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Simon Lee

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  1. Kernow offering exhibition specials again = Model Railway Exhibitions (kernowmodelrailcentre.com)
  2. I went into TOPS in 1981, just at the back end of card TOPS using the small cards, that superseded the original IBM cards. When I was training at Webb House, (another infamous BR location as anyone who went there will testify) we were given a stern warning not to fool about with the card chads from the punch hopper, and not to try playing cassettes in the programme player on the top of the terminal. The Ventek terminals we used had a screen roughly the size of a paperback book, and seemed to be the cause of the majority of TOPS clerks needing to wear spectacles, at some stage of their career. Remarkably, the terminals were subject to monthly inspection and servicing by Ventek engineers, our office at Dover was always a popular job, as the task included a visit to the office at Dunkerque to service the terminals there. The Stationmaster mentions Baud rates, it was always noticable the speeds, I seem to remember a rate of 500 or 600 was normal speed, when we had a line failure S&T would be summoned to set up an acoustic coupler to get us back on line, the rate on that was around 200, printing a train list wou,d take an eternity. Another strange device we had was a Mufax, single terminal fax machine between us and the Town yard. Used to make a hell of a racket, as it printed out via a blade onto some truly evil wet paper soaked in a mixture that smelt like a cross of parafin and meths. One shunter was caught short one Sunday in the yard and grabbed a roll to use as toilet paper, 30 minutes later he was on his way to hospital, unable to sit down with severe chemical burns to his backside.
  3. The last A1 at Drapers was 60145 St Mungo in autumn 1966, l cabbed it on the scrap line in 7 section Dairycoates in September 66. The loco arrived minus chimney and tender.
  4. Some memories there Mick, I remember the excitement when the 4Fs were dragged past our house, the first ones l had seen and the first locos with the cab side stripe, previously only seen in photos in my brothers Railway Magazine.
  5. Garage business in a railway arch. https://twitter.com/itvlondon/status/14 ... 6290637827
  6. Wonder if it's this tour https://rcts.zenfolio.com/diesel/br/other/hEF1518AC#hef151bd5 listed on SBJ a22nd March 1969. The unit seems to fit, apart from the window headboard? has moved.
  7. Here in Germany the "pfand" tax/ cost is 25 cents per bottle or tin. Buy you beer, Coke what ever take your empties back and into the bottle bank, you have a credit note to offset against your next shop or e change for cash. In many towns the less well off can be seen early in the morning collecting any empties off the street and supplementing their income by returning the empties to the local drink shop or supermarket. In Köln after carnival they can make a good few Euros helping the city cleaners clean up.
  8. Think that was Tornado when the inside valve gear caused problems and it failed just north of Peterborough.
  9. The SNCF ferry is the Compiengne, on of the French components of the Sealink fleet. Behind is one of Townsends "European" class freight ships this photo being taken at the Eastern Docks. The headcode 47 shown on the arriving unit is in fact a Boat train, the regular boat codesbeing 46 Victoria via Herne Hill and Orpington to DWD, 47 via Catford Loop and Orpington to DWD. The domestic headcode for Victoria services being 74.
  10. Can only remember these BP tanks coming via us at Dover once the Harwich ferry closed. https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/bphexane We got quite an assortment of tanks via the Train Ferry, luckily Paul Bartlett was recording a lot as shown on his site, l was more remiss in catching everyday wagons, preferring to photograph the ships.
  11. Deltics max speed according to the notice in the cab was 100 mph. A Brush 4 was 95 mph. Not to say that both were never exceeded, depends on a variety of factors. I worked a couple of Brush 4 jobs subbing for a Deltic, one we oost about 7 mins Doncaster to Kx the other in the down direction we were right time departure and arrival.
  12. The use of tugs in normal circumstances is, as you say, not usual however with the advent of the more "block of flats" type ferries, anything other than a moderate SW wind at Dover East will often require a tug. Seems to have become more prevalent with the generation after the Pride of Dover / Calais. Though the assorted rag bag of ships such as Fiesta and Fantasia that Stena took on around the 1990s and after were regular customers of the DHB tug fleet. A work colleage and l had permission to remove "the Control Panel worthy of a spacecraft" when the original ferry dock installation was demolished, unfortunately neither the NRM or the Dover Transport Museum were interested or able to take it, and we were unable to secure affordable safe storage locally and had to watch as it was destroyed by 2 men with sledge hammers. Unsurprisingly there was no shortage of offers for the ships telegraph that was a feature of the control room.
  13. The answer to both is possibly, particularly at the latter end of your date range. Best bet, especially with regard to the Sunday train is to have a trawl through this site of you have any diaries with the dates you travelled. Deltics: Chronicles of Napier (napier-chronicles.co.uk)
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