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Castle Aching

Pre-Grouping Norfolk Light Railway GER M&GN Freelance OO Card Modelling RTR Conversion




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#1 Edwardian

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 18:55

Summers seventeen, and winters too, had passed since the day I first realised that, as an adult, my boyhood enthusiasm for model railways had returned.  That is a long time to spend in the Modeller's Armchair, and so, last Spring, I finally forced myself to make a start.  Life had other plans for me, however, and it is only now that I can make a start in earnest.

 

So, what is this layout?  Well, it is really just an idea and a few model buildings at present, but the intention is to model a small independent line, set during the early Edwardian period and located in West Norfolk. The model, which will be to OO Gauge, is of the terminus of one of the branches of the West Norfolk Railway, so will take the familiar BLT to fiddle-yard format.  It is unlikely to prove one of those cleverly compact layouts, whose ingenuity demonstrates a true grasp of the subtleties of the craft of railway modelling.  Indeed, I seem likely to waste a good 50% of the layout's area setting the scene and trying to convince you that you really are in a Norfolk village at the dawn of the Twentieth Century.  However, it's really all about the scene I see in my minds eye and I have a particular picture that I want to create.

 

There is no baseboard.  There is a track plan in only the most general sense, in that it has not yet been committed to graph paper, or Templot or, even, the reverse of a convenient envelope.  There is no track purchased as yet.  No stock is ready.

 

The ruling constraint at present is that everything - buildings, scenery, locomotives and rolling stock - must be produced from what I have available and can easily and inexpensively fabricate. Now, after 17 years of day dreaming about model railways, I have accumulated all sorts of bits and bobs, so this should not be as difficult as it may sound.  Hopefully before too long there will be the budget for track and any other essential items. I expect the layout will be DC, and that my childhood Duette will come out of retirement to serve until something more state of the art can be justified.

 

EDIT: the Line now has its very own insignia, courtesy of Mr Phil Sutters of this parish/

 

So, without further preamble, welcome to 

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  • Castle Aching Title.jpg
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Edited by Edwardian, 09 May 2017 - 11:17 .

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#2 Edwardian

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 19:24

Castle Aching is, of course, fictional, and those familiar with the fair county of Norfolk will realise that it is a combination of the names Castle Acre and Castle Rising.  If the layout ever extends to the next station up the line, the passenger will find himself at Flitching (Flitcham and Docking).

 

So, now, there is not much to report, as yet.  Work on the village is underway.  A row of cottage backs were largely completed last year.  These are to go towards the back of the layout and, so, are built at 90% of 4mm scale.  I have just completed a second structure, at about HO, and these two elements will form the entrance to Bailey Street.

 

The cottage backs are based loosely upon/inspired by, a similar row in Castle Acre, where they, like their miniature counterparts, abut the old castle gateway.  The build chiefly used Scalescenes Aged Red-Brick, Flint and Pantiles.  The right-hand structure is freelance.  The rear brick-faced part of the structure used Mixed Brick from Wordsworth, and the long flint elevation used a scaled photograph of cottages in Castle Acre.  The pantiles are again from Scalescenes and are found in their excellent Row of Cottages kit.     

Attached Thumbnails

  • overall view.JPG
  • Set up showing position of line.JPG
  • Far Right House (small) 01.JPG
  • Far Right House (small) 02.JPG

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#3 BG John

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 20:41

It's worth watching eBay for used Peco track. I've bought some not perfect, but perfectly usable, track and points, and some that's as good as new, for a fair bit less than the new price. Most of what's available is code 100, which in my opinion could spoil the look of what you've done so far, especially on a minor line, but there is code 75 around too, and I've bought some of it. You can hide the rough bits, as well as the appalling sleepers, by ballasting over the sleepers, an advantage of modelling the 19th or early 20th century.


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#4 Edwardian

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 15:21

This project involves using up as many of those 'I'm sure that will come in handy one day' purchases made over the years as possible.

 

First up are 2 K's white-metal wagons.  I don't know what prototype they represent, but now they are among the more modern of the West Norfolk's modest fleet of goods wagons.

 

I bought them built.  They appear square and to run reasonably well.  They have big blobs of metal inside at the joints and the builder used them as a soldering iron rest in a couple of places. At some point I will have to replace the HUGE brass coupling chains.

 

All I have done is to paint over the gloss grey and black with acrylics and then dry-brushed.  I think I will have to investigate home-made waterslide transfers and get them lettered as WNR. 

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#5 CKPR

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 15:42

These K's kits are MR three plank opens, as per the later Slaters kit. The good thing is that the MR actively sold off old wagon and coaching stock to the smaller pre-group railways, so having some ex-MR stock on your line is actually very authentic.


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#6 Northroader

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 17:42

Good luck with this venture, you're off to a flyer with the row of cottages. Watching this one with great interest.
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#7 DaisyDots

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 19:38

Have followed your buildings construction & will  follow the layout construction with interest.  And hopefully more building projects to come. 

 

Regards, Daisy.


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#8 Edwardian

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 08:01

A couple of shots of Castle Acre showing the area that 'inspired' the cottage backs and gateway:

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  • CA -Castle Acre (50) - Copy.JPG
  • CA - Castle Acre (53).JPG

Edited by Edwardian, 01 February 2016 - 08:01 .

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#9 Nearholmer

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 12:25

Will watch with interest ........ Might even drag the family to Norfolk again, on the strength of this.

K
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#10 ianLMS

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 15:07

Ah the delightful Castle Acre, just up the road from me. I cant wait to see the layout unfold, especially to the standard that the buildings are being built to! Good luck!!


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#11 Edwardian

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 16:03

Well then, Ian, they'll be no fooling you if I get any of the details wrong!


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#12 Edwardian

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 22:22

This is where I ask for your kind assistance.  Normally I find myself with a strong mental image of what something should look like.  Of course, it may well be beyond my abilities to achieve, but I know what it should look like.

 

I had a strong mental picture of a shop and how it should look.  I also quickly arrived at a firm view as to the name of its proprietor.  What I have no sense of at all is what it should be selling!

 

So, here below is the start I have made on the shop.  It's the Edwardian period in a fair sized village, i.e. one that sustains several shops, but probably nothing non-essential. So, what is this fine fellow a purveyor of?  Be he butcher, baker or candlestick maker?

 

 

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#13 Adams442T

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 22:25

This is where I ask for your kind assistance.  Normally I find myself with a strong mental image of what something should look like.  Of course, it may well be beyond my abilities to achieve, but I know what it should look like.

 

I had a strong mental picture of a shop and how it should look.  I also quickly arrived at a firm view as to the name of its proprietor.  What I have no sense of at all is what it should be selling!

 

So, here below is the start I have made on the shop.  It's the Edwardian period in a fair sized village, i.e. one that sustains several shops, but probably nothing non-essential. So, what is this fine fellow a purveyor of?  Be he butcher, baker or candlestick maker?

 

It has the look of a very fine bookshop to me!


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#14 BG John

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 22:50

With a name like that, he must be a purveyor of fine model railways to the local well to do. You could have a model of your village in the window, which of course will need a model of JH Ahern's shop displaying a model of the village in the window, with a model of JH Ahern's shop with.......... :jester:


Edited by BG John, 02 February 2016 - 22:50 .

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#15 The Stationmaster

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 22:58

My first thought was an undertaker - but no side entrance for the hearse so that was ruled out.  I therefore reckon a nice straightforward everyday grocer's or baker's shop.


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#16 Nearholmer

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 23:09

What about a pharmacist?

This started with thoughts of madder, which led to dyestuffs in general, aniline (sp?) dyes, chemistry, and thereby pharmacist.

Which, in turn, leads to that well known Norfolk folk song:

"The sun had set behind the hill across the dreary moor,
When sickly and lame a boy there came up to a doctor's door.
Can you tell me where e'er there be one who can me assist
To cure my ills, prescribe me pills, and be a pharmacist,
And be a pharmacist ?"

Anyone able to name both the artists, and the album from which this comes, is clearly a person of deep good taste.

K
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#17 cornamuse

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 23:16

Very Very nice work here - I look forward to seeing the progress!


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#18 Stubby47

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 23:17

How about a military uniform outfitters ?
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#19 Metropolitan H

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 23:20

If we are talking the Edwardian period, it could be a Photographer's studio - remembering that was John Ahern's profession.

 

Regards

Chris H


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#20 Nearholmer

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 08:22

Chris

I was about to add the photographer suggestion myself, a pharmacist/photographer being a common combination in small towns. You could have his mobile studio caravan parked outside, being loaded.

[edit: lots about a typical photographic business of the period, with pictures of their kit, here: http://tbmod.com/rm/Madder%20Valley%20MRJ%201994%20dec.pdf . My father used a lot of work from this firm in local history books that he wrote.]

But, I thought Ahern was a lawyer by profession,mand a photographer by hobby ...... Am I getting mixed-up with someone else? [ Edit: He was an insurance broker ...... The excellent MRJ survey of his contribution to RM is on-line here http://tbmod.com/rm/Madder%20Valley%20MRJ%201994%20dec.pdf ]
Kevin

Edited by Nearholmer, 03 February 2016 - 09:53 .

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#21 ianLMS

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 10:27

Shop in a mid size deep Norfolk village would push me towards a butcher, hardware or general store.


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#22 Stubby47

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 10:39

Deepest Norfolk ?

Mountaineering equipment suppliers.
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#23 Edwardian

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 11:57

Taxidermist?

 

No, didn't think so... Some great suggestions, thanks, already much to ponder on.

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#24 russ p

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 12:07

Deepest Norfolk ?
Mountaineering equipment suppliers.


There a mountain warehouse shop in Holt!

This looks an excellent project, I love the flint buildings which having built some myself are no mean feat. You have built an entire village
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#25 Edwardian

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 12:59

Thanks, Russ.  Perhaps not a whole village, but, if I get to the end of the build, I reckon it will be fair to say I will have managed a good portion of one!

 

From no inspiration on the subject of the shop, I now have too many good ideas from which to choose, for which, again, thanks.

 

So:

  • A butcher, baker, grocer, ironmonger's or general store would probably be among the likeliest to be there in 'reality'.  Further along the row will be a Post Office and general store, so at least that option is dealt with.
  • I like the idea of a bookseller and in my mind's eye I can really see that working in this shop.  As Castle Acre, with its antiquities,has, thanks to the Railway, by the Edwardian era attracted a certain amount of tourist trade, a book shop I think could be justified. Mr Ahern was, after all, an accomplished author.
  • Chemists - always a fun and attractive option with big glass jars and whatnot.
  • Military outfitter - I love that idea - but, unless I wanted to make Castle Aching a garrison town, I do not think I could justify the choice.  Of course, now I am thinking of a layout subject that could justify it! 
  • Mountaineering equipment - It would be amusing, though the idea that Norfolk is flat is entirely erroneous, and, I suspect, is a product of the era when no-one visited the county save to see the Broads.  The Fens, they are the flat places, but that's really over the border in North Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, hence the Pidley Fen Mountain Rescue Team.  Hopefully, the Castle Aching layout will abound in rolling contours (well, I said "hopefully").  
  • Model railways - sadly too implausible; Undertakers - as mentioned, not really the right sort of premises.  Anyway, I'd have to think of some other, quite awful name, such as M. Balm, Undertaker

 

Kevin, thank you for the link to the MRJ document.  I had to put on my Brave Pants to read it, as armour against the feelings of futility and inferiority that this periodical generally induces!  I have not yet had time to read it through, but I note that Mr Ahern's profession was insurance (not, I think, an option for a commercial premises in castle Aching), but that photography was, indeed, a major passion.  I also noticed that Madder Valley boasts a chemist-c u m- (to foil the site's Automatic Prude) photographers, Holman & Hunt, presumably a reference to Holman Hunt, the Pre-Raphaelite.

 

So, I think the associations are tending towards Chris H's suggestion, as seconded by Kevin.  A photographer, or, possibly and chemist and photographer.

 

Some pictures to get the feel of it.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Chemist.jpg
  • Butcher.jpg
  • Tailor.jpg
  • Photographer - Copy.JPG

Edited by Edwardian, 03 February 2016 - 13:05 .

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