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runs as required

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    52A Tyneside's cultural quarter
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    early railways
    African and European railways
    building conservation

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  1. NOYES FLUDD may have featured in Grand Designs. It is owned by Phil Dyke, Civil & Mechanical Engineer and his charming wife February ('Febbie') Deeplake, a professional carriage finisher, trimmer, painter and liner; who prides herself on her painstakingly built-up multi coat finishes “so deep you can fish in them”. Three children and many more ducks and black Labradors complete the household. They devised the project for a flood-proof home-based pair of small businesses: agricultural and restorative engineering alongside high-class bodywork and carriage restoration. Phil Dyke hit upon adapting the long abandoned remains of a small station on a branch line laid on the banks of a drain leading off into the north Norfolk sea marshes and saltings. The raised platforms are utilised as access to the “Ark”, a floating house workshop between the platforms. It is built upon a marine ply buoyancy platform restrained by sliding up and down against greased timber posts. Services are via coiled tubing and overhead cable. The glu-lam “Ark” is an open single storey structure with a recreational roof deck, useful for outdoor sleeping on hot nights. The main floor is subdivided as necessary by fire proofed modular partitions that separate living from work areas deemed noxious. Spaces expand and contract as business and family needs demand. The derelict station buildings are used as a “Trombe wall” to store heat and release it at night. They also house the fire hazard forge and metal working areas. The whole platform area is enclosed by a glasshouse (familiar throughout the Fens) that affords year round reasonably wind and water tight well-insulated accommodation for the Dyke household s and their projects. Noyes Fludd was a small station and passing place on a “no-hoper” of a line cheaply constructed in the early 1900s by the West Norfolk Railway. This was during a brief spell of positive thinking by rural lines about resources that might be tapped by extending low-cost lines into promising hinterlands of oil-bearing shales, clay bricks, pressed and fired using cheap ‘sea’ coal imports from the north-east. The line was to terminate in a resort with a beach, with east-west facing hotels for morning and evening sunshine, plus a gated Colonial style Township for week-end and holiday Villas. In the post Armistice 1920s, cheap war surplus lorries dispersed such dreams along the new arterial roads..
  2. In the late 50s early 60s the trick was always to wait at the end of the platform in the direction of travel. As well as a seat, you could find a "strengthener" - an absolute delight, out of Region, with some very nostalgic carriage pictures and interior upholstery (arm rests or none?) and carriage detailing. Plus you could hear and feel the loco at work.
  3. I agree - but why annoyed me was that I couldn't actually identify if it was on the HS2 route or just o one side if you followed up on the mention of Wellwick farm/manor . The tunnel portal site is well to the SE of Wendover and its existing station. Next large site going down is an over-bridge across a B road NW of Wellwick Farm. Pub Quiz Question: Where on the UK Motorway network do you pass by a stone circle actually within the motorway fenced area? Did you have to check by Googling?
  4. Thats because it was a run-way with an empty cab (as in the Titfield Thunderbolt !) The smoke from the chimney was impressive.
  5. So where might a Bobby have gone to relieve himself in such an over-looked and exposed busy mainline box? It looks like its about 250 yds down to the station; would he have time between trains to scuttle there and back on day shifts? Might he have had a book boy capable of holding the fort during longer newspaper reading sessions?
  6. Very interesting - I wonder whether either of my Grandmothers would have given him the ‘come on’ in 1899 like she did ? What was that 1899 train? LSWR ?
  7. Hi! Back again after all the Political stuff beyond my my pay grade Comment on that Curzon St terminal: there looks to be more retail at rail level and below than will exist in the rest of the City Centre (NB reported closure of the adjacent Flagship John Lewis Store) 2 Could anyone please update retired OFs like me exactly what of HS2 and HS2a is already a) ‘Let’ on the ground and b) what is definitely ‘Shovel Ready’ as opposed to still being subject to permissions etc.
  8. I’m hoping for a really cleverly simulated mist partially obscuring the remnants of the snow fence
  9. What were Porton Down’s earlier years ? Were they active before WW II - transporting dead animals for anthrax filled shells ?
  10. This thread seems now to have drifted OT to Traditional English Unionist prejudices - well away from the really interesting debate a few pages back of anticipating post pandemic revision of network travel patterns. See you in a few pages time.
  11. Thank you, I enjoyed that signing off explanation. I have somewhere a few copies of my wife’s stepfather’s LMS magazine from the late 1930s. He went straight From school in Peak Forest into Peak Forest Box on the Derby-Manchester mainline at 15/16 and worked there right through the war until he retired in the 1970s. The LMS magazine looked very low cost Art Deco In presentation with stylised ink drawings of stripey streamlined trains.
  12. Was there ever a Business Case for either the original closure or the highly popular re-Instatement ? As I understand it there is indignation about it not yet extended to Hawick - and on the west side - campaigning for it to put Langholm ‘on line’. I concede I’m wrong about “whatever the politics” because Borders borderline politics seems important to both the SNP and Unionists.
  13. The Borders line will be completed to Carlsle, whatever the politics, but thankfully not High Speed! There's also Border Reivers local pressure for re-instatement of the Border Counties to take the logging wagons off the road and to link Hawick southwards to the delights of Tyneside and also more tourists up to Kielder. My old rail mad friend Geoff Mann (of St Pancras Hotel restoration and the under-grounding of Ludgate Hill railway bridge) will be against this destroying the peace of his Saughtree railway B&B.
  14. Looking into my crystal ball, I can see a post-pandemic future "North" as being a conurbation belt from the Wirral/Chester/Knutsford /Mansfield/ Cleethorpes north to Carnforth/ Skipton/ Harrogate/ York/ Scarborough. This would equate roughly to the regional distribution of settlement densities served by the former Network South East. [We'd have our very own NorthEast (Northallerton to Berwick; Hawes to Whitby) network] I visualise a network across the North conurbation belt rather like Berlin (or a less centralised Paris) that enables cross-conurb. or diagonal multi mode journeys within a max 100 minutes journey time. Payment could be made by monthly billing of a travel account (like phone or home heating). I'd include billing owners of cars for mileage along roads with varying prices based on congestion and environmental pollution. Phone satnavs already compute most cost effective mode/route/time options. Fast Scotland to England services would run through the centre of stations (like Friedrichstrasse or Nuneaton Trent valley). They'd have a choice of network paths either via Carlisle or Newcastle and south via Crewe (existing WCML) or Doncaster (existing ECML) or via Manchester, Leeds, Bradford or Sheffield I don't see the HST 3 choice having to be either Stoke or East Midlands. Both routings could be realised within a similar cross Midlands conurbation belt Shrewsbury /Stoke/ Nottingham /Lincoln down to Hereford/Oxford/Northampton/Cambridge/Thetford. What about re-viving the LT brandname Green Line for these new multi mode networks rather than HST 3,4,5,6 etc. ? The purpose is to remove the obligation to run a car.
  15. 1 it seems to me the above W-W Manchester thinking about city development contexts precedes post pandemic perceptions about our urban and regional decentralised futures. But this is not to condemn it. It answers my criticism of Curzon Street, expressed many pages above that the viaducts to CS terminal station sterilise land beneath to the east of Birmingham's city core. Has anybody stopped by W-W's site to look at their commuting survey done in 2019 in the 10 cities round the world in which they have a presence? I found it interesting because it exposed frustrations that will obviously be resolved by post.p. increased p.p. working from home. by p.p. city de-densification and office & retail change (use class order changes) to residential. [NB I have no connection whatsoever with W-W, but a shared holistic environmental planning view] 2 Surely any sensible thinking about NPH rail interconnectibility will be about quality of ride for commuters and capacity, an accessible northern urban network with dependability, not sheer speed *. Traction should be electric with an ability to climb and descend (particularly to include Bradford and Halifax en-route to Leeds) *Personally I have always loved the view out of the window on all train journeys north of Crewe or Derby/Doncaster and would not like new routes to be 'Base Tunnels' Swiss style below the "Hills of the North Rejoice".
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