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sandra

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  1. Thanks Tony, A strange fact about the O4/8s is that the last ones were not converted until 1958. As Retford is set in 1957 I will have to be careful to make sure my one has a suitable number. Roy had a collection of photos taken in and around Retford and the class which appears most often on the GC section is the O4/8 so I absolutely had to have one. However it does seem strange that conversions of such an elderly design were still being done as late as 1958. Sandra
  2. Tony, Thanks for the photos, I have found a few photos of B17s with the larger tender but the small GE tender was by far the most common. The loco for the boat train was usually supplied by March and the only large tender B17 they had was Doncaster Rovers so I intend to model that. Whilst the telegraph poles will be nice and there were some huge ones at Retford, I think the most important job at the moment is to build the permanent platforms as the present ones and the station buildings are just mock ups. I’ve been discussing this with Andrew and we think we do know how to proceed although they will take time to build. Isn’t he bottom picture an O1 not an O4/8. Retford already has a kit built O1 but until recently no O4/8. The O4/8 is not quite finished but once it is I will post a photo of it. Sandra
  3. Hello Tony, Arts and Crafts was of course in St Michael’s Arcade off Bridge Street. Brook street is the road leading to General Station, I got confused, it’s a long time since I’ve been to Chester. In Chester I only ever went to Arts and Crafts or the shop in White Friars, I don’t recall Trickett’s, I don’t think I ever went there. As I went to school in Northwich I went to the model shop there, I think it was called Eaches but I may be wrong. I never had any of the Trix pacifics, the only Trix locomotive I had was a Western which didn’t look much like a Western and ran really badly. No matter how much I fiddled with it the wretched thing would not run well but I do still have it on the basis that nobody else would want it. It did haul a set of Trix Mk1s in chocolate and cream which were nice coaches but inexplicably made to the wrong scale of 3.8mm to the ft. and fitted with Commonwealth bogies. I seem to remember the coaches were sold as kits and you had to build them. Sandra
  4. Tony, I do remember the model shop at White Friars in Chester. I only went there a few times but as I remember the shop it was the only Chester model shop which catered for the more finescale side of the hobby. That is he sold lots of bits and pieces which enabled you to actually build something. Probably it wouldn’t be considered very finescale in comparison with today’s standards but it was the best we had. It was actually my cousin Eddy who tipped me of about this shop as I don’t remember it being advertised in any magazines. Before I found this shop I had only gone to Arts and Crafts in the arcade off Brook Street and that shop sold mostly RTR, however I did buy some Wrenn flexible track there which was perhaps a first step towards a more serious approach to the hobby but the Wrenn track was pretty awful. Sandra
  5. Tony, I took some photographs of “Clumber” this afternoon. Here she is on the down boat train which passed Retford at 12.37. The B17 worked the train from March to Sheffield. She was turned at Sheffield and returned from there in the afternoon. So the same B17 worked both trains at Retford. As Robert Carroll has now very kindly assembled the carriages for the train in both directions I have photographed “Clumber” hauling it both ways.Here she is heading east with the up train to Harwich and here’s a closer view of her on the same train.”Clumber” is the only loco apart from the Britannia which can haul this 11 coach train out of the fiddle yard. As this is the only passenger train which regularly crossed the flat crossing in the east/west direction I wanted a representation of the working in both directions. So an extra road has been added to the fiddle yard, as there was not a great deal of space this had to be squeezed in but there was just enough room. The problem is that I don’t really want to use this locomotive on both trains as this would involve too much handling of the loco so at the moment I’m using 70037 “Hereward the Wake”on the up train. However she is out of period so I’ll have to build another B17 and really it should be another model of “Clumber” but I could never build or paint it as beautifully as this one so I’ll make a model of 61657 “Doncaster Rovers”. This engine was shedded at March and I do have a photo of it on the boat train. Sandra
  6. Tony, It was nice to see you yesterday on your visit to Retford, I hope all the visitors enjoyed their day. The railway worked well apart from one broken tie bar.Tony Gee brought along this beauty which is going to be finished as “Valour” in full Great Central livery. Here she is hauling the up “Heart of Midlothian”. This train consists of 13 coaches and if Retford was completely flat she would have had no problem hauling this train. However Retford does have an incline on the GN main line where it crosses the GC fiddle yard. Considering “Valour” is made of brass I think she did very well to haul this train. Most of the principal expresses on Retford are hauled by locos made of white metal but some have plastic bodies but this only works if there is room to add extra weight such as on A4s. This is a new Retford locomotive 61464. This is a B16/3 I made from a very old DJH kit. This was actually her first run on the layout and she’s hauling an up fully fitted freight. She’s not yet quite finished, she needs weathering. There is a photo of this loco on shed at Retford in GN loco sheds Vol 2. Sandra
  7. I don’t think it’s a Flower, they had deeper frames and the brake rigging was inside the wheels. I know this because I am building a model of a Flower.This is a photo of the nearly finished but unpainted loco.
  8. I’m not convinced that this is a Bulldog. It looks like one of the 6’ 8” 4-4-0s. Certainly 3361 was a Bulldog with 5’ 8” wheels but the wheels on this model look too large. To me it looks like an Atbara for it has the high-stepping appearance of these locos. The distinguishing feature is the height of the splashers. In a Bulldog the springs rise above the top of the splashers but on this model the top of the splashers are clearly above the springs because of the need to clear the larger wheels The model is painted in the post first-war livery of plain green but it still has the small circular cab windows which I think may have disappeared pre-war. I wonder what others think?
  9. Tony, I did think of putting a B1 on the up train but I don’t think this occurred very often and I will therefore stick with my idea of building another B17. I suppose I could simply remove Clumber from the down train and attach it to the up train but this would involve too much handling of the locomotive which I try to avoid. I intend to build “Doncaster Rovers” as I understand that this was the only B17 with a group standard tender shedded at March and I do have a photo of it on the boat train. I believe the B17 which ran through Retford came on at March and ran through to Sheffield where it was replaced by an EM2 electric. I will build the B17 using the old Hornby tender drive body and tender using a Comet underframe. I don’t know what hauled the train between Harwich and March but I presume it was another B17, or was it a Britannia? The EM2 came off at Guide Bridge and the train was taken to Manchester Central by another loco and finally it was taken to Liverpool Central by yet another loco, possibly a tank engine. So the train had five different locos during its journey, is this a record? Sandra
  10. Thanks for posting that Robert. I think I must mention that in reality the two trains would never have been seen passing each other. The down train to Liverpool ran in the morning and the up train to Harwich ran in the afternoon. In fact the buffet car and one other coach were removed from the down train at Sheffield and returned to Harwich on the up train. The B17 was also removed from the down train and then worked the up train so at Retford both trains were hauled by the same engine. The down train at Retford is hauled by Tony Wright’s B17 Clumber so the up train should really have a model of the same engine. I don’t think I could bring myself to a second model of the same engine so I will build a second B17 but this will be Doncaster Rovers.
  11. Thank you Tony. This came about by accident because running smoke box first this loco derailed a number of times. It is compensated and even though the curves on Retford are not sharp it did take exception to one particular curve coming out of the fiddle yard. That is a problem I’ve found before with compensated locos. Another compensated locomotive on Retford is 60018 Sparrow Hawk and this locomotive has been a source of endless problems as it repeatedly derails at one point in the down line and it was not capable of pulling any of the main expresses in the up direction so it’s now been relegated to an up fitted freight. I rather like to a see a locomotive running tender first as it makes a change to normal and my memory of steam days is that it was more common than is depicted in photographs. I suppose photographers saw a loco running tender first and didn’t bother to take a photograph.
  12. Tony, The fitting of signals at Retford is continuing although there five or six still to go. Yesterday Andrew Hartshorne installed the latest signal which has four somersault arms which allow exit from the goods yard to the up main or to the up platform line. Here is the new signal which is signalled to allow the J39 to leave the yard on to the up main line. The signal was built by Graham Nicholas who has made a marvellous job of its construction and it works beautifully having been installed by Andrew Hartshorne of Wizard Models. The four arms all work and are powered by servos. This is a view of the signal from the other side. I believe that the original of this signal was the last surviving somersault signal at Retford for it was still there after the flat crossing was abolished and the underpass built. Robert Carroll and me ran the full sequence of trains today and whilst there were a couple of glitches the railway worked quite well. The major problems were caused by operator errors, particularly by me. I will eventually get the hang of the layout’s many foibles. I wish to thank both Graham and Andrew for all their hard work in building and installing the somersault signal which I think is a great piece of work. Sandra
  13. You don’t say what you think is unusual about it. To me it looks like an ordinary member of the 4575 series of prairie tanks in lined green with large early crest. These locos had larger side tanks with slopping fronts. They were common on the Kingsbridge branch.
  14. Tony, I had a similar experience with a K’s 44XX 2-6-2. The kit was complete with motor, gears and wheels and it was, I recall, relatively cheap. However assembly proved seriously challenging. I’d only built one kit before which was a Wills 2251 class body kit to go on a Triang under frame but the 44XX was much more complicated. The most difficult part was trying to get the motor to mesh with the wheels because there was no gearbox or motor mount, you just had to screw the motor to a frame spacer and then try to adjust it so that it stayed in mesh which it didn’t for very long. Eventually I realised the only way to do this was to get the adjustment right and then glue it in place. I did eventually get it to run properly and it didn’t look too bad. So it turned out to be worth all the effort in the end. The point being I learned an enormous amount about building such a kit and enabled me to build a lot more models so I was less dependant on RTR. There was also the sheer pleasure in overcoming the difficulties and in making the thing actually work and to see it move along the track and haul its first train. I did subsequently change the wheels to Romfords and I fitted another motor with a motor mount. I still have it but it certainly not going to appear on Retford any time soon. Sandra
  15. By 2121 will anyone be modelling the East Coast Main Line in 1958 in 00, or any other scale? If any of our models do survive by then I expect they will just be regarded as rather quaint anachronisms and that technology will have moved on to such an extent that there will be such things as immersive holo programs in which you can actually experience the real steam era railway. I certainly don’t expect Retford, Little Bytham or indeed any other model railway to still exist, if only because the technology involved will seem to be primitive in the extreme and few will understand how to repair anything that breaks. Indeed you could argue that we are half way there as many modellers don’t seem to dare touch any RTR model that fails.
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