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  1. I like this idea a lot. The visible yard effectively stands in for the junction yards at both ends of the branch. Contrary to what we tend to model I suspect that rather more branches were cross country lines between junctions than those that ended at a terminus but there's no reason why some trains shouldn't terrminate at your main station. Unless you have particular need for an engineer's siding I'd be tempted to make the siding at the halt into a goods siding. I'm not sure you need the ground frame at the right hand end of the hidden line. When you're operating normally just do what John Charman did with Charford. Shove a hedge over that end of it and simply assume that the points lead to a now disused quarry siding or something. I've been looking at the Cheltenham-Banbury line recently as a friend has just moved into the area and Rollright Halt, between Chipping Norton and Hook Norton, which opened in 1906 after years of local pressure, gained a goods siding three years later. It mostly handled incoming coal for a couple of local merchants but also outgoing game and sugar beet. Despite a landslip in 1958 that cut the branch on the Banbury side (passenger services between Chipping Norton and Banbury having closed in 1951) the siding continued to be used for goods until the whole line closed in 1962. The siding was about 200 yards from the halt and had a loading platform and a small corrugated iron shed but yours could be all coal and mileage. In its more prosperous times the branch had five passenger and two goods trains each way each day but also, despite being a very twisty line, the daily "Ports to Ports" express from Newcastle to Cardiff and Barry which took 11 hours and ran from 1906 until at least the 1930s. https://railwaywondersoftheworld.com/ports.html. A cross country branch does provide opportunities for a wider range of services than the typical BLT.
  2. After seeing Pat's excellent model I feel rather ashamed to post this but it may show how easily a much smaller scale kit can be adapted. This ship was for a planned H0 project that was overtaken by my current layout. I never finished it and it ended up as a window sill ornament losing details like the lifeboat davits, wheelhouse mast and screw over the years. . It's based on the Shell Welder kit originally a Frog model of a 569 grt ship launched in 1954 but mine came from the Soviet Novo brand who'd acquired the moulds which even then were a bit tired. This is 1:130 scale model but I needed it to be closer to 1:87 The hull is 400x72 mm which in 4mm scale would give a size of 100ft x 18ft - perhaps a bit narrow for a small coaster that length where 20-25ft would be more typical but in 1:87 scale 115ft x 20 ft which isn't bad. The depth of the hull is rather shallow for a dry cargo ship of this size but the hull is fairly flat bottomed so I was planning to slightly embed it in the "water" to conceal that. To convert it from a tanker I cut the rear of the tank top back to leave some open deck space between the hatch coaming and the quarter deck and built the rest of the coaming and the hatch cover around the tank top to give the vessel a single hold. I replaced the railings each side of the main deck with bulwarks and raised the height of both the quarterdeck house and the wheelhouse , overlaying the original vertical surfaces with plasticard with rather larger portholes and doorways. I used the original vertical beams supporting the bridge deck but, as these were now too short, replaced the handrails with bulwarks. The only things I bought for the conversion were metal handrail from a ship modelling supplier and a larger lifeboat that would have replaced the existing two - which were too small in the larger scale- with a single davit at the stern. Everything else was done with parts from the kit and plasticard. To complete the model I would have needed some laddering for companionways a much taller extension to the foremast together with booms for cargo handling and probably a winch casting to replace the one in the kit which was arguably also too small. I've toyed with refurbishing this model but it may be too far gone and some of the plasticard is now rather brittle. I suspect that any ship modelling expert would find a lot that's wrong in this conversion but I thought it conveyed the right impression at least. I think the kit is still available though it's been through several hands since Novo so the moulds are probably very tired. For anyone wanting to built it as a 1:130 scale model of the Shell Welder that would be a problem; for a conversion job it's probably more the basic shapes of things like the hull, decks and funnel that are important. I did wonder about its possibilities as an earlier steamship but I think the quarter deck would need to be lengthened to give enough machinery space for a boiler and an engine. Looking at it again, the engine room skylight probably also needs to be larger even for a motor vessel. The real Shell Welder was converted into a sand suction dredger for a Fareham dredging company in 1974 and renamed the Steel Welder which I'm sure I saw quite often when I worked in Southampton in the 1980s. The ship was broken up on the Medway in 1991.
  3. Thanks Corbs. If you get any more details or photos of the model I'd certainly find them interesting. The Preston Digital Archive on Flickr turns out to be an absolute goldmine for interesting ships and cranes. There are ships like the 180grt SS Bessie, a little bigger than a Clyde Puffer at 29M (94 feet) not totally different in layout but somewhat more seagoing ship in appearance. Or the SS Helen Craig, built in Belfast in 1891 but operating a regular service twice a week between Preston and Belfast until 1959. She was a rather larger three island ship but the SS Collin 1915- 1949 (name changed then so she may well have continued much later) was an engines aft long quarter deck ship. I still can't quite figure out, with the older portal cranes at Preston, whether the jibs really were fixed or the whole lot hinged to give some luffing. I think there were similiar cranes in Hull so they may have been somebody's standard design for a travelling portal crane.
  4. Thanks for posting this Corbs. It's an excellent model. Not much larger than a puffer but a far more generic small steam coaster suitable for almost any small port. Do you know if Pat modelled it on any particular vessel or just good observation of suitable types?
  5. Or not! Looking more closely there's a short section of crane rail that either slides or swings into position to give a continuous rail for the crane to travel over. A similar arrangement appears in other photos of these cranes and I've seen similar "pointwork" for double Abt rack on steeper rack railways where the rack has to be unbroken. I'm pretty sure that portal cranes have to either have double flanged or double tyred wheels (running on inset rails) as the portal isn't rigid enough to keep single flanged wheels on either side in gauge. These cranes in Preston docks look to be using double flanged wheels but they are fascinating beasts. I thought at first that they were steam cranes but, looking more closely, I think they are electric but I've no idea what the tall central tower was for. The jibs appear to be mostly fixed (non-luffing) so possibly some kind of counterweight for the hoist. There are a lot more images of them on the Preston Digital Archives pages on flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpsmithbarney/ where there is an album, Preston Docks and the Ribble, with about 1000 photos of the docks ancient and modern. Some of the cranes seem to have been used until about 1960 on a couple of quays (china clay and timber I think) long after most had been replaced with "typical" Toplis Level Luffing Cranes. Preston Dock actually had an incredible range of cranes. There is at least one small steam crane mounted on an apparently unpowered, four wheel flat wagon. There are several variants on the crane above. That one is unloading china clay from SS Foy into hand pushed tubs that ran on rails along the roof of the china clay shed to be dropped through roof hatches onto the appropriate grade pile. Others were built for heavier lifts such as tipping an entire railway wagon into a ship's hold. There were also a range of typical Toplis cranes including some modern Stothert and Pitt types looking a bit like H.G.Wells' Martians with tall tubular metal bases. There clearly was a regular coastal trade between Preston and the small North Cornish ports such as Fowey and Pentewan with China Clay going to Lancashire for the paper mills (and china?) and ships returning with coal. Some of the coasters look larger than Foy but it and similar small ships would have been able to get into smaller ports like Pentewan.
  6. I updated this yesterday but the update seems to have disappeared. I found several parliamentary debates about milk pasteurisation and its general safety,particularly from the 1940s. These ranged from 1940 concerns that children from large cities, where milk generally was pasteurised, evacuated to rural areas would be at risk from diseases carried in untreated milk. This does suggest that pasteurisation was taking place in the major distiribution centres rather than locally and in 1947 it was said that only about two thirds of milk was being treated with bovine tuberculosis killing about 1600 people in Britain each year and that smaller towns were far more likely to be supplied with untreated milk from untested herds. There was argument about whether compulsory pasteurisation would lead to Tuberculin Testing being ignored. This does sound rather like today's arguments about US chicken being chlorine washed rather than being farmed in a healthy way rather than our current "farm to fork" approach ( worth noting that, according to government figures, levels of salmonella infection per head in the US are about 20 times that of the UK and about 40 times higher for campylobacter) In the post war 1940s there were also concerns that there simply wasn'e enough pasteurising equipment being produced- with much of what was being exported.
  7. I'm guessing (correctly?) that, by the time of the 1945 tests, pasterurisation was normal so the milk tested would have been transported but not yet pasteurised That would have made the main danger to humans the period between the move from churn to tanker transport and the widesprwad adoption of pasteurisation. On the importance of hygiene, I once made a film about a company in Cherbourg that had speclaiised in manufacturing dairy equipment (mainly stainless steel) and had found the skillset involved made it a natural transition to progress from that to the nuclear industry.
  8. Hi Kevin I've always had a bit of a soft spot for milk transport by rail as my first footplate ride as a very young child was on a milk train running from Highbridge to Basonbridge and back on the S&DJR. However, there was a rather sinister aspect to the move from churns to tankers. Before pasteurisation became common (during the 1930s?) combining the milk from many more cattle in tank wagons greatly increased the risk of Bovine TB in humans. In 1945 testing found Mycobacterium Bovis in 8% of milk tranported in churns but in a majority of the milk transported in tankers. So, while tanker tranport may have been more efficient and seen as more "modern" and even hygenic than having porters trundling churns around , that may have come at a price.
  9. A "universal wheel" for a range of check rail and crossing clearances is indeed doomed (though a wheelset may get through a range of tracks more or less well depending on how far they deviate from the standards it was designed for) but its's easier the other way round. So long as the actual gauge is the same "universal" trackwork is possible and, faced with the different standards of HD, Trix, BRMSB, NMRA and so on firms like Wrenn did make such track by using closing frogs (switches) This fairly extreme example was hand built by John Ahern - probably in the 1940s when wheels available were anything but standard- and is at Gammon End on the Madder Valley The check rails would be largely cosmetic as, in principle, any wheelset that could run on plain track should run through these. The catch is that they look decidedly unprototypical for anything other than crude quarry/mine tramway and, with more consistent wheelsets available, by the time of John Ahern's untimely death in 1961, most of the closing frogs remaining on the Madder Valley had been rebuilt or replaced with normal crossings and check rails. There are a few more points of this type on the MVR, all in yards I think, but how many of the points on the layout had ever had this type of frog I don't know.
  10. At the risk of going a bit OT to satisfy my curiosity, was there actually a point where the BRMSB formally wound itself up? The name always rather amused me as it gave the impression- no doubt deliberately- of being some kind of official body with its own oak-panelled rooms and technical experts hurrying to and fro, rather than an ad-hoc and self-appointed committee started during the war by J.N.Maskelyne (MRN & ME) G.H.Lake (Railways) and RJ Raymond (Model Rly Constructor) with a couple of others joining it and who met each other at various times. That doesn't mean it didn't do good work, it clearly did, but unfortunately it never had the influence over manufacturers that the NMRA did (and does) I rather wonder what would have happened if the MRC- as the first and largest club had taken on the role of a standards setter - rather as the Marylebone Cricket Club did for its sport- but apparently Geoffrey Keen wasn't keen on that idea. That's probably really OT though. I thought the BRMSB standards were more or less taken on by META (another organisation that wasn't quite what it seemed). It was META who published "for the B.R.M.S.B." the 1950 Standard Dimensions that I have with standards for O and OF In 1950, EM wasn't regarded as fine scale and had the same wheel profiles and check/crossing clearances as OO but EMF was fine scale. It's curious that the BRMSB standard rail heights were the same (0.098 inch BH and 0.089 inch FB- code 98 and 89 in modern usage ) for all four of HO, OO, EM and EMF but different between O and for OF (0.197 ins. BH and 0.211 ins. FB for O, but 0.154 ins. FB and 0.138 ins. BH. Unless it's a misprint it's also curious that in O gauge flat bottom rail is taller than bullhead but it's the other way round for the smaller gauges.
  11. There can be no right answer to this but I believe that CMRA supply periscopes to its member clubs to offer at exhibtions so that people with a low eye height (for whatever reason) can comfortably see the higher set layouts. Perhaps we should put out chairs in front of layouts and "demonstrate" them to the next audience of comfortably seated spectators at scheduled times. I'm not being entirely serious but I have seen photos of Bill Banwell and Frank Applegate's famous pre-war Maybank Railway with a "The Next Demonstration Will Be At .." sign clearly visible. Maybank was a main line terminus to traverser layout, almost certainly the first such to be exhibited at model railway shows, and I believe the operating sequence of four arrivals and departures with shunting took about 15-20 minutes to run through.
  12. You're quite right Richard, it is rigged in the second photo. I couldn't make it out at first. They must have found it worth doing, presumably to unload the coal - onto those coal piles which are just a bit too far from the ship- more quickly. I assumed it was some kind of rope run allowing the basket to be hoisted from the hold and then run out to the coal pile. If they got it right the fall of the guy should balance the hauling in of the line connecting the basket with the winch via a pulley so requiring little effort. There is a suggestion that a steam coaster was unusual in Pentewan, hence all the people, though I suspect it was the presence of a photographer that was unusual and the perhaps weekly arrival of the coal aboard this or another steam coaster might have been a regular traffic. Most photos of Pentewan show it being served by saling vessels but the 1910 photos of the S.S. Foy are quite late in its history. I've no idea whether the Foy took on a return load of china clay after unloading its cargo of coal. I visited Pentewan in the early 1980s and it's a fascinating place. The 2ft 6in Pentewan Railway from St. Austell and its abandonment in early 1918 are fairly well documents but even people like Don Boreham, who visited it, failed to realise that there was a second railway there and often misidentified remains of the later railway as traces of the original . The first time I was there, quite a lot of the track from that later NG railway was still in place including some portable track running down onto the beach just to the east of the harbour . The second railway brought sand from diggings just to the east of the harbour between the top of the beach and the caravan park to a small works on the quayside and from what I saw there may have also taken sand from the beach itself. There's a bit of track including a set of points still embedded on the eastern side of the harbour. I think the later railway may have been the same 30" gauge and made us of some of the embedded track that hadn't been lifted when the Pentewan Railway itself closed.
  13. Don't worry we're well on topic ! I very much doubt whether Archive Images own the rights to any of these photos and they're not the only ones flogging copies. This version is clearer and it looks like the line you identify as the Fore port guy is not rigged ashore though these two photos were clearly taken close together in time. https://www.ebay.ie/itm/CO-402-Discharging-Coal-At-Pentewan-Fowey-Cornwall-6x4-Photo/283570022818?hash=item42061729a2:g:zNEAAOSwvc1ZaNMl To answer your earlier point, The crowds-ship's crew or others- are there because the photo is being taken. If you look at the photo of Foy taken from astern, the same people are now all crowded around the stern
  14. Thanks for the link Corbs. I've just been watching the BFI film about Hull from 1963. It must have been almost the last flowering of such traditional cargo handling before the arrival of RoRo and containers killed most of it off and, needless to say, absolutely full of Toplis level luffing cranes (by no means all Stothert and Pitt) What I also found particularly interesting was seeing large number of cars being loaded by crane into the holds of ships and even more so, the use of large numbers of open railway wagons internally to move cargo around inside the port. I think this may though have been a particular feature of the port's handling of timber. Sadly, little of it lasted. I was on a ship in King George dock just five or six years after this film and what I remember is that the railways within the dock were seeing relatively little use by then. I don't think I saw a single train move in the several days we were berthed there but the apparently newly developed quays (I hadn't known that at the time) were not exactly full of ships either.
  15. It looks like it but I've no idea why. I'm not sure if that part of Pentewan harbour was locked or tidal so, If it's tidal could it be to stop the ship from rolling to starboard at low tide? the harbour wall would presumably stop it from rolling to port. I'm sure a small coaster like that would be perfectly capable of sitting on the ground without harm but, if the harbour ground isn't flat it might need steadying. That's pure speculation of course- my layman's knowledge of seamanship doesn't extend that far.
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