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Jim Martin

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  1. Coming to this very late, I know; but I think that IFF was founded in the 1960s as a general freight operation (the initials stood for International Ferry Freight), but quite quickly got into bulk containers. At some point, they were taken over and the founders moved on to found IBC (International Bulk Containers, I assume). A few years later, IFF and IBC merged to form United Bulk Containers, or UBC. UBC used to have a "history" section on their website, which is where I got this from. I'm pretty sure that I printed it out severalyears ago, but I can't find it anywhere in my sophisticated filing system (I.e. piles of stuff). Jim
  2. I've watched what seems like millions of YouTube videos over the last 15 months, often while riding the exercise bike that dominates my living room (the family rule is that whoever's on the bike chooses what's on the TV, so it's been Les Mills, prototype WCML videos or old episodes of Bewitched, depending on who's choosing). I've found loads of interesting stuff. Most of the railway videos I've watched have been prototype ones - essentially just trainspotting from my living room. I've watched lots of aircraft and especially afv modelling sites, though; and it's really inspired me to try and improve my painting, in particular. I'm not good at painting, but I've got some junk models that I'm practicing on and I have hopes (not high hopes, at this stage, but hopes nevertheless) of emulating some of the guys on YT. I have seen one Sam's Trains video, courtesy of YT's autoplay. It was a fairly sober one - "my 10 best models of this year", rather than "how much will the Hornby class 39 haul if you fill the mechanism with squirty cream?" - and not really for me, I fear (not least because it's the wrong scale). That said, there's no denying his enthusiasm and there's clearly a lot of people who like what he does, so good luck to him. I don't see how he can possibly be harming the hobby at all. Jim
  3. The Frisco is a very interesting railroad. For British modellers, it's unusual as one of the very few US roads with a significant number of named locomotives. They were good names, too. Like the LNER, the Frisco used the names of famous horses (mostly, but not all, racehorses) on its passenger fleet of E-units: Steel Dust, Winchester, Twenty Grand and Gallant Fox, among others; not forgetting my personal favourite, Count Fleet.
  4. I wasn't going to reply to this topic, because I assumed that the discussion was long-dormant; but in case anyone isn't aware (and I don't suppose that any non-Guardian reader would be), contrary to what you might expect from a senior writer at the Guardian, Larry Elliott is a strong Brexit supporter. More specifically, he's a "Lexiter": someone who opposed the UK's membership of the EU from the Left on the grounds that it's a corporatist organisation. He's written about his stance several times, including in this article. I realise that this is straying towards politics and I'm not letting on about my own position on either Brexit or Beeching; but I thought it might be useful for context if people are going to be reading the article linked in the OP. Jim
  5. I lived in Bognor Regis for a short time in 1988-9. There were a lot of railway carriage-based bungalows around there. I lived in Felpham, which is the eastern extremity of Bognor, and there was a little clutch of them near Butlin's; but Pagham, at the far western end of town, had loads. Most of them had been "built on to" quite extensively, with all manner of lean-tos, new roofs etc., but there were plenty where you could still see the tumblehome of the carriage sides and some where the whole end profile of the coach was clearly visible in the end walls. Most of them seem to have been rebuilt to the point where nothing railwayish is visible any more; but all these were taken off Google Streetview today: Pagham: Pagham again (a bit of panelling visible in the middle) Felpham (a couple of survivors) Jim
  6. I like it. Station building architecture has been standardised since the dawn of the railways: is anyone moaning about the GER 1865(?) pattern, or LNWR timber buildings?
  7. The cleanup/refurb a few years ago really spruced the place up no end. The ceiling of the concourse is actually lovely.
  8. Absolutely this. It's everything that a big city station should be.
  9. Hi James Congratulations on your article on the OTAs in the "Modelling BR Wagonload Formations" book. I think the insides of the ends are particularly nice, but it's all really beautifully well done weathering. Jim
  10. I bought a copy the other day and it's an excellent publication. My modelling period is post-privatisation, but a lot of what's here is still relevant. My only complaint is that there aren't more train formations listed than those that are shown in the photos, in the way of Rail Express or David Ratcliffe's Freight Train Formations; but then I can't get enough of those! All in all, I'd say that this is well worth the money.
  11. Is this the right drawing? I thought that all class 115 stock was non-corridor. Great project: these were the trains of my youth, growing up in High Wycombe in the 70s. I suppose that I must have seen Allerton units after I moved to Liverpool in 1982, but I was more interested in the 304s and locomotives! Jim
  12. Hi Dave I had been planning a layout based on Windsor Bridge Junction - at the south end of Salford Crescent station - but translated to a fictional loop off the WCML in South Lancashire. Just recently I've decided to build a very plain layout based on the line immediately south of Acton Bridge: one set of points in the scenic area, where the down fast and slow merge. It'll be something to practice scenic techniques, track building etc. and to see stuff running. I'm hoping to start on the baseboards quite soon. My domestic arrangements dictate a number of very small boards - probably 3'x18" - joined in two dimensions. My history of precision woodworking isn't great, so I may have them professionally made. You're making good progress: your station building is reminiscent of the building across the WCML that's visible from the Chiltern line just north of Wembley Central. Jim
  13. This has happened to me as a seller. I was selling a Farish HEA hopper in Mainline blue with deeply unconvincing graffiti. I was asking for about £7, I think. Someone offered me about £8.50 but I thought it would probably fetch more (it's certainly not a rarity, but it was the only example of that particular model on eBay at that time) so I turned it down. In the end, it only got one bid and sold at the starting price. As with most other things that happen on eBay, you just take it as it comes and move on. Jim
  14. This is called "the VAT fraction". As stated here, it's the proportion of the VAT-inclusive price that's actually made up of the VAT. These days it's a doddle to work out (as has been shown in this thread, it's 20/120 - where 100 is the price before VAT - or 1/6 or 16.67%). When I joined Customs & Excise, many years ago, the standard rate of VAT was 17.5% and the VAT fraction was 7/47. It's striking just how few people can work out 7/47 of an amount in their heads. As an aside, it's stated above that "you can't tax tax". In fact, VAT is a tax that can be applied to tax in certain circumstances. When you import goods, the value for VAT includes the cost of customs duty and other similar charges, so you actually pay tax on those taxes. Jim
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