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Off to Brum... Again!


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Looks like you did well to avoid the weather in Birmingham. We did a short trip to Bury for the 1940s weekend and it was Hot (if also a bit windy at times). Have you ever been to the Bury Transport Museum? They have a few old buses in there.

 

Eric

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Looks like you did well to avoid the weather in Birmingham. We did a short trip to Bury for the 1940s weekend and it was Hot (if also a bit windy at times). Have you ever been to the Bury Transport Museum? They have a few old buses in there.

 

Eric

 

We were originally going to go to Bury until we found out Peter's bus would be at Sandtoft. Bury has buses AND trains so is very high on my to-do list!

 

-Jason

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Have you ever been to the Bury Transport Museum? They have a few old buses in there.

Eric

All I will say is there are plans afoot so look out Manchester!!

 

As Jason has said it was a great day and a chance to meet up and have a chat about things.

 

As he’s mentioned and a few of you on here are aware, I have been doing the warrenty work for them in the U.K. for a few years now. So if you ever have a problem in the U.K. then I’m the person who your email/contact gets directed too.

 

Big Thanks to Peter for letting us both loose on the local country roads in his bus. Nice to get back behind the wheel after a few years.

 

Cheers

Simon

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We were originally going to go to Bury until we found out Peter's bus would be at Sandtoft. Bury has buses AND trains so is very high on my to-do list!

 

-Jason

If you stay in Manchester or get there by train you can ride to Bury town centre by tram as well.

 

Eric

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Now you've seen the back of a Walsall "Goldfish Bowl" Sunbeam trolleybus at Dudley, and sat on one in Sandtoft, now's the time to make a model of one. You know it makes sense. Well, probably no sense at all, one colour scheme, one fleet, and probably half a dozen destination variations doesn't make for a widespread range of sales options, but it was Britain's first two axle 30ft long bus and I'm sure the Black Country Museum and Sandtoft would bang a few out for you!

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Now you've seen the back of a Walsall "Goldfish Bowl" Sunbeam trolleybus at Dudley, and sat on one in Sandtoft, now's the time to make a model of one. You know it makes sense. Well, probably no sense at all, one colour scheme, one fleet, and probably half a dozen destination variations doesn't make for a widespread range of sales options, but it was Britain's first two axle 30ft long bus and I'm sure the Black Country Museum and Sandtoft would bang a few out for you!

 

 

Oh definitely! I can imagine the conversation with the BCLM retail manager. "We really like that new bus you are making. Now can you make it so we can retail it for £9.95 please?"

 

Well we can if we make it a Walsall bus stress toy...

 

-Jason

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Jason, be great to meet up with you on the 31st and take a ride on the RH&DR.

 

I'm at Folkestone just down the road from the RH&DR and ride the line from time to time. 

 

Keith

 

 

Hi Keith,

 

 

So it looks like it will be rubbish weather tomorrow in Dungeness. I think I will give it a pass this time. I've been going nonstop for over a week. I'll post an update on this thread tomorrow.

 

All the best,

 

Jason

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Hi Keith,

 

 

So it looks like it will be rubbish weather tomorrow in Dungeness. I think I will give it a pass this time. I've been going nonstop for over a week. I'll post an update on this thread tomorrow.

 

All the best,

 

Jason

 

 

You were certainly nonstop on 3706 on Sunday! :lol: :lol:

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Oh definitely! I can imagine the conversation with the BCLM retail manager. "We really like that new bus you are making. Now can you make it so we can retail it for £9.95 please?"

 

Well we can if we make it a Walsall bus stress toy...

 

-Jason

If you were trying to make it to retail at £9.95 you would need some Walsall stress relief.

 

Highgate5.jpg

 

Eric

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We were originally going to go to Bury

Those Bury Bus Boys of Olde Lancashire & Furness do like a good... bus.

 

post-508-0-13336600-1527772015_thumb.jpg

 

They also seem quite fond of their post war (II) station architecture.

 

P

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Hi all! 

 

I am at Heathrow, recovering from my five-mile walk from the near part of Terminal 2 to the far part of Terminal 2. I think I've just walked to Hounslow.

 

Where was I? Oh yes - I had just survived Noah's Flood (Birmingham Edition) in a Nissan Qui Quae Quod. Or Cash Cow. Or whatever you call it. I noticed two things about this car:

 

1. 0 to 60. Yes, in a while. Whatever engine was in the car they rented me would be better suited to a skateboard. I would get on the motorway and floor it (yes I was changing gears at the appropriate times), reaching 70 MPH after about a minute. No exaggeration.

 

2. It doesn't have a handbrake. Instead it has a stall button. When I am trying to back up a hill, I can press the stall button and - TA DA! - I stall. There is a little P in a circle on the button. It must mean PREVARICATE, which is sort of a synonym for stall.

 

Seriously, how anyone thought these electronic parking brakes were a good idea astounds me. You can't ease off the brake. It just goes off - BOOM - and if you are trying to back up a hill you either stall or get the lovely smell of melting clutch or... BOTH!

 

Back to Brum. I stayed at a beautiful place in Alvechurch called Alcott Farm. Really gorgeous, comfortable and highly recommended.

 

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On bank holiday Monday, the Transport Museum Wythall hosted a big open day and included a Model Bus Federation show. There were vendors everywhere, models on display, cottage manufacturers - the whole lot. And I can say that I did not hear a single negative comment on our first Brummie bus sample. Here's our booth. Phil Parker stopped in to say hi, joining me and Rapido's UK office, otherwise known as Terry Wynne. The guy on the left is Mark Ellis. Beside him is Robin Neil, who used to work for Guy Motors. He taught us that our bus is not a Guy Arab IV but a Guy Birmingham, which is far cooler.

 

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So the sample that was sent from China two weeks ago got lost in Coventry. Thanks, FedEx. Luckily we foresaw this and Josh prepared a couple of samples, even though they were missing the decorated moquette and all the metal bits.

 

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The better sample did show up on Tuesday. The guy drove up while I was standing in the forecourt at Wythall. He says "Package for Dave Taylor. Who are you?" "Dave Taylor," I reply. Photos of the new sample at the bottom of this message....

 

There were loads of colourful buses on display, and don't for a moment think that Wythall only has Brummie buses....

 

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The miniature railway was in operation, and once again I missed my chance to ride it. I also missed my chance to ride on any buses that day. Grumble. But just look at those happy people!

 

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Tuesday was without a doubt the highlight of my entire trip. A few months ago I sent an email to Dave Taylor and Malcolm Keeley at Wythall suggesting we ride the #11 Outer Circle route using 2976, the 1953-built Guy Arab that is the basis of our new model. They were immediately on board and the trip sold out within a couple of days. The #11 follows (broadly) the A4040, which is Birmingham's outer ring road. The thing is, there is no outer ring road. For those of you familiar with London, it's less of a North Circular and more of a South Circular. It's a collection of random bits of road all joined together to make a coherent route, sort of.

 

Our driver was Kevin Hill, owner of MOF9 (sister bus to 2976) and Wolverhampton 4413, a 1974 Bristol VR. The conductress was his wife, Renate.

 

Here I'm ready to depart Wythall. 

 

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As is this bus crank, trainspotting nerd.

 

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But really, this was - erm - work. We had a meeting on the bus. That's Peter Crichton from Omnibus and Chris Tipping from TTC Diecast. We're "working."

 

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Check out this wonderfully atmospheric photo - passing a 2018 #11 in a 1953 #11...

 

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We pulled up to a rather picturesque bus stop...

 

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And everyone got off to take a photo.

 

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This is what they were photographing:

 

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Here's the upper saloon passengers having a blast.

 

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At one point we were driving through a neighbourhood that Dave thought might not be that safe. He came out to stand on the platform with Renate. I came out too. It was really unsafe. People were waving, smiling, cheering and taking our photo. Grownups and kids. It was lovely to see the smiles on everyone's faces - people would turn, catch sight of us, smile, and instinctively start waving. Mums, dads, teenagers - everyone.

 

We stopped by the King's Head on Hagley Road. Many BCT services terminated here back in the day. Here's a photo of a 2018 #11 overtaking us, kindly emailed to me by Tony Summerton.

 

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Throughout the trip some suspicious weirdo was following us with a camera on his car. Freaky.

 

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That night I headed to the metropolis of Surrey. Unfortunately to get there I had to get around the real metropolis of London. I was stuck on the M25 between the M40 and Junction 9 for ALMOST TWO HOURS. How do you Londoners handle the M25 on a regular basis without going completely insane? I went completely insane. I was ready to climb up one of those $%#^#@ speed camera bridge thingies and do the watusi.

 

The next day I headed further south to the Kent & East Sussex Railway for a meeting I can't tell you about yet. I don't know why the guy wanted to meet there. I would have been perfectly happy to stay in the West Midlands and avoid the M25, which will give me nightmares for weeks.

 

Andy Harding was nice enough to toss me onto the footplate...

 

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This was what I was riding:

 

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After I asked "Can we drive an HST now?" for the seventh time, I was thrown from the train.

 
Here's a neat shot of a meet with the DMU:
 
post-20909-0-21890400-1527782657_thumb.jpg
 
I stayed at a gorgeous B&B called Alkham Court. Really wonderful service, comfort and views. This was the view from my room.
 
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My plane is boarding now, and I haven't proofread this post. So I apologize for any typos. Here are photos of the sample that finally arrived from China.
 
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Gotta go! 
 
Talk to you soon,
 
Jason
 
 
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Throughout the trip some suspicious weirdo was following us with a camera on his car. Freaky.

 

attachicon.gif37.jpg

 

 

I don't think I'm cut out for filming Top Gear road features, I managed to lose a large, old and slow bus. Twice. I'll put a tracking chip in Mr. Parker's sandwich box next time.

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If you were stuck on the M25 between J14 and J13, you were on hallowed ground for a mile or two - the trackbed of the Staines branch. By a weird co-incidence I was just looking out pictures for an upcoming Model Rail article and found that I took pictures there just as the M25 construction work was starting in 1981. It's frightening to think that the wretched 'linear car park' has already been there for over 35years! It used to be green fields, a single-track railway and a little road called Moor Lane, which pretty much sums up its character. It's been gone a long time but not nearly as long as phrases like 'toodle-pip' and 'what ho!' (latest Rapido newsletter) which haven't been heard since the  days of B movies about rather bad 1930s boys' schools! And the only place I've ever heard a Canadian say "Eh," is in a Rapido video! (CJL)

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I asked a lady about my flight and she said it was "boarding soon." So I headed to the loo. And then I hear "last call for Air Canada flight to Toronto." 

 

So I ran like mad and was the last person on the plane. And now we've been delayed so we're still sitting here.

 

Hurry up and wait. The story of a railroader's life.

 

-Jason

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If you were stuck on the M25 between J14 and J13, you were on hallowed ground for a mile or two - the trackbed of the Staines branch. By a weird co-incidence I was just looking out pictures for an upcoming Model Rail article and found that I took pictures there just as the M25 construction work was starting. It's frightening to think that the wretched 'linear car park' has already been there for over 35years! It used to be green fields, a single-track railway and a little road called Moor Lane, which pretty much sums up its character. It's been gone a long time but not nearly as long as phrases like 'toodle-pip' and 'what ho!' (latest Rapido newsletter) which haven't been heard since the  days of B movies about rather bad 1930s boys' schools! And the only place I've ever heard a Canadian say "Eh," is in a Rapido video! (CJL)

 

When I got off the M25 at junction 9 to get to some place called Betchworth, the roads soon became very narrow and country-lane-ish. So I got a feeling for what it must have been like before.

 

-Jason

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It's been gone a long time but not nearly as long as phrases like 'toodle-pip' and 'what ho!' (latest Rapido newsletter) which haven't been heard since the  days of B movies about rather bad 1930s boys' schools! And the only place I've ever heard a Canadian say "Eh," is in a Rapido video!

Soarry Chris, but I can reassure you that Canadians are all aboot saying eh! (At least as far as their neighbours the to south are concerned.) ;)

 

The latest north American newsletter doesn't seem to be posted online yet, but it is well worth the read. (I'll link it here for our UK friends once I can find it.) And it has some nice pictures of a truly beautiful steam train model in development.

Edited by Ozexpatriate
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If you were stuck on the M25 between J14 and J13, you were on hallowed ground for a mile or two - the trackbed of the Staines branch. By a weird co-incidence I was just looking out pictures for an upcoming Model Rail article and found that I took pictures there just as the M25 construction work was starting in 1981. It's frightening to think that the wretched 'linear car park' has already been there for over 35years! It used to be green fields, a single-track railway and a little road called Moor Lane, which pretty much sums up its character. It's been gone a long time but not nearly as long as phrases like 'toodle-pip' and 'what ho!' (latest Rapido newsletter) which haven't been heard since the  days of B movies about rather bad 1930s boys' schools! And the only place I've ever heard a Canadian say "Eh," is in a Rapido video! (CJL)

 

 

If you were stuck on the M25 between J14 and J13, you were on hallowed ground for a mile or two - the trackbed of the Staines branch. By a weird co-incidence I was just looking out pictures for an upcoming Model Rail article and found that I took pictures there just as the M25 construction work was starting in 1981. It's frightening to think that the wretched 'linear car park' has already been there for over 35years! It used to be green fields, a single-track railway and a little road called Moor Lane, which pretty much sums up its character. It's been gone a long time but not nearly as long as phrases like 'toodle-pip' and 'what ho!' (latest Rapido newsletter) which haven't been heard since the  days of B movies about rather bad 1930s boys' schools! And the only place I've ever heard a Canadian say "Eh," is in a Rapido video! (CJL)

 

“Toodle pip.” It’s still in use. Another example to my family of my eccentricity.

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Air Canada knows how much I love the UK, so they have decided to keep me here. Here's the view out the door just to my left.

 

post-20909-0-86619700-1527793745_thumb.jpg

 

I am stuck on the tarmac at Heathrow. 

 

The one cool thing is that this is what is outside my window, on the right:

 

post-20909-0-87018700-1527793866_thumb.jpg

 

My wife flies from Toronto to Winnipeg tomorrow at noon. I hope I land before she takes off.....

 

-Jason

 

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A lot of memories for me on your report about the Number 11 trip. I was born about 200 yards from the route and was a regular user for over 50 years, living in Harborne, Yardley, Acocks Green and Hall Green. I actually had the route passing my front gate for 14 years.

 

Long before the craze for marathon running there was a race round the route each year for local athletes as it is a little over 26 miles long. Before the extension of the Jubilee Line into East London the Number 11 reputedly had more stops than London Underground had stations.

 

Strangely I only did the whole route in one go once in each direction by bus although in the 1980s when BRMB organised the Walkathon I did the whole route on foot twice.

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The latest north American newsletter doesn't seem to be posted online yet, but it is well worth the read. (I'll link it here for our UK friends once I can find it.) And it has some nice pictures of a truly beautiful steam train model in development.

 

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Rapido-News-101---More-scintillating-information-.html?soid=1101318906379&aid=9iLSsdMEIao

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I've just been looking through a journey log I kept for a few years in the 1970's and I came across these journeys:-

 

08/07/1976

2792 (WMPTE) Route 15 New Street Station (1035) to Stoney Lane   (Fare: 5p)

3119 (WMPTE) Route 11C Stoney Lane (1104) to Handsworth Road   (Fare 12p)

2615 (WMPTE) Route 15 Handsworth Road (1232) to City (Fare 5p)

 

It was nearly 42 years since I last rode on the 11 and on 'New Look' 3119 a Daimler CVG with a Crossley body.

 

Interesting to get to the 11 we travelled on route 15 on a 'New Look' 2792 (CVG6/Crossley) and back on 'New Look' 2615 (Guy/MCCW).

 

Checking on google maps the stops names are not correct, I will have to check a timetable from the time to work out the correct ones.

Edited by Peter Crichton (Savoyard)
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