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    Having been interested in transport all my life it was inevitable that I got into railway modelling. My first exhibition layout was Hillside Depot which appeared in Railway Modeller a couple of times and was set in the west country city of Westonmouth (Weston-super-Mare/Avonmouth = holiday traffic & industry) in 1986.

    My next layout saw me stay in Westonmouth, but take a step back to the 1970s with Morimore's Yard where freight train trips were split into short rakes for delivery to local businesses in the city's historic docklands. But just like Bristol, by the 1970s the city docks were run down and almost closed following the development of newer facilities to the north of the city.

    Then came part of the main city station itself with Westonmouth Central (known as General in GWR days), which was entered in the DEMU/Minories layout competition and again represents the 1970s. However the layout only represents a small part of the whole station, the bit modelled is "over the back, by the dustbins".

    Both Mortimore's Yard and Westonmouth Central are active and gradually being developed/refined and gaining more rolling stock. Even so, a new project has just begun, representing another small part of Westonmouth Central, this time the small stabling point at the station's western end. The layout is based on the former stabling point next to the platforms at London Liverpool Street, but will be suitably "Westernised" and adapted for the new location.

    Besides model railways, church activities, Explorer Scout & Scout Network leadership, kayaking, cycling and photography fill the time that work doesn't claim.

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  1. A fascinating variation on the theme, albeit with one very long platform along side the turnback sidings, was Bournemouth. A TC and REP combination would arrive from London. A class 33/1 came from turnback siding on to the front and took the TC on to Weymouth. The REP cars then go to turnback sidings before going to the up platform shortly before the next TC & 33/1 arrive from Weymouth. The TC couples to REP, the 33/1 uncouples and runs to the siding while the train continues to London. Repeat all day! Seen here in later days when class 73s replaced the REP power cars which were donating their motors to the Wessex Electrics then in build.
  2. Hopefully not too far off topic, as the examples I've found aren't conveyed in Siphon G's, but the BR WR Marshalling and Loading Instructions Parcels Trains and Freight Trains Conveying Parcels Vans book commencing 5 May 1969 (available on the BR Coaching Stock IO Group) has a couple of mentions of churn traffic. The footnotes here mention cream traffic, in a GUV and the churns appear to return in a BG here Whilst empty milk churns are mentioned here Overall the Marshalling and Loading book is a fascinating document, if a few years too early for my layout researches. It gives a great insight into the scope of items carried in "parcel vans" and opens a window on a very different way of railway life. And now back to the Siphons.
  3. The Passenger Train Working books for Paddington, several of which are available on Robert Carroll's BR Coaching Stock IO Group, list the individual vehicles which were allocated to the various newspaper trains. The RCTS Coaching Stock of British Railways books note those which are allocated to newspaper traffic (steam heating rather than just a through steam pipe seems to be the difference), so I cross-referenced the two publications for 1974 and came up with this table. Several of the vans take more than 24 hours to make the full round trip, hence the note "alternates with". Those serving destinations closer to Paddington work the trip daily, so I've shown them as "1 day circuit". The RCTS book lists more vehicles than the Working Book calls for, but conversely there are a number of SG (as the Working Book codes them) listed in the workings which don't have a particular vehicle assigned. Three of these are on the Postal rather than News trains, so presumably are "normal" vans. As the book only details Down trains, the West of England vans are likely require to the equivalent number on the Up workings to balance things out so are, in effect, two vans each. The Bristol and Didcot vans should get back in a day, so probably account for single vehicles. On Sundays (or very late on Saturday night for the Penzance train) only the Swansea used SG on the Cheltenham portion. The rest were GUVs as noted at the foot of the table. I like the note on the Oxford train showing which company's staff used that vehicle. I'm guessing that on the longer runs staff weren't needed all the way so boarded en-route, and such detail wasn't relevant to staff at Paddington. As ever with this type of research, it throws up as many questions as it answers. What were the other vehicles noted as "Newspaper" by RCTS used for? Where there other flows that didn't start from Paddington? And what else were the "normal" SG vans used for? Did they have their own workings, just not from Paddington? Anyway, I hope the table is of interest.
  4. I agree that it is Shrivenham. Unusual to see a photo from this side of the line, though. More usually photographers seem to favour the opposite side as here http://www.hondawanderer.com/43148_Shrivenham_1992.htm
  5. Than you Ian for another great issue. As a subscriber I've already been able to read the latest one several times over, and have drawn inspiration from its contents, and dusted off the micro I've been [not] building for too long. Micros let me try something different, something which doesn't fit with my main layout, and with an every increasing stock of ideas saved from The Dispatch, from RMWeb and other sources I know I'll never get them all built! That said, I'm in the early stages of planning a "round the room" layout, which while not a micro in itself, has several elements which could be micros, just they link to each other rather than straight to a fiddle yard. Whilst there are still things to glean from the current issue, I'm looking forward to the next; I might even get sufficiently organised to contribute something!
  6. 56019's trip to the coast certainly sticks in my mind as it thundered around the curve at Didcot. I decided to stay on at Didcot for the return, my customary homebound fish & chips would have to wait that week. And I'm glad I did. The train wasn't booked via Reading on the way back as the shunter had finished by then, so it was Basingstoke to Oxford non-stop. But it did stop, for about 10 minutes, in the far distance at Moreton Cutting, before coming at us on the Down Relief, flat out, swaying over the connection and around the curve, that mighty Ruston pounding, turbos screaming, as only a 56 could, and still ahead of booked time!
  7. 37057 was the first loco painted in the livery, so had the original font with EW&S lettering rather than the later EWS. It didn't have the "three beasties" logo which also came later. I remember it very clearly as it stopped in front of me for about 10 minutes waiting for the road at Didcot just after it was painted, and one of my photos was published in Railway Modeller shortly after.
  8. Sadly it's not there any more. That parcel of the land is now the access road to a new housing estate. West Wilts Youth Sailing Association now have a new slipway and clubhouse further along the station approach road nearer the station entrance. I'm told, by one of the club members, that parts of the box were removed to a private location and reassembled again. Although much loved and enjoyed by club members (hardly any of whom knew its history) it was apparently showing its age.
  9. The model is coming on nicely, Rob. I guess the National is like the HST to me (and not just for the ribbed roof, noisy engine and raucous cooling fan!) not "favourites" in their own right but such a part of my childhood they are something special. So, whilst this bus is very different to the dual door city bus you're modelling, the sound track is spot on, including the slightly different noise which the original style fish-tail exhaust pipe gives. It sounds great through headphones
  10. Yes, the shelters are supported by one of the walls of the former shed. The other wall is behind the 50 and tamper, with the chimneys of the adjoining offices, mess rooms etc peeping over the top. This arrangement inspired my Hillside Depot layout, a good few years ago now.
  11. The fuelling shelters are shown here, to the left of the 2 DMUs: (Photo by Scott Rathbone on Flickr)
  12. I think 1 is most likely. 2 is popular with London Transport preservationists, but probably because London buses for many years always carried adverts in every position, even if that was an advert for LT rather than a 3rd party. There are also the classics like "Shop at Binns" which was a permanent feature of a number of north eastern fleets which tend to get replicated. There are a few people about who specialise in reproducing bus interior adverts, not that those are relevant to a model, but those were often for the bus company, and being smaller are less costly to produce. When I was involved with the Western National Preservation Group a local self-employed (ex-company) sign writer painted two of the group's buses at no cost and he was offered the rear advert spaces for his own use, in a period style. He declined as it wouldn't have been authentic. 4 sometimes happens, but is rare. I know someone who has a Bristol VR which has a deep, plain white, band around the bus between the windows as it carried several "unibus" style adverts there. Two of the companies who had the original adverts are still in business and were offered the space. Neither even replied to decline the offer. The two Dennis Darts I have a long term involvement with didn't carry adverts when new, so the question doesn't arise, however we have used the template for the interior passenger information posters which advised of service changes to show the vehicle history. Bus advertising, especially outside the big national campaigns, is a great social history record in it's own right with many local and regional companies being big users of bus campaigns over many years.
  13. Agreed, and the BR(W) lettered version would be a good variation for those of us modelling later (and even current day) operations.
  14. Interesting project, Rob. I've just noticed that you've got the bench seats at the front on the wrong side in the photo above. The 4 seater goes behind the cab, which isn't as long as the door. The 3-part cab window is actually two for the driver and one in the saloon. One other thing, which might be a detail too far, is that the 4 pairs of seats over the rear wheels are slightly higher than those further back, on slightly raised floors, giving a sunken gangway there. I'm not sure why, as there is still a wheel arch "bump" there, although it less than it would otherwise be.
  15. I usually travel by bus to this show (all the way from Chippenham!) as it makes a good day out. The bus from the town centre calls at the railway station and drops off at the end of the road to the hall. It then goes off on a big loop of the houses, so to return to town its much quicker to walk up to the stop on Alma Road and catch the bus in front of the one you would have caught at the alighting stop.
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