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bécasse

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  1. I can remember the real things, typically a pair of sets, with a C on the front, heading to Allhallows on a Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday morning. Weren't in that livery, of course, but they did look nice in unlined red.
  2. I remember seeing this layout "in the flesh" at a Manchester show a couple of decades or so ago. It really was very clever in its use, and misuse, of space. Somehow, the larger the scale to which a light railway is modelled, the more authentic it seems.
  3. Both turntables at Bembridge, a new larger one was installed in 1936, were effectively only used as sector plates. The only occasions when a loco was turned there occurred when a loco was due for shopping at Ryde Works and it turned up there the wrong way round (which was possible before the Newport-Sandown line closed in 1956), the chosen solution being to put the aforesaid loco on the Bembridge turn for a day where it was turned on the turntable on its final working (which involved leaving the carriages at Bembridge, working any wagons from there and St.Helens to Sandown and then returning to Ryde).
  4. It is, of course, ironic that the very first ready-to-run emu produced in the UK was of a London Underground train - released by Ever Ready, the battery producer, in the early 1950s.
  5. Ivatt 2-6-2Ts were at Bath Green Park from late 1949, Templecombe from 1953 (including 41249) and Highbridge from 1957.
  6. I suspect that there are actually another pair of "typos" as I am reasonably certain that the references to note D against levers 3 and 7 should read note C. Apart from that I am not at all sure that 3 and 6 would have mutually locked each other on an "ancient" tumbler-locked frame. Undoubtedly that would have been the practice from at least the mid-1920s and probably since tappet-locking became the norm rather earlier*, but the limitations of tumbler-locking meant (as The Stationmaster has demonstrated in note D) that mutual "direction" locking was sometimes not possible and my suspicions are that it would have been considered bad practice (both at the time and, indeed, later) to provide it on some signals and not others, and, obviously, every bit of extra interlocking cost money and had to be justified. Leaving 3 and 6 mutually unlocked would not have allowed any conflicting moves, and the avoidance of conflicting moves (and settings) was the original purpose of the provision of interlocking. Furthermore the continued presence of the (quite adequate) point indicator guarding the exit from the "loop" over 9 points suggests to me that this would have been a location where the original interlocking was never renewed (other than the like for like replacement of any worn out parts). * For pairs of running signals it undoubtedly would have been earlier but here 6 is a dolly. Although not immediately relevant here, a LSWR (tappet-locked) locking diagram dating from new works in 1914 which is in my possession shows running signals with mutual "direction" locking but dollys without, which might suggest that that was the IRSE recommended practice at the time.
  7. I would have expected to find ex-LMS non-corridor coaching stock at Bath Green Park, not least because it would have worked to/from Bristol and Mangotsfield, but I doubt whether it ever worked regularly south of Templecombe.
  8. I am rather doubtful whether ex-LMS non-corridor stock ever worked regularly south of Templecombe. The S&D tended to be worked in sections as far as local trains were concerned and I think that the line south of Templecombe largely saw ex-LSWR non-corridor 3-sets (distinctively different from the Maunsell 58' rebuilds), then the low-windowed early Maunsell 3-sets (as per Hornby) and finally the early Bulleid "compartment" 3-sets. There was some overlap but not much (the Bulleid sets were initially present during the winter TT only, reverting to LSWR main line duties during the summer).
  9. Historically there were a fair number of British manufacturers of track and point and crossing work and each would have manufactured their own distinct version of a point hand lever, they would have been found mainly in (the thousands of) private sidings and on the more minor railways. The major railway companies would also each have manufactured their own designs of point levers, often with the design changing over the years. Only in the years after the Great War (effectively the post-grouping and nationalised eras) would there have been any attempt (away from the GWR, of course) at standardisation - and there would still have been a lot of variation around. An inspired guess suggests that there were probably upwards of a hundred distinctively different designs of point hand levers in use over the years on the railways of mainland Britain, and that Roxey's Southwark Bridge offerings are only the tip of a very large iceberg (and not necessarily very common ones either) - although something similar to the William's design was quite common on BR in later days (say 50 years ago). Rather oddly, considering how common they were, hand point levers rarely appear clearly in period photographs.
  10. Actually that wouldn't necessarily be the sequence at a busy terminal. The bell signals would take place in the sequence described and the points necessary for the route would be set by the terminal box, but at busy terminals the actual signals wouldn't be cleared until the box got the TRTS indication from the platform foreman. That was done so that if a problem occurred the layout wouldn't be locked up by the already cleared signals. I was sometimes allowed (under supervision and after I had satisfied the SM that I knew all the relevant rules and regulations - and how to use hook switches and short-circuiting bars) to work part of the frame at a major London terminal during the evening peak hour. The only "mistake" I ever made was to once pull off without awaiting the TRTS light - I was only about 90 seconds early and yet the driver was straight on the blower wanting to know why he already had a double yellow. Fortunately the SM answered the phone and as soon as he spoke, I heard the voice at the other end say "oh, it's you guvner, yes I will await the right away". It was a lesson in the practicalities of train operation that was instantly learnt, it wasn't in the Rule Book nor in the Regulations nor even in the box local instructions, but it was still a golden rule that kept the railway running. I learnt a few other useful lessons too, not least the importance of team working and reacting immediately to potential emergencies. I never did master pulling three miniature levers simultaneously with one hand but the regular men could, and did, all do it.
  11. Throughout the post-war (and, indeed, wartime) period most milk tanks were absolutely filthy externally. The tanks themselves were (probably still) owned by the individual companies but pooled by the MMB, so there was no incentive to keep them clean. Most tanks worked to a regular cyclic diagram, so identification from their number plates was sufficient and thus even painted numbers tended to become obscured by grime. The insides of the tanks were, in obvious contrast, kept spotless. The tankers visible in that 1948 photo were absolutely typical.
  12. It may seem strange, but it is often easier to scratch build true scale track (in any scale) than to scratch build track intended to match the compromised standards of commercial offerings (even though they tend to be finer these days than they once were).
  13. To me, the obvious thing to build in such a short (even in 2FS) space is a "hole in the ground", double track (could even be quadruple or, perhaps, double with a further pair disused) between two tunnel/bridge mouths in an urban setting. They could be plain track or perhaps there could be a trailing crossover, and perhaps there could be platforms (in use or disused) or a signal box (but perhaps no actual signals). Something like that wouldn't be too far away from a snapshot on the CF concept (the widened lines?), although there obviously isn't part of the actual layout which would fit it, even screened. Perhaps it would even be worth building as a sort of very exhibitable (and portable) taster/promoter for CF?
  14. I remember the newsletter well but couldn't remember what it was called. One other important piece of 'literature' that was produced was a leaflet that detailed the pattern of train services that would operate over the (8pm Friday - 5am Monday) weekend in late May 1959 while the track layout between Shortlands/Chislehurst-Swanley/Petts Wood was dramatically changed and the new c/l signalling brought into use. Not only were there interesting train diversions: Victoria-Gillingham/Kent Coast (electric/steam) via Nunhead and Eltham Well Hall or Lee and Victoria-Maidstone East (electric) via Nunhead, Chislehurst, Sevenoaks (reverse) and Otford (reverse), but there was also imaginative use of bus services with links between Bromley South and Chislehurst, Lee and Eltham Well Hall to connect with diverted trains, as well as bus services actually paralleling the temporarily closed lines. It is interesting to speculate just how long the railway would be closed for similar work today (two months?). I remember that the following Monday morning rush hour didn't go well, although trains managed to run, but it had all settled down by the Monday evening.
  15. bécasse

    Modbury

    In my experience, the main problem is trying to remember exactly how I did something in the first place, particularly if, n years further on, two pieces that you were sure were only screwed together refuse to come apart once the screws have been removed - does one just pull harder to overcome the grunge of time or will pulling harder at something that has some clever extra hidden fixation end up destroying the model? Even if one documents what was done at the time, one has to be able to find the documentation later, possibly after a house move or two.
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