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allan downes

Heaton Lodge Junction

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On 06/07/2019 at 17:37, TheSignalEngineer said:

Can AndyY please provide an 'OMG' button?

Yes I think that when I walk in here on a morning - with the added words ‘what the **** are you doing’

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I’ve spent a great few hours reading this from the start. I can’t remember how I came across it, or what I was searching for - undoubtedly it was one of those ‘quick’ searches that subconsciously puts off track laying for a couple of hours, or in this case, judging by the empty tea mugs, ale glasses and wine bottles, at least a week!

 

That the modelling is superb goes without saying*, but this layout is so evocative of my youth and also manages to represent so much family history. My early spotting years around 85/86 were spent at either Dewsbury station or Batley Crossing - which even then was an island in between the big power boxes at Leeds and Huddersfield. As I got older and was allowed to venture further on my own, I just managed to get the last of the 45s by getting a Day Rover (the saverstrip ker-ching type) and getting a trans-pennine from Dewsbury to Huddersfield and back. Heaton Lodge was where it all got exciting with the lines dividing into 4 and the chance of seeing some freight power. Every time I always considered getting a local DMU so I could get off at Ravensthorpe, but the teenage me could never resist the ‘express’.

 

Healey Mills was a regular spotting place, mainly with my father. We often used to park on the corner and do a circular walk, sometimes spending hours watching the hump shunting and in later years just taking in the lines of MGRs. Someone mentioned the smell of the Calder - years later it came straight back to me, although I’m not sure I’d actually want to smell it for real again.

 

I recall when I was 5 saying to my Dad on the way that I wanted to see a High Speed Train - he still can’t believe that there was a single power car on shed that night - no idea what it was doing there. If anyone got a photo...

 

My late paternal Grandfather was a signalman at Heaton Lodge in the 50’s and 60’s; he took a job on the railway after spending the 40’s walking through Italy, France and Germany. I grew up on tales about trains getting in the way of his gardening on the allotment, and of sending football scores down the block bells. He was working at Fox’s by the 80’s though. Very shortly before he passed away in his 90’s (quite a feat given he’d smoked every pack of cigs the US could send during the 40’s), I told him I’d become a fireman on the Severn Valley; he said that was his preference when he came out of the army but when BR was recruiting you had to wait up to 4 weeks to get on the footplate! I’ll see if we have any records left at his time at Heaton Lodge.

 

My late maternal Grandfather was a driver based at Healey Mills into the 90’s. Occasionally he would invite us down on a quiet bank holiday and let us have a drive of the 08 around the yard. One time we dragged a whole rake of HAA’s off one 56 and on to the back of another. Looking back it seems like a huge effort instead of simply swapping 56’s, but I don’t think he signed 56’s. The steam crane now based on the NYMR has a bent buffer beam which I can explain too...

 

In the early 90’s I started my own S&T training, based out of Leeds, which included a spell in maintenance covering the Healey Mills area. I was taken there to see the Strouger telephone exchange (you’ll fit one in your basement). It was my first return to the inside of the buildings for probably 10 years, although my Grandad was still working there. I was initially surprised to find that all the rooms were painted the same colours as at his house...

 

My Grandad was quite a character and well known by all at the shed, indeed one time I was there with a telecoms tech fixing the mess room ‘phone, when 4 or 5 of the staff were giving him an exceptional talking about over dinner. Seeing me playing with the telephone socket in the corner, one of them said to me, “a young lad like you shouldn’t be hearing 5 grown men speak of someone else like this, even if he is the devil’s own rogue”, I’d just about finished, so I packed up and left the room with a cheery, “don’t worry, he’s my Grandad”. 26 years later I still haven’t dropped a line like it!

 

Great work, I look forward to seeing more and coming to see it at exhibition. 

 

Andy

 

*but a lot of people have said it...

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What a truly inspirational post.

 

I’ve been here in the ‘dungeon’ since 9.30am this morning and not seen the light of day since. Put my feet up just now to have a coffee (after laying another 3 boxes of Peco bullhead) and read your post.

Its exactly those sort of recollections that inspire me to keep going with this project.

So thanks for taking the time to write them Andy - it certainly made a Sunday in the dungeon a whole lot brighter :) 

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Thought I’d post some pics of this train of Heljan OAA wagons which have just returned from being expertly weathered.

Each is different with worn & replaced  planks and will form a train of 25 all carrying cement pipes.

 

Heljan 40057 was a Healey Mills loco - it too is weathered and fitted with sound. 

(Will someone please invent a smoke unit that gives proper black clag)!

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76310D25-6977-4C64-B5E6-0FD6AF3597F4.png

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36 minutes ago, HeatonLodge40 said:

Last two..

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C70BFAD8-4653-4B1D-9F56-6AB5461B6DB2.jpeg

Hi Simon, stunning modelling all round (as ever). One comment though, the red cable in the troughing. All cables in the troughing at that time (in that area) were black. Perhaps you could paint the exposed bit black for authenticity? However, Rule 1 should apply.

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Simon - I have just found this thread after a comment on the GOG forum (I don't use RMWeb much these days).

 

I have spent the last few hours reading your posts (in between fixing the various brass bits onto a JLTRT class 24 bogie) and to say I am impressed is the biggest understatement of the year.

 

Its not just the sheer scale of the thing (pun intended) that impresses, it's the attention to detail that you put in to each part of the layout (the point rodding/locks etc are just one example).

 

In my 55+ years of railway modelling I do not remember a more inspirational undertaking.  There have been a few, 'North Shields', 'Hornsey Broadway', 'Pendon' 'Marthwaite' and others, that fall into that category, and this is 'up there' with them.  Sorry if you are embarrassed by this, but it your own fault for building something so special.

 

I normally give Warley a miss - not really my 'cup of tea' - but I AM going next year and I might even make a weekend of it.  I might need that time to see all 180 ft of the thing!  I already feel sorry for the other layout owners next year :rolleyes:.

 

Please keep up the excellent work to inspire the rest of us.

 

Peter

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Thanks for taking the trouble to offer those kind words Peter - and to everyone else who has offered support, it’s much appreciated.

 

One good thing about the mill basement is the temperature is always 11/12deg so it’s absolutely blissful in this weather!

 

 

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Next ..... You're be asking for some warm clothing and gloves......:rolleyes:    11/12 degrees!!!!

 

Mind you .... Seeing this layout is unbelievable and when you decide to exhibited it everyone will be in swimwear because this layout will get railway enthusiasts seriously hot under the collar..... Personally I can't wait...

 

Simply .... Stunning

 

Well Done 

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16 hours ago, jcarta said:

Next ..... You're be asking for some warm clothing and gloves......:rolleyes:    11/12 degrees!!!!

 

Mind you .... Seeing this layout is unbelievable and when you decide to exhibited it everyone will be in swimwear because this layout will get railway enthusiasts seriously hot under the collar..... Personally I can't wait...

 

Simply .... Stunning

 

Well Done 

 

There will be a few surprises in store when HL finally appears at Warley so ‘hot under the collar’ might be more relevant than it first appears.

 

I fully intend to steal some glamour from the superbike show (that’s always on next door) and brighten things up by having a selection of female operators that don’t fit in with the usual norm.

High time this great hobby started gaining the more positive image it deserves - in my humble opinion. 

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16 hours ago, jcarta said:

 when you decide to exhibited it everyone will be in swimwear because this layout will get railway enthusiasts seriously hot under the colla

 

There are some things I don't want to picture in my mind, let alone see in real life, and that is definitely one of them!

 

40 minutes ago, HeatonLodge40 said:

I fully intend to steal some glamour from the superbike show (that’s always on next door) and brighten things up by having a selection of female operators that don’t fit in with the usual norm.

 

Although despite my previous reservations, there might just be one exception!

 

Mike.

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This layout will draw enough attention due to its enormity and level of detail without using "female operators that don’t fit in with the usual norm."  but i like your style

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might take a while to train her...

 

image.png.e3079ff5d30ebd7fca4e803ea4a7a40e.png

 

:)

 

 

 

 

image.png

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Not quite sure about the pig Simon but anyway..

 

..I’m happy to make public to those who aren’t aware - the whole point of this project is to take the hobby direct to the public instead of the other way round.

Yes it will be at Warley for a number of reasons.. but as some will know it’s main outing will be to various shopping malls countrywide exclusively during Christmas & summer school holidays.

 

Next door to the model in a separate marquee will be part built layouts by a well known manufacturer mainly to educate the public in how easy it is to get started, as well as a shop which will mainly stock products aimed at younger potential modellers. 

 

Another well known manufacturer will be involved in sponsoring the model itself by way of providing rolling stock - mainly locomotives -  in return for prominent displays of their company logo.

 

There will be a small entrance charge for the public. The question is..if 15,000 shoppers are walking right past a giant marquee - which will be suitably emblazoned, with kids in tow just how many will pay £4 to come in? 

I guess next year I’ll find out :)

 

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24A03065-0AC2-4D4A-BDE8-2942D5626254.png

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Do you gave a planned itinerary yet, for which supermarkets/locations you are planning to visit?

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3 hours ago, HeatonLodge40 said:

 

There will be a few surprises in store when HL finally appears at Warley so ‘hot under the collar’ might be more relevant than it first appears.

 

I fully intend to steal some glamour from the superbike show (that’s always on next door) and brighten things up by having a selection of female operators that don’t fit in with the usual norm.

High time this great hobby started gaining the more positive image it deserves - in my humble opinion. 

 

You won't be the first to try this. Jean-Louis Audigue, at that time President of FFMF, used to have hostesses at their club's show in Neuville-de-Poitou. I wanted to take one home with me.

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57 minutes ago, Stubby47 said:

Do you gave a planned itinerary yet, for which supermarkets/locations you are planning to visit?

Yes the McArthur Glen Designer Outlets at York and Swindon late next year. 

 

 

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..looks like a trip to York for me (and my son)..   .. ((and my wife))..

 

 

Kev.

(Pretty sure it'll cost more than 4 squid though   :)   )

 

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36 minutes ago, SHMD said:

..looks like a trip to York for me (and my son)..   .. ((and my wife))..

 

 

Kev.

(Pretty sure it'll cost more than 4 squid though   :)   )

 

Kev, that’s the idea..

I should say I’d much rather take money off the great British public than fellow modellers!

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