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Richard Hall

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    Newmarket, Suffolk

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  1. It's been a while, but the Stobs Project is still alive and well, with baseboard construction due to start after Longframlington's next public appearance on 9th November. I'm still tweaking the design: I managed to import an OS map image of the station area into Templot and confirmed that it will fit comfortably into my planned 8' x 2'6" scenic boards. I'm looking at some degree of automation for the storage loops so that I can run the layout single-handed at exhibitions. Also continuing to accumulate appropriate locomotives: here's one of the two 4MTs which ended up at Hawick. I really ought to change the tender crest for the later design: in too much of a hurry to get the thing finished, weathered and running in time for a show a couple of weeks ago. I also picked up an "A1" which will end up as one of the Haymarket allocation.
  2. Mac, thanks ever so much for that information and photos. I so much wish I lived in that house. My project hasn't progressed much further since Christmas for various reasons, but I have been steadily accumulating locomotives, rolling stock and information. I should be able to start work by the end of this year. Richard
  3. I think you might be right, looking at photos of the Bachmann coaches. The Thompsons have a similar side profile to the Staniers, which is what I was going on. An ex LNER coach in a Midland formation is rather more interesting than an ex LMS one. But the photo is too low resoltion to make out the bogie type. Poor old Arrow. How was such a disgracefully filthy locomotive permitted to work a named train in 1960? It was allocated to Trafford Park at the time and I'm not sure what it was doing south of Nottingham and headed towards London.
  4. Came across this photo today, taken in 1960 (a long way south of the border, so don't get excited by the motive power). Fifth coach is presumably the usual Stanier 12 wheeler kitchen/restaurant, but the third coach also looks like a Stanier of some kind - probably a substitute for a failed Mk1.
  5. Another Micro Traction snippet - I just came across a reference to the man behind Micro Traction having previously worked for Airfix. That would explain why he was confident about doing the whole thing in moulded plastic. According to the same source the Prairie was supposed to be followed by a J39.
  6. Thanks for that Ian. My father acquired a body kit for a "V3" a long time ago which he thinks was one of yours, also a Thompson corridor coach and Gresley suburban. I wish he still had them. Richard
  7. I forgot I had started this thread - old age creeping up on me. And if I had carried on describing the construction of the layout in detail, at some point I would have had to explain this: Ahem. Moving swiftly on, I am spending the weekend doing the last few bits of work before Longframlington's exhibition debut next Saturday at the Felixstowe N Gauge show. A nice gentle introduction to life as an exhibition layout, just to see what falls off and breaks before the layout travels North for the two-day Redcar show at the start of August. Only just over six feet long including fiddle yard, but I don't think it looks too cramped. Richard
  8. Just found this while idly browsing on a Sunday morning and I am glad I did. A fine collection of properly Scottish locomotives in an appropriate setting. It's like Derek Cross's "Last Decade of Scottish Steam" in 3D colour. Gorgeous. Richard
  9. Here is the beast in question. I'm half-tempted to try building it, just for the challenge. I suspect I would end up crying though. The amount of play in the motor bearings alone would put off any sensible person. I don't know where that motor came from (Hong Kong?) but it's a shocker.
  10. For some reason "Jamie" was dropped. The MRC review (May 1969, 50 years ago!) refers to the manufacturer as Jamie Micro Traction. The packaging on my example just says Micro Traction, as does the keeper plate. But "JMT Ltd" is moulded into the underside of the body. So who was Jamie?
  11. Anyone else interested in early British N gauge? I just acquired an unbuilt Micro Traction kit for a 61xx Prairie tank. I came across a review of it in an old (1968-9) copy of MRC. I suspect very few were sold: it has enough design and manufacturing flaws in the mechanism that I wouldn't fancy trying to make it work. I'd love to know more about Micro Traction - who was behind it, how many kits were sold etc etc. This one will stay unbuilt (I doubt it has been out of the packaging before today) and join my very early Farish Pannier (mid-1971, first three months' production) and Peco Jubilee (date unknown but probably early 1970s, Rivarossi-style packaging) in the relics drawer. I quite fancy a pre-Hornby Minitrix Britannia as well.
  12. Jezebel! I picked up this little beauty on a second hand stall at a show for not much money. I suspect it to be a modified Langley Standard 4MT body on a Farish Crab chassis. Tender body is a resin casting though, which makes me wonder whether it was a kit by an obscure manufacturer now long forgotten. After much fiddling it now runs tolerably well, and there was only one possible identity I could choose.
  13. Slow train to Hawick? It certainly would have been with a J37 up front. Hawick had a solitary J37 on its books for many years - 64539 - presumably it was there for some good reason. It waddled off to St Margarets at the end of 1959 for the last two years of its life. That is the one I will probably model.
  14. Not much progress on Stobs itself but I have another locomotive for it, and an unusual one at that: 64499 was one of three ex North British J35s allocated to Carlisle Canal in BR days. It was the last survivor of the trio, soldiering on until the end of October 1962. The model started out as a Poole Farish 4F which has acquired a new brass firebox and cab, flared tender tops and a few other bits and pieces. I wouldn't describe it as a scale model, but I'm happy enough with it, should be ideal for the Carlisle-Hawick goods. I have another 4F which may become a St Margarets J37, which were known to appear on the Waverley Route from time to time.
  15. While I was rummaging around my photo files I found some shots of my previous attempt at a Borders branch terminus. "Belstone" was a bit bigger than "Longframlington" and never got quite finished due to a house move: I sold it, and hopefully it is still out there giving pleasure to someone. It was a nice little layout although the kickback coal siding didn't really work, much too fiddly to shunt. Buildings were mostly Scotsgap based, but Plastikard rather than cardboard, and a bit wobbly due to inadequate internal bracing. The goods shed was freelance, 1/8" balsa and not at all wobbly.
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