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    Natalie Jones

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  1. Hi Can I on behalf of the Signalling Record Society whose stand I organise thank the whole team who organised and run the recent Warley show. The whole process was exemplary - great communication and assistance from Duncan Petford who was the Society and Trade Liason. Set up and break down again easy thanks to the organisation and skills of the traffic marshalls. As it was the overall organiser'S first show I think he did an excellent job. It was for us a successful show and we were able to help with all manner of signalling related enquiries as well as sell some of our own products. It gives people a chance to see our products first hand but also more importantly it gives people the chance to elicit knowledge of signalling or point them in the right direction. If we want to promote and improve the profile and standards of layout signalling then it is vital that there are people able to answer queries without being patronising or demeaning but with authority and enthusiasm. Also important are the fellow operators in your area, namely InterCity 125 Group, Swindon Panel Society, Ian Futers and team, Dave Tailby and team, Hyde Lane team, Mill Bank Alley team and last but not least Kelly and team with the DEMU Roadshow. A harmonious posse of stands makes our experience so much nicer as there is usually not a lot of space so we all tend to have to muck in together. From our position it looked like a good attendance. Indeed when seeing the enormous crowd waiting outside in the foyer to be let in you could almost feel physically the anticipation. The attendees looked to encompass all members of society- male, female, young, not so young and all in between. There were families and teenagers all with one aim- to enjoy a great show which I am sure they did. The usual case that I didn't get to see the show in the detail that I normally would but that is to be expected. I could barely walk at the end of the day- and it is a long day for exhibitors- as a result of my back and knees playing up and a dose of bilateral acute achilies tendinitis. But it was all worth it and assuming that we get an invite for next year, I can't wait to do it again.
  2. Natalie

    Class 33 Book

    Hi Simon Thanks for the update on your eagerly awaited Class 33 book. I haven't really got anything useful to share but assume that you are going to detail or talk about the roof and exhaust changes that were applied to the class. I think it was Paul James who has described the fact that some of the later built locos were built with the revised exhaust position but lacked the roof clips that appear with the later modifications. Just wanted to make you aware of this on the very slim chance that you weren't. Any detail photos of this area- especially in original condition would be welcomed by modellers of that period (ie me!) I am also interested in the livery changes and dates especially with the addition of full yellow ends and the cutting back of the white waist stripes on some. Another of my weird interests is how many- and which- of the class received D prefixes whilst in blue. Were there any Locos that went straight from green to Rail blue with a non D prefixed number. I know that you do tend to like including a lot of what some may refer to as trivia but I regard as important and interesting detail so I would like to offer my support for including lots of detail. Maybe of use or interest is that I have a set of SWD loco diagrams (M-F,Sat and Sun) for Summer 1981 and Summer 1983. The 1983 is the first year I think that the class ventured to West Wales and Manchester Piccadilly andvthis illustrated bybthe cyclic nature of the diagrams. If you would like copies of the documents or just the class 33 diagrams then let me know and I'll be happy to oblige. I can't think of a suitable title but am reminded of an article written by a former shedmaster (I can't remember his name but he is well known) where it is alleged he referred to the class as those "those cute little engines". How about 'The Cute Cromptons' as a title or is that a bit girly?!! Also need to consider your next book- how about the Bulleid Class 12 shunters or class 73s? If anyone can do the job it is you. Best wishes for the continuation and completion of your current project. It will no doubt become the standard work on the class as your others have done.
  3. Hi Just be aware that Dave is currently unwell so please bear that in mind. I am sure all of us wish him a speedy recovery as well as being really helpful he is a lovely man.
  4. Did anyone manage to get refused access to Reddish Depot? When I visited there (1980) there were all sorts of other characters wondering about inside as well. It felt like if you walked past on the dirt path alongside you would be invited in regardless of whether you wanted to or not.
  5. Just as a further piece of info about operating Diesel Depots, Clive (Mortimore) wrote an excellent article about their design trackwise and the operation and reasons why in UPDate the magazine of DEMU (Diesel and Electric Modellers United). This is well worth reading if interested in the subject as Clive explains it all so well and is an excellent writer as well as modeller. With Clive's permission I can supply copies of the article to anybody who is interested in the running and philosophy of a diesel Depot.
  6. Hi Before the NHS finally broke me mentally I volunteered on the GCR as a Signalman where my old Inspector was also Inspector and Signalman there. Quite a few of the drivers were ex BR or drove on the Mainline and remarked that it was easy to tell that I had worked on BR as when shunting or running round I would send the loco the easiest (avoiding the crossover north of the station that had a very tight clearance in the stretcher bar and would be reluctant to go back in and relock the points- hot weather would require it to be barred into place) and quickest route possible and was back in the chair finishing off my tea.. Old habits are hard to break. I was specifically requested one time when running round to send the loco via the goods loop rather than the platform as some photographers had apparently complained that they couldn't phot the motion. Those on the platform didn't mind however when the driver paused briefly in the platform if possible to allow passengers a close look at the loco. I was always taught to use the easiest route available and avoid fancy moves over connections that were either awkward to use or not used often. I'm not saying that how I worked was right and they were wrong- it was how I had been trained in my formative years. I got some minor stick off some movements people at times as I would stick rigidly to the Rule Book and not deviate or cut corners. I was also taught that if you followed the rule book then you would generally never end up in a Court of Law or an Inquiry. My philosophy has been proved I think following a number of incidents on the GCR where the Rules were not followed or sloppy practice was allowed to continue. I refer to 37198 running away right direction in a T3 and colliding with a TPO vehicle standing outside the home signal- although still within the T3 limits. I suppose this had been reinforced to me as by the time I was on the GCR I had retrained as a Nurse and had been required to be able to justify anything that I had done or not done and to document it clearly. We had an NMC Code of Conduct and Professional Standards to follow. Keeping to these reduced the chance of being struck off or a complaint being upheld. Some people were of the opinion that I took it all too seriously and that we were 'only' volunteers who were participating in our hobby and anyway our trains couldn't do much damage as they were only going 30mph maximum. Anyone who has ever been involved in railway operation will be aware how wrong that belief and that most accidents occur at slow speed. If we had an accident it wouldn't be a cosy pretend 1950s one or a demonstration scenario- it would be the real thing with real injuries and suffering. Maybe having worked in A&E and dealt with the impact of trauma clouded my opinion.
  7. Hi Tony As an ex Signalman (never a signaller- they are in the armed forces) I can't agree with you more about your above standards. I'm afraid nothing more irritates me more (ok most things irritate me...) more than a lack of trap points or incorrect or no signalling. I am organising the Signalling Record Society stand for the NEC show next weekend and one of the things that we do is award the Norman Cadge Trophy for best signalled layout at the show. If I could be so previous I would like to 'nick' your comments above to use as part of our assessment of the layouts. I would also like to add one of my own in that in addition to the layout being correctly signalled with working signals it is vital that they are used correctly and adhered to. One year it was down to three layouts and to eliminate any we had to start being what some may describe as pedantic in order to separate them so as to find a 'winner.' One of the layouts was beautifully modelled based on a real location with a number of boxes and accurate signalling and track layouts. What let it down was at the time only the double track main line was used with the running signals being left off as though the boxes were switched out. In addition when it was viewed it tended to be the same 2 or 3 trains that kept passing. As the layout was not being operated to its full ability it was duly eliminated. If it had it would likely have won the trophy. Of course it depends on when our small team- 4 or 5 of us- gets to view the layout and if we can see it through the crowds but we can only judge what we can see at the time. It did seem a shame to be so harsh with such a beautiful and well modelled layout but as the purpose of the Trophy is to highlight and encourage accurate signalling and operation then it was felt unfair to award the trophy when the other two layouts in the final three fulfilled the criteria. Keep up the good work with the thread, I really do enjoy reading it even though I am not much of a Modeller myself currently. I find it all a great inspiration. Any of you at the NEC please do come and say hello- I shall be on SRS stand C11 and will be recognised by having my name on a badge.. Trust Hesse has a safe journey from Australia and enjoys Tony's (and Mo of course) hospitality. We truly are a multinational community.
  8. I know that I have resurrected a very old thread but there is an article in BackTrack Jan 2018 by John Jarvis entitled 'Change at Verney Junc' which might be of interest if not already aware of it. It includes numbered diagrams of the LNWR box, Met box (which makes an assumption of rhe number of the shunt signal leading from the loop line into the Met yard. Mr Jarvis puts it at no 6 but it is in a gap between 7, 9 & 10 signals. I think it is his no 6 is more likely to be 8 based on the numbering pattern of the adjacent shunt signals- but I have no definitive proof as this signal was not on the Met diagrams that I have seen.) But I digress. Back to the relevant signals. I seem to recall from reading Richard Foster's LNWR Signalling that the LNWR provided two homes like this as routing signals to give advance warning of a junction- rather like flashing yellows I suspect- and I seem to recall that splitting distants were initially provided- which would likely have been no 5. I shall have a nose in the book to see which sort of junctions the splitting homes were provided for. I shall have to access the SRS archive on Friday and Sunday to collect the display stand for Guildex at Telford and see what I can find out. I shall also ask Richard Foster to see if he can shed any light. John Jarvis' relays that the original lack of a footbridge and the consequent need for passengers to cross the line on the foot crossing potentially over four lines (2 Met ones and the LNWR main) raised safety concerns which were expressed at a public meeting in Buckingham in Feb 1894. The death of a porter on the crossing also raised fears that the crossing was unsafe. The result of this was a file of correspondence between the BoT, LNWR, Met and Sir Edmund Verney. The Met replied that it wasn't their infrastructure, the LNWR denied any safety issues but Sir Edmund Verney threatened to take it further. Seemingly there were plans by the Met to double their route and knowing that reconstruction of the station was likely to be needed the LNWR played a waiting game. Eventually plans were submitted and approved with the result that the reconstruction and resignalling of the station was completed and ready for inspection in January 1897 with new Met and LNWR boxes- and a 'substantial lattice footbridge'. The author makes no mention of the splitting home signals being commented upon in the BoT Inspection Report on January 6th 1897 by Major Francis Marindin. It is possible that I have previously photted it at Kew. He does however describe the track layout with following: "Also provided was a splitting outer home (2/6) which gave the driver of a through train advance notice of how the junction was set, so that he could adjust his speed accordingly. This replaced the original (1878) single post home signal which also carried the up starting signal for Bletchley trains. The junction home signals (3/7) again replaced a single post version where the upper arm read towards Oxford and the lower towards Banbury. The configuration of the other running signals on both the main line and Banbury branch remained unaffected by the station reconstruction. " BackTrack Jan 2018 p13. There seems to be no interlocking between the signals and the foot crossing. Unfortunately no distances of signals from the box or each other are recorded but I think it is quite clear that my original assertion that they were for acceptance purposes is quite clearly incorrect. I again apologise for my incorrect information as like everyone else here my intention is not to deceive but to try to help people get things correct. I am sorry that the BackTrack article doesn't really give us a definitive answer but is nonetheless an interesting piece on an interesting location signalling wise.
  9. Strange I was never involved in criminal activities whilst at school (nor as an adult either) nor were any of my friends or were my brothers or sister. I wasn't aware of a local drug dealer- let alone watched them in action. So no it is not a thing dumb kids do it is something that criminals who are also kids do.
  10. As far as I know the couplers on HST Mk3s are compatible with those on Mk1,2 and 3a/b vehicles. There are a number of photos of mixed HST Mk3 and Mk3a formations in the early years of the class 253 HST involved in non-revenue work. The set used for the 140 mph tested also utilised M12140 coupled to HST Mk3s in the formation. Pictures are on traintesting.com. The main difference as I understand between the couplers on the HST and the loco-hauled Mk3s are that those on the HST are fixed in the raised condition whilst those on loco- hauled coaches- (not Mk4) are droppable so as to expose the drawhook. This is why barriers are required as a HST Mk3 cannot be coupled directly to a loco via a screw coupling- class 73s fitted with buckeyes have been used in the past though as they have a buckeye and a rubbing plate.
  11. In addition to getting Jim’s book (which no Met enthusiast should be without) you may find ‘Workhorses of the Underground’ by J Graeme-Bruce (Capital Transport 1987) of interest. It covers locos, track machines, pilot motors etc, and wagons. There is a list of LT service stock in the book. It is out of print currently. Natalie
  12. The BFOs were originally part of an order for FOs. A need was identified for some 125mph rated brake vehicles to enable the electric HST (classified at the time by the RSL as class 90) and 89 to be tested at that speed to allow comparison of motive power. To provide the three vehicles required the FO order was changed to build 3 of the FOs as brake vehicles. The initial costing to Derby was based on an HST TGS. BFOs were not built for the Manchester Pullman. By the time the BFOs appeared the electric HST project had been cancelled (thus releasing the class 90 classification) so they were used with the 89 with two vehicles allocated to the Glasgow portion of the Clansman. Use with the Pullman sets came a few years later after the 89 tests had finished. Natalie
  13. I had cause to venture out of the halls over the bridge to International station so encountered some of the comic con attendees in full attire. I was passed by a group of young males who were dressed with foam padding to their bony joints carrying small yellow plastic see-through machine gun style machine guns. Unfortunately for them also wandering the area were BTP officers brandishing rather larger versions of the real and deadly variety. I know which one I would rather face! What was great amongst the mostly young people wearing the costumes was they didn't seem to give a damn about how they looked or what others thought of them. They were open and proud about their hobby unlike many in the railway and model world who try to hide it or keep it secret. It was very refreshing.
  14. How about the female enthusiast types? I am intrigued to see what I should be wearing and if I can be considered cool and 'on-trend' whatever that means. I await your informed response!
  15. Don't forget 86233 was painted in a version of electric blue by Virgin near the end of its life. If there is another argument to be had over the alleged 'electric blue as built' falsehood then I am happy to appear for the 'No they weren't' brigade. All in all this is a good choice of model but we will know nothing about how good or not it is or if the pan is going to be up to scratch until it appears in the Heljan boxes. It is going to be a long and potentially tedious wait. Let's hope it is worth it.
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