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The Remains of the Day

Posted by Mikkel , in Gallery, The Bay 06 March 2010 · 2,071 views

stock gallery buffalo 0-4-4T cartage figures horses parcels Bay
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While researching a book on the real Farthing station, I recently acquired a set of photos from the 1900-1910 period that I thought I would share here. My sources in Farthing have been able to provide a bit of background on some of the staff featured in the photos. Above, we see the bay platform at Farthing, with station staff in attendance. The stationmaster Mr A. Woodcourt is seen second from the left. The stock presents something of a mystery. While it has been known for some time that loco No. 34 was occasionally seen at Farthing, it appears here to be heading a 70 ft Autotrailer to Diagram A12. These coaches were built with gangways to run behind railmotors in the Plymouth area, and it seems highly irregular that it should turn up at Farthing on its own. Perhaps readers can offer an explanation?



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"Buffalo" No. 1234 in the bay area at Farthing. The fireman was known as "Mad Charlie" due to his rather spectacular style of shoveling, which included various risky balancing acts on top of the bunker. Sadly this practice eventually led to his demise, as one day during a particularly tricky move he fell off the loco at full speed. His reputation lived on, however, and for many years afterwards firemen in the area would acknowledge a particularly deft move as "a Mad Charlie".



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The bay in a lull between trains. The picture carries the date "May 5th, 1907" on the back. The photographer must have been standing on what was then Platform 3, looking across the Up Main. Today, of course, everything seen in this photo has been converted to a parking lot.



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The gentleman in this photo has been identified as Mr Tom Gradgrind, a worker for the local cartage company Smith & Sons. Always known as a bit of a dreamer, he eventually became obsessed with the notion that the entire population of Farthing were merely toys in the hands of a giant. Although he was later cured and settled down for a normal family life, his wife would occasionally notice him casting fleeting glances at the sky, as if trying to catch a glimpse of another world beyond the clouds.



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William K. Honeythunder with his parcels van and horse. Although much admired by the women of Farthing, Mr Honeythunder's true love were the horses he worked with. Some 15 years after this photo was taken he became a superintendent in the GWR's cartage department at Paddington, where he fought long and hard against the phasing out of horse power on the Great Western.



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Stationmaster A.Woodcourt served the GWR for 27 years. Farthing was his last post. Throughout his career with the company he was known as a disciplined, meticulous but also somewhat cautious man. It therefore came as a surprise to many when, the day after his retirement, he withdrew his entire savings from the bank, boarded a ship for Brazil and disappeared into the Amazon jungle.
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eastwestdivide
Mar 06 2010 14:25
Brilliant back-story. The chap in the straw boater in the first pic deserves a few words too. Looks a bit of a cad to me.
I wonder what Kazuo Ishiguro would make of this!

The chap in the straw boater in the first pic deserves a few words too. Looks a bit of a cad to me.


I think you might be right about that Posted Image , he does seem to be hanging around the platforms a lot:

http://www.rmweb.co....l-for-mr-ahern/ (third picture down)
http://www.rmweb.co....ials-of-mr-bull (also third picture)

I wonder what Kazuo Ishiguro would make of this!


Probably not much Posted Image .

He might be able to help me find a publisher though. I'm thinking of trying Lame Duck Press (Wild Swan not being interested).
I'm glad you included the portrait of Mr Woodcourt in his uniform. When I saw the first photo, I thought it was Brian Blessed standing there and was beginning to think this was a spoof with actors and models :rolleyes: but the final portrait has convinced me.

As to Mad Charlie, he appears to have his jacket buttoned in the style that I associate with drivers. Perhaps the flapping jacket tails caught on something as he was furiously shovelling, and pitched him off the footplate?
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eastwestdivide
Mar 06 2010 16:52
Straw Boater Man (Terry Thomas accent): "Would one of you splendid chaps be so kind as to carry my trunk to the hansom?"
West Country Porter (in expectation of a hefty tip): "Certainly Sirr."
WCP (attempting to lift trunk): "Arrgh. Urggh... Sir, what 'ave 'ee in 'ere? Is it full of books?"
SBM (twiddling moustache and looking shifty): " Fraid I'm not at liberty to say, old chap. How far is Wild Goose Publications from here?"

...continues after the commercial break...
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nick_bastable
Mar 06 2010 19:23
great thread reminds me of Iain Rice layouts discriptions

I'm glad you included the portrait of Mr Woodcourt in his uniform. When I saw the first photo, I thought it was Brian Blessed standing there and was beginning to think this was a spoof with actors and models Posted Image but the final portrait has convinced me.

The stationmaster does look like Brian Blessed, I hadn't thought of that. Life imitates art Posted Image.

As to Mad Charlie, he appears to have his jacket buttoned in the style that I associate with drivers. Perhaps the flapping jacket tails caught on something as he was furiously shovelling, and pitched him off the footplate?


There are photos with firemen in that style, but I agree he looks more like a driver as he stands there confidently beside the Stationmaster. And you're right, no doubt the jacket tails caught on something and killed poor Charlie. Perhaps that explains why this style of buttoning the jacket disappeared later on!


Straw Boater Man (Terry Thomas accent): "Would one of you splendid chaps be so kind as to carry my trunk to the hansom?"
West Country Porter (in expectation of a hefty tip): "Certainly Sirr."
WCP (attempting to lift trunk): "Arrgh. Urggh... Sir, what 'ave 'ee in 'ere? Is it full of books?"
SBM (twiddling moustache and looking shifty): " Fraid I'm not at liberty to say, old chap. How far is Wild Goose Publications from here?"


Aha, the plot thickens! Posted Image I think we need to bring in Scotland Yard - incognito you understand:

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great thread reminds me of Iain Rice layouts discriptions


I wish! Posted Image The real-life tales found in some of the good line histories are really fascinating though (if perhaps a little less dramatic!). Kevin Robertson's books on the DN&SR for example, with their stories of railway lives. Fascinating stuff!

Welcome to Farthing!

Attached Image: farthing2.jpg

 

This blog chronicles the building of "The Farthing layouts", a series of small OO layouts that portray different sections of a GWR junction station in Edwardian days.

 

Intro and concept
How to eat an elephant
Design principles
State of play

 

Gallery (1900-1904)
Four o'clock blues, ca. 1902
What really happened in the Cuban...
The honourable slipper boy (Part 1)
The honourable slipper boy (Part 2)
The honourable slipper boy (Part 3)

 

Gallery (1904-08)
The trials of Mr Bull
A most implausible arrival
A parcel for Mr Ahern
Blue skies and horse traffic
The Remains of the Day
Motley crew

Edwardian daydreams

 

Gallery (1914)
All in a day's work, Part 1
All in a day's work, Part 2
All in a day's work, Part 3
All in a day's work, Part 4

 

Out of period
Undecided sky (1867)
The sleeping giant (1887)
Bunker first (1927)
Fitted fish and piles (1947)

 

Videos
Once Upon a Time in the West
Summer silliness
The unbearable lightness...
Across the years
The Sidelight Job
Painting coach panels

Traverser testing

 

Coaches
Low-tech pre-grouping stock

Short trains for short layouts
Short trains with a twist
Hand-me-down coaches
Low-tech coach restoration (1)
Low-tech coach restoration (2)
Low-tech coach restoration (3)
Low-tech coach restoration (4)
Low-tech coach restoration (5)

 

Wagons
Sprat & Winkle couplings
3 plank Open in GWR red
Outside Framed 8 Ton Van

In the red: GWR 1900s wagon liveries
In loving memory...
Scratchbuilt one-planker (1)
Scratchbuilt one-planker (2)
MSWJR 3-plank dropside
LSWR 10 ton sliding door van
SDJR Road Van
LSWR stone wagon
Fake news and wagon sheets

 

Locos
GWR 1854 Saddle Tank (1)
GWR 1854 Saddle Tank (2)
Shiny domes and safety valve covers

 

Track
C+L underlay and Carr's ballast
Experiments with C+L track
Comparing track
Messing about with track panels
Laying track on "The depot"

 

Vehicles
GWR horse-drawn trolley
GWR 5-ton horse-drawn vehicle
Parcels van and coal trolley

 

Goods
Fun with crates
Barrels, baskets, bales
Small crates and tea chests

 

Figures
Andrew Stadden 4mm figures
Backdated Monty's figures
Footplate crew
HO figures for an OO layout
Lesser known whitemetal figures

 

Building "The bay"
First bite: "The bay"
Simple structures for "The bay"
Platform trolleys and barrows
Signs, posters and adverts
Six lessons learnt

 

Building "The depot"
Second bite: "The depot"
Shunting Puzzle
Sketches of The depot
Soft body, hard shell
Kit-bashed roof structure
Dry Run
Dusting off the cobwebs
Playing with mirrors
Mezzanine floor
Progress on "The depot"
4mm slate roofing
The treachery of images

A roof for "The depot"

A tall bird from Paddington
Cranes for the depot
Shoulders of giants
Flight of the bumblebee

 

Building "The sidings"
Third bite: "The sidings"
Wagon propulsion
Progress on "The sidings"
Rising from slumber
The Biscuit Shed
A shed and a lock-up
Agricultural merchant's warehouse
Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall

 

The FSWDC
Railway modelling and Art
Moving Pictures
Season's greetings

 

Layout ideas
A flexible layout
Kicking back in Gloucester

 

Miscellaneous
GWR stables - an overview
Journey to Didcot
Detail hunting at Didcot
Here's looking at you
The mists of time (and all that)
My friend the operating chair
Ready-to-plonk freight
GWR Modelling website

 

More
RMweb Workbench
Flickr photostream

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