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Nick Holliday

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  • Location
    - Sutton, Surrey
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    LBSCR P4 (Fittleworth)

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  1. According to Roger Grifiths in Southern Sheds in Camera, the building is the old water tower adjacent to the original turntable in the triangle between the Guildford and Brighton lines. When the station was reconstructed from 1909 the original shed area, to the west of the station, was cleared and a temporary shed created by extending the road underneath to form a through line. It only acted in this capacity for only a year or two, until the new shed, further south, was brought into use.
  2. One problem with LBSCR signal boxes is that no two seem to be exactly the same. Signal Box Register Volume 4 Southern Railway gives dimensions for almost all ex-LBSC boxes, and, to quote the examples noted earlier, Rowfant box was 14' x 10' x 4' - the last dimension being the height of the operating floor above rail level - and Grange Road was 14' x 12' x 5'. Members of the Brighton Circle tried to establish "standard" sizes for windows to create an universal etching, but the project fell apart as there did not appear any viable common denominator. D&S have produced etchings for one type of LBSC box windows, side and end, but it was easier to design the box around the available windows than to follow an actual example. The Signal Box, also from the Signalling Record Society, has some useful drawings, although the LBSC example is not an S and F design. The box at Rowfant survived the closure of the line, although I think it has been demolished now, so it is likely that there are plenty of photos of it around, and Ian White exhibited a 4mm layout based closely on Rowfant at many shows in the south-east.
  3. Wizard 51L do a set of etched GWR station signs, from the old MSE range, no station master but porter etc. Ambis Engineering also have a set of station signs, but probably not accurate for GWR, but useful titles. Smiths also have an etched set of GWR signs, but only a few are directly applicable to a station location.
  4. If you moved the point for the left hand end of the run round to the siding above the hut, I think that would give you a more useful length to play with.
  5. The LSWR five plank open was a long standing stalwart in the ABS catalogue, but probably now only available second-hand. A bit unfair on the South Western Circle, as they have, in the past, actively supported the modeller, with a number of useful castings available, and a few special etchings and plastic coach sides and roofs produced for members. However, the membership, quite reasonably, concentrates on the historical aspect of the line, and sales dwindled to the point where they were selling ABS kits off at ridiculous prices, but there's a limit to the number of gunpowder wagons one needs! if no-one is buying, then it isn't worth the Sales Team wasting their effort. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, they should have invested in ABS and D&S kits, and they'd be laughing all the way to the bank, perhaps.
  6. Not sure how I became a banana expert, and I cannot recall the source of my information. The Bluebell Railway, who have a preserved van, note the following: At the end of hostilities and following pleas from the colony to the Ministry, the first shipment from Jamaica (containing ten million bananas) on the Fyffes ship S.S.Tilapa docked at Avonmouth in December 1945. As a new generation of Britons sampled the fruit, the trade was rebuilt to its pre-war level and beyond. In the 1950s, more bananas were imported from the Windward Islands (Dominica, Grenada, St.Lucia and St.Vincent). This group of islands is around 1000 miles closer to the UK than Jamaica. To cope with the increased traffic, 100 new insulated and steam heated banana vans (570000-570099) were built by the London Midland and Scottish Railway to diagram D2111 under Lot No.1421 in 1946. They had a 10-ton load capacity and were fitted with vacuum braking but, as their wheelbase was only nine feet, they could not run at passenger train speeds. Their tare (unladen) weight was 9 tons 2 cwt. British Railways built 1550 more to this and similar designs between 1951 and 1958, the last batch being built without steam heating. From 1954, the ventilators (on those railway vans fitted with them) were removed and the apertures sealed up as the vehicles passed through workshops. The branding "Steam" was removed from all vans so marked at the same time. From 1956, the steam controls on individual vehicles were removed. By the late 1950s new, more disease resistant varieties of banana were being developed which yielded heavier crops. However, these were of a more delicate variety and prone to damage and bruising than existing varieties. This problem was overcome by cutting the hands off the stem and packing them in cardboard boxes at origin. "Tropical Packed Bananas" allowed more fruit to be housed in a smaller space. The problem of returning empty wooden crates was also thus eliminated. In the late 1950s a new British Railways standard 12-ton capacity insulated banana van was designed in conjunction with the trade to reflect their contemporary requirements. This van was more heavily insulated than previous designs and was not steam heated, although it was fitted with a through steam pipe so that it could run with older vans. The steam heat pipes were removed from all banana vans from 1963. During the 1960s, the banana trade's use of rail transport steadily diminished due to changing distribution requirements and the increased efficiency of road transport following changes in road regulation. This saw the withdrawal of many of the pre-Nationalisation vans. The final move from rail was made in 1979, rendering the last seventeen operating banana vans redundant. Reading between the lines, it would seem that the improvements in the varieties, and the changes in packaging in the mid-fifties, would have meant that steam heating in the van itself wouldn't be effective, but. as in all changes, there would still be traditional hands to deal with, and presumably the alterations to vans would proceed at the same pace, until 1963. Ripening at the end of the journey required special plant, and I note that Geest opened one such factory in Essex in 1962, where ethylene is pumped into the chamber to promote ripening.
  7. Much of the loco coal for the LSWR in the south west was shipped to Fremington Quay, just outside Barnstaple, and a fleet of suitably branded mineral wagons was maintained there, including some ex-LBSC opens in SR days. This piece from the National-Preservation website makes some interesting comments:- Archive Magazine has carried several articles regarding shipping around Cornwall and Devon, including a long piece on Hayle, which showed how far these ships were prepared to travel in these sometimes treacherous waters, and the descriptions of how captains attempted to enter harbours in storms are suitably hair-raising. On a lighter note, a piece on Combe Martin notes that it was economic to send strawberries by boat directly to Cardiff, as it was quicker and, presumably, cheaper than using rail transport, and it was only the Second World War and the mining of the Bristol Channel that brought these trades to a halt, although a Fremington website notes that 80,000 tons of coal were brought into Fremington during that conflict.
  8. It's certainly OK to have a Clyde Puffer in a Devon location. In Archive Magazine Issue 7 there is an article about Combe Martin and its port, and for over forty years, from 1897 to 1940, the Irwin family from Combe Martin operated a Puffer, which they called "Snowflake". She plied her trade mainly on the Bristol Channel, carrying all sorts of goods including coal from South Wales and the Forest of Dean. I attach a very poor snapshot from a photo in the magazine, as a taster.
  9. I've just bought a book of NBR whistle codes from the NBR Study Group, which contains a mere 83 pages of codes, and 43 different ones at just one location!
  10. Re your possible tender drive, might the High Level Longrider be an answer. http://highlevelkits.co.uk/longriderpage.html The only problem is that it is slightly too long at 40mm. I don't know if it is possible to reduce that figure in the build, someone may have managed it.
  11. Although I'm sure that a proper expert will be along soon to identify these rather lovely models, in the mean time it might help narrow things down if you could identify the materials each is made from. I suspect that the ones with full lining, including the yellow/gold lines, are probably from the PC range, no longer available, which used pre-printed sides to get a high quality of finish, but losing the effect of 3D mouldings. If they are plastic kits they are probably from the Ratio series of 50ft corridor coaches, still available. I suspect that most are etched brass, and the primary supplier of these would have been London Road Models, but I think Mallard/Blacksmith produced a few LNWR examples too. As for locos it's difficult to be specific, as it depends on location and the sort of service being undertaken. There is a recent posting here of a SE&CR 4-4-0 hauling a train of LNWR stock on the Sunny South Express! On home territory almost any loco, apart from dedicated goods locos, might be employed in hauling passenger trains. It wasn't unknown for portions of corridor express trains to be pulled by small tanks to their final destination, or for larger "express" locos to be deployed on more local services.
  12. Roxey Mouldings also do a suitable etch of screw shackles https://roxeymouldings.co.uk/product/480/4a130-screw-shackles-for-wagon-loads/ and Ambis Engineering do several different types that might fit the bill
  13. Fair enough. Thanks for letting me know. Looks like another trip to the recycling depot soon. Always loath to throw something away that might have been of interest.
  14. Len Tavender, in his Coal Trade Wagons, has an interesting analysis of delayed wagons as dispatched from the Cannock Chase Colliery in 1865, presented as a map showing the locations of the delayed wagons. Bear in mind that these are just the wagons that have experienced undue delays, in just one month of operations, and probably represent a small proportion of the total trade, so it is likely that many destinations may have been missed. 21 wagons delayed at central London locations, Poplar, Shepherds Bush, Camden etc. 18 wagons west of London, mostly at Wokingham, for some reason, but including Staines, Reading, Ascot and Blackwater. A few were recorded south of the Thames, at Wimbledon, Shorncliffe, Alton and Bishopstone (Southampton) It's interesting that a second map, showing delayed wagons dispatched by the CCCCo from Doncaster pits, mainly Houghall, over the same month, show a number of destinations on the LBSC system, including Dorking and Burgess Hill.
  15. Slightly of piste, but I have just unearthed a box full of "Motor Sport" magazines dating from the end of the sixties, early seventies. They've been in a slightly damp garage for a while, but are in surprisingly good, but nowhere near mint, condition. Let me know if there is any interest, otherwise they will be heading down to recycling in a few days. Collection only, given the weight, unless anyone has a specific issue or two they are interested in, which could be posted.
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