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The greenhouse may not stay there. There's an odd triangle of land which I thought might become the stationmaster's allotment. But I am by no means decided. For example, a storage shed might go there instead. There is a photo in Dow of an 1860s MS&L van - the body off that might be very suitable, though of course I should have to build it from scratch and guess I mean calculate the dimensions. Contrary to the common run of model railways, I doubt whether the old companies bought anyone else's old van bodies for these sort of jobs.

 

I have still not entirely given up the idea of putting in a Midland viaduct at that end. The footbridge serves as a view blocker but there are still some things that strike me as "awkward" and a big railway viaduct would certainly hide them. OTOH I worry about getting too cluttered. So there will be several coats of thinking first. I just wish I could borrow a suitable viaduct from someone to try out the idea. 

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I'll leave Penlan to deal with "cheapo LNWR"

 

As a well-run company, the LNWR did not believe in wasteful expenditure, to the benefit of its proprietors.

Not “cheapo” so much as prudent.

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I suppose my reaction relates to my childhood experience of the footbridge stairs at St. Helens Junction, which were these open riser type. I used to find them scary. The footbridges at my local stations, Belle Vue (ex-GC and Midland) and Gorton and Openshaw (ex-GC) felt so much safer to a little kid.

 

Funny how things like that stick in the memory, even after 60 years. 

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Looking good. I'll leave ... Compound with "Inexplicably ... Midland", and just say that it all seems to be coming together well. And a thumbs up for York Modelmaking.

 

It is of a design widely used by the Midland. I'm not aware of whether the Midland Engineer's Department designed them or simply bought them in - which would account for the MSL/GC using the same design. Describing it as Midland isn't inexplicable: there were probably more of this design on the Midland than the GC, and there's probably more of a market for a model of a Midland footbridge than a Great Central one!

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It is of a design widely used by the Midland. I'm not aware of whether the Midland Engineer's Department designed them or simply bought them in - which would account for the MSL/GC using the same design. Describing it as Midland isn't inexplicable: there were probably more of this design on the Midland than the GC, and there's probably more of a market for a model of a Midland footbridge than a Great Central one!

More market for the midland! More lost souls who need saving. But they can be unlike the GWR followers for whom there is no hope. :)

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I strongly suspect that both the GC and Midland (and perhaps other railways too) bought in this type of seat from an outside contractor. And I was joking, you know.

 

BTW, the typically "Midland" diagonal fencing was also used by the LNER, certainly in certain former GC locations to my knowledge. Chesterfield Central is a good example. So LNER and BR (E) modellers can use the relevant product with a good conscience.

 

I only regret that the Midland (or GWR) did not also have lampposts of the type used by the MS&L north of Annesley, or we might have plastic versions of those too!  :acute:

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A little work done today. Preparing one of the new station sign boards, and as it was morning and I was wide awake I actually attempted to add the fixing bolts to the "legs". Wonder if anyone will notice? Currently waiting for paint to dry. So much of life is "waiting for paint to dry".

 

Had to go out with the missus to buy some 6mm MDF for a domestic purpose. By a remarkable chance the offcuts are just the right length to form the trackbed for the Midland viaduct I am thinking about. If it happens, it will be the viewblocker of viewblockers but I am still worried about the possibility of overcrowding the scene. So still thinking about it. I am also a bit worried about the underside and the nine million rivets that would be needed. Because I have in mind a steel structure, and such things always seem to need a underbed of chunky steelwork with vast quantities of rivets. In 7mm scale penny plain will not do. Nor will reinforced concrete, which would be a lot plainer but not quite the thing for the era.

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Had to go out with the missus to buy some 6mm MDF for a domestic purpose. By a remarkable chance the offcuts are just the right length to form the trackbed for the Midland viaduct I am thinking about.

 

Serendipity!

 

For the viaduct, some roller with correctly sized and spaced pimples to form the rivets would seem to be called for.

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Serendipity!

 

For the viaduct, some roller with correctly sized and spaced pimples to form the rivets would seem to be called for.

 

I did have a think about using Archer rivets which, as I understand, go on rather like a transfer. However, they ain't cheap and (if I go ahead) I shall need rather a lot of them, as the viaduct will be around 750 mm long. 

 

I hope shortly to put up photos of the first of the fancy station nameboards. Took a couple today but they aren't satisfactory. Next job is to work out what to put on a nice open bit at the front of the station. Options are:

 

1. Cattle dock. Though it would be in a location where cattle vans would be rather in the way of shunting.

2. Railway cottages. I have a couple of prototypes in mind.

3. Railway allotments. Very common back in the day.

4. A Welsh chapel. Albeit a small one. I have found a prototype of one such in South Yorkshire (where Welsh people had moved in to work in the mines) and I thought it rather a fascinating possibility. If only to confuse any visitors. I have in mind nicking the Challow prototype of an old coach body used as a chapel and combining that with my Welsh in South Yorkshire discovery.

 

Amazing how much of modelling is actually pondering. Well, it is for me.

 

Went to my local model shop today - (just) within walking distance. Needless to say they did not have the plastic strip I wanted to block up those open risers in the footbridge - which I have decided I cannot live with - but at least I came back with a massive bottle of cinder/ash ballast. Which relates to another frustrating fact I have discovered, or rather realised. Although the GCR used limestone to ballast its main lines, it evidently used ash in backwaters. As is clear in my pictures of Westwood that I must have looked at 500 times! Of course the L&Y used ash for everything, and as they can 40 minute expresses from Manchester to Liverpool it must have been fit for purpose.

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post-7150-0-47426200-1515924601.jpg

 

 

This shows the first of the station signs to be erected. Unfortunately some of the letters are slightly misaligned. This is due to my mistake in painting the parts before assembly. Although I used a thin coat of watercolour, it stopped the template working properly. The parts for the sign were supplied by Intentio at a very reasonable price. They may be able to do something similar for your layout, but for heaven's sake, be sure to assemble first and then paint.

 

The gap where the street level booking office was to go is very evident. The snag is it's a relatively small space and no prototype building really fits there. So I am thinking of taking the easy way out and just having a plain staircase. Saves a job.

 

The harsh eye of the camera makes me realise that many small brush strokes are needed to tidy up, though in real life it looks OK. Or OKish anyway.

 

If anyone is interested, the prototype for the sign is St.Helens Central (old money, the GC station not the present ex-Shaw Street.) Although there the sign was on the booking office roof.

Edited by Poggy1165
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post-7150-0-56099100-1516187592.jpg

 

A rather fuzzy photo I'm afraid, but it shows my very first attempt at static grass. I am quite pleased with it though it probably needs some tufts and weeds and the scene will undoubtedly look better when the bridge is painted.

 

Tempting to strew the area with discarded rubbish but photos of working class areas from this era show them tidier than their modern equivalents. Possibly because few could afford to anything away, and anything of the least value was "recycled" by the rag-and-bone man, usually in exchange for "donkey stones".

 

Don't know whether the fence needs more work. In real life it looks great but in a photo the colours seem less convincing.

 

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I would be inclined to blame the photograph.

 

In my limited static grass experience (the motte for Aching Castle), I found in possible to make further 'passes' and this way colour an length can be varied and different patches can receive different treatment.

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Probably brambles and nettles would help it along rather than litter?

 

Which prompts the thought, what time of year are you portraying (if any)?

 

I find growth of vegetation in May-June (depending on the part of the country) is prolific, so however neat the pre-Grouping lineside was supposedly kept, I cannot believe that the May-September lineside wouldn't show signs of Riotous Nature.

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Spring/summer. I agree that some weeds and bushes are the thing. Not old bikes and car tyres. The said weeds and bushes will appear in due course.

 

To be brutally honest (and here I am going to sound like a moaning old ****) my memory of the early 1960s tells me that even those times were much tidier than today. Main line railways never looked like the Bishops Castle (nor did branches) and the streets, although not up to military standards, were also relatively tidy and well kept. I certainly don't recall seeing grass growing out of kerbstones and gully tops like one does now.

 

Which brings me onto one of my modelling theories - that many modellers nowadays allow too much grass to grow around the permanent way. Fine for the modern scene or the Bishops Castle Railway, but not for the general run of railways in the 1960s, let alone pre-group.

 

To return to progress, a Skytrex staircase has been procured. The top portal is pure GC - or at least London extension - and the rest is OK, though it needs work. All this has been sanded down and washed and it now needs a spray of primer. However, it is the rainy season here in Greater Manchester, so I need a suitable spraying day to come along. The "legend" will be that the original wooden structure decayed badly and the company replaced it with something off its standard drawing board. Which is not impossible.

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It was only in its later years that the Bishop’s Castle became so wonderfully overgrown. In 1906, it was rather tidier:

post-32558-0-70534100-1516790384.jpeg

Edited by Regularity
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Spring/summer. I agree that some weeds and bushes are the thing. Not old bikes and car tyres. The said weeds and bushes will appear in due course.

 

To be brutally honest (and here I am going to sound like a moaning old ****) my memory of the early 1960s tells me that even those times were much tidier than today. Main line railways never looked like the Bishops Castle (nor did branches) and the streets, although not up to military standards, were also relatively tidy and well kept. I certainly don't recall seeing grass growing out of kerbstones and gully tops like one does now.

 

Which brings me onto one of my modelling theories - that many modellers nowadays allow too much grass to grow around the permanent way. Fine for the modern scene or the Bishops Castle Railway, but not for the general run of railways in the 1960s, let alone pre-group.

 

To return to progress, a Skytrex staircase has been procured. The top portal is pure GC - or at least London extension - and the rest is OK, though it needs work. All this has been sanded down and washed and it now needs a spray of primer. However, it is the rainy season here in Greater Manchester, so I need a suitable spraying day to come along. The "legend" will be that the original wooden structure decayed badly and the company replaced it with something off its standard drawing board. Which is not impossible.

 

I agree, but your grass area is very much beyond the fence and is very much waste or redundant ground.  Edwardians might not have littered such an area as prolifically as their descendants would, but nor would they be out with their scythes, or rollers every week in the growing season to ensure that the legs of the footbridge were planted in something akin to a domestic lawn.  I am not suggesting that the grass is too short, merely that it might helpfully feature clumps and weeds.

 

To keep it down overall, I suggest a goat (seriously), or other town-kept livestock of the period, of the footbridge base could be fenced off from the land behind the stairs, which could be claim for a bottom of the garden chicken run.   

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A lot of the materials used - e.g. ash ballast, creosoted timbers - were highly poisonous to vegetation and, indeed, wildlife.

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I was down at the Bristol GOG show today, admiring the Gravett’s line “Arun Quay” which has the beautiful work you expect to see from them. Just giving an example of the variety of plant growth from their line ( I hope picture taker doesn’t mind me using this one)post-26540-0-53666200-1517175274_thumb.jpeg

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Friends, I have made a dreadful, dreadful error. I made the mistake of finding this article about the Waterside branch.

 

I knew it, (vaguely) Horatio, albeit in its dying days. I don't know what I love more, the level crossings, the cool viaduct or that cute footbridge. And all genuine MS&LR/GC. Such a simple prototype, all one would need would be (strictly) one loco - although a couple of reserves would be no bad thing - and loads of lovely wagons. In the space I've got, I could manage a reasonable model, albeit with compromises, even in S7. And I am fighting the temptation like hell, as it would mean ripping up everything I have done so far and my wife would either kill me or have me certified.

 

So, pray for me. Hopefully in a week or so the obsession will pass and I will be back to Wathboro, 7mm FS and sanity!

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Just looking at the link, why not do a small fork micro, with the level crossing/ footbridge element, and a siding with a mill behind? Then shuffle a few GCR wagons and a loco about. Keep it simple, Jordan’s “Lyddlow Goods” is a good example : http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/129574-smallest-o-gauge-layout-possible-with-operating-potential/

This should be small enough to park with Wathborough, having your cake and eating it, just like old Barnier says you can’t. Your main layout is coming on well, looking good, and running passenger trains, which to me is always a big plus. My missus is just the same as yours by the sound, subtle communication and you’ll find she still loves and cares for you.

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Friends, I have made a dreadful, dreadful error. I made the mistake of finding this article about the Waterside branch.

 

 

 

 

No you have not made a mistake, you have fallen under the Satan of prevarication - but this could be so much better.

 

Repeat after me:

Satan get behind me

Satan get behind me

Satan get behind me

Satan get behind me

 

​I cannot remember the number of times I have been tempted by "something better".  I now have the strength to say to myself, "not for now.  When this is successfully finished then we can come back and review."

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You are quite right and the temporary obsession is already beginning to fade. Give me 7 days and I shall be over it, like a dose of flu.

 

Meanwhile some more bushes have arrived and I am about to busy myself by sticking some of these to various parts of Wathboro, I have also got some new and interesting citizens on the way, who will need installing.

 

Next jobs:

 

To finish the footbridge. (Plastic strip already on its way to block in the risers.)

To paint the footbridge.

To finish the Dog Lane entrance stairway. (A lot of brickwork painting already done, but still a fair bit of work.)

To build the station buildings - that will be a big job!

 

Then, with that part of the background complete, I can finish laying the track in the station area.

 

Then it will just be a matter of deciding what goes at the front, and the whole section will be complete(ish). Bar signalling (best left until last) and the possible MR bridge.

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post-7150-0-44507800-1518528120.jpg

 

post-7150-0-88187400-1518528138.jpg

 

 

Nothing very exciting today, just a couple of photos of the footbridge which is (at last) near completion. A rare sight of the sun enabled me to go outside and spray it. The basic colour is just red primer which I think is fine for "indian red". 

 

What upsets me (not that much!) is the amount of retouching these photos prove is necessary. It ain't that obvious in real life, Honest, Guv!

 

A certain family has arrived in Wathboro. Sadly I have not been able to get a really satisfactory photo of them as yet, and it may have to wait until I can buy a better camera. You can just make them out on the bridge. Father, having resolved his difficulties with the Government, has left the Civil Service to become Manager of Wathboro Main Colliery. He has no knowledge or experience of the industry, but being the "right sort of chap" that makes him an ideal candidate for the position. He is so happy he has left his hat at home in his excitement.

 

Note that the open risers have been blocked in. Hoorah! Much more GC-like.

Edited by Poggy1165
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It may be a while before there are any more updates. My computer died on me and had to be rebuilt. I am now on Windows 10 which I absolutely detest. Along the way I have lost my very useful photo editing program which enabled me to resize photos to the size desired by RMweb without the least difficulty.

 

I am damned if I can figure out how to resize photos on WIndows 10. The programs offered are way too complex for a bear of small brain like me. So until I can find a simple process, I can't put up any more photos. Which is annoying.

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