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Perry Barr Station

Posted by PaternosterRow , 10 February 2018 · 500 views

I haven't been resting on my laurels since my last layout and have been ferreting away as usual. So, and having grown up in Perry Barr, I thought it was high time to have a go at a model of the station there. I've had to rely on a couple of pics by Steve Jones along with my memory of the place. I didn't fancy using any of the available catenary so had a go at making my own out of wire. The are not perfect but look credible especially with Colin Graig's superb pewter insulators.

 

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A couple of Steve Jones superb pictures of Perry Barr - this was just how I remember it having grown up during that era. I've got to order a Class 310 or 304 kit from Southern Pride as of yet. I'm inclined to go for the 304 as I've never built a kit before so think it prudent to start off with a simpler model (the 310 looks really complicated).

 

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My take of the scene with a modified Hornby 86 and, as yet unmodified) Lima 101. The Lima is a superb little model with its flush windows - it needs a new motor and some minor alterations.

 

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The Lima 101 - many find the all over blue with yellow ends a bit boring, but I've always loved this simple colour scheme from BR corporate period.

 

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The other end of the layout. It's eight foot long - the bridge at the Park end is a ficticious scenic break - there was one like this but it was about 2 miles from the station. I used to walk to school across Perry Hall Park every day and would often have my face pressed up against the spear fencing. Every once in a while the drivers would sound off a two tone and wave to me. Great, great days.

 

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There are 4 light weight portal type gantrys at the station and two 'H' girder types by the Park end. The portals were made from 0.75mm galvanised wire - soldered together in jigs. The uprights for these were made from the same wire - soldered together in lengths and then given a hard filing to give crisp edge to the stanchions. The portals are slightly over scale - the prototypes are only 18inches deep and mine would work out to be around 22 inches square - I don't think it's that noticable now that they are in place. The 'H' type portals were made from Brass sections.

 

Perry Barr is not an attractive station by any means with it's concrete overbridge and steps - this was installed in the early 60's to accommodate the widenning of the A34 Birmingham to Walsall Road. However, it is one of the oldest operational stations in the world. It was originally the fourth station out of Curzon Street on the old Grand Junction Railway - the world's first 'long-distance' intercity railway (4 July 1837). This Birmingham to Manchester route opened nearly a year and a half before the London to Birmingham railway which commenced on 17 Sept 1838.

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Compound2632
Feb 10 2018 15:15

You've caught those 1970s boring blues perfectly - the platform edges, dirty concrete and decaying prefab buildings are so redolent of the era. I always used to turn right at Aston for Four Oaks, so the 310s were just that little bit exotic in my eyes.

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wombatofludham
Feb 10 2018 15:19
I studied Town Planning at the Faculty of the Built Environment at the Poly across the road, so used to use the station every day from Walsall, and I can just remember the near derelict "System X" prefab buildings on the platforms before they got torched. I also remember the area behind the to Birmingham platform before the construction of One Stop. There was a fairly grim 1960s shopping centre and office block fronting the A34 prior to demolition to make way for One Stop which was under construction when I graduated.

It's a cracking model that oozes atmosphere. Well done on capturing the buildings so well.
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PaternosterRow
Feb 10 2018 16:20

You've caught those 1970s boring blues perfectly - the platform edges, dirty concrete and decaying prefab buildings are so redolent of the era. I always used to turn right at Aston for Four Oaks, so the 310s were just that little bit exotic in my eyes.

Cheers, Compound.

 

Yes, they were in a real sorry condition by the mid 70's - there used to be a gas fire in the waiting room and it never worked.  My mother loved going to Birmingham (New Street) or Walsall on the train at the weekends, but the station never seemed busy whatever time you used it.  I remember always getting told off by her for standing to close to the platform edge - the platforms were always so mean sized that you couldn't help standing on the flags.  Those train trips made a big impression on me (I loved New Street Station - it was an exciting place to a small boy).  Perry Barr might have been the worse station on the Network but it was our station all the same!

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PaternosterRow
Feb 10 2018 16:37

I studied Town Planning at the Faculty of the Built Environment at the Poly across the road, so used to use the station every day from Walsall, and I can just remember the near derelict "System X" prefab buildings on the platforms before they got torched. I also remember the area behind the to Birmingham platform before the construction of One Stop. There was a fairly grim 1960s shopping centre and office block fronting the A34 prior to demolition to make way for One Stop which was under construction when I graduated.

It's a cracking model that oozes atmosphere. Well done on capturing the buildings so well.

 Cheers wombatofludham (love the handle),

 

The old shopping centre was called Lynton Square and it was built in 1964.  It was demolished around 1987 - it was never popular for some reason, but, as kids, we loved the place.  There was a little model shop on one corner and I spent hours looking in the window at the example dioramas the owner built.  He was a great guy and would throw in a paint brush or even a Humbrol paint when you bought a kit.  This was handy as my father brought me up on the principle that the more chores you did the more pocket money you got - and, boy, did it have to be earnt (I'm for ever grateful for it though!).  Behind the shopping centre was the site of the original dog and motorbike racing track - I got a near free view of this from my bedroom window.   The river Tame actually bisected the two, doing a lazy 'S' on its way from the Park to the A34 overbridge.  The dogtrack was demolished in about 1985 - the old Stadium by the Poly was done up to create the present day venue.  They actually had to reroute the river to accommodate the New One Stop complex that was built around 1990.  I hated the One Stop - it just didn't have the character of the old place with its office block and underground carpark complex. 

Superb Mike - good to see you back posting :good:

Really captured it very well and the colours/tones just right.

Did you think about making the large brick/concrete building or adding it to a photo back scene?

BR Blue with yellow ends works for me too ;)
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PaternosterRow
Feb 10 2018 19:02

Superb Mike - good to see you back posting :good:

Really captured it very well and the colours/tones just right.

Did you think about making the large brick/concrete building or adding it to a photo back scene?

BR Blue with yellow ends works for me too ;)

Hi Pete, good to hear from you too.  Thanks for the kind comments.

 

I don't visit the site as often nowadays, but when I do I always take a peek at your stuff.  Sad to hear about the end of Thurso - love your scottish 2mm FS stuff.  Totally innovative layouts that were so well engineered and crafted.  However, good luck with the 7mm - I'm sure you'll master that too.

 

I wanted to make as much of the station as possible - there's something about blue brick and concrete.  Suppose it's because growing up in Birmingham meant being surrounded by the stuff.  Can't see what others object to with the BR Blue and Yellow - again, it's probably because we grew up with it.  The 70's seemed like a great period full of hope for the future - especially when you think of all those great achievements of the time - HST/APT, Concorde, Harrier Jump Jet etc. etc.  New technological firsts just seemed to keep comming out of our factories back then.  It's all sadly gone now and our generation had to witness the sad demise of British Industry during the early 80's.  The 70's era wasn't as bleak as younger generations seem to think it was either - at least we had Punk and could say what we thought without fear of the censor!  Also, think of the irony - BR developed the tilting train and Virgin have to now buy them in from Italy!  

Excellent work, Mike and especially the choice of subject. The complete antidote to all those chocolate-box depictions that get churned out. I love suburban stations and they are the part of the railway that the majority of passengers have experienced since the early days of the railway in travelling to and from their places of work.

I also like the fact that you have modelled a station on a railway with overhead electrification which is still a bit of a minority interest in modelling circles. I grew up with a suburban railway at the end of our garden in Southport which had both steam and 3rd rail electric services but I was also captivated by the developing 25kv system just along from us in Liverpool.

By the way, back in the late 1990s I developed a real liking for Steve Jones' excellent photos, especially the wagons. I used to stay behind after work on a Friday and wait until the office was empty. I could then print his wagon photos in full A4 and colour on the office laser printer. I still have them to use as a reference for modelling.

Looking forward to more posts from Perry Barr!

 

David

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PaternosterRow
Feb 11 2018 09:38

Excellent work, Mike and especially the choice of subject. The complete antidote to all those chocolate-box depictions that get churned out. I love suburban stations and they are the part of the railway that the majority of passengers have experienced since the early days of the railway in travelling to and from their places of work.
I also like the fact that you have modelled a station on a railway with overhead electrification which is still a bit of a minority interest in modelling circles. I grew up with a suburban railway at the end of our garden in Southport which had both steam and 3rd rail electric services but I was also captivated by the developing 25kv system just along from us in Liverpool.
By the way, back in the late 1990s I developed a real liking for Steve Jones' excellent photos, especially the wagons. I used to stay behind after work on a Friday and wait until the office was empty. I could then print his wagon photos in full A4 and colour on the office laser printer. I still have them to use as a reference for modelling.
Looking forward to more posts from Perry Barr!
 
David


Hi Dave,

Thanks for the kind comments. It’s a pity that there isn’t a lot more interest in overhead stuff - it’s definitely harder to make 25kv layouts and there isn’t a lot of available British catenary to make it any easier. I did do a Chocolate Box layout a few years ago called Cheslyn - it became a bit of a bore in the end and I lost interest swearing that I’d stick to urban stuff thereafter. Whilst Perry Barr is a Northern suburb of Birmingham, and has a bit of a country feel to it, it still a city type layout and I’ve enjoyed doing the mix of concrete and green. It’s certainly the first layout I’ve done that’s not fictitious - probably why I’m enjoying making it.

It’s funny how we modellers all have that in common - ‘grew up near a railway’. They left a big impression on us didn’t they? The sounds of the trains at night were as reassuring as the ticking of the hallroom clock.

Thanks again,

Mike

Hi Mike, I finally found time to read this properly - including your evocative comments above, with all the memories.

 

Looking at your last layout entry, you seem to have built this in one year. That's lightning speed to me!

 

What impresses me most however is the way you manage to achieve such a sense of place and space on your layouts - regardless of era and location. Looking closely there aren't that many elements either, but just enough to create the right effect.

 

I expect we'll be seeing this in a magazine sooner rather than later :-)

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PaternosterRow
Feb 14 2018 12:46

Hi Mike, I finally found time to read this properly - including your evocative comments above, with all the memories.

Looking at your last layout entry, you seem to have built this in one year. That's lightning speed to me!

What impresses me most however is the way you manage to achieve such a sense of place and space on your layouts - regardless of era and location. Looking closely there aren't that many elements either, but just enough to create the right effect.

I expect we'll be seeing this in a magazine sooner rather than later :-)

Hi Mikkel, thanks for the great comments.

Memory of a largely happy childhood has definately played a part in my decision to build Perry Barr. It's certainly quite a common factor amongst us modellers - although it's always folly to view the past through rose coloured glasses. It wasn't all long summer holidays! It was a typical suburban area - a large park boarded the one side of the station so there was plenty of green. This also let me off the hook as there aren't too many buildings to make. I also firmly believe in the 'less is more' principle - I've seen some fine layouts that have been ruined with rushed backscenes and shodily put together half relief schemes. Better not to have them in the first place. 'White space' is not always necessarily 'bad space'.

It's another 'quickie' in which I used simple methods to create the long embankments etc. They were made from cardboard sections with basket liner glued over the top. The liner is soaked with watery PVA and the static grass applied straightaway. It's certainly not a thorough method but it works. The overhead gantries were also just more of the same old wire I use which has been soldered together in jigs etc. I seem to get spurts of real enthusiasm followed by long periods of inactivity. It's the way I work and can quickly get bored with a project if I don't make the effort sometimes - there's always seems to be a better layout just over the horizon.

Taking photos and writing articles is as exciting as the modelling for me - it's something that has become intertwined in the whole process. Besides, and whilst it seems a little trite to admit, I get a real kick out of going into the newsagents and seeing my work in print.

Cheers,

Mike

Hi Mike, thanks for explaining how you did the embankments, I was wondering about that.

 

I do agree about less is more, one of the best examples on here at the moment is Rob's 'Mutton', I think:  http://www.rmweb.co....lockhart/page-4

 

Incidentally I was going to ask whether you intended to put some figures on the layout, then noticed there is one in the last photo. He's strategically very well positioned, you may not need any more!

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PaternosterRow
Feb 23 2018 18:01

Hi Mike, thanks for explaining how you did the embankments, I was wondering about that.

I do agree about less is more, one of the best examples on here at the moment is Rob's 'Mutton', I think: http://www.rmweb.co....lockhart/page-4

Incidentally I was going to ask whether you intended to put some figures on the layout, then noticed there is one in the last photo. He's strategically very well positioned, you may not need any more!



Hi Mikkel,

Had a look at Mutton - brilliant bit of modelling - I thought it was P4 at first and had to go back to read from the start - can’t believe it’s code 75. The ‘less is more’ principle is a good one to follow and ‘Mutton’ is a perfect example of how to let the well modelled elements and great stock stand out on their own.

Perry Barr was never busy, but I’m going to include a couple of figures on the Platforms - all Preiser - you can’t beat their stuff even though some of them are H0.

Regards,

Mike

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