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Mantles Wood

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 (Dr) Richard Beeching is a technical director with ICI, of whom most people have no knowledge.

 

 

........ but already making a name for himself within the company for suggesting that parts of the business which are profitable but not hugely profitable should be closed down or sold off. Fortunately for ICI, he was soon to find a "suitable" role elsewhere and the rest is, as they say, history.

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The 3rd February 1959 was The Day The Music Died.  On the night of 2nd Feb Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper gave what was to be their last concert at Clear Lake Iowa.   In the early hours of 3rd Feb they took off from nearby Mason City Iowa, a flight which ended in tragedy.  Back in 2005 my late wife and I visited the area, and took the opportunity to film the ancient electric locos of Iowa Traction Railway.

33062950358_4f7bfef14d_c.jpgrev Mason City IATR 60 trestle July05 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

Meanwhile back in Merrie Englande life continued much as it had done in the post-war era.  Sir Ralph Verney approaches Mantles Wood with a train for Aylesbury.

33062950298_7c6bb7327c_c.jpgrev Sir Ralph Verney approach shot 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

At the north end of the station Neasden’s 4MT 80147 has just attached to the Dreadnoughts. A stray WW2 bomb blew the roof off at this end but the superstructure still stands, rusting quietly.

46024538665_dc6b5f86af_c.jpgrev skeleton 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

After the passenger working had departed, a mixed goods follows.  Old George has finished his early shift and is waiting for a lift – maybe he’s contemplating the gold watch he’s due to receive shortly?

31997388067_824a4074d9_c.jpgrev waiting for lift 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

After the ‘main line’ activity Mantles Wood returns to its bucolic self.  Perhaps the Scammell driver will offer  George a lift?  In those far off days no-one bothered themselves about the possible insurance issues of such actions.

46886290522_67338d26e9_c.jpgrev L92 bunker shot 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

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Nice to see the Iowa Traction and a Met Electric in the same post! The music might have died sixty years ago but number 60 is still earning it's keep today at the grand old age of 101.

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While we were away Russ Conway spent 4 weeks at Number 1 with Side Saddle.   Coral records were pressing vinyl for all they were worth during this period and 03May 1959 Buddy Holly came in at Number 1 for 3 weeks with It Doesn’t Matter Any More – making it the UK’s first posthumous Number 1 record.

 

The old and the new can be seen at Mantles Wood.  Neasden’s C13’s were normally in a filthy state as we can see from 67420 entering the bay with the push-pull set.

32820803197_93be1690e7_b.jpgrev C13 arrival 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

Meanwhile the future has arrived in the shape of D601 Ark Royal which has escaped from her normal workings to the West Country to perform on a Paddington-Wolverhampton Low Level express.

46847861735_73145555fb_b.jpgrev D601 Ark Royal 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

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I've just stumbled across this layout, in a part of the forum I don't look at often enough!  What a lovely layout; I look forward to reading more about it!

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Back in May/June 1959 Elvis spent 5 weeks at number 1  with A Fool Such As I/I Need Your Love Tonight – presumably not much competition at the time.  In fact the top of the hit parade was quite slow moving.  Russ Conway had 2 weeks with Roulette and then from the end of June to almost the end of July Bobby Darin was number 1 with Dream Lover – destined to become a classic.

 

Elsewhere, the space race was hotting up with the Russians chalking up firsts or attempted firsts.   Luna E-1A was launched in June attempting to make the first moon landing (Luna 1 had exited earth orbit in January).  Unfortunately Luna E-1A was aborted after 153 seconds but Luna E-2 in Sept would become the first man-made item to intentionally land there.  Dunno what the Americans are doing but they seem pretty angry.

 

Meanwhile back on Mantles Wood life plods on regardless.  I’ve been working on the disused goods yard where facilities were withdrawn at the outbreak of hostilities.   The staff had quickly grabbed part of the plot to dig for victory, and 14 years after the end of the war, allotments are still a big part in the lives of many.

 

A ramp had been built at the station end some years back and an unofficial parcels entrance had been created.  Not much sign of a space race here as C13 67420 awaits her next local trip.

 

48321990866_b231433f98_b.jpgrev C13 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

A rake of Q stock arrives from the city.

 

48321990806_14b642763f_b.jpgrev Q stock 900px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

Later on, we see what was to become the Class 128 DPU had been introduced in 1959.  Let’s hope it spurs a revival in parcels traffic in the area.

 

48321990831_272188a514_b.jpgrev Class 128 a 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

48321990851_fc89115ab8_b.jpgrev Class 128 b 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

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Summer and autumn 1959 has been marked by having a number of No.1 hits staying quite some time at the top.  Since we were last here, Bobby Darin spent 4 weeks with Dream Lover, Cliff Richard and the Shadows 6 weeks with Living Doll, Craig Douglas 4 weeks with Only Sixteen, Jerry Keller just one week with Here Comes Summer and Bobby Darin 2 weeks with Mack The Knife.  Cliff and the Shadows are about to embark on 5 weeks’ residence with Travelling Light.  All these are pretty much seen as classics and get a lot of plays to this day.  I won’t be around in 2069 but would lay odds 2019’s selection won’t be this well remembered.

 

On the news front quite a lot has been happening.

Jul 4 America's new 49-star flag honouring Alaska statehood unfurled

Jul 17 Tibet abolishes serfdom

Jul22 Plan 9 from Outer Space premiered

Jul 25 SR-N1 hovercraft crosses the English Channel from Calais to Dover in just over 2 hours.

Jul 28 – UK postcodes are introduced for the first time, as an experiment, in the city of Norwich

Aug 4  – Barclays become the first UK bank to install a computer.

Aug 21 Hawaii becomes the 50th US state, making the 49-star US flag rather short lived

Aug 26 – BMC launches the Mini

Sep 14 Soviet Union's Luna-2 is 1st spacecraft to land on the Moon

Sep 19 Nikita Khrushchev is denied access to Disneyland

Oct 4 USSR Luna 3 sent back 1st photos of Moon's far side

 

 

Meanwhile back at Mantles Wood not so much has been happening.   Life’s rather got in the way this summer and autumn and no work has been done on the scenic side.  However, as and when I had a few mins, I’ve been working on several items of rolling stock.

 

I took the plunge and bought a couple of the resin bodied Dreadnoughts.  I haven’t done a step by step set of pics.  These of course are somewhat lighter than the white metal ones though still quite sturdy.  The mounting of the bogies and their running is a much better arrangement.  I checked the back to back measurements on the wheels supplied and they were a touch too narrow for my liking (though nothing like how narrow Hornby wheelset often are).  Opening the wheelsets out before mounting was easy enough and I’ve had no trouble with the running on Code 100 rails.

 

I still find the roofs a challenge.  On the declassified 1st this wasn’t too bad. On the 9 compartment 3rd I’m working on -  it could be some time as Capt Oates would say.

 

Herewith the ex 1st class 7 compartment coach.  The roof still needs dirtying, otherwise it’s pretty much done.

 

48957869282_1b961fefe2_c.jpgrev Dreadnought 1st 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

Work in progress on the 9 cmpt 3rd.

 

48957869332_b49a7df0dc_c.jpgrev Dreadnought 3rd 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

I also bought one of the LT flat wagons, not realising RT models do a bogie casting for this.  It comes with a couple of Bachmann Y25 bogies but I couldn’t see how to get them to work without fouling the lower body sides.  Not knowing about the RT Models product I butchered some bogies I had for replacing EFE tube car bogies.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/VKTZLGR57/trailer-bogies-for-efe-1959-tube-stock?optionId=19725617&li=ostatus

 

Recent changes to the value of the £ and changes to Shapeways pricing mean these are somewhat pricier now than when I bought them a couple of years ago, especially as you still have to source wheelsets (and bearings, but these are quite cheap).

 

I chopped about 2mm off the central tower and drilled through the middle of the bogie (and of course the wagon floor) to take an 8BA bolt and nut.  Despite this butchery it seems to have worked ok and the wagon is a free runner and negotiates my curves.

 

48957680836_29c18f2a56_c.jpgrev flat wagon 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

 

The brake van in the above picture was an old Bachmann one with horrible moulded handrails in BR livery, so I  decided to try and tart it up a bit.  This pic doesn’t show it in a good light but parked in a far away siding adds a bit more LT stock to add interest (though in fact it’s actually a bit late for my layout – they entered service 1962)

 

Whilst on the subject of tarting things up I had a spare unpainted Bachmann 3 plank wagon so gave that a bit of LT treatment – it’s the nearer of the 2 in this pic, the further one having been done some years earlier.  Speaking of doing things earlier, Blue Peter’s been going a year now – wonder if it will last?

48957680966_cf2f35a299_c.jpgrev 3 plank wagon 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

And finally some non-LT stock.  I intend to have a Summer Saturday set for working eg Margate/Ramsgate to The Black Country to add some interest (and green coaches hauled by ex GWR locos).  Back in the early 90’s Bachmann (there’s a lot of Bachmann in this upate isn’t there) introduced some Bulleid’s which were the bee’s knees back then.  After years of producing glossy carriages it became the new norm to knock out carriages in matt. 

48957131108_b17383aa3a_c.jpgrev Bulleid original 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

The trouble is that although things got a lot of grime, carriages still went through the washer and weren’t totally matt.  Here’s one I’ve buffed up a bit: New glazing, passengers, light weathering and added a bit of a sheen to the paintwork.

 

48957869372_93f8737e34_c.jpgrev Bulleid weathered etc 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

 

    

 

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And so we come to Jan 1960.  After Cliff and The Shadows spent 5 weeks at No.1 with Travellin’ Light we had Adam Faith for 2 weeks with ‘What Do You Want?’ taking us to mid December 1959.  This was a period of slow moving No.1’s – from mid-Dec to late Jan 1960 Emile Ford and the Checkmates held the top spot with What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?

For the year as a whole, car ownership rose to 30pct of all UK households, ‘economic growth’ was 7.2pct whilst the Retail Price Index showed zero percent growth.  Maybe MacMillan was right when he said we’d never had it so good?   My recollection is that was a time of hope and expectation that the 60’s would bring ‘something’.  We seemed to think space travel was moving out of science fiction and would become a reality ‘ere long, not necessarily expecting to see a man on the moon before the decade was out.

The swinging 60’s were still to come, as was the Belgian Congo, Cuba, Vietnam, the Pill, the Beatles and much more – in retrospect quite a heady mix.  In the last couple of months of 1959 we had the births of Lorraine Kelly, Jasper Conran and Tracey Ullman.  Sometime in 1959 the MOSFET metal oxide semiconductor or MOS transistor was invented – which went on to be fundamental to the digital age.  Some other events:

Oct29 First appearance of Asterix The Gaul

Oct30 Opening of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Oct31 Riots start in Belgian Congo

 

Nov2 Minister of Transport Ernest Marples opened the first section of M1

Nov11 Production version of Routemaster bus entered service

Nov14 Dounreay reactor came online.

Nov15 A brutal murder in Texas would form the backdrop for Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’

Nov18 MGM release Ben-Hur which would be a smash hit but also MGM’s last ‘best picture’ award.

Nov20 Britain joins European Free Trade Assoc (wonder how that will go?)

Nov20 The Declaration of Rights of Child adopted by United Nations (if only they’d seen Saint Greta of Thunberg coming…..)

 

During December, Dr Barbara Moore walked from London to Edinburgh

Dec1 The Antartctic Treaty was signed, banning military activity in the continent

Dec8 Broughty Ferry lifeboat Mona capsized losing 8 lives

Dec28 Ivor The Engine broadcast for the first time

 

 

Meanwhile at Mantles Wood life plods along.  I’ve been concentrating on a module at the country end of the station, which means the long wall (approx. 14 feet of scenic section) is almost done.

I have some work to do on the station building, car park, platform, and ground surrounding the platform, but at least at a glance it looks ‘complete’.

 

49298830738_fc9e7b3865_c.jpgrev 1 wide view 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

Ideally buildings should ‘grow out’ of the ground and not just be plonked on top.  My usual way is to get some 1mm or slightly thicker black card and cut out the outline of the building.   My preference is to keep the wider outline some way off so you (hopefully) can’t see the join when the work is finished, as it will be some way from the sides of the building.

49298830693_42cb1454da_c.jpgrev 2 foundations 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

Then comes a perspective check, fiddling around with nearby objects to make sure I’m getting the effect I have in mind.

 

49299524182_63798a278c_c.jpgrev 3 perspective check 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

Some days/weeks/months later the scene is done.

 

49298830593_7be34dbe17_c.jpgrev 4 view from station with ramp 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

Needless to say there are copious breaks for tea, and maybe a chat as seen here.

 

49298830638_b8406064c4_c.jpgrev 5 work break 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

What next?  Unsurprisingly I need to carry out a monster tidying up operation, and possibly divert attention to something off the layout.  I might be doing a demo at the local model railway club about static grass and visual tricks.  Back on the layout am a bit undecided as to whether to work on some more stock next or continue round to the country end of the scenery.  However, I have in the last couple of days taken delivery of a couple of silver birch trees, and done a perspective check with them still in their cases.  Once installed they should be a couple of inches lower. I think they look ok but will leave them there for a couple of weeks to make sure they still look right before planting them.  

  

49299318011_b3be8ceb4a_c.jpgrev 6 next steps 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi, a great reminder of events that happened in the 60's, some of us will remember them as they occured, It's good to see how the layout is progressing in such a good way. All the best Adrian.

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On 03/05/2019 at 15:03, Metr0Land said:

While we were away Russ Conway spent 4 weeks at Number 1 with Side Saddle.   Coral records were pressing vinyl for all they were worth during this period and 03May 1959 Buddy Holly came in at Number 1 for 3 weeks with It Doesn’t Matter Any More – making it the UK’s first posthumous Number 1 record.

 

The old and the new can be seen at Mantles Wood.  Neasden’s C13’s were normally in a filthy state as we can see from 67420 entering the bay with the push-pull set.

32820803197_93be1690e7_b.jpgrev C13 arrival 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

 

Meanwhile the future has arrived in the shape of D601 Ark Royal which has escaped from her normal workings to the West Country to perform on a Paddington-Wolverhampton Low Level express.

46847861735_73145555fb_b.jpgrev D601 Ark Royal 800px by Sarah S1ddons, on Flickr

Love this layout, Looks so realistic!

may i ask where you sourced the signal with pigs ears and the cable arch please? 
 

thanks! 

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Thanks. They come from Shapeways.

 

https://www.shapeways.com/shops/the forth rail

 

Nigel Atkins is an ex-pat living in the US who designed this stuff for his own layout initially.  You need to provide your own brass tube but it tells you what you need in the various signal options.  Printing is actually done in Holland and sent UPS to UK.  Some people regard even the cheaper postage option as pricey which it is for just one small item, but they come in b0mbproof parcels!  I've had a few and they've all been very well packed from Shapeways.

 

Unfortunately with the exchange rate going down, and Shapeways pricing going up and up the items can be quite pricey these days.  The cable gantry was about $45 when I bought it about 2.5 years ago.... nearly double now..... 

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That is some lovely useful bits he has got there, if it were available in 2mm N Scale my wallet would be screaming....

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