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Don Ashton

Sad News

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julian atkins15/04/2020 00:57:40
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1239 forum posts
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It is with much personal sadness that I have to report the death of Don Ashton of miniature loco valve gear fame, and much else besides.

Cheers,

Julian

Hopper15/04/2020 03:00:40
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5505 forum posts
137 photos

I'm sorry to hear that. It was Don's wonderful site HERE that finally got through my thick skull how Stephensons and Walschearts' valve gears worked. He will be sadly missed but his work will live on.

Dave Wootton15/04/2020 06:05:31
197 forum posts
51 photos

I'm also very sorry to hear about Don's death, I never met him but his books and website have helped me enormously. A man of wide ranging talents who will be missed.

My thoughts are with his family.

Dave

julian atkins16/04/2020 02:25:07
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1239 forum posts
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Thank you Dave, and Hopper.

To be quite frank, I am surprised that more have not commented on Don Ashton's death. He did so much for our hobby, and was a beacon of light in the darkness of the understanding of miniature locomotive valve gears for the past 45 plus years, and was such a great friend to many of us.

Cheers,

Julian

Hopper16/04/2020 02:52:50
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5505 forum posts
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Maybe not that many old-school loco builders on this site at the moment, which was Don's milieu.

I do hope somebody takes over the maintenance of his site to keep it on the net. It is an invaluable resource.

Dave Wootton16/04/2020 06:30:34
197 forum posts
51 photos

I think that maybe the lack of comment is as Hopper says because of an unfamiliarity with Don's work, I would recommend anyone who is building or contemplating any steam locomotive or engine to look at Don's website and book. I have seen many questions asked about valve setting on various forums that could be answered by reference to Don's work.

I struggled with Rob Roy's valve setting for a very disappointingly long time (pre internet) and could not get it to run satisfactorily, reading Martin Evans and LBSC didn't help much. I saw Don's stevensons booklet at a M.E exhibition at Wembley , his simple jig made in an afternoon for setting the eccentrics ended weeks of frustration and probably prevented another unfinished chassis being up for sale.

The content does appear maths heavy at first, I am certainly no maths genius, don't let that put you off there is sound practical advice contained in all his works, removing uncertainty, no more trying to set return cranks with a pair of dividers, something I for one could never manage.

As Julian says Don was certainly a beacon of light, for me personally at any rate, if there was a system of donation to keep his website open I would be pleased to contribute.

Dave

 

Edited By Dave Wootton on 16/04/2020 06:31:20

Edited By Dave Wootton on 16/04/2020 06:31:50

Simon Collier16/04/2020 08:03:54
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415 forum posts
60 photos

Very sad news. Don was good enough personally to help me, on the other side of the world, with my Springbok valve gear. My copy of his book is very stained and tattered from regular use.

Former Member16/04/2020 09:08:16
1329 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Harry Wilkes16/04/2020 09:37:56
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1166 forum posts
64 photos

Sad loss condolences to his family

H

Neil Wyatt16/04/2020 13:46:39
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18744 forum posts
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I'm sorry to hear the sad news.

Thanks for letting us know, Julian.

Neil

Neil Wyatt16/04/2020 13:50:43
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Moderator
18744 forum posts
733 photos
80 articles

I've taken the liberty of adding a subtitle; forum members may not realise the nature of the thread otherwise.

Neil

EdH16/04/2020 14:09:56
45 forum posts
27 photos

The sad loss of someone who would give his time and study even though he was not enjoying good health himself.

EdH

julian atkins17/04/2020 01:31:46
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1239 forum posts
353 photos

For those who would like to know how much Don Ashton helped us all please see

https://modeleng.proboards.com/thread/13547/vale-don-ashton

(I hope the above link works)

Cheers,

Julian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited By julian atkins on 17/04/2020 01:32:47

Nick Clarke 317/04/2020 10:27:01
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1247 forum posts
49 photos

Although I never met or spoke with Don Ashton I was familiar with his website.

This has been preserved on the Wayback Machine Internet Archive at Don Ashton's Website

julian atkins18/04/2020 00:00:15
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1239 forum posts
353 photos

Thank you Nick for that information about the 'wayback machine' and Don Ashton's website.

Cheers,

Julian

Chris_C18/04/2020 13:06:18
23 forum posts

That is sad news. I never met Don, but did exchange a few pm's on the proboards website about valve gear for my 14xx. I had been struggling to purchase a copy of his book, they were not available in the usual stockists and between discussing the valve gear and a few other most interesting things he asked me for my address. A copy of his book turned up a day later and he wouldn't accept even postage. He came across both very knowledgable, but probably more so generous, the responses to my questions were always fully enlightening and we'd never met.

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