Jump to content

tractionman

Why do you model BR Blue?

Recommended Posts

hi folks,

 

I'm curious about why folks choose to model 'BR Blue', particularly since it is seen by many as a dull period of British railway history!

 

Obviously we don't see it that way, so what's the draw?

 

For me it represents that period of my life, growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, when I was young and carefree(ish), out and about on my bike and train spotting around the Midlands, especially in and around Rugby, Coventry and Leamington Spa - as well as venturing further afield too, while on family holidays in our caravan, such as Yorkshire and Dorset. From my bedroom window I could watch trains passing on the London-Birmingham line. Happy days!

 

My first Ian Allan Locoshed book was 1976. Two years earlier my mum, sisters, and grandma, together with my aunt and her daughters, all took a day-trip by train from Coventry down to Weymouth. That was August 1974. My love of railways started then and has stuck with me ever since. By the later 1980s, in fact just as BR Blue was itself in decline, my interest in the general BR scene withered, however - so 1974-1986 is the period for me! I look back on it fondly and still have my old 'spotting books and some dodgy photos taken with a Boots 126 camera.

 

Now, 30 years on, my little layout (Spencer Park SP) is an attempt to create a small slice of those good old days.

 

How about others then? Similar experiences to mine or different?

 

cheers,

 

Keith

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The formative years of childhood and early teens create very strong sensory memories visually, audibly and olfactory. Therefore anyone growing up in the Corporate Blue period is likely to have 'fond' memories of the blandness - I know I do. Give me a 33/1 in Blue with Blue/Grey 4TCs and I'm a happy bunny, especially when the sound and smells are there too. At the time I found it all a bit boring, but now they're all but gone they resonate in my head much more.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

particularly since it is seen by many as a dull period of British railway history!

 

I'm sure that this will become polarised in views as many threads similar to this do, so I'll start on a negative note.

 

I used to model BR Blue because it was what I knew - but then again, I modelled what was current at the time. I still model what is current (or reasonably current) and I now look back a banger blue as a very dull period. If I model any BR blue now, it has to fit within the current scene - my only BR blue loco is 31106, but I do have plans to do a couple of others as railtour locos, but there's no way that I would now model a corporate era blue layout.

 

When I did model BR blue, I tried everything I could to "pimp it up" and ended up with a fleet of five "celebrity" 47's............ But that was about it for variety - the 25/31/37/40/45/46 roster were pretty boring.

 

Yes - BR blue did create a singular image to the public, but in my view the best thing to come out of it was the double arrow symbol - possibly the best industrial graphic design logo ever created and even now still instantly recognisable as the symbol for a railway station in the UK.

 

Cue BR blue supporters...........

 

Cheers,

Mick

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up through the tranistion to BR Blue (which I disliked at first). My layout covers the 1960- 1980- era therefore BR Blue is a very important aspect mine and or any other layout covering this period.

 

XF

Edited by Xerces Fobe2
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....... particularly since it is seen by many as a dull period of British railway history!

 

Who is to say which is the dullest - lots of different classes all painted one colour, or one class painted lots of colours?

 

I started spotting in 1977 when I went to secondary school. From the classroom window I could watch class 25s on the Coventry - Nuneaton line. Family holidays always involved a trip to the station nearest to where we were staying. For me, its what I grew up with. Which I why I still listen to Siouxsie & the Banshees and Blondie.

Edited by garyeagger
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have noticed that most older modellers tend to model steam and younger people like me tend to model modern image

(as you get older you model an earlyer period)

 

thats my theory anyway i think people like to model from what they knew in the younger days..

 

thanks dan

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have noticed that most older modellers tend to model steam and younger people like me tend to model modern image

(as you get older you model an earlyer period)

 

thats my theory anyway i think people like to model from what they knew in the younger days..

 

thanks dan

 

 

I must be younger than I think then Dan - Whilst I have a few steam locos @ 95% of my fleet is diesel or electric.When you are modelling electric you can go back over 100 years and if you are modelling the Underground this certainly applies. So the steam, diesel. electric labels are only one element which determine why a modeller chooses a specific location/ era.

 

My next layout may well be based in the 21st Century and feature the Breda LRV's of the San Francisco MUNI with not a steam or diesel engine anywhere!

 

Xerces Fobe

 

21.75 years old! :senile:

Edited by Xerces Fobe2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Gary. Lots of shapes one color beats one shapes in a lot of colors. BR Blue covers a period when, despite modernization, much of the railway was still traditional. I also grew up with it and as seems to be a theme here enjoyed the variety around Nuneaton.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to read the replies to this.

 

I guess childhood memories of how railways were as we knew them is a strong recurring theme in much railway modelling - recreating what we have lost. And the music we played then helps bring it back too, so I like putting on some OMD, Magazine, U2, etc from c.1980 - it helps recreate the lost scene too.

 

Yes, 'one colour but a variety of shapes and sounds' hits the nail on the head with our D&E period. I've never really liked multi-colour!

 

At least a visit to a diesel gala nowadays can also help bring a bit of the magic back... as well as modelling.

 

cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

post-10919-0-43378200-1325574001_thumb.jpg

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

grew up with it is the simple answer.

spent my time chasing blue locos round the country as a kid

bought most of my trainset/models as a kid so they were mostly BR blue and whilst they may not be the greatest of models why throw away something that works and pay 3 times the price for another?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I model BR blue/grey. I also model BR green, BR maroon and BR sector liveries. I model it because it is a part of our railway history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of variety in locos & trains (and plenty of pre-nationalisation stock still around).

 

A lot of steam era operating methods were still around yet there was the excitment of new air-braked wagons, mk2s and even the HST.

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For much the same reason as many of the other posters on this thread, nostalgia!

 

It was the period my interest in the railway was formed and it never seemed to move on from there. Sure I take an interest in the contemporary scene but the 1970s and early 80s were the final stage of the steam age railway as we'd known it. OK, the steam locos had gone but the infrastructure - track, signals, stations etc - were largely intact, particularly on the secondary routes, so the interest in the railway as it operated then gave a good insight into operations over the previous 100+ years.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up with it too... but I model the 'sector' era. Why? Because it's more colourful. However I have multiple locomotives (in multiple liveries)... I have about 8 x 33's with more on order, 4 x 47's, 4 x 50' s etc... if I modeled the period half a dozen years before I would only want half that number, which I suspect is one of the reasons why 'rail blue' is such a popular subject...

 

...mind the trains were a lot longer back then so you might need a bigger layout with more rolling stock :stinker:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gone on at length on another thread about this, but here's the distillate. I grew up with the very end of diesel livery transition - the odd scabby green 08, 20 and 47 being a day's spotting highlight in '77. Thereafter, corporate is all we knew. That is, until other interests took over, and by the time we were back in the fold, old favourites like Rats and Forties were but a memory and 37s were being bent at Crewe into strange new styles. Not only that, but hellish Sprinters were seeing off real traction and the contemporary sectorized scene felt somehow alien. Then, privatization, and a career within the unfettered chaos and neurosis that it brought, to an industry that I had perceived as joined-up and cohesive as a youth.

 

So, with romantic, idealogical notions that the Blue railway was an altogether better, more wholesome animal with which I felt an innocent attachment, than the cynical busman's holiday that paid the mortgage, I stuck to the era that gave me a warm feeling. This supported layouts and projects into adulthood, and it wasn't really until the milennium that I rowed back slightly and settled on the diesel transition livery period within the context of my beloved Waverley Route; you can't 'do' 1968 in the full straightjacket of the 'Modern Image, ' it's not accurate. My signature content basically sums up the modus operandum.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like so many of the above, its what I grew up with and was around when I first started spotting, watching pairs of 25s double head oil trains from Stanlow as they chugged past the school playing field or 40's whistling away their last few years through Chester towards N Wales. Weekends spent at Chester / Crewe / Liverpool Lime Street or trips further afield with my mate and his dad to wonderous places like Tinsley and Toton.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I model sectorisation myself, but can defnitely see the attraction of the Blue period in the late 70's and early 80's. An interesting juxtaposition of old locos and new, air braked, wagons, running on frequently steam era infrastructure.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why Keith? Because BR blue just about creeps into the end of the period I model (1960s BR(S) despite not being around until two decades later!).

 

Couldn't build one of these otherwise... ;)

 

post-256-0-89162300-1325681955_thumb.gif

 

Adam

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too, grew up in the BR blue corporate image period and at the time, I found it intensly dull, colourwise! Tractionwise - it was still interesting though but for me, the greatest pleasure in my spotting days was to 'cop' both 40 106 & 40 122 boy, did they look good! The next best thing was 'Large logo' livery, that was always much more interesting than yet another dull duff!

A few years back, I had a strong bout of nostalgia and grew a fleet of banger blue locos! Subsequently, that interest has waned and now I far prefer the green period with only a small amount of blue thrown in - the traction interest is, for me, far greater even though I didn't really know this period that well.

Long live the (green/blue!) transition period!

John E.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Gary. Lots of shapes one colour beats one shapes in a lot of colours. BR Blue covers a period when, despite modernization, much of the railway was still traditional. I also grew up with it and as seems to be a theme here enjoyed the variety around Nuneaton.

 

Funny you should say that Mr Prince! My memories are of doing a morning paper round that took me along Leicester Road then onto Old Hinckley Road. As this took me alongside the station at Nuneaton it would have been rude not to take a look. I recall being told off aged 12 for being late for school. My reason "There was a pair of 44s on the Rugby coal" did not seem to wash with the teachers! Mind you I did manage to get released from the bus bringing us back from the Pingles following a swimming lesson- my reason? One of the HST prototype power cars was sitting in the up and down goods loop with an APT test train and it was dinnertime so it saved me a walk back from school....

 

Although our interests may broaden in later years (hence mine into Metropolitan Railway and Southern areas) what we grew up looking at always helps form our primary interests- hence why I love ac electrics and air conditioned coaches.Music wise I couldn't stand what was in the charts at the time but came to love what I heard in our house which was classic rock'n'roll and rockabilly. Maybe the fact that Elvis in 1956 (that was the image I was used from LP covers etc rather than the sad state he had gotten into during this period) was simply the most gorgeous man on the planet helped too (though long rocking guitar breaks went a long way too!) :angel:

 

Happy times indeed :-)

Edited by Natalie
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We model the mid 80's because:

a) It's in living memory

B) we like DCC sound but not OO steam sounds

c) There's a good choice of RTR locos and stock particularly from Bachmann

d) There's no complicated movements for little fingers to destroy

e) Route planning is easier as mainline locomotives can move anywhere without the use of a turntable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting stuff - funny how a number of us have common ground - literally - in being local to the Nuneaton area! Was there something in the water?!

 

The WCML through Brinklow was a regular haunt for me - as well as the metal bridge over the railway and canal at Nettle Hill. I could get there from home on my bike in around twenty minutes (back then, probably not now!).

 

Anyway, do keep the comments coming.

 

cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

 

PS - nice work Adam!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My one and ony trip to the UK was in the summer of 1989.

 

While I was visiting family in the South (Poole, Wool, Salisbury, ect), I became very aquanted with the very catching NSE livery. I also saw a relativly large number of Railfreight (don't think I saw any sector liveries) and of course Coporate Blue / Grey.

 

The 1980's IMHO, had the largest variety of both loco's and multiple units since the days of steam. As I model the mid 80's (apx 82-87) in a ficticious setting somewhere on the boarder of the Souther and Western regions, I have no shortage of exuses to have any of the following side by side with each other...

 

03, 08, 20, 24, 25, 31, 33, 37, 47, 50, 73, 108, 411, 416, and 423

 

Short of the crayon inspired liveries today.. how much more colorful can you get than BR Blue, NSE, InterCity, Railfreight and Civil Engineers 'Dutch' all in the same setting?

 

Loco hauled... multipule units.. push-pulls.. double headers.. electric.. diesel..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up at the back end of steam/green diesels.My dad took me to birmingham new street to see the first electric trains pull in but the best time was when i working on a farm from 1975-1985 and the land was right next to the ne/sw route at wychnor junction between derby/birmingham.Seeing 20s,25s,31s,44s,45s,47s,56,hst on test. dmus so my spotting days started then been to all corners of uk. i did try modeling modern not the same as my 1980-1990 period southern 3rd rail layout.blue-nse forever

steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was 5 when NSE livery came in. I remember setting eyes on it the first time and wanting our next train to be "that blue one"

 

I model BR blue as it was what was there when I was a kid. Like people say, so much variety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.