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  • Location
    : In the deepest, darkest Franche Comté, France
  • Interests
    00 gauge, collecting mostly GW and BR(W), all with DCC and sound chipped ready for when I build THAT layout that I promised myself 40-odd years ago. Well, that's what I thought. Seems that 30 of them need chipping - urgh.

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  1. Having been to the Canaries on a few occasions, I have noticed depending where you are on the islands north/south or east/west, some parts are very dusty. Could this have affected the Bachmann mechanisms more than the Hornby ones? I do know there can be extremes of heat especially if winds come from the western sea-board of Africa - 38° at night in mid-October - how do I know? Cheers, Philip
  2. As an add-on to my post above and journeys abroad in those days plus the reliability of cars AND tying it all to railways: My father had only two driving speeds - fast or very fast (comparatively speaking to speeds possible today) and invariably would forget to slow down going over one particular French level crossing that was on a cant and EVERY TIME would take off and land heavily on the suspension and break one of his leaf springs. It didn't stop him going on his way and get to final destination, though the car was looking decidedly ungainly. As we would be away for six weeks, there was always enough time for the RAC to send out another set of springs to be fitted by the local garage. Cheers, Philip
  3. Cheers, Philip Edit: Forgot to add that the journey was made longer by there being no motorways nor Severn Bridge until 1966. The journey time was reduced by about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. 'Allo 'allo eet eez mee a-gaine, Another signal out of the worshops, this time a split junction Starter. The original was short-ar$ed, but I think I could have lost another 5mm off the main and dolly posts. It should have had a centre-pivot arm for the 'Main' but I had none in any of the kits I had. This signal is a little different as it had a repeater back in the box - hence the 3 isolators at the top. They're not directly attached to the finial but onto a mini-platform at the back. The signal requires painting, but it was undercoated after the photo-shot: Just as an aside, the signal repeater was probably provided due to poor sighting of the signal by the bobby as there was a footbridge with its canopy, platform canopy and a water-crane within the sight-line. Interestingly enough, the footbridge had a port-hole cut out of it at about 18" above its deck. I speculate that this was provided to assist the bobby. Despite everything above platform level having gone, the footbridge (minus its canopy) is still there today including the port-hole. Tomorrow's foray will be painting and then starting the Backing signal and Theatre box. I'm debating as to whether I should provide some sort of moving shade to the lamp illuminating the back of the box so that I can make it look as if it is actually calling-on. On the other hand, perhaps not! Cheers, Philip
  5. Oh 'allo, c'est moi again, Here's another layout signal from the Ratio workshop. It's supposed to be a split Starter but the original had two different arms, the 'Main' should have been a central pivoted type, but there were none supplied in any of the kits I had, so my 'shorties' will have to do, unless I find some alternatives before I set up the mechanisms. This signal is a 'short-ar$e' like the original, though I think I could have lost 5mm on the main and dolly posts. This signal is a little different in that it had a repeater back to the signal box - hence the 3 isolators at the very top. It needs painting, the primer was applied after I took the photo: Tomorrow's foray will be the Backing signal and its Theatre box. Cheers, Philip
  6. Just to come back on what Nearholmer mentioned regarding town centres. My home town of Cardiff, though a city is by no means large but it did have a number of suburban shopping districts, and here are a few that I recall (and I'm sure The Johnster and others will help): Albany Road/Wellfield Road/City Road, Clifton Street/Broadway, Splott Road, Crwys Road/Whitchurch Road, Cowbridge Road East, Cowbridge Road West, Pontcanna, Victoria Park, Birchgrove, Llanishen, Rhiwbina, Llandaff, Llandaff North, Whitchurch, Penarth Road/Corporation Road plus an absolute myriad of 'corner shops' in which you could get anything you want - probably in Alice's Restaurant. I have absolutely no idea what those areas are like now for 'shopping' - I expect most have become estate agents and take-aways. We used to have shops like the Bon Marché, and Woolies in quite a few of the suburbs. Oh and what about real tobacconists. Hopson & Hopson was one known to me where I used to buy my grandfather's Christmas tin of pipe tobacco (4 Square 'purple'). Where have all the pipe smokers gone? It was supposedly the lesser of two evils as the tobacco was slightly less 'trafficked' than cigarette tobacco - still gave my grandfather throat cancer! School dinners? I survived by eating all the rice, sago and tapioca pudding that the others did not like. Up until 1962 school dinners were cooked in central kitchens and transported in and kept in warming cupboards. I just could NOT go lumpy custard with a thick skin - or crème anglaise over here - still will not eat it now. After 1962 when our school was completely rebuilt on a greenfield site, the food was cooked on-site - but it wasn't much better and the portions were smaller. Do you remember 'coughs and sneezes cause diseases', 'six slices a day is the well balanced way' and probably the best known, 'go to work on an egg'? Of course there was also 'My goodness, my Guinness'. Chicken was mentioned earlier - I didn't like it then as it always tasted of fish! That, I found out later, was due to chickens being fed fish-meal. I expect they now eat rendered beef - or something equally unpleasant. Our Sunday roast was occasionally a leg of lamb, I always seemed to have the bit that had a purple coloured stamp 'New Zealand Lamb' on it. I thought we had enough of own blighters running around the Valleys. A little tale to tell - in the 60s, the in-laws had family living in London and they drove but missed the turning coming out of Gloucester and ended up going all the way along the A40 (instead of the A48) and had to come down the Taff Valley via Merthyr. It was dark of course by then, the street lighting pretty poor and car headlights of the day (so to speak) were probably no better than GWR oil-lamps. Their complaint on arriving finally in Cardiff was that 'there were nothing but big dogs roaming the streets' - bless. Cheers and hang on in there, we're out of strict confinement here on Monday, Philip
  7. Hello again, Little or no activity on the signalling front due to other demands on my time these last few days (grandchildren + home-work + cat + vet + hunt for replacement car) but I managed to erect a Warren-trussed Starter signal and put some other signals through the paintshop. I consider the signals 'finished' but only to a point as all the bracket signals will need their safety hand-rails and stanchions doing, but I shall only do that once I've decided how to tackle the mechanisms. The ladders will need doing too, but these are definitely the last items due to their fragility. Anyway, a photo or two: Regarding the bracketed Starter above, the original had a stay attached to the top and raked back into a near-side embankment. This I shall replicate once the signal is in its final position. Cheers and stay safe (we're out of confinement as of Monday - certain restrictions will apply), Philip
  8. PS: I also need to add handrails and stanchions to all the bracket signals - I haven't decided how to tackle those. I may have to do them after I've sorted the mechanisms - and the ladders of course, last, as these are rather fragile.
  9. Hello chums, Not much advance recently on the modelling front (grandchildren + home-work + cat + vet) as time was a tad short, but I did manage to finish the Warren trussed Starter signal today. The real thing has a retaining stay attached to the top and then raked back into a nearby embankment. This I shall model once the signal is placed in its correct position. Here be signals: Tomorrow I'll make a start on a Starter Junction signal. It'll be a lash-up from the box of bitsa. Or maybe a Backing signal with its Theatre box ................ Cheers, Philip
  10. My pal and I 'updated' our H/D 08 shunters to reflect the wasp stripes - that would have been around '64 - '65. Cheers Philip (Harrumphhh ............ I just remembered 'his' were better than mine .)
  11. I think you can change the PayPal details through PayPal and not through the dealer options. I believe it's updated automatically. I had similar when my Debit/Credit card details changed - but it was a little while ago. Cheers, Philip
  12. Ooh ooh and 'Wakey wakey' with Billy Cotton, The Goons and 'Much Binding in the Marsh' that I understand was based on Moreton-in-Marsh and its (now ex-) RAF airfield that is now the Fire Brigade's training HQ ............
  13. Now as there wasn't much TV in the 50s, let's see (or should that be hear) what's on the radio ......... choice of Home Service, Light Programme and the Third Programme. I didn't listen to the Third Programme when younger as it was all 'blah blah' and highbrow music and I only 'rediscovered' it much much later. Sunday afternoons: 'Clitheroe Kid', Jimmy Edwards, naughty Mr Kenneth Horne, 'Navy Lark'. In the evening 'Sing Something Simple for You and Me' or in the late 60s my mostest favouritest programme 'ISIRTA' with its awful puns ('Euripedes, I'll ripadoes') and Professor Prune and the Electric Time Trousers etc ......... Cheers, Philip
  14. Now what else did we have much of in the 50s and 60s that we haven't much nowadays ................. rickets, polio, scarlet fever, scarlatina, measles, mumps, chickenpox, smallpox, tuberculosis, miner's lung ............ good starter for 10 there, I think. Cheers, Philip
  15. Maybe due to the rubbing of those steel knife blades with a great deal of effort and a cork comes the phrase 'with Vim and Vigour' ............. or something ................ Cheers, Philip
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