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  1. Check Iain Rice's Mainlines in Modest Spaces, p. 35 for a strain stacker fiddle yard.
  2. A couple of years ago we took a long-awaited holiday in France, starting in Paris. There, it seemed that nearly everyone avoided eye and verbal contact except in shops where people were remarkably helpful. On the last day of the holiday we were in Aigues Mortes in the Camargue and my wife was buying a skirt. I mentioned in French to the young woman helping that I understood the French spoken in the south much better than I did in Paris. She replied, "Mais ici, on parle." But here, we SPEAK. I accomplished many "bucket list" items on that holiday including riding the TGV (from Paris to Lyon) and a bonus was a ride on the Chemin de Fer de Vivarais, hauled by a massive mallet through magnificent countryside. In the 1950s, I was on an exchange program (Birmingham and Lyon schools) and we travelled to Newhaven and caught the night Channel packet to Dieppe. The SNCF loco was a steamer and a couple of us went to the front of the train and I was shocked to find a glass door rather than a blanked-off corridor connection. We saw the fireman on the tender pulling coal forward and then it was almost other-worldly when the firebox was opened and the fire reflected off the steam. I wish I knew what class of engine it was but the tender was a low one. Must watched for ages. After Rouen, the sky lightened and watched the smoke draft across the Seine valley. Happy memories.
  3. I have just spotted this subject. Here are a few books that help with New Street: *New Street Remembered, Donald J. Smith *London Midland Steam in the Midlands, Michael Mensing. Several of his photos feature New Street and trains to and from it *Birmingham New Street, Richard Foster, 3 Vols and the magazine - British Railways Illustrated, June-July 1993 has an article on New Street Station
  4. I'd like to see Georgian terrace backs. Bilteezi sold one and Scalescenes could do a more 3-D model. So useful for modelling approaches to town and city stations and tall enough to be an excellent backdrop.
  5. https://www.artmegamart.com/lordship-lane-station-dulwich-camille-pissarro-oil-paintings-TR17546/ Lordship Lane was the subject of an impressionist painting. No modelling detail though!
  6. In the late 1950's, I used to take our dog for a weekend run through Kings Heath Park and down to the line and watch for a few minutes. One day as I was going past the tennis courts in the park, I saw this young woman playing a man - Ann Hayden Jones practicing. I don't remember much about the trains, sorry.
  7. I didn't have a first train set as such, but my father was a mechanical engineer with great metalworking and woodworking skills and he built me an O gauge loco when I was five years old (in 1947). I got various pieces as birthday and Christmas presents. My loco is a GWR prairie tank with purchased wheels, chimney, buffers and safety valve. The rest he built himself. He bought lithographic coach sides and built a B-set on obeche wood bodies and the same with goods stock. He bought wheel sets and cast metal axleboxes. Track was hand-built on wooden bases. He even built the controller/transformer. The loco's motor was ex-WD and I suspect the controller was from ex-WD stuff, too. After the war the right bits were in very short supply. Being very young, the Christmas gifts came from Father Christmas. When my parents thought it wise to tell me that Father Christmas didn't really exist so I wasn't made fun of at school, I had a hard time believing them. "What about my locomotive and coaches? What about the submarine?" The reason for my disbelief was that no other child had anything like my models, let alone a sub that actually went under water. I knew all their stuff came from shops. I still have the loco, coaches and submarine. For the information of those of a certain age and place, most of the supplies came from a model railway shop in Dale End, Birmingham.
  8. Send it back to Peco. They have repaired or replaced several of my turnouts, at no cost.
  9. Years ago, I asked one of the Westford Model Railway builders why they did not use common return wiring. He said they had unexplained shorts on common return. I followed that advice and have never regretted it and never had an unexplained short.
  10. Or is 1876 the year he started modelling?
  11. Ah! the Blue Pullman. I used to take it occasionally on Monday morning returning to work in London after a weekend at my parents. Great service from the Pullman staff and, if memory serves me well, the breakfast was excellent.
  12. I'd like to see backs of Victorian-era terrace housing and their garden walls, - so common on the linesides approaching big towns and cities. Also, the backs of Georgian terrace houses - they make great view blockers. being several stories high. They backs often varied when the fronts didn't and that would make them interesting to look at.
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