3 as this is a not for profit event.

We will keep the blog updated with any more news and reminders nearer the date. This looks like it could be our biggest show yet so we hope you can come along and enjoy the day. Pictures and coverage of previous events can be found in the blog archive.


The DEFine Team


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Where has this year gone?

When I told people I was going to retire in July 2017, they told me I would have loads of time on my hands to get the layout finished and keep the blog updated etc….wrong! I cant believe that May was the last update on here so in order to put things right here is a bit of an update.

Our Wednesday night meetings continue to be a success with everyone busy working away on their own projects. We have promised to put more modelling snippets on here as to what people in the group are up to so we will endeavour to do that going forward.

Most if not all of the group were at the DEMU Showcase event back in early June, the last one to be held at Burton Town Hall with a new venue in Burton planned for next year. As has become the custom, the group retired to the Coopers Arms on the Saturday night to sample some of their excellent ales, followed by an equally excellent curry in the restaurant next door.

Chatting in the Coopers Arms

The DEFine crew and Ian Benberth tuck in

The noisy table

July saw the Lydd Rail event take place at Paul Wade’s first class facilities down in Lydd. Pete had the scenic section of his layout there as a first outing. All went well except for an 08 deciding to spontaneously let out a loud screech and stop dead. Thankfully the damaged decoder was replaced along with the speakers under warranty by Legomanbiffo so all is now well with the 08. Bertie had decided to go down on the Thursday and do some running around the Kent coast on a Rail Rover. This year we had a trip out on a vintage bus to visit the Rommney, Hythe and Dimchurch Railway. This unique railway is a joy to visit and we had a back stage pass to visit the signal box and the sheds. Very interesting.Lydd is a great event but was a challenge this year with it being a 6 hour journey each way because of traffic issues on our wonderful road systems.

Pete just before the 08 decided it wasn’t playing


Forward to September and it was the customary visit to the Great Central Railway Diesel Gala. This year numbers were down due to members being on holiday and it was left to Pete, Bill and Dave Furmage to hold the fort for DEFine. After the mandatory full breakfast in the griddle car we spent a very enjoyable day going up and down the line hauled by various means of traction. A first for this year included a trip up the Mountsorrel branch in a DMU. For lunch some real ale was laid on a Loughbourough station so we had to partake in a nice pint of mild, accompanied by a foot long hotdog!

The Mountsorrel branch cab view

It is mandatory

Pete after a long day at the GCR

As September draws to a close we now see the exhibition season starting to gather pace. As I type this I am preparing to head to Aylesbury for the Scalefour Society exhibition. In the D&E era modelling section we will have Bertie and Dave Furmage doing some demonstrations involving stock and a section of Berties “Shirebrook” layout on which he has now got some hand built track laid. Pete will be there with the scenic section of “Brunswick Yard” and Brian and Paul of course with the Shawplan stand.

We must mention that plans are well underway for the 2019 DEFine Modellers Day. This will be our third event and hopefully it will be as successful as the others. More details on here soon.

So there we have it, hopefully updates will be more regular and we can include some details on modelling projects

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Catch up…May 2018

It’s a few months since we reported any activity from the DEFine team but things have been moving along well with all our personal projects. We still meet once a week and busy ourselves with some modelling, chatting, eating biscuits and drinking coffee/tea.

It was once mentioned that we never see any modelling on the DEFine forum, just antics usually involving beer, curry and all-day breakfasts. To put that right here are some pictures of us working away just to prove we actually do some modelling

For the past few years Bill has been working on creating a P4 gauge model of Glasgow Queen Street. Lots of research has gone into it and here we see Bill working on the board that hosts the track work from the tunnel and into the station throat, fanning out into platforms. All the track on both boards is hand-built and Bill is currently completing the DCC wiring.

Bertie is currently building a layout (40ft) based on Shirebrook, also in P4. When not working on track Bertie spends a lot of time working on stock, mostly improving kits and RTR stock with improved suspension, braking details and other such work to help improve the look of the models and also improve the running capabilities. Bertie is a fan of the Rumney Models replacement chassis approach and has done quite a few. Here he is working on a 16t Mineral Wagon.

Brian has a long time ambition to build a model of Kings Cross but running a business for modellers and supporting Ready To Run manufacturers often gets in the way. In the meantime he turns his attention to improving stock. Like others in the group he has built replacement chassis’s for his locos using the Penbits suspension kits. Brian can be seen here working on his latest conversion, a Class 47.

Paul (left) is also working on some wagon stock improvements. As well as designing parts for his own stock improvements, Paul is in the final stages with his excellent P4 layout “Splot”. Here he is working on some bogie parts for “Powell-Duffryn” steel carrier wagons, ably assisted by Dave. Once completed these will be unique items and will join the many other pieces of bespoke rolling stock that Paul has built.

Dave (right in previous picture), has been very busy recently. He is still working on his recent layout “Underhill Road”, whilst at the same time working on writing magazine articles. The June Model railway Journal contains his detailed article on modifying and improving RTR Class 25 locos. He has also recently built an “ETHEL” train heating loco in P4 ( seen above ) for Bill to be used on his Glasgow Queen Street model.

Completing the line up is Pete who is seen here working on his latest P4 layout “Brunswick Yard”. It is a fictitious location built on Tim Horn baseboards with a 6ft scenic section and two fiddle yards. Pete is seen here negotiating the construction of stretcher bars on to the point work using the group’s Resistance Soldering Unit (RSU). The layout is about 60% complete with ballasting being the next major undertaking. The purpose of the layout is to provide a platform to show stock movements, once some more stock is converted to P4.

Well we hope this post fills a gap and shows that we do also manage to fit in some serious modelling whilst at the same time having a good laugh and a joke.



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Model Rail Scotland February 2018

This show seems to come around very quickly every year, but it is worth waiting for. Being a 3 day event, it means a 5 day trip to get up and back with the Shawplan trade stand. One downside this year was that the show coincided with the Derby Winter Beer Festival so we had to miss on that one. Its a shame as we love that event also.

Anyway with Pete having been picked up by Bill it was onwards to Brian’s gaff to pick up the van and head north. Our early start was hampered by the very slow drive through at McDonalds down the road from Brian’s but charged up with a brew it was up the M1 and across the A66 to meet the M74 and onwards to Glasgow. Compared to last year it was a very uneventful trip, as last year storm Doris was doing her worst to close roads and hamper our progress. We made it to the SECC in great time and soon had the van in the hall courtesy of some skilful driving by Bill to shoehorn the van adjacent to our set up space. Our allocated space was short by about 5 inches but thankfully our neighbours on the next stand agreed to moving their stand to accommodate us. With three of us getting stuck in the stand got set up very quickly.

The stand in all its glory, except for the droopy W on the cloth

Our hotel this year was a short walk across the Bells bridge which was very handy. After checking in we decided to stay with tradition and head over to Braehead for the curry and beer night at the “Lord of The Isles”. It didn’t disappoint.  After our meal we headed back to our hotel and decided to stay local and head to the Old Toll Bar. This is a “listed” bar and goes way back to the mid-1800’s. It is still as it was inside and was also still predominantly lit by candlelight. It is no longer the dump it used to be and is very smart. After a few beers, it was time for something different. Bill decided to go for a nice gin whilst Brian and Pete went for an old Scottish cocktail the “Kinning Park Flip”

And it was beautiful

To round off the first day we headed back to the hotel via a Chinese takeaway for some chips.

It was soon Friday morning and time to head over to the SECC for the opening of the show. The weather was amazing and we had beautiful views to look at along the Clyde as we made our way there.

Business was brisk on the Friday which is the traditional modellers day and people come to stock up on parts and rolling stock etc. We were visited by Mike Bartle our friend and Ops Manager for the event. Mike does a great job at making sure the weekend passes without a hitch and always seems to supply us with the odd Tunnocks Caramel wafer too!

Mike doing his best to hide behind Bill!

It became obvious looking around the show that many of our acquaintances from down south had made the journey north either as exhibitors, traders or just visitors.

There was “Georgemas Junction” and “Friday Bridge” flying the flag for the D&E era as well as “Campo de Leste” which was a Portuguese exhibit manned by the SDEG crowd.

Messrs Woodcock (Jnr and Snr) control the next movement whilst The Guvnor looks into the distance contemplating what’s for lunch

Clive has been left marooned on Friday Bridge. I am assuming the sign relates to the layout not Clive

Dave actually operating his layout, well kind of

Simon gets totally engrossed in shunting Portuguese style

On Friday night we headed into town and after ages looking for a table, we got settled in the “Counting House” for something to eat and drink. After this we headed into Queen Street Station to look at the modernisation progress and to let Bill verify some dimensions etc for the model he is building. Following this we had a walk down towards Central Station and called into the “Horseshoe Bar” for a swift one before heading home.

The Saturday at the show was very busy too and past by very quickly. We were joined on Saturday by Paul and Alex who had travelled up the previous night by the “Caledonian Sleeper”.

Alex and Mike are no doubt talking all things 2mm whilst Paul is trying to look interested

As in previous years we had booked a table at the “Wee Curry Shop” in Ashton Lane for the Saturday night. The food was excellent as usual especially the amazing Haggis Pakora. Before our meal however he started in the Innes&Gunn Beer Kitchen that had opened in the lane. They have an excellent selection of beers, some brewed on the premises. In fact we made a return there after the meal just to make sure, before heading back to base.

Lovely food and nice setting above the lane

Cheers from the I&G Beer Kitchen

Sunday as usually is the slowest day of the event, and is more of a families day. This gave us a chance to take it in turns to have a look around the show and make some purchases.

Pete and Bill minding the store

The day started with a nice surprise for Pete when he finally got to be presented with the award he won at Lydd Rail back in July 2017. This was for “Beard of The Year” and was presented by the host of the event Mr Wade. However looking at the setting is Pete receiving his award or congratulating “The Guvnor” on finally singing up for the Scalefour Society?

Presentation time for Pete

No show would be complete without highlighting some observations made over the weekend. We heard that our favourite layout and winner of a previous DEFine award was back at the show, “Allander Bank”. We headed up to see if it was still in its impeccable condition and it didn’t disappoint.

Fish-plates working hard

Catenary to quite literally die for. It rubs the coach as it goes by

The other observation we made was on the Railway Modeller/Peco stand opposite us. Their security was incredible, every night at closing they surrounded the stand with a ring of steel that nobody would be able to get past, if they took a fancy to what was on the stand.

That tape is going to stop anything entering, except maybe a good limbo dancer

By Sunday night we were knackered. After we got the van all packed up it was back to the hotel. We had a walk along to the Quays Mall and had a nice Chinese buffet. After that it was kip time. Brian however had other ideas and went out to do some night photography on the banks of the Clyde. It was bloody freezing by this point!

With the Beast From The East threatening to descend on the UK at any time we decided to get away early. We saw a few snow flurries on the way back but thankfully once again an uneventful return

All broken down and ready for the van



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DEFine Modellers Day 2018 – The Review

As previously reported, due to the success of the DEFine Modellers Day in January 2017, it was decided to hold the event again in 2018.  The format of the event had received a favourable response from those who attended the first Modellers Day so we stuck with a similar format. The idea of the DEFine Modellers day is to provide an event for serious modellers to get together in a social vein to display and demonstrate their handiwork and to share information with like minded souls. So with that in mind , how did we do this year? We once again managed to fill both halls with differing and interesting exhibits and demonstrations. We are indebted to those who agree to come along and volunteer their time in order to make the event a success. It is THE event run by serious modellers for other modellers irrespective of ability.

So it was at 7.15am on a very cold Saturday morning that Pete arrived to open the hall and get the heaters on and get the urn on the go. Pete was swiftly joined by Bill and set up started. Paul and Dave arrived shortly afterwards with their excellent layouts “Splot” and “Underhill Road”. Whilst Dave and Paul commenced building their layouts up the others were laying out the floorplan of tables and chairs in anticipation of the other layouts and exhibitors arriving from 8am. In no time a steady stream of bodies and boxes of all sizes started to fill the room and very quickly it started to look like the event was taking shape. Next to arrive was Sylvia (MrsD) who was in charge of refreshments and she set about arranging the kitchen area and making up the delicious filled rolls.

At 10am our first visitors were ticketed through the door and we were off and running. A steady stream of visitors then followed throughout the day. It was great to see so many friends and familiar faces, as well as some people who were attending for the first time. With all the DEFine members either demonstrating or showing layouts, and all the demonstrations having no empty seats in front of them the hall soon had a buzz that confirmed the event was going well. Some people stayed for many hours and chatted which is what we aimed for. You cannot help but learn things or get enthused about something through talking to other people who are open and willing to share their expertise.

By 3pm we were almost out of refreshments but the tea and coffee were still flowing as people still congregated in the hall chatting. By 4pm closing the hall was still busy so we had to start clearing up around people! At one point we were going to have to ask the lads on “Enigma Engineering” to put the lights out when they left, as they were fully engrossed.

Having said all our goodbyes to friends and all those who helped make the event a success it was time to clean out the hall. Bill did a sterling job as Mrs Mop whilst Bertie took a truly systematic and methodical approach to sweeping the floor. Last thing to do was have a DEFine get together to analyse how things went. Our treasurer reported that we had almost the same number of visitors through the door as 2017 but taking everything into account we had made a £5 loss on the event. However that loss was immediately turned into a £7 profit by auctioning off the rolls, milk, crisps and cans to the group. We can therefore say the event was a financial as success!! With that done it was over the road to The Risley Inn for a celebratory beer.

A big thank you from everyone in DEFine to all our visitors, exhibitors and demonstrators for making the event a real success. We got great feedback on the door as visitors were leaving. We will post up in due course what our plan is for 2019. The challenge is for us to find new demos and small layouts for the event so we are on the look out now.

We will close out with some pictures and captions from the event.

The more observant visitor will have noticed Mr Whitchurch sporting his DEFine Spanish Area Group shirt

The shunting enigma that is “Enigma Engineering”

Roomey’s “Underhill Road” gets lots of admirers

Brian discusses all things etching with visitors

Deep in discussion at Ashley Toone’s “Field Lane”

Scary, the operators Richard Coleman had with him on “Down Sidings”

Dave Wright’s excellent demo on creating back scenes

Bill and Mark discussing the coach scene in Scotland in the 70’s and 80’s

Lots of discussion going on, with a few laughs

Phil discussing DCC wiring of his layout

Bertie and Mark discussing Rumney Models chassis construction

Another appreciative audience sharing in Dave Wright’s help and advice

A view along one of the boards from Paul Spencer’s “Splot”

Picking up some wagons on Dave Roome’s “Underhill Road”

The hall gets busy and the free mags have certainly started to disappear

Howard discusses how he builds his excellent P4 track work

The Mickelover Mafia in deep discussion

Clive strikes a serious pose whilst Richard gives it big grins

Last but not least, Sylvia, who kept us all fed and watered throughout the day



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