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AncientMariner

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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.
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. If the Marine Accident Investigation Branch operates anything like the RAIB on the issue of apportioning fault - and I suspect it does – then facilitating prosecutions simply don’t fall within their remit. As I understand it, the primary idea (of the MAIB anyway) is to determine the cause of an accident so that lessons can be learnt, and to establish what can reasonably be done to prevent recurrences. Interviewees are not questioned under caution, but are required to answer questions openly and honestly, even if it means admitting to being at fault. Obviously this is a big ask if the interviewee, having had possibly the worst day of his/her life, is well aware of the prospect of prosecution. For this reason, and to encourage openness, none of the information collected by the MAIB can be produced as evidence in any subsequent prosecution case, even though the report may be published and available for all to see. For marine accidents, the task of initiating any prosecution lays elsewhere, such as the Marine and Coastguard Agency, who must source their evidence separately and independently, with interviewees then having the right to silence. My apologies for bringing my marine background and the MAIB into the discussion, but I would imagine that the RAIB and the AAIB work on similar principles when collecting evidence. John
  11. Hello Kevin, Of the books I mentioned, "Branch Lines Around Plymouth" is probably the one I would go for. The maps reproduced in the book are no better than that on the link provided by The Stationmaster. Good luck with your research John
  12. A quick look at my bookshelves came up with the following: “Branch Lines Around Plymouth” by Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith; Pub. Middleton Press, 1997, which shows track plans and photos on the Turnchapel branch. “Plymouth Steam 1954-1963” by Ian H. Lane; Pub: Ian Allan, 1984. Mostly a pictorial record, but gives closure dates (Sept. ‘51 to passenger, Sept ’61 to freight). “An Illustrated History of Plymouth’s Railways” by Martin Smith; Pub: Irwell Press, 1995. Track Plans, photos and some historical notes. “LSWR West Country Lines Then and Now” by Mac Hawkins; Pub: Grange books, 1993. Some photos, track plan, and a few notes. “Steam around Plymouth” by Bernard Mills; Pub Tempus 2003. A few photos. Bernard has written a number of books on the subject of railways around Plymouth. “The Turnchapel and Yealmpton Branch Lines” by Colin Henry Bastin; Pub. C.H. Bastin Publishing, 1989. This booklet looks to be a home-made affair of about 30 pages, There are some historical notes, and a 1932 time table, which boasts of up to 28 trains on weekdays. John
  13. A few years back, I had just signed off a ship in Belgium, I was in my taxi, and on my way to the airport. Within the first couple of hundred yards of my journey we were stopped at a rail crossing, which was ungated but protected by alternately flashing red lights and an audible signal. We were still within the port complex, and therefore on private land, access to which was through a manned security gate, and only personnel and vehicles with a valid reason to be in the complex were given access. We could clearly see the train approaching, but we could also see that it was moving slowly, and that it was some distance off. My taxi driver stayed put, but the drivers of several other vehicles decided it was safe enough to ignore the red lights, and nipped across the track ahead of the approaching train. I recall at least one guy even pulling out to overtake our stationary taxi to get across. When I commented to the taxi driver on the situation, he responded with words to the effect that terminal security would have seen this on CCTV, and that the miscreants, having breached the port company safety regulations, would be banned from the terminal, and told to leave immediately, regardless of whether or not they had completed their business within the complex. As pretty well all traffic was commercial, not a lot of imagination is needed to see what sort of impact this could have on their businesses. The taxi driver was used regularly by shipping agents to transport crew members to and from their ships, and he wanted to keep that work. Of course, a sanction like that is hardly enforceable on a public highway. John
  14. Hi Nick, I recall somewhere reading about someone trying to resolve problems with models using S&W couplings coming adrift. Having tried to locate it using a Google search, I came up with the following. http://www.gwr.org.uk/procouplings.html The final two paragraphs in the article are the ones that matter most. Basically, the guy tried initially to reduce the strength of the magnetic field by trying to shield the magnet with a bit of Plasticard, with unsatisfactory results. He then simply broke the magnet in two, with a more satisfactory outcome. I mentioned when I saw you about 10 or so days ago that I have decided to go down the road of S&W, and actually got started over the weekend. So far, 2 tank locos (one end only), and 2 wagons have been converted. Early days as yet, but so far, the system seems to be doing what it’s supposed to do. John Edited for a typo
  15. The first photo is a partially completed Stephen Poole J15 kit from the mid-1970’s, for which a chassis is no longer available AFAIK. The second photo is a Wills kit from the 1960’s, assembled and painted by my Father, and given to me when I was a teenager, after he had broken the footplate casting forward of the side tanks! It comes with an original white metal chassis, and a Romford Terrier motor and gears. Coupling rods were obtained from SE Finecast, along with suitable wheels about five years ago, but the coupling rods don’t quite line up with the apertures in the chassis, and although this is by only fractions of a millimetre, is was enough to halt progress, and move on to another of my numerous unfinished projects. A J69 in BR 1950’s guise would sit very well on my layout. Unworthy of inclusion in a photo is a 1970’s Wills N7 0-6-2T. With my youthful inexperience, it was an absolute disaster - constructed with haste over-ruling my better judgement. I have a chassis for the loco (more recently obtained) and noticed that the spacing of the drivers is almost exactly the same as for the J15 (0.33mm adrift to be precise) and I have wondered if, with a bit of cropping, and other serious surgery, I could adapt the N7 chassis to fit the J15. If not, I may get another N7 from SE Finecast. I am old enough to recall seeing J15’s working out their final days, and this has left me with a fondness for this class, and I could not resist buying a Hornby r-t-r model earlier this year. I also have several unbuilt or incomplete Ian Kirk kits of Gresley teak panelled coaches obtained probably in the late 1980’s. And I have a lot of work to do on my layout before I can get serious about playing trains. John
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