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Weekday Cross

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  1. Nice idea, but I don't think baseboards are a good idea for the time being. Even stock is a bit difficult until I sort out period etc. Something theoretically unconnected may have to do - especially as I hope to have a lot more modelling time now the dark evenings have arrived. Sounded more like a chat up line to me mate - I'd pretend you know everything about the BCN for now and see how far it takes you....
  2. Glad your mind is now at rest, Pete - a cross in this sense was a place where markets were held, usually marked by a stone monument of some kind called the cross. Definitely nothing to do with bad tempers - that can happen at any time! There probably won't be another update for a while, as the research is going to take quite a while, by the look of things - especially as the records at the Dover Records office will be unavailable for several months while they are transferred to a new facility in Maidstone. Must be using Royal Mail, I suppose . I may do something else in the short term to fill in the time - maybe a loco, or a bit of track building, just to hone my rusty skills a bit!
  3. Another day and more information to blow my mind! I found the print below, which is after the Admiralty Pier was built, but before the railway connection, by the looks of it. What is interesting (to me anyway) is that the base of the Pilot House had already been altered from its early form. You can see a girder and what look like doors or gates below the semi-circular window. These were definitely not on the original, as photos show a very different shape at ground floor level with elaborate, curved sides. Also, a copy of the Ashford To Dover book by the Middleton Press arrived. This has a couple of good photos of the station interior around 1921, after the overall roof was removed, but before the approach tracks to the Admiralty pier were modernised. I have also found another couple of interesting documents listed in the National Archives register - including one listing plans and elevations of the SER station in 1842. The general conclusion is that I probably need a lot more time to research and plan this model than I originally thought. I really want to do a proper job. I am now thinking of starting work on it some time in the New Year, rather than straight away. That will give me plenty of time to search for information and visit Dover before drawing up a final plan. We may also know a bit more by then about Farish & Dapol's Southern Region plans. Will there be any more EMUS, for example? So, I may now need to find a little something else to fill in the next 5 or 6 months.........
  4. I have played around now with a few small modifications to my Dover-based diorama. The main objective is to make the overall scene slightly better. I also wanted to make an excuse for more regular rail traffic than might have existed on the Admiralty Pier at Dover. I propose to do this by imagining a more normal station beyond the junction. As with the diorama itself, I want to base the imaginary extension on a real place. Sheerness Dockyard station ticks most of the boxes, so I have used it in this latest version of the master plan - though I am considering one or two other possibilities. At the moment, i am not proposing to build anything other than the diorama - but even just imagining what might exist beyond should make things more believable. The fictitious map below shows how the real place might have looked look if something like Sheerness Dockyard station existed beyond the junction, instead of the Admiralty Pier. Sheerness had a single track junction with a siding alongside the main line, more or less as I have drawn things here. It also had an overhead signal cabin, which would neatly hide the exit from the diorama, which is one reason I really like it. Other changes - I have widened the Town station a bit, as discussed earlier. This fits my ideas better than the original. I have also added a road on the far side of the railway, with some buildings on the shoreline, to hide the edge of the backscene a little better. At the moment, I really like it. I think it would be hard to find anything better, without totally destroying the atmosphere of the original idea. I will think about this for a few days and then see how I feel . If I still like it, the next step will be to work out how best to convert my theoretical place into a practical idea for the diorama.
  5. Thanks for the information - I have a feeling it is not too far from the Records Office, so if I get time I will investigate this too - though getting some photos of some details of the Lord Warden Hotel is my second most important priority after the Records Office. The Pilot House information is at Kew, by the looks of it, requiring 3 days notice - so that is a separate visit altogether. I did find a little more held at Dover though, so your quest was well worthwhile - thanks again! As for calling it Dover, I can't see that working to be honest - especially if I extend the diorama. The Admiralty Pier isn't a particularly good thing subject for a working model, although the gun turret at the end would be fun - especially with sound effects! I would be looking to add something from elsewhere instead. Though it would be very long term, somewhere like Sheerness Dockyard, or a Blackwall (with a couple of extra platforms) would be more what I have in mind - a station with water on both sides, but designed for a regular train service and full public access.
  6. Many thanks again, Natalie. Your dedication to duty is immeasurable! Unfortunately, the clock tower is a different beast altogether - see here. I strongly suspect, for several reasons, that the campanile on the SER station was never built. The Pilot House information sounds useful though - I will definitely check that one out! Thanks again WC
  7. There is a page here explaining the history of the Dover pilots and the Pilot House. To summarize, the stone Pilot House was only built with the arrival of the railway in the 1840s, when the previous wooden structure had to be demolished to make way for the railway. After 1852 the pilots operated a boat offshore rather than wait in the Pilot House to sight vessels in the Channel. The Admiralty Pier was started in 1848, SER ferries using it from 1851. The rails were extended onto the pier in 1861, the same year the LC&DR opened its terminus at Dover Harbour. The LC&DR extended onto the pier in 1864.
  8. Thanks Brian I like "fascinating" - it grabs my attention and keeps me modelling. The ordinary is boring! The Lord Warden is currently owned by the Dover Harbour Board and is being sub-let to businesses after renovation. As for the Pilot House, maybe the pilots were very inflexible about moving? - slightly surprising, as the Admiralty Pier must have hindered their view, once it was built.
  9. Still nothing to report on the modelling front, but research is fun! The area of my diorama is proving to have a few intriguing mysteries. It would be very tempting to spend a lot more time finding out all I can about the buildings. I must not get too distracted though, as most of the station, at least, will not be modelled in stage one - just a diorama centred around the Lord Warden Hotel. Anyway, things I have found that might be of interest include the following:- The V&A's Francis Frith collection contains 2 superb high resolution images that can be downloaded free for private research purposes. This one is of the hotel taken from the pier. It shows some superb detail, including most of the station frontage facing the hotel and the Pilot House. This one is a panoramic view of Dover from the heights, showing the LC&DR station in the foreground and in the distance, the SER's Town station, which is what I am interested in. The resolution on the downloaded file is good enough to pick out details of the loco shed and the full length of the train shed. There is an 1846 guide to the London to Dover line on line here which contains a description of the station, including some dimensions. These more or less match the 1:500 OS map of 1871. There is also a description of how the station was operated in the early days. I found a couple of drawings showing a campanile (tower) at the hotel end of the station building. The above guide suggests this was still to be built in 1846 - and quite possibly never was. Once the hotel was built, it would have been well hidden from view from most angles anyway, so a wasteful extravagance. Mind you, the hotel was not opened until 1853....so you never know? The hotel was designed by Samuel Beazley, a leading theatre architect, amongst other things. The station, on the other hand, was designed by Lewis Cubitt, more famous for the mighty Kings Cross. In its day, the SER's Dover station was the major entry and exit point for the UK, difficult to imagine in these days of multiple airports and the Channel Tunnel. It was seen as the other end of the SER to their London terminus at Bricklayers Arms, rather like Holyhead was to Euston. The Pilot Tower was supposedly built in 1848 and demolished in 1913. Various illustrations suggest that a similar building existed for a while before the railway arrived - though the upper part is remarkably similar to the later one. Maybe the original upper stories were rebuilt on a new base to allow trains to pass through? The general conclusion from all of this research is that a totally accurate model of any of the buildings would be impossible. I could do a reasonably accurate model of the Lord Warden Hotel. Even the Pilot House would not be too bad, though the north elevation, hidden from view in the diorama, would be complete guesswork. The station would be the biggest problem, unless I find a dramatic new source of information. I have already mentioned that I would like to widen it slightly and modify the track layout, to make it more practicable as a working station. The overall roof would have to be cut back considerably too, to give operators and viewers a view of the interior. Much of the detail would have to be an educated guess - especially the architectural detail of the interior. I found one sketch and a photo of the interior of Bricklayers Arms, also designed by Cubitt, that might give a few clues. Looking at Kings Cross too (1852), there are a few similarities, like the large semi-circular windows at first floor level on the inside, which look very similar to first floor windows on the outside elevation of Dover - and the use of yellow brickwork. I think my best solution may be to study Cubitt's work at Kings Cross. I can then come up with something "Cubitesque" - based on what I can find out about Dover, plus an educated guess at whatever I need to fill in the gaps. The Kings Cross hotel was another of his works, opened in 1854. It all adds up to the conclusion, as I felt from the beginning, that the diorama should be some fictitious place based on Dover, with no claim to be an actual model of the place.
  10. Weekday Cross

    Royale Hotel

    Good luck with the build- I will follow this with interest as I have a hotel to build soon, too. If you are lucky, bus enthusiasts will have photos somewhere. Alternatively, aerial photos might help. As it is a relatively modern building, there could be plans in the local records or planning office - either of the original or modifications. There might even be old holiday brochures for Penzance in an archive somewhere. They usually had photos f the buildings. Anyway, isn't St Ruth a fictitious place? You can do what you like!
  11. I was writing loads of files onto CDs on my laptop this morning, so had plenty of time to think about other things. Here is a photo of the Lord Warden Hotel, scaled and placed onto the plan. I adjusted it a bit for perspective in Photoshop. The coaches in the lower part of the picture show how narrow the platform on the pier track was. My plan is to widen this and push the right hand wall of the station out a bit to accommodate the change. That will eliminate the wobble in the track as it passes under the Pilot house, just in front of the Class 24 loco. I have also found a few more great pictures on the web - including a high resolution, early image of the Lord Warden Hotel taken from the pier that I have downloaded from the V&A site. This shows some really nice details. I have discovered that the Kent Records Office in Dover has some information relating to the railways and the Dover Harbour Board. I hope to go along and see what is in there soon. According to the summary, it includes some information on the SER station. The station and the hotel were built on DHB land, I believe, so the DHB had a say in what happened. This visit will give me a chance to see the area first hand. It must be at least 15 years since I last went to Dover - and then it was to the Eastern Docks, at the wrong end of town. I am rapidly developing an appetite for building the Lord Warden Hotel before I do anything else. It is, after all, the major feature on the diorama. Hopefully, I can spend a little time working out how best to build it over the next week or so.
  12. Wow you make it sound a real challenge! I agree about the squalor though!
  13. Hi You will have to go to old-maps.co.uk, I'm afraid, for the track plan. The 1871 map shows the whole of Dover, plus the track almost up to Shakespeare Cliff at 1:500. It is the only map I know of that shows the interior of the station. It includes the purposes of the various station offices etc. All the rest just show the overall roof with none of the detail underneath. As with any detailed information, it does provide as many questions as answers! The 1:500 Ordnance Survey maps have only recently become available, I believe, and only seem to cover urban areas. They vary from place to place in style and detail. Some show the detail of station interiors, others just show the buildings in outline.They are well worth looking up though.
  14. Instructions? What? You won't assemble them for me too?
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