I have a thing for GWR stable blocks. The subject isn't systematically covered in the literature, so in a previous post I tried to obtain a tentative overview of the major types and styles. Since then I’ve been searching Britain from Above, Google street view and old online maps looking for past and present traces of stable blocks. It's all a bit esoteric, but for what it's worth here is a selection of my favourite 'finds'.
It's 1929 and a pl
Last week I was browsing a secondhand bookshop here in Copenhagen. Imagine my surprise when I suddenly came across a dog-eared copy of "A Traveller's Guide to the Great Western Railway" from 1926. What really got my attention, however, was that this was one of the rare illustrated versions, with photos by J. Peerybingle, a well-known photographer of the day.
Feigning complete indifference I managed to obtain the book for a very reasonable price. I particularly like the chapter entitl
My model of the GWR stable block at Park Royal is now almost done. Here's an overview of the build and some pics of the finished item.
The stables at Park Royal followed the classic outlines of what I call the “Style B” of GWR stable blocks. Above is a sketch. The model itself was built using the GWR drawing that is reproduced in "Great Western Horsepower" by Janet Russell and in Adrian Vaughan's "Pictorial Record of Great Western Architecture".
These past weeks I have had some pleasant early morning modelling sessions, building a GWR covered float for my early 1900s setting.
The model was built using two drawings in Great Western Horse Power by Janet Russel (figs 180 and 182) and a photo in Great Western Way p.163 (original edition). I was a bit slow to discover that there are variations between the drawings and the photo. The prototype is not in the GWR diagram book for horse-drawn carriages, but is arguably a var
I had a setback with my Dean Goods. I was spraying on some varnish in preparation for lining, when this happened:
Orange peel - or something similar!
There followed the usual process, so well described in Dr Mindbender’s insightful ”Coping with Failure in Railway Modelling: The Four Phases of Modeller’s Recovery” (Wild Swan, 2019):
Phase 1: Despair (”Why me, Lord?”)
Phase 2: Resentment (”Stupid model!”)
On Twitter today:
Anyway, enough fooling around. The wagon sheets (aka tarpaulins) seen in these photos are the preliminary results of experiments with aluminum foil. My original plan was to go the whole hog with cords and ropes etc, but as I started fitting sheets to my wagons I got cold feet. My wagons are nothing special but I like to look at them, and here I was covering them up!
The following are my notes on GWR stable blocks – a subject that does not seem to have received much attention. I am about to build one for Farthing, and have noticed various style differences that may be of interest to others.
Chipping Norton stables in 1983. Built 1904. Rebuilt with end doors to serve as a garage, but otherwise it features the main elements of the "archetype" standard design, ie "hit and miss" vents in windows and above doors, and those characteristic boxy roof
Brake Third, Third, Composite, Brake.
Above: Small layouts require short trains. Recently I've been looking at prototype examples of short GWR formations in pre-grouping days, and options for employing them on Farthing. Here are some of the more obvious/common ones to start off with. Above are the classic Ratio 4-wheelers, with an RTR-bashed PBV at the end. The Ratio kits constitute a T47 Bke Third, an S9 All Third, and a U4 Composite respectively. I am not sure why these particular
Here are a couple of PDF files that may be of interest to pre-grouping modellers.
The first document is an 1896 article from Moore's Monthly Magazine (later renamed "The Locomotive") on British pre-grouping liveries. It includes brief livery descriptions for a number of the railways (but not all).
The second document is my personal selection of quotes and news items on GWR liveries and selected other liveries from the archives o
As mentioned in the previous blog entry, I've been restoring a small collection of secondhand scratchbuilt 4- and 6-wheelers. I should point out that I'm cutting some corners here: The premise for this project has been to see what I could do with the coaches with simple means and materials, and without breaking them down into their constituent parts and starting over.
First job was to remove the rooves and discard the glazing and droplights, which were beyond savi
This 4 minute video spans the period 1867-1947 on The Farthing Layouts. These 4mm layouts are normally set in 1907, but occasional forays into earlier and later time periods has allowed for a bit of pragmatic "out of period" modelling and operation.
Here's an introduction to the main approaches and principles behind the Farthing layouts.
1. One bite at a time. The Farthing layouts are planned as a series of separate small layouts that each depict a small section of the same Edwardian junction station. In this way, I can explore my interest in mainline stations in a limited space.
2 . Into the scene. The design of the layouts is intended to force on-lookers to view the layout up
After a quiet spring things are moving again on Farthing. The Slipper Boy story is featured in the June 2016 BRM, which seems a good way to mark the end of work on that layout. Many thanks to BRM for featuring the story. It’s all just a bit of fun of course, but while studying the court case that inspired the story, it did occur to me just how much scope there is for modelling particular historical incidents on the railways.
Meanwhile there has been progres
Farthing is normally set in 1907, but a while ago I decided to give my "out of period" stock a bit more attention by doing dedicated operating sessions for alternative time periods. Yesterday was a "1927" day, and here are a few shots. Above, Small Metro No. 1492 runs bunker first during shunting operations in the bay area. The loco features the enclosed cab and Collett style bunker with which many of the older tank locos were fitted in the 1920s.
Driver Henry Pulling tr
More "forward-dating" of Farthing here, this time to 1947, with some of my ageing RTR stock brought into play.
No. 9319 of the 93xx Class serving as station pilot at Farthing. At this point in time Hawksworth is in office at Paddington, but the loco carries the hallmarks of his predecessors Churchward and Collett. This is the Bachmann model with just a bit of light weathering. Not too sure about the chimney and other details, but I do like the GWR 2-6-0s.
What goes through a modeller’s mind? 'Very little', my wife would say, and she’s not far off . Am I the only one who enters a Zen-like state of mind when operating the layouts?
It begins like this. You decide to run some trains, forget all the worries. Get the gear out, set up on the dining table.
The engine purrs into life, pulls a train off the traverser. You get down to eye level, begin to dream. What if there was something else behin
This little project was described some time ago in my workbench thread. A couple of recent discussions suggest that the modifications involved may be of interest to others. I don't seem to have posted the usual build summary in this blog, so here it is.
The Coopercraft GWR 4 Plank Open kit (4mm scale) has an error which means that if you build it as designed you end up with 4 planks on the outside and 3 on the inside, as seen here.
Once a week, a meeting takes place at Farthing Station where staff and regular passengers engage in learned discussion about some of the great questions of our time...
Link to Far Twittering & Oysterperch
Link to the Wallace and Gromit layout
The whitemetal wagon kits from David Geen have tempted me for many years, so I thought it was time I gave them a go.
I began with this round-ended 3-planker of 1881 vintage, for use in my “out of period” running sessions.
The good stuff! Nothing like a bit of research to start off a new kit. The round ends were not long-lived on the 3-plankers. From 1883 the GWR introduced square ends, and many of the existing round-ended wagons appear to
More "out of period" operation here. This time going back in time quite a bit. In fact, it seems they didn't even have flush-glazing back then .
The year is 1867, and it is early days at Farthing station. Mr Crummles gently guides his wife towards the first class carriage, while Mr Doyce looks on in anticipation of the journey ahead.
Mrs Crummles is somewhat apprehensive. It is only a few months since that dreadful accident at Warrington,
A parcel arrived today with a small selection of ready-to-plonk freight items.
There's still something magical about opening parcels. With a cheerful Hornby logo peering out at me, I even longed briefly for the Christmases of my childhood. Then I remembered the two months of hysteria we have ahead of us, and good old cynicism returned .
The depot is going to need a lot of goods. I already have some of the white-metal offerings from variou
Been experimenting with back-scene effects for The Depot. Basically it's a mirror, thereby doubling the size of the interior in visual terms. The idea is to take a photo similar to these once the building is finished, and blow it up in size for use as a moveable backscene when viewing the layout from the alternative side. In the photo above, the mirror begins between the twin pillars behind the wagon. Everything beyond that is a reflection. The lack of buffers at one of the wagon is not part of
So far there are four layouts in the Farthing series, each depicting a section of the same overall station. The individual trackplans are simple affairs, but when linked to fiddle yards they all contain a certain operational scope in the form of shunting puzzles. The layouts built so far are:
1. The Branch Bay (above) was the first of the layouts, and is complete. It shows the bay platform at Farthing ca. 1904-1908, and draws on selected features from the bays at Newbury
This is the second part of an account by Pickle S. Finkerbury - railway historian and time traveller - describing certain key events in the evolution of GWR wagon brakes at the turn of the last century. Part one is here.
Just as the bewildered L.R. Thomas was about to regain composure, an elegantly dressed man approached them. It was none other than...
…George Jackson Churchward, at this time the Chief Assistant to William Dean at Swindon Works.
Greetings everyone – Pickle S. Finkerbury here, railway historian and time traveller. As previously explained, I have a knack for being in the right place at the right time, which has provided me with unique insights into certain unknown aspects of GWR matters. Here is another extract from my files:
Farthing, early 1900s. It is well known that the GWR treated the workers at Swindon to an annual excursion by rail. What is less known is that the top management at Swind