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  1. Hi all Back again with a bit of a odd ball model. I do't know how many of you have had a look at the Cool4Cats web site. These are delightful card kits of a range of subjects all of which make into working models, automatons I think is the word. I have made several over the years and powered them with those cheap motor and gearbox items. At my last viewing of the site there still were not any railway ones. I thought I would have ago at scratch building one. This is probably my last throw at building a "complete" model railway! I think the photos will explain better than a hundred words. Everything except the drive is card. Just two thickness of card were used. 100 thou for the four sides of the box and the base and 10 for the rest. The English Village models are ten thou but the size reduced to 75% of the originals at the local photo shop.. The rolling stock and figures were produced and painted by my friend John Holroyd who was a commercial artist These were made oversize and reduced to size as required. It will be obvious the "trains" are attached to a card belt. All fantasy and fun to watch. There is a short video on Youtube if you want to see it in action That's it, Back to hibernation again. Derek.
  2. Hi Everyone. I see it's six weeks since I posted my "penultimate blog" and a heck of a lot has happened in that time. I have moved from the Lake District back to my roots in Shipley. I have an apartment over looking the River Aire just half a mile from Saltaire where I was born so I think I can say I have come full circle. To say the least it has been a hectic time for an 85 year old but with the assistance of my family is has happened and I'm settling down. So, on to what may be my last blog. On my Semerdale layout some of you may remember the development of a couple of log loading cranes on the freight only branch line from Semerwater. There was an article in the April 2001 Railway Modeller which didn't quite get into print the way I wrote it, but that's water under the bridge now. With the possibility of failing eyesight and perhaps not being able to drive I have reprised this log loading crane so it will fit into a box that fits into a canvas bag on a shopping trolley. This means I will be able to take it to shows on public transport. It has two modes in which it can be set up. One is the crane loads a narrow gauge train and the other is a canal scene on which a barge is loaded. It is in this latter mode that it will have it's first outing at the Blackpool Model Boat show. I also hope to try the train to get there even though I can still drive. Quite a few of my family are also going to Blackpool that weekend and we are all in the same B and B to make weekend of the show and Blackpool's other show, The Lights. It's second outing is the Warley show in November, In narrow gauge train mode. There will also, be NG North , just up the road from me now, and possibly York next Easter So what of the construction of the crane. The drive motors are the combination motors and gearboxes. The drive to make the crane swivel is a friction drive.which prevents overdrive when the crane reaches fixed stop points when the drive just slips. The whole thing runs on just two AA batteries. Some thought had to be given on how to keep sections short enough to fit in the box. There is also an odd shaped box within the main box which which contains the crane and it's "gubbins" which is the most vulnerable part of the model. There's really not a lot more that I can say about it's construction. I think the attachments will will explain better than words. Just a final note. I have never read a blog. When I started these blogs I was tempted to read some and see how it was done. In the end I decided to take a leaf from Frank Sinatra and do it my way! Cheers Derek.
  3. Hi All. I have just watched a TV program I recorded last Sunday evening on BBC 2. Britain's Greatest Pilot: The story of Caption Winkle Brown. I mention this as he was serving on the escort carrier Audacity I mentioned in my blog on Sunday when she was sunk by a U Boat. It is repeated tonight,Tuesday, again on BBC 2.at 1120pm, failing that you can catch up on BBC Iplayer. It really is worth a look Derek
  4. Hi All, I see it is just over a month since my last blog. Have I been up in the loft again? yes, but nothing to do with this blog. This is possibly my penultimate blog as I have come to the end of "what I built since the Aire Valley". more on the whys and wherefores next time. This one is about the small 1/1200 scale WW2 warships I started to construct after parting with the last model railway, Cranly Lake.R.R. Incidentally, the new owner of the layout has posted a video on youtube which my Grand daughter took some years ago. For some reason it cuts out before the end. Anyway, the first image is an overall view of the harbour. The baseboard is half a pasting table which will convey some size of the scale of the models. The model are a mix of scratch built, kit built and two of them, HMS Prince of Wales top left in dry dock and HMS Hood just below are the Atlas models with added details. Below the Hood is the Ark Royal and below her the Berwick and Cumberland. These three are from the Airfix Sink The Bismark Kit. To the right of the Ark royal is a white metal kit model of the first British Escort Aircraft Carrier HMS Audacity. These escort carriers had the nickname of Woolworth Carriers. The vessel next to the Berwick and Cumberland is a scratch built model of HMS Suffolk. The three ships at the other side of the long jetty are the Exeter, Ajax and Achilles of the Battle of the River Plate fame and are scratch built. Below them is a plastic kit model of the USS Enterprise with her two escorting destroyers of the Fletcher class. Well over 200 of these were built in the States. These models are white metal kits.Right at the bottom are three scratch built models. HMS Rodney, HMS Warspite and HMS Renown the latter being eased out by a couple of tugs. Back at the top jetty, all scratch built are a submarine depot ship and four S class and four R class submarines. The three small vessels to the right are white metal kits of Flower class Corvettes. In the top right hand corner, all scratch built, are four half flotillas of destroyers. Left to right. Hunt class. Town class (US Four funnel ) R class and J class. Just entering the harbour is a Micro model kit of the paddle steamer Royal Eagle.See image re having to reduce the original Micro model card to get the correct scale. She is being towed in by a white metal kit tug and escorted by a white metal kit of a Castle class corvette. Finally in the bottom right hand corner some white metal MTBs and Motor Gun Boats I hope all this makes sense and the images are of interest Cheers. Derek
  5. Hi. I have been up in the loft. Yes I know yet again. Having a bit of a clear out and found a couple of my real stone models after completing the first stage. Thought they may be of interest or maybe not. Cheers Derek.
  6. Hi all. After posting the last blog I found a couple of images of a model of Emett's Nellie which I thought I had already posted but looking through my past posting I cannot find them so I'm attaching them today. If I have posted them before my apologies. Nellie is now in the hands of my daughter down in Ellesmere and. is usually kept in a show case and just comes out at Christmas as will be seen in one of the attachments. Also attaching a pic of a model Hiab sea crane. She works in the Hiab offices in Ellesmere. I'm at York over Easter with the canal lock.
  7. Hi. I have been up in the loft today looking for something which I didn't find. However I did find some items of railway interest. First up is the delightful photo of the the last B.R. shunting horse, Charlie and his "workmate" whose name I do not know. The original image was a calender which I received many years ago from a friend who as we can see had exceedingly good tastes in New Year greetings. The title is Working Partners and was done by a professional photographer. Charlie died on the 28th October 1968 aged 29 years after a couple of years in a retirement home for horses in Somerset.so I must have got the calender at least two or three earlier. In the days when race horses went by rail Charlie would be often be sent to the off loading station. where his calm presence would would help to keep his throughbred brothers calm. The second set images may seem really odd. I wonder if any of you knew that a wallpaper producing firm once made rolls of paper of Emetts Nellie and friends. My Son and his wife once papered one wall of their.kitchen diner with a couple of rolls of this pattern. I was mortified when I saw it as it was then out of production and I think they had got the last couple of rolls in the shop. This would be in the mid seventies. They had only picked it because the colours were right. Crikey! Anyway when they had a change of decor they managed to strip of about four foot or so without tearing it. Each roll had a bit of a write up which they gave me. I thought this and the four foot of paper was lost but it has turned up today on my loft expedition. I am including the write up and photos of the four locos mentioned. I hope you don't think I have flipped my lid with this posting. Cheers Derek.
  8. Hi All. Just a quickie. Single attachment showing the latest bit of stock on the Fairfied garden line.. It started off as a toy bendy bus somewhat about the same scale as the two Chad Valley rail vehicles. It was obtained from Pound Stretcher. The power chassis is the IP Engineering budget chassis I picked up at NG North. Somewhere on youtube is a 30 odd second video of it on the move.. See you at York? Cheers Derek
  9. Hi again. Back again after over a month. I am posting the last model railway I constructed. Cranly Lake Railroad. This was only the second 7 mm scale I had built, the other one being the Liquorice Line. I was seduced by the Bachman Shay. Also at the same time my Friend Paul Towers sent me details of a very short line in Canda. " The Portage Railway" which was only one and one eighth miles long with track gauge of 42 inches. It was a tourist line connecting two lakes and had two locos, two passenger cars, two box cars and two flat cars It was owned by a company called " The Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway and Navigation Companies". A name nearly as long as the line it's self. I am attaching a delightful painting which help you to see what inspired various items on my layout. It might be worth seeing what is on the internet if you want further information. As mentioned above I was seduced by the Bachman Shay, a type of loco that never got built for the A.V.R. This Shay and my 7mm scale model of an Avonside geared loco modified a little were the main line locos with a Bachman 0-4-0 Porter and a four coupled diesel as yard shunters. I cannot recall details of the diesel or why it was numbered 5 when there were only four locos. There were no run round facilities, hence the shunting locos. there was only three points. leading to the passenger line, goods line and the engine shed. One point in the opposite direction led to the mineral loading hoppers. Shunting, while not overly complicated required some thought. For the buildings on the layout I went for balsa wood construction ..I must say it was a change from plasticard and I quite enjoyed the change. For the construction of Cranly Maid I reverted to plasticard. The freight vessel Raven was from my radio controlled days and was not sold on with the layout. Possibly the most interesting is the loading hopper. It did load the wagons though it was somewhat contrived as each shute hopper just held enough mineral to fill a wagon. As one image shows the wagons were unloaded by hand in the hidden? sidings. The Pine tree was in memory of my favourite Laurel and Hardy film- Way out West. The layout went to several shows but once again when when I tried to make it a permanent layout it failed and was sold on. Think that's it for now. Cheers Derek. .
  10. Hi again. Posting the last two box drawings. Keighley Station Jcn and Keighley North. Starting with Station Jcn. It had a 25 lever frame, all working, no spares. I guess the jumble of points in the center will be the first thing to catch the eye. The junction from the up main to the down branch (Oxenhope) is straight forward.. On the up branch the main route was onto the down main. .None passenger trains could also be routed into the down sidings. The sidings to the right of No 24 ground signals were the carriage sidings and moves could be routed to the down main or the down sidings. From the down sidings trains could be routed onto the up main, the down branch or the carriage sidings. The up siding, top left ran right through to Keighley North as indeed did the down sidings. The Vehicle on line switches were safety devices to protect vehicles left in either of the main platform lines during shunting operations. ;There was another box at the other end of the main line platforms, Keighley South which controlled the Bay Platform . This platform was not numbered and was just referred to as the Bay Platform.. It also acted as a head shunt for a siding to a foundry. .When the Up Morecambe Leeds/Bradford train split here an engine which had arrived from Bradford and was stabled in the Bay platform picked up the Bradford portion. As well as the Worth Valley trains on the branch the GN also ran into Keighley from Bradford and Halifax via the Queensbury Triangle. The only trains I can remember that were booked off the branch was a Summer Saturday only working to and from Morecambe. .Keighley West box was at the other end of the Branch platforms. .Further beyond that was GN Jcn box which controlled the junction to Oxenhope or Queensbury and also into the GN goods yard which was separate from the Midland yard. On to the North box. It had a 30 lever frame including three spares. The intermediate Home signals on the up and down main at Utley were along with a similar set between Hellifield South and Gargrave unique, as the four boxes were issued with a specially printed Absolute Block Regulation book governing the working of these signals as they were not normal ;intermediate block signals. The sidings beyond No 13 signal led to the engine shed which was a sub shed of Manningham. The locos shedded there were the branch passenger loco which was fitted for push pull working. A class 3 goods loco for trip working and a " jinty" as yard shunter.. As well as a quite a large goods yard on the downside ( Now Sainsbury's), there were quite a few individual works on the up and down sidings extending on the north side of the box. The GN yard served the Co-op works where among other items produced were wringing machines. Things with rollers to squeeze water out of clothes.. So many were dispatched that the GN evening goods was nicknamed the The Wringer. Well I think that's it for now. Sorry for the quality of the drawings throughout this little series.. Cheers for now. Derek. .. .
  11. Hi. I'm posting drawings of the penultimate pair of boxes. Marley Jcn and Thwaites Jcn. Marley Jcn as will be noted had a pretty simple layout but it did however have a couple of interesting moves on the late shift of which more anon. It had a 24 lever frame of which 8 were spares. When I first learned this box it had a crossover in the main lines with ground signals to control it.. These were removed in April 1955. As far as I can recall the crossover did not get much use. I trust the diagram will make clear the Up Goods line finishing and Down Slow line starting at Bingley as mentioned in the last posting. So what of the "interesting moves". Around teatime a down mineral train was booked onto the Down Slow line at Bingley and continued forward to Thwaites Jcn on the Down Goods line. to stand there to wait the passage of the next two passenger trains. The next train was a slow passenger from Bradford to Skiption which was booked onto the Down Slow line at Bingley to stand at Marley to wait the passage of the Morecambe Residential or Resi as it was called on the Main line.The local passenger followed this express onto the Down Main line Later in the evening a similar set of moves took place in the Up direction. A freight was booked onto the Up Slow line at Thwaites to run forward on the Up Goods to Bingley. This was followed by the Carlisle Cricklewood milk train which stood at Marley to wait the passage of the Glasgow Leeds Express. Once again the goods followed these two trains from Bingley. Thwaites Jcn was similar to the Bingley layout as regards the four running lines. It had a 24 lever frame of which 2 were spares. A couple of numbering errors re some ground signals...Number 5 should be 15 and the signal to the left of the box without a number is number 12. The Oil works siding was still in use but not really busy. Coal for the Gas Works was tripped from Keighley.and run onto the Up Slow line and reversed into the sidings. The note re the ground frame reads."Lever No. 21 must be normal in frame to get ANNETS Key out and lever No. 21.is locked in normal position until ANNETS key is returned to frame and turned". The Guard would drop off at the box to collect the key when the trip cleared 21 points and they were returned to normal. Not really much else to comment on. Cheers, Derek.
  12. Hi. Attaching two more signal box diagrams. The first is Hirstwood. It had a 16 lever frame including one spare. I see I failed to number the ground signal controlling the setting back move through number 6 points, it should be numbered 5. The two ground signals 8 and11 had yellow aspects and could be passed for shunting purposes when in the on position. Note the odd track layout of the sidings. at number 12 points. There was a couple of works served by the yard. Scot motor cycles was one, those old enough will remember their distinctive exhaust sound. There was also a firm whose name escapes me who made transmission belts. These belts stick in my mind as there was a trip working to the yard usually just one open wagon and a brake van. At best the load would be several of the belts. Off to the left was Saltaire station and signal box not part of the R.D. roster, and of course the mill and village where I was born. 60 Titus Street, No plaque on the house. The village was no Port Sunlight or Bournville. Most of the 850 houses were terraced but were a vast improvement on the slums of Bradford. The concept of Saltaire is worth following if you are interested. If any of you have the Model Railway News for February 1966 I had an article in it regarding the Station and some background information on the village and it's founder. The mill was served on the south side by the railway and on the north side by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. I see there is a program on Channel 4 on Saturday (tomorrow) on the Canal, though it seems it may be on the Lancashire side of it..I can remember horse drawn barges on it. There was a second mill built at a later time at the north side of the canal. It was just served by the canal. Coal for this mill was shovelled out of barges into a grill in the tow path and fell into a bucket chain which conveyed it to the boiler house. This mill is now offices and apartments. Just north of Saltaire was Shipley Glen, know as the lungs of Bradford. It had, still has a little cabled hauled tramway and I am attaching a photo of it. The second box is Bingley Station..It had a 50 lever frame including 6 spares. It's not to clear in the diagram re the four tracks going north at the left end. Reading top to bottom they are- Up Goods, Up Main, Down Fast and Down Slow. if you will forgive me this will become clear in the next posting. The sidings leading off to the right beyond 45,46 and 47 ground signals led to the timber firm Magnet. Most of the timber used to to come to Hull from Sweden. At Hull it was loaded onto standard four wheel open wagons, often 30 at a time. for conveying to Bingley. .If other traffic allowed it could be reversed in to the Magnet siding .straight off the main line. .This was not a speedy move and took time to organise with the train crew . Option two was to run the train onto the Down Slow line and then set back into the Magnet yard via the down siding. This was a move that could be organised with the train crew and the Station Master and when traffic on the main lines allowed was a more speedy move. This was not a daily occurrence, thank goodness. More next time. Derek
  13. Hi. I'm posting the Leeds Jcn drawing, the last of the Shipley triangle boxes. A quick personal note. I was made a Train Recorder in 1945 having reached the age of 16 and able to work nights. There was a lad on each shift from Monday 0600 to 0200 Sunday morning. I am also attaching a very simple drawing of the box's down distant signals relevant to the two boxes in rear. I tried yesterday when I started this post to explain the distant signal operation in words but it became almost impossible. I hope the drawing if looked at in connection with main drawing will help. The sections between the three triangle box's and Guiseley Jcn were short and distant signals at Leeds Jcn could not be pulled off until the box in advance cleared it's distant signal. A mechanical indicator indicated when the distant signal in advance was cleared. This system applied to all four box's but only Leeds Jcn had it all directions. As the two box's covered in the simple drawing were not in my rest day roster they never got in my exercise book..Leeds Jcn had a 40 lever frame including 2 spares. There were no crossovers so no ground signals. If you can make out number 27 signal on the main post of the splitting signals from the Skipon direction, this was the down starter to Skipton. The short sections required close co-operation between all the signalmen. For instance, Guiseley Jcn would sometimes have to keep a long goods train at his down slow home signal so as not to block the Jcn to Ilkley. This could happen if Bingley Jcn was running a train in or out on the Bradford Skipton leg. The Fast and Slow lines started here all the way to Leeds The simplistic drawing also shows how trains to or from Bradford accessed the Slow line or the Ilkley Line..So what about the junction onto the Batley line? This was a GN branch from Bradford Exchange. Behind Leeds Jcn was the remains of Windhill Station Passenger traffic was long gone but there was still considerable goods traffic. The were daily trip workings between Bradford Valley goods (see first posting) and the GN yard. There was also a through working from the GN yard to Skipton. This ran onto the down goods line and the loco ran round it's train between Shipley Goods and Frizinghall It had a brake van at both ends. Strangely I cannot remember a return working. It may have worked back to Valley Yard and and been a trip working to the GN yard. The latter had it's own signal box almost opposite Guiseley Jcn. and had a Signalwoman on one shift. The line down to the yard was something like 1 in 40 and brakes had to be pinned down ay the start of the decent On approaching the yard the driver had to whistle he had the train under control otherwise the line was left set for a long sand drag. That's about it. Cheers, Derek.
  14. Hi. Attaching two more box diagrams. Shipley Bradford Jcn and Shipley Bingley Jcn. The former was at the Bradford end of the Shipley triangle. ;As mentioned ;in a previous posting there were some boxes between Manningham Jcn and Shipley for which I don't have drawings. (1) Manningham Sidings.;Spare and summer only coaching stock was stored here. (2) Frizinghall. ;There was a large wool warehouse here served by rail. These two boxes had signals on the passenger lines but no points. ;(3) Shipley Goods . This had connections on all lines as freight workings into the yard had to cross the passenger lines.There was also, as seen on the Bradford Jcn diagram a through siding to the latter. .Bradford Jcn had a 36 lever frame including one spare. ;The signal gantry from the Bradford direction had ten arms. ; It will be seen a train on the up goods for the Apperley Bridge (Leeds) direction could be signalled forward on the up goods or via the passenger lines through the station. The latter move was not often used. It will be seen the line to Saltaire, Where have I seen that before? ;changed to the Down line as happens at triangle layouts. In the box were the usual wood lockers. One of the sections in the lockers was very neatly labelled.MAGAZINES. This caught new bosses out when they had a look in it. It contained detonator magazines which were used by fogmen . There was a fog post just outside the box with mini repeater signal arms. The fogman could place detonators at several signals via a lever frame which would discard old and pick up new detonators from the magazines. On to Bingley Jcn, This was the simplest of the Shipley boxes. ;It had a 20 lever frame all of which were in use. The Angle Sidings were at one time used for coal wagons The coal was destined for the gas works. The works was not served directly by rail and a horse and two wheel tipper cart conveyed the coal to the works. Latterly the sidings were used for P.W. wagons. ;The signal gantry ;with number 19, Down Bradford Home plus the three distants of other boxes was butted ;right up to the box There was a skylight in that end of the box for the signalman to check the position of the signal. One interesting daily working was the the arrival of the Bradford portion of a Morecambe train. The loco uncoupled and returned to Bradford. ;When the Leeds portion arrived it had to set back onto the Bradford portion This leg of the triangle was the sharpest curve of the three. The driver had no view whatsoever onto the Bradford portion, plus if it was a Compound it was a struggle to set back on a wet rail. There was also the problem of the buckeye couplings coupling. It must have been a short straw working for the Holbeck engine crew ..The return working of this train diagram split at Keighley but that's another story. The up home signals (3 and 5) were repeated on the gantry to assist sighting due to a road over bridge. Number 15 was a calling on signal. Under certain conditions the signalman at Bradford Jcn could accept a passenger train timed to stop at the station under Regulation 5 in which the calling on arm at Bingley Jcn was used. At the time of me working at Shipley there were no platforms on the Leeds Skipton leg of the triangle, hence the working mentioned above. With the electrification of the Airedale and Wharfdale lines in 1994 Platforms were added on this leg. The Skipton to Bradford leg was singled and the curve eased. Bingley Junction box was rescued and taken to the Worth valley for use there That's it for now. Cheers, Derek.
  15. Hi Again. I am posting the second of the signal box items. This is Manningham Stn Jcn. mentioned in the last posting. A personal note first ..I first worked at this box as a Train Recorder in 1944, crikey that's 70 years ago. The R.D. relief post was a second bite at the cherry. There was a further bite when I got a permanent position at Manningham. It had a 40 lever frame of which 6 were spares. The sidings off to the top left led to the engine shed. At one time there used to be a signal box in the depot which controlled the lines in the complex. When this box was dispensed with I understand Manningham Jcn received a new lever frame (the one the subject of this posting). The original frame overlooked the passenger lines. The new frame overlooked the goods lines. Presumably the old frame continued in use until the new frame was installed. Interestingly this new (midland) frame had four and a half inch centers and it could be a squeeze to get at some levers. I never came across another frame with this spacing. It will be seen engines coming off shed to either the goods yard or the passenger station had a straight run off, Compounds could have real struggle coming off tender first in wet weather and could take all of three or four minutes to clear the East/West jcn points. Engines going on shed were usually run onto the Up Goods line and reversed through number 7 points and then into the shed roads.. Number 2 points were very heavy. Not only were they the furthest from the box. they were triple ended and also had a 60 ft facing point bar. The passenger line crossover 27 was little used and didn't have ground signals to control it, though levers 26 and 28 were spares.The Gas Works siding was never used while I knew the box. The goods lines to Shipley had Permissive block instruments which were turned to 1 when a train passed the box in the rear. If further trains entered the section before the first train cleared the instrument was turned to 2 and so on. The East and West arrival and departure lines had some interesting block or rather bell working. Each line did have it's own Absolute Block instrument but only one bell. ie. the two arrival lines had an A B Instrument but only one bell. This bell only signalled arriving trains. The departure lines were the same, the one bell just used for departing trains. So how did the one bell in each direction work. Simple. Bell signals for trains on the West lines were proceeded by the call attention signal and those on the East lines WITHOUT the call attention signal. Wow, was this interesting if a new Signalling Inspector paid a visit and better still if top management were looking around, The look on their faces. Just to finish. Passenger trains into Bradford were usually sent on the East Arrival.. The reason for this being the signalman at Bradford very rarely had to refuse a train on the East arrival, the only time he had to refuse a train was if there was a loco running on or off the station turntable..I hope this makes sense. Let me know if not, via a comment perhaps. Derek.
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