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

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  1. Seems there is a lot of gloom around as July takes hold and the myriad pre-grouping greens of spring shade into dismal overall BR Brunswick. My own malaise had me hiding away through Sunday where I found unexpected enjoyment in watching the first televised cricket on plain vanilla TV I've seen since my fanatical Kent supporting parents died nearly 20 years ago. No one has posted about the Lords World Cup match though I got absolutely hooked. An almost pre-grouping sporting event it seemed to me to be with the Edwardian faience tiled pavilion over the cut and cover (?) London Extension tunnels down to Marylebone filled with a whole lot of bewhiskered military and colonial old buffers in their brightly coloured caps and blazers. I even spent the day rooting for the underdogs - which always riled my dad All in all a pleasant escape from our own health issues and the UKs depressing political present
  2. This reminds me of a long ago Brendan Behan joke about the Dublin St sign reading Gas Street with a warning below 'cul de sac' - to which kids of his generation used to comment " is'nt the Gaelic a wonderful language". 2 Anyone able to offer the original Norman French origin of Hetton le Hole, birthplace of Mungo, our cat ? dh
  3. Pedant writes: I think we have a foreign spy posting in our midst. Note the use of the passive 'stood' rather than 'standing'. Have there been further clandestine landings upon the Norfolk coast from the the German Sea?
  4. Sorry, but I've on just come on board to the pannier and Stanier rhyme - it really isn't good enough on such a pedant ridden thread to casually throw away attribution to "someone" ! Anyway in terms of small LMS tanks - why has someone like Compound not nominated the MR 0-6-4 Deeley "flat irons" ? Even flatter than a 5700 I'd suggest. The Cromford North London tanks were a part of my grammar school days and Brake van trips with my kindly old English teacher W.H. Hoult who was a regular contributor to the Manchester Grauniad's Miscellany column and "Derbyshire Countryside" on tramways, canals, and railways.
  5. Hi Annie Thanks for your post. Streuth! I think you antipodeans say this pre-grouping cotner of the Web is becoming more and more a tangle of parallel universe virtual worlds! I misread your post and rather enjoyed a Demonic Black Goods I think it should storm through the night being thrashed to make up time dh
  6. I can't recall where the link is to 'Victoria 2 stations' I've just clicked across to in these new CA parallel Universes (isn't Quantum Mechanics a wonderful post-Einstein app?) But its an excuse for me to tell an old East Grinstead RAF Guinea Pig club story of my dad's. An Australian veteran G Pig phoned to say he was over from Wagga Wagga in London and could he come down to have a night out with my dad. Pa gave him all the platform details for Victoria to Otford where he would meet him. But the Ozzie boarded the wrong train and was told to change at O'Neil. An hour or so later he arrived at Brighton, having never found O'Neil station. By phone Dad enlightened him about the junction being Herne Hill and so their night out was in Brighton instead of in my dad's local. The Ozzie swore loud and long at the cockney accent! dh
  7. Wow Scott! Brilliant developments. I haven't been wasting ti roving around the web much through our spring (outside tasks have demanded priority), but Stock is looking really great. I love your action painting style of backdrop behind the terraces. I notice the terraces are all full of Rupert Murdoch's work shy "Welfare scroungers" with their curtains drawn all day. Sometime in the future you might return to those terraces and give them a bit of a roughing up so they are not so perfectly uniform, most UK working areas got their terraces built in slightly varied blocks of streets an acre or so at a time (cf the amazing Copenhagen Fields layout) Have you experimented with cheapo hairspray as fixative over water soluble prints before attacking them with (fairly dry) acrylic? We all used it as Mackem art students. Sunderland was of course distinctive for its single storey terraces with dormers. very best wishes dh
  8. Ah but the real regret for me was the closure of cheapo Gamages emporium. Gamages advertised profusely in Meccano Magazine; I had a Gamages crystal set for Christmas and had to listen to the King's speech. And my friend and I were allowed to travel up to Gamages to spend my aunt's 10 shilling birthday postal order on a bogie wagon for my disappointing Trix twin set - I'd prayed to get a Hornby Dublo like my friend's. In my just married twenties I encountered Gamages once more for the very last time during quick dashes down at lunch time with my drawing office mates from above platform 1 at Kings Cross. 2 Thank you RGA for an excuse to post a favourite Saxon and EE church of mine in the Tyne Valley This is Ovingham with a Saxon tower (with similar bell openings to Bywell further upstream) and a heavily restored C13 cruciform arcaded plan to the main body of the building - presenting opposite (top middle) the north abutment of the former toll bridge across from Prudhoe station (N&C). It is one of the string of pre-conquest churches originating with the monastery at Jarrow. The real interest for us on RMweb, is that, until the Edwardian times of CA. it served also as the parish church for Wylam. Just inside the south gate to the churchyard on the right stands a striking stone obelisk, the memorial to my great hero Isaac Jackson. He was the humble furnace man working 12 hours a day in Wylam smithy. His hobby was repairing and building brass clocks. He'd built his own lathe along and a beautiful set of tools for this precision work. According to Jim Rees, Hedley had him make beautiful brass models to test the functionality including cranks and valve gear, of the engines they were hammering, forging and casting in the blacksmith's shop: Black Billy, Puffing Billy, Wylam Dilly. IJ built a complete steam model to demonstrate to Lady Bewicke at Close House (just above George Stephenson's birthplace) on the waggonway along the Tyne. She was fearful of it running off the end of her dining table but Jackson had contrived an automatic reverse enabling it to run up and down until out of steam. Ij was the only one of the Wylam pioneers not to move on or enrich himself. Before IJ died, Robert Stephenson commissioned IJ to build a clock for the Forth Street Works. With a three legged escapement, I think it is still in the NRM at York. His escape mechanism was subsequently adopted for Big Ben. dh
  9. I am ashamed that we who succeeded them, J K Galbraith has termed "the Comfort Generation" in denying our successors the benefits we ourselves enjoyed. Macmillan coined a phrase for us lot: "We've never had it so good" 2 I really wanted to post about a very characterful street corner in Blyth, Northumberland. I've had a life long respect for the architects of the Gothic Revival: Pugin, Street, Pearson etc. Pevsner who lectured to us on his Pioneers of Modern Design walked us around Liverpool 'Red Brick University Victoria building to point out how Pre-Raphaelite Gothic fancy dress allowed Waterhouse to get away with a gamut of daring spatial adventures that classical rules would never permit. My daughter lives in Rugby dominated by hard-edged polychromatic William Butterfield; my all time fave is his All Saints, Margaret St. improbably inserted into a terrace of stucco commercial buildings just north of Oxford St. Driving around Blyth a couple of days ago I was very delighted to pass by this lively street corner. I stopped and snapped it using my new Chinese Spies' phone. the left (south ) side is a tightly organised former Presbyterian, the centre pic is Google Street View looking west , the right is the sandstone Catholic Our Lady Pevsner's County book notes that the Catholic is 1862, 'rock faced with polygonal apse and SE spikelet' by A,M. Dunn, the Presbyterian is 1874 by Thomas Oliver, Each has an adjacent Prebytery. I think it a pity that when one could build such a seriously confrontational street corner, modellers will usually opt for a minimalist 'Million Pound Act' C19 urban gothic:
  10. ... 'Blind Jack' Metcalf built his Trans Pennine Turnpikes to ruling gradients of (plus or minus) 1 in 15. He graduated to road building from being a stage coach driver ! Perhaps being partially sighted helped around those hairpins. 2 About cut and fill through chalk - can you attempt a fairly steep angle of repose or does rain and run off dissolve the chalk unless it is topsoiled and grassed? i seem to remember the Swanley - Otford LC&D line has cliff like cutting approaches to the tunnel through the North Downs.
  11. "I was so much older then, i'm younger than that now" And here's someone who has to be a contemporary of Prince Charles:
  12. I wished I'd known that when I was lucky enough to work with Andy. He was a hugely resourceful teacher ... I copied learnt a lot from him. dh
  13. 1 I prefer Industrial & Equitable Co-operative Societies - especially those structures that stand upright as high and dry Victorian emporiums above the scattering of workers' dwellings they serve. Wife's stepfather was a long serving signalman at Peak Forest (we have his LMS long service clock on our spare bedroom mantelpiece). At his Funeral his ex colleagues said he was always known as Lucky Tommie "if he'd fell off Doveholes 'stores' roof, hed'ave landed in't Divi" 2 Very impressed by the WNR Charman deigning to become a mere BLT Controller - you have very quickly grown a handsome white beard. dh
  14. I can well understand how it must be a chore to have to assemble that footbridge. We lived along from such an open footbridge on Grafton Street in Liverpool in the early 1960s. It was very exciting with a fine view over the Mersey to the Welsh mountains. Our cat ran away to sea on a collier boat over it in pique after our first born arrived home. Below was the former LNER Brunswick locomotive depot and also the tunnel portal out of which the old Liverpool Overhead Railway used to emerge from its underground terminal at the Dingle. Now the LOR (or the Wuppertal overhead railway) really would be a fine VR challenge! dh
  15. Did simmering resentments come into this in any way in the LNER (as they clearly did in the LMS) ? We read about it after Thompson's succession following the death of Gresley, but did it linger in works other than Darlington? Gresley was notable in continuing building and developing classes in other pre-Grouping constituents. dh
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