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  • Location
    South Devon
  • Interests
    East Anglia in the 1950's. 4mm scale.
    Apart from railways and modelling, I enjoy sketching and painting, genealogy and walking. As a retired Master Mariner, I continue to be interested and involved in nautical matters.

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  1. I know this bit of road quite well. If you approach from the bridge from south, as this lorry did, you approach on a slightly rising gradient. This gradient then changes sharply to a very steep rise under the bridge. It goes that if you are driving a long vehicle, then the clearance could be significantly less than the signage indicates. If you have turned off the main road (Alexandra Road), then the bridge is immediately in front of you, I estimate about 30 yards from the junction. A few years back I saw an artic make this turn. The driver, realising that he couldn’t get under the bridge, then had the problem of reversing his rig back onto a fairly busy main road! John
  2. The These photos were taken at Sutton harbour Marina, Plymouth. I wish I could have taken a better shot, but parked cars were in the way. A short piece of dual gauge track is evident. I recall reading somewhere that this is the only remaining section of Brunel’s broad gauge track still in situ. However, I stand to be corrected on that. John
  3. I distinctly remember that, in the early sixties, Ambridge had its own railway station, however it fell victim to Dr. Beeching’s axe! I also recall that local landowner Charles Grenville tried to raise a petition to try and prevent the closure. Walter Gabriel had visions of resurrecting it into what would now be referred to as a heritage line. A plan of the station can be found in Cyril Freezer’s booklet “Plans for Smaller Layouts!” John
  4. Some info here of 60700’s workings which may be of interest: https://www.kmsrailtech.co.uk/4mm-oo-gauge/3412-lner-rebuilt-class-w1-4-6-4-10000-era-3.html The loco sometimes ran on services to Cambridge in the early days of nationalisation, as well as lodging turns to Newcastle, as well as to Leeds. Two thing I never realised until now: In its original LNER form it was to be named “British Enterprise”. And that as BR No. 60700 it was to be named “Pegasus”. The nameplates were cast but never fitted.
  5. I would venture to suggest that the latest date would be the Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST which I mentioned a couple of days ago. I'll re-post the link, which states that the loco was in use until August 1986. https://preservedbritishsteamlocomotives.com/hawthorn-leslie-works-no-3597-falmouth-docks-engineering-company-no-3-0-4-0st/ Admittedly, I'm going purely on my memory here, but I recall an article in the local press about the loco in the mid 80's. which stated that it was usually operated 5 days a week. AFAIK, it was the only steam loco they had at Falmouth. I was a volunteer worker with the Plym Valley Railway when it was acquired from Falmouth Docks. John
  6. Falmouth Docks ran an industrial steam loco until August 1986. https://preservedbritishsteamlocomotives.com/hawthorn-leslie-works-no-3597-falmouth-docks-engineering-company-no-3-0-4-0st/ John
  7. I don’t know if this is of any help but:- I have in my possession a book entitled Historic Carriage Drawings – Vol. 1 - LNER and Constituents. Author: Nick Campling; Publisher: Pendragon, 1997; ISBN No. 1-899816-04-6. The book contains drawings in 4mm scale of both Diagrams 167 and 168. I seem to recall that there have been some issues raised on RMWeb regarding the accuracy of some drawings, and in his introduction page, David Jenkinson acknowledges this when pointing out the pitfalls involved in trying to accurately produce a 4mm drawing from works drawings which may not themselves incorporate design modifications. Unfortunatley, it doesn’t contain any of the photos that you are asking for, or much info in the texts, although it is pointed out that both diagrams ran on the same underframe and running gear, but that photographic evidence should be checked for battery boxes on dia. 168. Sorry I can't help out with the photos. John
  8. I’ve travelled on the Bournemouth Belle and Brighton Belle. My first experience of Pullman travel was in about 1965, as a teenager on a train spotting trip to the south coast from my home in Cambridge at the time, paid for by money earned from a paper round. I travelled from Southampton to Waterloo on the Bournemouth Belle. The loco was 34089 “602 Squadron” I travelled on it again about a year later when returning from a visit to the Isle of Wight on its last weekend of steam operation. Again it was hauled by a rebuilt light Bulleid pacific. A few years later in the early 70’s, I lived in Brighton and used the Brighton Belle quite a few times, splashing out on a 1st class ticket a couple of times. By then it had been repainted in blue/grey. As I recall, the usual modus operandi was for the conductor to walk through the train collecting the supplementary fare of a few bob from each passenger. One feature was the table service, and although we often have a trolley service on trains today, it isn’t quite the same as being able to order freshly made sandwiches and a pot of tea and then having your request brought to your table. Also the interior surroundings had an air of opulence that didn’t quite match that of a Mk 1 open coach of the period. This was particularly true in 1st class with its 1 + 1 seating. Anyway, time to get on with recreating some other youthful memories, so It’s off with the rose tinted spectacles, and on with the Optivisor. John
  9. Earlier today. BBC Spotlight reported a level crossing collision, showing very briefly a picture of a DMU buried into the left hand side of a courier van. The local paper reports:- https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/live-trains-plymouth-gunnislake-cancelled-2325675 I'm not sure why they had to show an HST in their illustration. The usual charabanc on this quiet branch line is either a two-car 150, or a single 153. Thankfully, no casualties. John
  10. I’m going purely from personal memories of the early 60’s, as a spotter in my early teens, and living in Cambridge. Many stations at the time displayed posters giving departure times of all passenger services, each departure being arranged in chronological order. I certainly recall an evening train in the departure timetable with a through service to Glasgow. This stuck out because no other service from Cambridge offered anything approaching such a faraway destination. I never gave any thought to the fact that the service may have originated in Colchester. The Stour Valley branch line from Colchester was still open at the time, although via Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds would have been a possible option with a reversal at Cambridge. I never actually saw the train, and have no idea of its make-up, but I would imagine that the class 31 (Brush type 2 in those pre-TOPS days) could have well have been the standard iron horse for that service in that area, as it was for numerous other services in East Anglia. They were generally regarded as pretty mundane by local spotters in those days. John
  11. According to my 1948 Ian Allan, Lincoln (40A) had a number of J11 allocations, and I believe this continued well into the 1950s. I don’t think it would be taking modeller’s licence too far to imagine these locos reaching the western fringes of Norfolk on occasion. I would also guess that they could have also reached the marshalling yard at Whitemoor, near March, although I have seen no photographic evidence of that. A bit of irrelevant info from the LNER.info website. During LNER days, some were transferred to East Anglia, and shedded at Norwich, Lowestoft, Yarmouth and Cambridge between 1927 and 1933. John
  12. If you want to use a rattle can, then I believe that Ford Burgundy Red from Halfords is a reasonably close match to BR maroon. Acknowledging that Tony Wright brought attention to this a while back. John
  13. I regularly travel between Plymouth and Dawlish on family visits, and depending on when I travel, and what is supplied, I get to travel on HST’s, Voyagers, 150’s, 153’s and 143’s. As the trip usually – but not always - involves a change at Newton Abbot, I may get to travel on four of the above on what is approximately an 80-mile round trip. The worst case scenario is when a Voyager is terminated at Newton Abbot due to the wrong type of wind and tide along the Dawlish sea wall, and its hapless occupants then have to disembark, and squeeze into what may be a two-coach 143 to continue their journey. I only have to endure 12 minutes of this, but many passengers have to continue to Exeter to catch another Voyager, and continue their journey, probably an hour late, and having lost their seat reservations. I don’t get why Voyagers are called so, as the term indicates a sea passage, and Voyagers are probably the most unseaworthy of all trains. A hint of salt water in the air, and the service the Voyagers provide is shut down along the sea wall. In my professional life, I was accustomed to checking the tide and shipping forecast prior to a voyage, but not for a train journey. The 12-minute trip I often undertake on 143’s doesn’t upset me too much. Assuming I can find a seat, I don’t find them too uncomfortable to sit in, especially when they are stopped at a station as then I get the chance to legibly insert my crossword characters neatly inside their little boxes. But given the choice, I’d prefer an HST every time. John
  14. Quite a few years ago, I was watching a TV programme about collectors, which featured a guy who had bought a Hornby train set. It was his intention to keep the set unopened and in its cellophane wrapping into perpetuity in the hope that it would become a collector’s item. Each to his own, but I don’t see the fun in that. John
  15. Going back to the mid-sixties, I recall that a daily newspaper train appeared in the public time table, leaving London Liverpool Street at 04:00 for Cambridge and then northward. This was formed of a couple of passenger coaches and parcels vans. Not surprisingly, there were lengthy stops on the way and IIRC, the 56 mile trip to Cambridge took the best part of 2.5 hours. I also recall another similar newspaper service which left London Victoria in the small hours for Brighton, haulage was a class 73 electro-diesel. On the several occasions I used this service in the early/mid 70’s, passenger accommodation was in a single BSK, and its 4 compartments were always full. John
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