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A Personal History of the Kelsby Light Railway by Sir Jacob Bradleigh


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Thought I'd start doing this little in-character thread for KLR lore as I want to make a "be-all-end-all" thread of canon and am sick of accidentally contradicting myself. Hope you like it.



 

A Personal History of the Kelsby Light Railway, by Sir Jacob Bradleigh


Introduction

It is a dozy Friday afternoon in the June of 2018. I am sat out in my garden with a glass of wine, reading a book and watching my two boys and the dog run around the grounds with a football. My wife wanders around behind me gardening, having a bit of free time as the baby is asleep. A plume of steam is visible at the bottom of the garden; the railway my family owns runs there, and it's time for the afternoon goods.
My wife hears the whistle and walks over. "Jake", she asks, "Can I run something by you? I've been thinking. I was looking through the library this afternoon and realised just how few of the books actually talk about us... or more specifically that." She points down the garden at the massive green Adriatic tank rolling in reverse through the station on the hill beyond and over the bridge that crosses the Little Ouse.


So here I am a couple of weeks later, writing this book about the railway I own and that my family has owned for over a hundred years.
First I would like to preface with a quick rundown of who I am. My name is Sir Jacob Bradleigh. I am the sixth and incumbent Baronet Bradleigh of Hewe, great-grandson of the esteemed Sir Edward Bradleigh I through his daughter Emily. My becoming Baronet was something of a scandal - the previous Baronet, my great-uncle Edward II, died with no heirs, thus ending a five generation long string of direct succession, but specifically asked for me to be his successor when everyone thought that it should be my grandmother. Knowing Nana Em though she'd probably have declined anyway. I am the youngest to become Baronet since Edward I and (for some reason everyone always points this out) the only one to have a university education (Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Lancaster University, Crovan's Gate campus, Class of 2012.) 

The stately home overlooking the railway I described in the first paragraph is the Elizabethan country house of Hewe Manor, in the county of Norfolk; my family have lived here for generations, and I was quite literally born here. I live there, as already mentioned, with my long-suffering wife of six years Juliet, our two sons Edward and Leonard and infant daughter Eliza, my grandmother Emily (the well-known former railway engineer), my mother Amanda and an excitable German Shepard named Tess. Sadly not my father; my father, the late Lawrence, died fighting in the Gulf War shortly before I was born.

Now onto the crux of this book. Well, in all honesty knowing me this'll be less a book and more a stream of consciousness string of ramblings recorded into a tape recorder, planted pretty much verbatim onto paper and vaguely edited to create something somewhat enjoyable to read or at least halfway informative,but whatever. I wish to talk about the history of the Kelsby Light Railway as I know it. Partly inspired by my wife's aforementioned comment, and partly because the Hatts did it with the North Western and I'll be damned if Bertie and his grandfather get one up on me. Joking aside, in the same vein then I will be talking about the history of the line's locomotives as much as the line itself, and also a lot of my personal thoughts on these subjects. I hope you enjoy.

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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Kelsby Yard

I often travel down to Kelsby of an afternoon with the kids. I've always loved this little town just across the way from the tiny village of Hewe. The K in the KLR has always been the beating heart of this area, even if Telham has always had more going on. The station sits nestled in a patch of trees which surrounds the yard on three sides.
A memory comes to mind of an event from my youth, which will link into the first of the engines I'm talking about. The year was 1995. I was... well, five, and my uncle was holding a gala in Kelsby Station for some important guests. Most of the guests were other railway-connected members of the landed gentry, and thus many of them were family friends.
I was sat on the bench in the station, next to the statue of my great-grandfather, with a boy who has become a lifelong friend; the aforementioned Bertram Topham Hatt. That young man has been one of my closest friends for as long as I can remember. We grew up together. We played together as children. He is my Eddie's godfather. And most importantly I would never have met my Juliet if not for him.
But enough of that. We were sat on this bench with some younger members of the Erstwhiles (can't remember exact names; this was twenty-three years ago and the Erstwhiles produced a lot of my generation) and my older sister Clarice (Oh, that poor woman! Married into the Collins name! Scandalous!) chatting and suddenly Clarice gets the idea to go and walk around Kelsby sheds. She convinced our grandmother to escort us over and since she's Emily Bradleigh we were let in, so long as we didn't get too close. Nana Em then pointed down to this tiny green tank engine sat in the shed nearest to the entrance, partly in bits mid-overhaul, and asked, "What about that one?" The cleaner smiles. "What, Bully? Oh, OK. They ain't going anywhere. Just don't touch. We don't want to lose anything."
And that was my first encounter with the locomotive that birthed a railway.

No.1 BULLDOG

For those who know about the KLR, the line's original locomotive needs no introduction. So really I write this for those who do not.
post-33750-0-73336700-1531846733.png
Bulldog, known affectionately to the railwaymen who work the KLR and the locomotive's own small army of fans as "Bully", is, or rather was originally, a Peckett & Sons 0-4-0 shunter of the same build as Mill-Grove and Bristowe Hill from the Workington Iron and Steel Company ordered in 1902 as the Kelsby Light Railway's very first locomotive. An identical locomotive called Pointer was ordered a year later. I'll talk about Pointer later as that particular locomotive has quite a sad story.
Bulldog and its sister were originally purchased as works engines to be sold once construction work finished, but the eccentricity of my great-great-great-grandfather (and his constant desire to go bigger, a trait passed on to his son William as will be discussed later) meant that for some years the KLR was unable to afford much in the way of motive power. To be fair however, this has been a bit of an issue for most of the line's existence. So Bulldog, which was small, powerful and most of all reliable, started to be used on the line's first passenger trains. It has been used near exclusively for light passenger work ever since, which ironically is the exact opposite of what it was designed for.

Its livery alternated between mid blue and a pale green until 1921, when the KLR received unified liveries and it was given the apple green passenger livery, which post-World War 2 gained Oxford blue stripes. It received a major rebuild in 1938 where it was given a new cab, whistle and buffers, along with the addition of a bunker, and in 1951 it was given a new, taller, thinner chimney and a new cab roof when some concrete blocks being used for the reparation of Berkham station fell on it, the force of which peeled the chimney like a banana and perforated the roof. There is a photo of Bulldog in this state in the office where I'm typing; I must say it is extremely comical seeing Bulldog looking like a palm tree has been shoved into its smokebox!
This engine is small, old and very outdated, but holds so many memories for so many people. My uncle kept a scrapbook entirely filled with photos of this engine in various places. It is not just a locomotive. It's an icon of the area and the railway, and I'm so glad it's still around and running.


No.2 POINTER
As mentioned earlier, Pointer arrived on the KLR in 1903, and as with Bulldog was bought as a works engine to be sold once construction work on the line was completed. Pointer however did not share the long and illustrious career of its sister engine. It was far less reliable that Bulldog and much less popular than it due to it rarely being used for passenger trains. It spent much of its early life doing goods work before being relegated almost exclusively to pulling post trains in the 1920s.
Like Bulldog, its livery alternated between blue and green until it received a solid black goods livery in 1921. In 1938 it was rebuilt in exactly the same way as Bulldog, with a new cab, whistle and buffers and a bunker. However, it did not get to go for long in its new shape. At roughly 2am on 12th August 1940, tragedy struck. A German bomb, presumably intended for Elmtree Airfield, hit the original Elmtree Heath station, the impact causing the oil tank to rupture and ignite. The resulting explosion was visible for over a mile, killed 12 people and injured 27 more. Pointer was in the station at the time collecting post, and was totally destroyed by the blast. The station was rebuilt, but Pointer was beyond repair. Instead, one of its nameplates was hung in the sheds at Kelsby, beginning a tradition that lasts to this day of keeping a nameplate of every locomotive that is scrapped or leaves, its numberplates were given to Wild Rover (another tradition; recycling locomotive numbers to keep the books linear; also we'll talk about the complex history of Wild Rover in a little while) and all the brasswork was melted down and used for some of the metal for a brass memorial statue to those who lost their lives; this now stands in the new Elmtree Heath Station. The rest of the locomotive was scrapped. Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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What on earth does this have to do with "Pre-Grouping-Modelling and Prototype?... surely this belongs on another thread.... miscellaneous or something... I`ve already stopped looking at the layout matters thread, because the main page is stuffed with layouts that are long finished, and simply take thousands of identical pictures, interjected with Jenny Agutter... and here in pre grouping its becoming the same, just fictional descriptions of models that will never be built, endless pictures of 3d layouts, and pretty bad literature. RM web is getting boring, and too big to get an overview. Sorry, red gem, nothing personal, but its something thats getting me grumpy.

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What on earth does this have to do with "Pre-Grouping-Modelling and Prototype?... surely this belongs on another thread.... miscellaneous or something... I`ve already stopped looking at the layout matters thread, because the main page is stuffed with layouts that are long finished, and simply take thousands of identical pictures, interjected with Jenny Agutter... and here in pre grouping its becoming the same, just fictional descriptions of models that will never be built, endless pictures of 3d layouts, and pretty bad literature. RM web is getting boring, and too big to get an overview. Sorry, red gem, nothing personal, but its something thats getting me grumpy.

 

To a number of modellers placing their model in its place in history is almost as important as the model.

If you click on VISIT THE KELSBY  LIGHT RAILWAY (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/134295-the-kelsby-light-railway-or-reds-hopeful-layout/) you will be taken to the modelling thread.

Patience - the most important attribute of a modeller is the order on the day.

 

Gordon A

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What on earth does this have to do with "Pre-Grouping-Modelling and Prototype?... surely this belongs on another thread.... miscellaneous or something... I`ve already stopped looking at the layout matters thread, because the main page is stuffed with layouts that are long finished, and simply take thousands of identical pictures, interjected with Jenny Agutter... and here in pre grouping its becoming the same, just fictional descriptions of models that will never be built, endless pictures of 3d layouts, and pretty bad literature. RM web is getting boring, and too big to get an overview. Sorry, red gem, nothing personal, but its something thats getting me grumpy.

Thank you for joining the dozens of little voices in my head telling me why this thread was a bad idea. It's responses like that that give me anxiety about doing stuff like this.

And yes, I will take it personally because you're pretty much directly referring to me and the circle I pal around with. If you don't like what the community is turning into you can always leave you know. No need to spoil everyone else's fun because of your own opinions. Not trying to start a fight here, I'm not the type for it, but just ask yourself what purpose that comment served. Because all I see is someone ranting at me about a problem that from my perspective isn't a problem - it's just a community acting like a community - and offhandedly berating my friends.

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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Red,

 

Don't feel to anxious about it. I for one will still be following with interest!!!

 

In the meantime having seen comments like this on more than one thread I have tried to come up with a solution that will be good for everyone, please jump over to my thread here and leave a vote on the poll.

 

Gary

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There is of course a place for creativity, fantasy, whimsy and even vapid nonsense in railway modelling, although actual modelling is rather sparse, for example in the 11174 posts and 477 pages or whatever of 'Castle Aching' etc. Which does demonstrate that a community is actually interested in sharing it.

 

Possibly this genre should have its own 'fantasy railways and occasional modelling' category in the forum?

 

As Annie has demonstrated, you can do wonderful things with digital 3D VR creations of makebelieve railway empires which actually operate, without building anything tangible.

 

Meanwhile I have an IKEA bookshelf to assemble...each to their own.

 

Dava

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To a number of modellers placing their model in its place in history is almost as important as the model.

If you click on VISIT THE KELSBY  LIGHT RAILWAY (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/134295-the-kelsby-light-railway-or-reds-hopeful-layout/) you will be taken to the modelling thread.

Patience - the most important attribute of a modeller is the order on the day.

 

Gordon A

Exactly. Someone gets it. Plus I just find doing this fun.

 

 

Red,

 

Don't feel to anxious about it. I for one will still be following with interest!!!

 

In the meantime having seen comments like this on more than one thread I have tried to come up with a solution that will be good for everyone, please jump over to my thread here and leave a vote on the poll.

 

Gary

 

There is of course a place for creativity, fantasy, whimsy and even vapid nonsense in railway modelling, although actual modelling is rather sparse, for example in the 11174 posts and 477 pages or whatever of 'Castle Aching' etc. Which does demonstrate that a community is actually interested in sharing it.

 

Possibly this genre should have its own 'fantasy railways and occasional modelling' category in the forum?

 

As Annie has demonstrated, you can do wonderful things with digital 3D VR creations of makebelieve railway empires which actually operate, without building anything tangible.

 

Meanwhile I have an IKEA bookshelf to assemble...each to their own.

 

Dava

 

Wow, you really are a nasty person aren't you. "Sorry, nothing personal" but I'm still going to come onto your thread to complain and moan about the creative things you and other people are doing! As I already said last time you did this, you tend to find the least creative people are the most critical of other people's work. It's much easier for them to spend their time being rude to people on the internet than actually doing something creative or interesting.

 

If you respond to this comment, I don't really care because I am setting you to ignore anyway. Your negativity is unwanted in this normally very friendly section of the forum.

 

 

Anyway, back to the actual topic at hand. Red, great work with the background dude! Put the Latin phrase in my signature into Google to see how I feel about these negative people these days, and keep up the good work! :)

 

- Alex

Thanks for the support you guys. Nevertheless, I'm tempted to just leave it until I know what's going on with your solution Gary. If there's one thing I really can't stand it's annoying people (unintentionally or otherwise), even if they are jerks about it. 

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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Don't stop Red!!!

 

When I messaged Andy Y about the idea I suggested that some threads would need moving into it, and providing links to some, this one included, so I would say carry on and you may well one day find this thread in a new literary section!

 

Gary

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Right, back into character. #ahem#

 

Kelsby itself is not a large town. The station is pretty, with a large, somewhat typical Great Eastern-style station house similar to that of Wretham & Hockham several miles east, and designed by the railway's founder, my great-great-great-grandfather Col. David after he visited the station there. There is a single platform, and the sheds themselves are ramshackle but charming. The goods sidings stick out into the forecourt at a bizarre angle and the large stone goods shed is lined with poplar trees at the end, causing the forecourt from above to roughly be a square with a slice taken out of it on one side. There's also an old pillbox sat near the entrance; this was installed at the behest of my great-grandfather, and features a sign reading “Kelsby Station” in big red letters that looks like it was painted by a child: in fact it was, namely my great-uncle Edward and Nana Em when they were children just after the War.

The station here has always had an interesting variety of locomotives based here. However, never more than four at once. One sits separate in a tiny single shed in a different part of the station yard. It always has done, as long as the engine has been here.

 

No.3 PETER

Another familiar member of the KLR fleet for the railway's fans, Peter is a miniscule Beyer-Peacock 0-4-0 saddle tank which has operated as the yard pilot for Kelsby ever since arriving. Peter was built in 1896 and is not only the railway's smallest locomotive but also the oldest still in regular service. It began its working life on the West Norfolk Railway, where under no name and the number 17 it worked as the yard pilot for Bishop's Lynn before being bought by my great-great-grandfather William in 1919, to do the exact same job for Kelsby. I have always had a soft spot for this little engine, ever since I was a child, and so when I want to take the family on an excursion in the private coach I always request Peter to haul it. Again, we'll talk about the unfortunate William later.

Peter however is not without flaws. Thanks to its advanced age and near-constant use, it can be temperamental and, as the workmen put it, “cantankerous”. It will often not start smoothly, can be a tiny bit bumpy, the brakes may be a bit sticky at times, and its tendency to juddery starts can occasionally break couplings.

Much like many of the KLR's other locomotives Peter has a rather distinctive appearance, though interestingly Peter is one of the few to remain roughly as originally constructed (the only alteration being a new chimney - the original wore out and was replaced in 1968 with a more modern one than the original stovepipe as they didn't have any others that matched), and throughout its entire working life it has always been painted the same shade of black with the only things changing being its number and plates. It is always a welcome sight at Kelsby station, where it can usually be found sitting in its siding while it waits for the next train to come in.

 

Unnumbered "THE MONSTER OF KELSBY"

Now I want to talk about one of Kelsby sheds' more interesting inhabitants for a second. This locomotive is known for a number of reasons: it was the first locomotive ever built in its entirety by the KLR, it is the largest tank engine ever to run on KLR rails and for being the only locomotive ever designed by William Bradleigh. It is, however, mostly remembered for its engineering. Not because it was groundbreaking or influential, but because the flawed mindset and the sheer ineptitude behind it is so mind-boggling that it's a wonder how on Earth this thing was ever even built, let alone that it was fired up. I give you, the unnumbered, unnamed "Monster of Kelsby":

post-33750-0-24546500-1531943885.png

But to understand this bizarre creation, we must understand the man who created it, my great-great-grandfather William Bradleigh. William was not a well man. He was permanently ill and at a young age was crippled by polio and spent much of his life in a wheelchair. This, combined with constant failure at various pursuits, led William to be a deeply depressed and self-conscious young man. He was also fitful and prone to acts of outlandish behaviour, and the creation of the "Monster" is one of these.

In 1902, the GER built the A55 "Decapod", a gigantic 0-10-0 well tank, purely as a publicity stunt. William was angered by this, and constantly pestered his father to build something similar to outdo the railway company that spent so much of their time attempting to buy the KLR. David Bradleigh refused his son's flight of excess time and time again.

When David died in 1913 and William took over the KLR as David's only son, William took his opportunity to design this... thing. William was not good at many things, and locomotive engineering was definitely not one of the exceptions. The KLR's other engineers tried to reign him in but could only do so much. The monstrosity was completed in 1917, with very few modifications made to William's absurd design - the most notable being it being reduced to a 0-10-0 saddle tank from the intended 0-12-0! It had to be constructed in Kelsby sheds, according to William, to allow the public to mull over what they were doing.

It should be noted at this point that William was apparently unaware of the A55's failure as anything other than a publicity stunt. He just wanted to outdo the GER. So Pathe were called in and a massive crowd gathered at Kelsby Station, on April 19th 1917, to witness... the disaster he had designed attempt to move under its own power.

It didn't. And never would. It was fired up and everything set up for it to move but steaming was so poor due to too many design flaws to count that the boiler produced next to no power. If it moved at all it was a matter of millimeters. William drove the crowds away in shame and never designed another locomotive again, utterly broken by the experience of making himself a laughing stock in front of his entire country.

William would sadly never see much success. All the other locomotives the KLR gained in his tenure were bought from other companies. He grew increasingly depressed and withdrawn, and the only true successes of his tenure were the purchase of Peter, preventing the KLR from being bought out by the LNER, and fathering Edward Bradleigh I, my great-grandfather and the most successful CEO and CME the KLR ever had. Sadly, his depression eventually got the better of him and he took his own life in 1932 with a pistol at the age of 54.

As for "The Monster", it was slowly taken over to Berkham Works, very very tentatively. It took Bulldog, Pointer and two borrowed locomotives from the WNR to move the massive failed experiment, and on the way its coupling rods and one of its axles broke and its frames began to fall apart. It was shunted into the sheds and slowly broken apart.

When I was setting up the Kelsby Light Railway Museum in the summer of 2014, my great-uncle and I were looking around Berkham Works for interesting items when I discovered the gigantic smokebox and one of the wheels of "The Monster" sat in a back storeroom. It turns out the metal from the goliath machine was used for decades to make locomotive parts, and this was all that remained of the KLR's first in-house creation. Both are now in the museum in the former guildhall at Kelsby, along with a board sharing the story I have just told you.

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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Love it Red!!

 

That is an "interesting" design you have come up with there. I am glad it never moved, I hate to think what it would have done the the track when it met a corner!!!

 

As for William, he must have had some long arms to operate a hunting rifle like that!!

 

Gary

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Love it Red!!

 

That is an "interesting" design you have come up with there. I am glad it never moved, I hate to think what it would have done the the track when it met a corner!!!

 

As for William, he must have had some long arms to operate a hunting rifle like that!!

 

Gary

Thanks. And yeah. It was intended to be a ridiculous design, William was a man driven by desperation and a constant compulsion to prove himself.

And yeah, maybe not the most realistic method for a wheelchair-bound polio survivor. I like a little dark humour but it was supposed to be tragic.

 

EDIT: Changed that last part. Tragic nature restored.

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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What on earth does this have to do with "Pre-Grouping-Modelling and Prototype?... surely this belongs on another thread.... miscellaneous or something... I`ve already stopped looking at the layout matters thread, because the main page is stuffed with layouts that are long finished, and simply take thousands of identical pictures, interjected with Jenny Agutter... and here in pre grouping its becoming the same, just fictional descriptions of models that will never be built, endless pictures of 3d layouts, and pretty bad literature. RM web is getting boring, and too big to get an overview. Sorry, red gem, nothing personal, but its something thats getting me grumpy.

I remember reading the fictitious history of the South British Railway in a 1968 issue of trains illustrated, one of the more enjoyable reads I've ever gotten from a railway magazine, threads like this really don't detract from the bits of rmweb you enjoy... So why aren't you over there...?

On another note holy crap look at the size of that saddle tank!!!! :O

Carry on with this thread Red, I'm rather interested to see where the story goes

Edited by Killian keane
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Thank you for joining the dozens of little voices in my head telling me why this thread was a bad idea. It's responses like that that give me anxiety about doing stuff like this.

And yes, I will take it personally because you're pretty much directly referring to me and the circle I pal around with.

 

Because it was posted in your thread, it was going to be impossible for the comment to not be personal to some degree, but actually I think it is more a case that Kevin was prompted to post something as you were the proverbial piece of dried wheat stem placed on the vertebrae of the committee-designed horse, at least as far as he is concerned.

But, he was at least honest with you and his opinion - for that is all it is - is as valid as yours, and he has as much right to make the point as you do to be offended by his directness. View it another way, as literary criticism: he thinks you (as a group) need to pick up the game. A small group who are always congratulating rather than challenging each other will never improve, and runs the risk of becoming a smug clique that everyone else ignores. It is possible that in the long run, Kevin’s remark about the standard of writing will spur you all on to develop a more coherent style.

If you don't like what the community is turning into you can always leave you know. No need to spoil everyone else's fun because of your own opinions.

 

But that, you see, is exactly what you were complaining about, if not more so. If Kevin’s post was caused by an unfortunate confluence of events (your thread) and his personal irritation, then the insult he made was as unintentional as it was unfortunately inevitable.

Your remark, on the other hand, is intentionally personal and hostile (unless I have misread it and it is meant to be to everyone).

Not trying to start a fight here, I'm not the type for it,

 

Are you sure?

You may not intend to start a fight, but that is what you seem to be doing - assuming he hasn’t already stopped following this thread/forum, and therefore has left you ranting at nothing.

but just ask yourself what purpose that comment served. Because all I see is someone ranting at me about a problem that from my perspective isn't a problem -

That’s a reasonable point, but the way you have made it is rather stronger than the post to which you took offence.

it's just a community acting like a community - and offhandedly berating my friends.

You are on dangerous ground here. All communities of more than 2 people run the risk of communities developing within communities (sometimes it can happen with just people, or even 1 in some cases) and these sub-communities can develop strong walls and “group-think”. Even the righteous can bully. When Frost wrote that “fences make good neighbours”, he was being ironic and talking about just this sort of thing - a fact lost on most people who quote him.

 

This line, though, encapsulates a big problem today:

It's responses like that that give me anxiety about doing stuff like this.

You see, it is wrong that you should feel anxious, in every single way that can be read.

It is wrong that you perceive hostility to how you and your circle of pals enjoy yourself, especially for something as lightweight and insubstantial as cod-literature designed as a backstory for a putative Model Railway (let’s be honest, we ain’t ever gonna stop the world turning, right?) Sorry if that description offends you, but unless you can see the fun in calling it that, you are taking it and yourself far too seriously.

It is wrong that such hostility exists, if it does exist.

But it is not good (not the same as wrong!) that you perceive hostility, if it does not exist.

 

Jeremy Kyle would tell you to “grow a pair”, and whilst there is some truth in that, it isn’t as simple as the simplistic demands of daytime TV: and that is where the problem lies. Everyone expects to be valued, but a large number don’t accept criticism. A large number equate difference from their values with valueless, and think “free speech” gives them the “right” to not care how they say it. Well, if that right exists (as it does) then so does the tight to be offended, so we go round in circles and JK’s bank balance increases! It’s OK for people to disagree. It’s OK for them to say so, even if it seems personal. Best way to react, is to step back, count to ten, compare them to the reproductive organs of either sex, and move on. OK, sometimes you might need to count to 10,000, but it still works. Plus, it drives them nuts. This is the difference between being assertive (“Everyone has an equally valid point of view, including me,”) and being aggressive (“Everyone must bow down before me.”)

 

Be proud of what you are. Own it. Until you accept it and own it, others can use it against you. (I think that can be attributed to Tyrion the dwarf on Game of Thrones.)

Put simply, this is a minor creek off an obscure backwater of an unimportant way of passing time. You should be having fun, not getting wound up because someone else doesn’t like what you’re doing. **** him. You do your thing, and if he doesn’t like it, he can ignore the topic (and you, if he wishes). That way, he doesn’t get wound up, and you don’t even have to know that he is ignoring you - because if he do chooses, then it’s actually none of your business.

 

Don’t dignify such posts with a response. And please don’t validate poor behaviour by engaging in it.

 

Rise above it: it is self-empowering.

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Don't stop Red!!!

 

When I messaged Andy Y about the idea I suggested that some threads would need moving into it, and providing links to some, this one included, so I would say carry on and you may well one day find this thread in a new literary section!

 

Gary

Agreed!

 

I for one am interesting so keep the updates/discussion coming and definitely do not feel anxious about sharing :) As with anything on this forum we can read whateer bits and topics we are interested in - I love a bit of freelance and creative modelling!! Similarly there are large areas of the forum I never even glance at. Each to their own.

 

Let's not take things too seriously; when it comes down to it we are all just playing with toy trains after all!

 

David

Edited by south_tyne
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Because it was posted in your thread, it was going to be impossible for the comment to not be personal to some degree, but actually I think it is more a case that Kevin was prompted to post something as you were the proverbial piece of dried wheat stem placed on the vertebrae of the committee-designed horse, at least as far as he is concerned.

But, he was at least honest with you and his opinion - for that is all it is - is as valid as yours, and he has as much right to make the point as you do to be offended by his directness. View it another way, as literary criticism: he thinks you (as a group) need to pick up the game. A small group who are always congratulating rather than challenging each other will never improve, and runs the risk of becoming a smug clique that everyone else ignores. It is possible that in the long run, Kevin’s remark about the standard of writing will spur you all on to develop a more coherent style.

But that, you see, is exactly what you were complaining about, if not more so. If Kevin’s post was caused by an unfortunate confluence of events (your thread) and his personal irritation, then the insult he made was as unintentional as it was unfortunately inevitable.

Your remark, on the other hand, is intentionally personal and hostile (unless I have misread it and it is meant to be to everyone).

Are you sure?

You may not intend to start a fight, but that is what you seem to be doing - assuming he hasn’t already stopped following this thread/forum, and therefore has left you ranting at nothing.

That’s a reasonable point, but the way you have made it is rather stronger than the post to which you took offence.

You are on dangerous ground here. All communities of more than 2 people run the risk of communities developing within communities (sometimes it can happen with just people, or even 1 in some cases) and these sub-communities can develop strong walls and “group-think”. Even the righteous can bully. When Frost wrote that “fences make good neighbours”, he was being ironic and talking about just this sort of thing - a fact lost on most people who quote him.

 

This line, though, encapsulates a big problem today:

You see, it is wrong that you should feel anxious, in every single way that can be read.

It is wrong that you perceive hostility to how you and your circle of pals enjoy yourself, especially for something as lightweight and insubstantial as cod-literature designed as a backstory for a putative Model Railway (let’s be honest, we ain’t ever gonna stop the world turning, right?) Sorry if that description offends you, but unless you can see the fun in calling it that, you are taking it and yourself far too seriously.

It is wrong that such hostility exists, if it does exist.

But it is not good (not the same as wrong!) that you perceive hostility, if it does not exist.

 

Jeremy Kyle would tell you to “grow a pair”, and whilst there is some truth in that, it isn’t as simple as the simplistic demands of daytime TV: and that is where the problem lies. Everyone expects to be valued, but a large number don’t accept criticism. A large number equate difference from their values with valueless, and think “free speech” gives them the “right” to not care how they say it. Well, if that right exists (as it does) then so does the tight to be offended, so we go round in circles and JK’s bank balance increases! It’s OK for people to disagree. It’s OK for them to say so, even if it seems personal. Best way to react, is to step back, count to ten, compare them to the reproductive organs of either sex, and move on. OK, sometimes you might need to count to 10,000, but it still works. Plus, it drives them nuts. This is the difference between being assertive (“Everyone has an equally valid point of view, including me,”) and being aggressive (“Everyone must bow down before me.”)

 

Be proud of what you are. Own it. Until you accept it and own it, others can use it against you. (I think that can be attributed to Tyrion the dwarf on Game of Thrones.)

Put simply, this is a minor creek off an obscure backwater of an unimportant way of passing time. You should be having fun, not getting wound up because someone else doesn’t like what you’re doing. **** him. You do your thing, and if he doesn’t like it, he can ignore the topic (and you, if he wishes). That way, he doesn’t get wound up, and you don’t even have to know that he is ignoring you - because if he do chooses, then it’s actually none of your business.

 

Don’t dignify such posts with a response. And please don’t validate poor behaviour by engaging in it.

 

Rise above it: it is self-empowering.

You're right. I should have taken a step back and just ignored it. I did step over the line a little in my frustration. While I admit that criticism is an important part of the writing process it should at least be constructive though.

And yes, as a GoT fan myself I believe that is a quote from Tyrion Lannister.

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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And i am sorry, Mr Red, if my post seemed personal, it really wasn`t meant to be so, and i really do admire your creativity... i think what Regularity said expresses my feelings much better than i can myself... I am simply getting frustrated with how bloated and unfocussed RM web is getting, which i suppose is also a positive reflection of its popularity. Your writing is intelligent and in it`s own right enjoyable... my complaint is only that it (maybe) isn`t really relevant under a modelling/prototype heading... I`m not particularly good in expressing myself, i think.

It was just bad luck, that my bad mood landed on your thread, after another frustrating moment trying to trawl through "layout topics" :O

Please forgive me, if i unsettled you.

Kevin

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I like what you're doing Red. I particularly liked the Monster, sad tale though it was, and I can't help wondering what two locomotives the WNR lent! 

 

Well that's up to you, my friend! I'm just glad you don't disapprove of Peter's origins!

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Well that's up to you, my friend! I'm just glad you don't disapprove of Peter's origins!

 

Just relieved that a piece of original WNR equipment has been preserved!

 

The 0-4-0ST is not a configuration generally associated with Beyer Peacock, though they did build some L&Y Pugs.  Your Peter is a rather splendid Airfix Pug-bash as I recall.  As I don't think any L&Y Pugs were sold off until after Grouping, we assume BP re-used the design for a private sale? 

 

Alternatively, in true John Ahern style, perhaps you could re-gauge this ...!  

post-25673-0-95698400-1532066650.jpg

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Just relieved that a piece of original WNR equipment has been preserved!

 

You're welcome, even though Peter is more associated with the KLR and has been there much longer...

 

 

The 0-4-0ST is not a configuration generally associated with Beyer Peacock, though they did build some L&Y Pugs.  Your Peter is a rather splendid Airfix Pug-bash as I recall.  As I don't think any L&Y Pugs were sold off until after Grouping, we assume BP re-used the design for a private sale? 

 

Actually, the design Peter is based off is that of BP's works shunter, No.1827, which currently resides on the Foxfield Railway. I'd assume the WNR ordered it as a yard shunter after seeing how effective the design was in BP's own yards.

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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No.2 WILD ROVER

Any run through of the inhabitants of Kelsby sheds cannot be complete without a talk about Wild Rover, its most unusual current resident and, by the designation of the work crews, "The Unluckiest Engine on the Railway". Wild Rover has one of the most complex histories of any KLR locomotive and has been so heavily rebuilt due to various things that the locomotive would now be totally unrecognisable to those who originally built it.

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Wild Rover began life as Great Eastern Railway S69 4-6-0 No.8581, the final of the batch built by Beyer Peacock and Company in 1928. The LNER allocated it to the former WNR and it ran there in this form for some time before being rebuilt into a B12 in 1933 as part of the class-wide rebuild program. It ran here doing passenger work until it was involved in a major accident at Achingham in 1938, at which point its remains were sold to the KLR. The Baronet at the time, my great-grandfather Edward I, was never one to turn down the chance to experiment, so it was reconstructed as best as possible (which required a new chimney and boiler to be bought in), given the name Wild Rover, painted in KLR apple green and set back to work. In 1940, it inherited the number 2 from the destroyed Pointer. Then in 1947 it was involved in another major accident, colliding with a goods train hauled by the then-No.7, a Hudswell Clarke 0-8-0 heavy goods tank engine named Wandering Star, just outside Elmtree Heath. The force of the impact obliterated Wandering Star's entire rear end and severely damaged Wild Rover, including destroying its leading bogie and damaging the boiler beyond repair.

Edward I assessed the damage and came up with a very interesting solution. So in 1948, Wild Rover emerged from Berkham Works looking totally unrecognisable. It was now a rather disproportionate 0-6-0, the boiler and smokebox from Wandering Star combined with the firebox, cab and frames of Wild Rover, with just its driving wheels. A new dome and chimney from the vast collection of spare parts the KLR keeps in house for such situations completed this very strange creation. Now taking on the public nickname of "Frankentrain", the resurrected Wild Rover was working but not reliably. The considerably smaller boiler meant that it couldn't produce anywhere near the same power, so in 1950 it gained a condenser pipe, which did little to help. So the experimentation continued, including new cylinders (1952), higher boiler pressure (1955), another new chimney (1960) and various other minor modifications all being added or carried out, resulting in the locomotive you see today. It's still not especially reliable, but it at least can do its job when it does work.

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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No.9 EDWARD BRADLEIGH I

This particular KLR locomotive has a pretty prestigious history. Named after a slightly obvious pick for a former CEO's name (albeit rightfully so), Edward Bradleigh I was designed by my grandmother, then CME of the railway, in 1980 three months after the death of her legendary father. However, due to financial issues the KLR did not actually begin work on the locomotive until 1984. Work continued in earnest, delayed by the same issues, until finally the locomotive was completed in 2009 and unveiled on the 30th anniversary of its namesake's death.

Edward Bradleigh I is one of the KLR's largest and most powerful locomotives, and something of a jack-of-all-trades, which amusingly forms an unintentional reference to the polymathy of the man who gave it its name. However, due to the general design it is often confused with an GNR H4 2-6-0, which to a trained eye it is subtly different from though its design is loosely based on it. It has a taller, thinner chimney, different safety valves and a differently mounted whistle amongst other things but most prominently a noticeably larger cab and a tender which more resembles one of Fowler's LMS designs than anything produced by the LNER. It also has very different performance from what the K3s had, being more efficient and slightly more powerful (though exact specs escape me at this time). At the time of writing, it is the most recent locomotive to emerge from the KLR's workshops, and is generally used for heavy passenger work, although it (along with Bulldog) is also used for running specials occasionally.

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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No.8 WILLIAM BRADLEIGH

The locomotive that inspired Edward Bradleigh I was a former GNR H4 that ended up on the KLR in 1947 and that Edward I named after his father. Formerly LNER No.1993, William Bradleigh was the first of the two H4s that Edward I purchased for the KLR, and like its fellow H4 was painted in KLR apple green. Sadly (or perhaps ironically considering the man it was named for) it only lasted a little over a year, being sold back to the LNER and running on the former WNR until it was scrapped in 1961. My great-grandfather noted in his diaries that selling William Bradleigh back to the LNER and the resultant failure to save it from scrap was one of the greatest regrets of his entire life, as it meant that there would be none of what he considered the magnum opus of his idol, Sir Nigel Gresley, left for future generations to admire. This regret, and the anger that this caused him to direct at himself after it was scrapped, led to him going out of his way (and, some may say, out of the realms of reason) to assist with the preservation and rescue of other locomotives; his intervention, along with similarly minded members of the railway loving gentry such as Topham Hatt , his son Charles Hatt and the Erstwhile family, did however help preserve many historic locomotives on their respective railways, many of which are still running.

 

SECOND H4

The second H4 to be acquired by Edward I arrived in 1962... and controversially was actually technically stolen. The former LNER No. 1870 was brought from Colway to the KLR in a attempt to rescue it from scrap, stated in his diaries as "potentially some kind of subconscious attempt to atone for William Bradleigh maybe?" Sadly this failed miserably and Edward I was forced to hand it over after only a couple of weeks and it was scrapped. The resulting argument between BR top brass and Edward I about the locomotive lasted longer than the locomotive did on KLR rails.

 

No.5 DENHOLME

Denholme was built to order by the North British Locomotive Company in 1929 when Elizabeth Bradleigh realised that the KLR needed a new goods locomotive. She ordered a gigantic 2-8-0 after seeing a GCR Class 8K while visiting Sheffield earlier that year and being thoroughly impressed by it. She was apparently aware that it was excessive but asked for it anyway, just in case. Denholme was utterly massive, and it was soon found that the gigantic locomotive damaged the rails of the KLR as they were not made to take something that heavy, something that ironically the workmen had told her husband after the debacle with "The Monster", though Denholme did not have even half of that locomotive's mechanical issues. It spent the best part of the next decade sat in Kelsby sheds, not doing much, and earning the nickname of "Liz's White Elephant".

[font:Times New Roman]Thankfully, the story of Denholme has a happy ending. It was eventually moved to Telham in 1937, where it caught the eye of the then Lord Erstwhile, who purchased it. Denholme, now named The Great Lion, proved much more useful to Lord Erstwhile than it was on the much smaller KLR. The locomotive survived the BR steam cull thanks to the Erstwhile family's efforts, and is now preserved on the heritage WNR as their largest locomotive and is still in operation to this day. For its size it is a very elegant locomotive, especially painted up in smart WNR livery, and to see it on a run is quite sight, even if the heavy goods work that it was built for is little and far between nowadays.[/font:Times New Roman]

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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  • 3 weeks later...

I return!

 

 

 

Col. Sir David Bradleigh, 2nd Baronet Bradleigh of Hewe

 

 

Let us discuss the KLR's founder for a bit.

My great-great-great-grandfather David was an eccentric man. Born in Kelsby on October 17th 1832, David's life was surrounded by two things. The military, courtesy of his father Albert, and railways courtesy of his uncle Jonathan. These two elements would permeate most of his life, along with his many strange whims. By all accounts he was always an striking man, tall, broad shouldered and headstrong with a huge booming voice, an unruly shock of chestnut hair that had all turned white by his fifties, and a massive handlebar moustache that he kept for his entire adult life until his death.

In 1849,he joined the military and quickly worked his way up the ranks. However he wasn't particularly popular amongst the troops due to his eccentric behaviour. Behaviour such as hammering a cane against the nearest solid object to get peoples' attention, a tendency to hit people over the head with his sabre scabbard when he was annoyed with them, and contradicting his superiors completely with frightening regularity. In retrospect it's actually a wonder he made it to the respected rank of Colonel at all, a title he wore proudly to the point where he preferred to be referred to as Colonel rather than Sir when he inherited his father's baronetcy.

In 1857 he met Annabelle Forster while in a military parade at Castle Aching. The two courted for some time then married in Saint Martin's Church at Telham in 1860. While the two were very happy, they weren't exactly lucky. Annabelle had several miscarriages, and when she did give birth to their only child to survive into adulthood on Valentine's Day 1878 (the ill-fated William) he was small, sickly and weak. David, ever working in his own projects having been discharged from the army the year before due to the loss of his lower right leg in a training accident, was also not a very attentive or even very good father and tended towards ignoring his son. He states in his journals frequently about his "constant disappointment" with William, and while it's clear he did love his son he couldn't get past his son's sickliness and later disability.

It was, more positively, also around this two or so decades of as he puts it "lolly gagging with nothing to do" that he first came into touch with two people who would be very influential on his later life: one Theophilus O'Doolite, who would remain a frequent if not always wanted presence in his life up until his death, and a man who his diaries only notes by the name "Eustace Missenden."

This second man is the more interesting as there is a lot of correspondence between the two but we still know nothing about this mysterious "Missenden" and it clearly is not the Eustace Missenden most railway scholars will know as the dates don't add up. This blew my mind when I found the letters in the family archives as until then I had no idea this man existed. Neither did Nana Em, which is even stranger as she officiated the archives for years. Their first correspondence is on 16th June 1899, shortly before David first began conceptualising the KLR, and there are then over two hundred letters between them with the final being just two days before David's death. I will look into this further and will probably mention it later in the book as I'm very much writing this stream-of-consciousness.

In the middle of this however came a tragedy from which David would never truly recover. On the 9th of December 1889, his beloved Annabelle died, of what is now known to be ovarian cancer. The only guiding light came five years later when his first grandchild, Anthony, was born. Anthony was exactly what David had wanted his father to be - strong, brave, intelligent, and David doted on him, as he did for the other two grandchildren William gave him - Caroline in 1900 and my great-grandfather Edward in 1905. It was David that would instill the love of railways into young Edward that would drive him to be one of the greatest railway entrepreneurs Britain has ever known.

Driven by this newfound purpose and wanting to leave his grandchildren something to remember him by, he began working on building a railway through the villages in the immediate vicinity, and thus the KLR was born.

David Bradleigh died on the 20th of July 1913 aged 81, having suffered a massive stroke at his desk while working on plans for a glass overall roof at Telham Station, and was succeeded as Baronet by William. He was buried, as per his wishes, with his wife - under the birch tree at the bottom of Hewe Hall's garden where they had shared their first evening together. I can see their tombstone from my window if I look hard. It's morbid but at the same time kind of beautiful. Ripped apart in life, now reunited forever after it.

An interesting footnote to the story as well. The plans for Telham Station would be completed by our mysterious friend Missenden. The roof was actually constructed in 1924, with the money coming seemingly from nowhere and exactly to David's specifications with one minor added detail. An engraving on one of the steel beams, reading "To David. You can rest now my friend, your work is done. M".

And one final tragic note. It's almost fortuitous that David died when he did. I hate to think what he would of wrote when around three years later Anthony, the inspiration for the entire KLR, would follow him into that goodnight. Having followed his grandfather into the army he was killed by machine gun fire on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was just 20 years old.

Edited by RedGemAlchemist
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