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jamie92208

Lancaster Green Ayre - Let there be light, and there was.

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Now then, how have I missed this thread - I also live in Lancaster, althought the nearest I ever got to Green Ayre was going to Sainsbury's and getting my tyres done at ATS which is on Caton Road and is in one of the old buildings which used to overlook the line.

 

This sounds a very interesting project indeed, and I will now be following it with considerable interest. Regrettably, I don't think I can offer any more info/history, as you appear to have more sources than I have - there was a two parter in Steam World last year about the Green Ayre to Morecambe line, but I suspect that you are already in touch with the author.

 

One thought for the future is that this layout MUST be exhibited in Lancaster, although I'm pretty sure that you are already considering that - and the obvious place to exhibit it would be the City museum, where they often have exhibitions of local interest. Unfortunately, my friend, who was the curator, was now retired and has no input at all into the work or activities of the museum, but he is a very well known and respected local historian, and when I next bump into him, I will mention this project to him to see if he has any other suggestions which might assist you. BTW the Museum is also close to a couple of thumping good pubs, as well as one of the best curry houses in the country, so there's something for the operators in their off duty time!

 

The work in progress looks stunning, and I really like the station building which is excellent.

 

I'll keep my eye on this one now.

 

Stewart

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Now then, how have I missed this thread - I also live in Lancaster, althought the nearest I ever got to Green Ayre was going to Sainsbury's and getting my tyres done at ATS which is on Caton Road and is in one of the old buildings which used to overlook the line.

Stewart

 

The building that houses ATS and others was originally the Lancaster Railway Carriage & Wagon Company works. That closed in 1908 after a 1902 amalgamation that formed the Metropolitan Railway Carriage & Wagon Company. A railway recession resulted in the smaller units closing, including the Lancaster site.

 

Geoff.

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Thanks, that's helpful. Unfortunately the layout doesn't strecth as far as the Lancaster Carriage and Wagon works. The best I can do is a 5 coach Leeds Clerestory suburban set of which I think 2 coaches were built at Lancaster. the other three were built in other factories in the grouping that became Metropolitan.

 

Yes I would like to exhibit it in Lancaster in due course as not only would it be good but I would probably generate a lot of new information that would lead to a better model. The problem would be expense as it will need a 3.5ton lorry to transport the beast, plus a team of operators. However I would like to do it. I have been in touch with the museum but they haven't been very helpful. I looked through their box of railway photos and found some colour prints taken in the late 60's of the yard that lead from the Loco shed offices to the Stationmasters house. They wouldn't let me copy them and though I offerred to catalogue and identify the rest of the unidentified photos for them my subsequent emails have not been answered. I will try again in due course. Meantime I will keep building. The intention is to get all the tracklaying and electrics done and fully test run the layout before we start on the scenics and overhead.

 

Cheers

 

Jamie

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Just a quick update I have now managed to upload my fist videos to Yout Tube which show the running sessions in August at Gildersome Baptist Church. Thanks to dave Tanner for filming them. follow the links here:-

 

 

The next one taken from the operators side of the layout shows the train going past the station onto Greyhound Bridge.

 

.

 

It's not much but it's a start and cosidering we only had croccodile clips across the dropper the running was smooth. Not much else to show at the moment as we are busy building the coal yard area and I'm in the middle of the double slip. Happy days.

 

Jamie

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Jamie,

 

I came across your blog by accident and was knocked out when I read the modeling you were conducting on Green Ayre. You have started to put into practice what I have been planning for several years now. The main difference being I model in HO/OO and want to base my layout at around 1955 to 1960. That was the time I was running around Lancaster and district collecting engine numbers.

 

I lived on Earl Street in Skerton, you can see from your map it is directly across the river from Green Ayre.

Although it was at a different time, perhaps I can pinpoint some of your missing details that could still be floating around in my mind from that time. My dad in those days was a joiner at Waring & Gillows and was a local historian who also photographed the city and with a couple of other gents used to lecture with slides on Old Lancaster.

 

As an example, I can remember sitting on the wall at the south-east end of Skerton Bridge watching them unload cattle from trucks into small stock pens, although I never really understood why it was done there, maybe they were to be fed and watered. The wall there is about 3ft 6in high, further along was a large gate after which the wall increased to a height of about 6ft. with Advertising Hoardings above, almost all the way down to the station driveway. The two exceptions to the solid wall, were the gateways into the coal yards, the gates were quite heavily built, probably 4in boards with narrow spaces. I remember that we were never allowed inside the coal yards for any reason. The area immediately to the left, facing the station, was a used car lot belonging to the garage immediately opposite, although I suspect the lot was only leased. Pye Motors was the dealership and they changed products about that time. I can distinctly remember seeing a Triumph Spitfire and a Sunbeam Tiger in the showroom window, but then my memory does get a little fuzzy.

 

I have all these images that I can share if you are interested. I would be grateful for any dimensioned drawings of Greyhould Bridge that you could forward me.

I never get back to England, having emigrated to Canada in 1977.

 

Regards

 

Dave

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Hi Dave, that's fantastic. I was going to suggest that I come up to Lancaster and have a chat then realised that you were over a slightly larger stretch of water than the Lune. I will email you with things as I go on. What might be good is if I send you photos of various areas when we get onto the scenic work and then you can suggest corrections. Most of the stuff will be mocked up before we build the final version. The detail of the cattle dock area and Parliament Street frontage is very very helpful.

 

The only diemensioned drawing of Gerhound bridge that I have in a form that I can send is a cross section showing the overhead portals. Any recollections that you can remember from your father would be good as I have been told that Gillows furnished the Midland's royal coach and there was a special shed that it was put in every so often for refurbishment. This was between the loco shed and the station. I believe that this was also adjacent to Gillow's wood yard which fronted onto Parliament Street and was between the Shed yard/offices and the station approach. It would be interesting to know if there was a direct link from a siding so that timber could be offloaded directly into the yard.

 

The layout is progressing well with much tracklaying going on in the coal yard area. The dreaded double slip is under construction and we have started fitting a new design of point tie bars as shown by Derek Mundy in the GOG Gazette. They seem to work well and are very unobtrusive.

 

I've also joined MERG and have discovered all sorts of goodies to help with the control of the layout. This weekend I asssembled my first servo controlled signal and got it working. This is one that is on Long Preston but it will be working at the Wakefield show this year on LP's last outing, which will help me prove the system in exhibnition conditions. I'm hoping to get some more of the LP signals converted for it's last show.

 

Jamie

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It sems a long time since I last updated this thread but we haven't all gone to sleep at Wakefield. Preparing for the show in a week's time has kept me busy, both at the club and also at home sorting various things out with Long Preston. However there has been steady progress with Green Ayre. The coal yard is now laid and the first point motors installed with the new articualted tie bar system shown in the Guild Gazette by Derek Mundy. They work very well. We have now dismantled that area dn are starting on the other end of the station area with the start of the castle Branch and the sged and Goods yard area. The next two baseboards are under construction and now that I've had a delivery of legs I can gat on with them.

My birthday in October gave me the chance to purchase a turntable kit fromMetalsmith and that arrived on Thursday. I've just started soldering it together tonight and it looks like a good kit. The mounting kit is good as well and I will have to make Board A1 that it goes on in a special way to take it,

After next weekend's show we will have to spend a few weeks dismantling and stripping Long Preston to recover the 50 odd tortoises (is that the correct plural?) and lots of other goodies that will be reused. I'll try and put some pics of the turntable project up as I'm also soldering up the MERG kit for the stepper motor to power it.

 

So a good evening's work and off to Warley in the morning to look after the Wakefield stand and do a bit of layout spotting.

 

Jamie

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Not a huge lot to report but after it's last show at Wakefield last weekend Long Preston was taken off the road. 3 crates, which contain pieces that will go to the village hall at Long Preston, were taken to the clubrooms and the rest taken home for dismantling. This doesn't directly prgress Green Ayre but there is a huge amount of material that can be salvaged for further use. Today I started the process in the deep snow at the back of the house. I managed to strip two boards of all their relays, wiring looms, connectors and tortoises (Is that the correct plural). These are now down to bare boards with no framing and the bits of track that can be reused will be taken off in due course. This includes all the point blades and various other items.

 

I've also started the turntable that arrived just before our exhibition. As soon as the weather clears I'll start baseboard building again and get to the turntable board soon.

Next week I should get some modelling time as SWMBO is due to be in hospital for a knee replacement so I might ahve enough peace and quiet to get some carpentry done if the weather is fine.

 

Jamie

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No posts for a long time but quite a bit has happenned. Work on new boards has been slow due to SWMBO's hospital time and the weather, as I have to work outside. However the whole front of the layout is going up in my church at the end of this month to get the loaction of the loco shed boards correct. This means that I have to build them as the church is booked for 3 days from the 24th. Track laying has also restarted after several weeks of dismantling of Long Preston, and recovery of components.

 

The best thing that has happennned was on Friday night. I had spent the afternoon scraping the old limestone ballast (Which came from the quarry at Horton in Ribblesdale) off the old baseboards after they had been left in the back garden to be rained on. The ballast was then wshed and seived thorugh the colander. SWMBO was not too pleaed at this and my stock of brownie points went quite low. However eventually the first batch as put out to dry in a large palstic tray. next morning I cam down to find the dining room table liberally sprayed with ballast and a certian odour of cats in the air. gavin our yongest cat had obbviously decided that this wa a new litter tray. Needless to say SWMBO was greatly amused at this and even mentioned it on facebook. The ballast has now been r washed and is drying in the spare bedroom with the door firmly closed. Gavin ahs been threatened with being turned into guitar strings for SWMBO.

 

The other step forward is the construction of the turntable. This is now nearly complete and will be installed on it's correct board shortly. I am still working on the electronic conrols for the stepper motor that will drive it.

 

When we have the boards up later this month we are going to have a session working out where each control panel will control and how we are actually going to operate the layout. It should be fun.

 

Jamie

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Well two afternoons of dodging showers then one fine afternoon meant that construction went well. Today I carried on with board A1 that will take the turntable. This is a unit from metalsmith and needs to be built into the board. The installation kit comes with 3 laser cut squares of 6mm mdf that are put together to form the well and the track installed. The board was started as normal and allowed to dry overnight then I marked out where the TT should go and allowed 65mm overlap so that the 6mm ply of the board surface could support the top layer of the TT. The end was then carefully removd to allow the Tt to be slid in.

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Here you can see the board with the cut out and the end, loosely positioned to check clearances. The turntable unit can be seen upside down in the background.

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the TT was then installed and the end screwed back into position and everything secured.

The board was then test erected to check that everything went together with it's neighbour A2. The last photo was taken at 5pm which shows how much later you can work outside as the seasons start to progress.

 

Only another 11 boards to build.

I've now got to finish off the Stepper motor controller and test the TT.

 

Jamie

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Just got in from 2 days working on the layout in my church. (It had to be cleared away for Sunday). We were able to put up all 17 boards that now exist and get some idea of what it's going to look like as well as getting ideas for backsecenes and various other scenic features.

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Here the layout seen from the west end with the loco shed area in the foreground and the coaling stage in position.

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See from the east end. It fitted with an inch to spare at each end.

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This shows the detail that bernard Shaw is putting into the coaling stage. We commented that it would be a shame that all the roof trusses and purlins would be hidden, so came up with the daft idea that we have some workmen, relating part of the roof (perhaps after being damaged by a spring gale.) This may happen.

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There is a photo in one of Stephen Summerson's books that shows a Kirtley at lancaster and I couldn't resist trying to reproduce it here.

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John Patrick brought the Station Buildings and this gave us a chance to see both sets in position.

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Then we couldn't resist playing trains for a short while with a random selection of stock.

 

All in all a very good 2 days and it was helpful to see the whole s]layout up and get an idea of sightlines etc.

Now only another 9 boards to build.

Jamie

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Not a huge lot to report but the team are ploughing on with tracklaying in the shed/goods yard area. 7 of the 12 turnouts have been done. Away from the layout more planning and research is going on. Another research trip to Lancaster has been arranged to look through some photos in the museum and to measure the viaduct that carries the Castle branch up from Green Ayre towards Castle station. I have also started work on planning the loco shed itself. This will have to be slightly reduced in size to make it a 4 road shed as there isn't roo for the repair shop road. There is a collection of buildings at the rear of the shed which included the water tank and the Stationmaster's house. This area has had to be narrowed but will still contain the main buildings. I spent last night doing a first pass CAD drawing of the shed and associated buildings. This is the result. The main shed building will be 880mm by 540 and the buildings at the rear occupy nearly the same amount of space. Most of the buildings were a foundry that was bought by the Midland and reused. Somewhere in the area ther was also a small one road shed built by the original 'little' North Western Railway which in later years was used as a storage and repair shed when the Midland's royal saloon was sent to Lancaster for Refurbishment by Waring and Gillow's the famous Lancaster furniture makers. I've only got an outline plan and no photos as it was demolished in the 30's.

 

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Ther drawing ahs been done from photos and a plan and I hope that I've got the proportions right. For sizing I used the width and height of a loco to give me the shed doorways and the height of a man shown walking past the water tower to sort the windows out.

 

Jamie

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Great stuff Jamie! I'm really looking forward to seeing this completed. As a matter of historical interest the building that is now Sainsbury's incorporates the frontage of what was the original Lancaster Public Baths. At the time of your layout it was still in use, although off the end of your layout. I don't think that any of the railway buildings are still intact as part of Sainsbury's, if they are there is nothing to distinguish them. The car park covers most of the shed area.

 

Geoff.

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Great stuff Jamie! I'm really looking forward to seeing this completed. As a matter of historical interest the building that is now Sainsbury's incorporates the frontage of what was the original Lancaster Public Baths. At the time of your layout it was still in use, although off the end of your layout. I don't think that any of the railway buildings are still intact as part of Sainsbury's, if they are there is nothing to distinguish them. The car park covers most of the shed area.

 

Geoff.

 

Thanks for that Geoff I've had to miss the public baths and the fifth shed road (the repar shop) off the shed area as there isn't room at the front of the boards. However I will put windows in the wall that the public sees instead of the public baths. The same applies to the range of buildings at the back of the shed that include the Stationmasters house and the buildings that used to be the Lune Foundry as well s the water tank and stores area. These have been compressed as you can see on the plan with the Midland built area in the lower right corneer and the SM's house in the top left.

 

On my last visit I noticed some arched stone windows in the wall round Sainsbury's car park. Are these the old windows from the shed by any chance?

 

3 of us are coming up on the 12th April to look at some photos in the museum and measure the viaduct on the lower part of the castle branch. I should be a good day out. If youa re in the area early afternoon you would be welcome to join us.

 

Jamie

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The arches in the car park walls are just an architectural feature that may be a nod in the direction of the original purpose of the site. A nice touch but not from the shed buildings. I like they way that some architects are aware of our heritage and include this sort of feature.

 

Geoff.

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There may not be much detailed modelling to show you but there is steady progress. I've just had a day at Lancaster with two of the team doing research. A good trip to the Museum in the morning got us lots of photos of buildings and detail areas that will be very useful. In the afternoon we spent time measuring up a viaduct on the Castle Branch as well as taking pictures to help with planning the backscenes. At the club we are plodding on with building pointwork and have started the diamond crossing on the turntable approach. I've also been busy getting more drawings done for the next batch of etchings for the bridge and awning as well as some fittings for the Overhead line equipment. This will be 18" by 12" and I need 8 of them to give me all the pieces for the bridge and awnings.

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Jamie

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Well track laying and point building is progressing well in the Goods Yard Loco shed area. The diamond crossing leading to the turntable has been made and work has started on the ash and inspection pits by the colaing stage. The Production artwork for the etching has been sent off so hopefully work will start soon on making the side girders and piers for Greyhound Bridge. We haved dcided to make the bridge beams from brass so that all the detail can be soldered on. A trough along the top will be created with brass angle and bras strip then filled with tile cement to represent the ashphalt pathway along both sides of the bridge. I will try and post photos of the work under way. A research trip to Barrow Hill has given us dimensions of the Sheer legs so that's another structure tat can be started. Still steady but not spectacular progress.

 

Jamie

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More progres to report in the Loco shed area. The boards with the turntable and the shed have been erected and tracklaying across to these boards has started. Lats night I tidied some of the layout up and tried test running a loco through the long line of pointwork and the diamond crossing that leads down from the station to the turntable. 736 ran very neceily despite the flithy track and with lots of croccodile clips connecting up the brass scres that act as droppers we got part way through the diamond crossing before I ran out of test leads. Then I transferred the power to the turntable and ran the loco off the table to the crossing. All seemed to go well apart from a few minor issues with check rails that need a little bit of filing.

The photo below, taken on my mobile shows the result. I was very pleased with the way that it ran steaduly through all the pointwork.

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In the background you can see the shed area starting to take shape.

I've also bought the timber for the fiddle yard so hopefully a few days of good weather will allow me to get building. Only 8 more boards to build.

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I'm another one who missed this thread :( . It's nice to know that others are interested in the MR electrics; my own poor offering will be in 4mm scale, once time/space/management permit :) . This is all looking good, and I too have a copy of 'The Pioneer Line' - how lucky we are that such footage was not only taken, but that it still exists.

 

Mark

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I'm another one who missed this thread https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_sad.png . It's nice to know that others are interested in the MR electrics; my own poor offering will be in 4mm scale, once time/space/management permit https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_smile3.gif . This is all looking good, and I too have a copy of 'The Pioneer Line' - how lucky we are that such footage was not only taken, but that it still exists.

 

Mark

 

Yes we are indeed very lucky. Fortunately the gentleman who took the footage also took stills of each electrification structure which he has lent me. I have also managed to find a lot of other very useful information, all of which will help build a good model hopefully. However We've got at least another 6 months of tracklaying and point building before we can start any scenic work. I look forward to seeing your work progress.

 

Jamie

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Hi Jamie

 

Thanks for your reply. I really must 'knuckle down' and get on with it :D . The 'Skinley' plans for the stock, plus Donald Binns' books, were most helpful, of course.

 

All the best

Mark

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I presume you are modelling the early stock, in which case there are plans in Dow and Lacy's book on Midland Carriages, together with several photos.

 

Jamie

 

 

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I am, yes. I've settled on the pantograph fitted power car for the first one - the bow collector one will follow 'in due course', as the saying goes ;) Thanks for the info on the books too - I'm pretty sure I've already got that one, but as I'm working away from home at present, I can't check :(

 

Mark

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I am, yes. I've settled on the pantograph fitted power car for the first one - the bow collector one will follow 'in due course', as the saying goes https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_wink3.gif Thanks for the info on the books too - I'm pretty sure I've already got that one, but as I'm working away from home at present, I can't check https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_sad.png

 

Mark

Send me a PM when you are doing the bow collector. I've dug a dimensioned engineering drawing out of an article I found in the library at Crich tramway museum.

 

Jamie

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Thanks for that, Jamie. Much appreciated

 

Mark

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