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Stockrington - Merry Christmas, and a safe 2021 to all


jukebox
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Gordon touched on that a month or so ago, John...  yep, t'would be nice.

 

I've not actually run a train since I airbrushed the rails - hence the need to grab the cellulose thinners, some elbow grease, and a cotton rag, and hop to it.  Not a small task, but like ballasting, one I can nibble away at.

 

Once I get the worst of it off, I will set the CMX orbiting in front of one of the Heljan diesels and that will sort itself.

 

In the meantime, here's one I prepared earlier...   3 years ago, in fact

 

 

Cheers

 

Scott

 

 

 

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Not a lot of visual progress, but I thought people might like to see what the duck's legs look like, paddling like crazy under the water.

 

There area of the layout in question is this:

 

2001b.jpg.3fcb03a80104b0c9133e5c4d336f0789.jpg

 

That has always meant to be a cutting, which is reminiscent of the ECML near Peascliffe Tunnel (at one point I had contemplated modelling this here, but felt it was too cramped).

 

Here's a look from the reverse angle:

 

2001a.jpg.c2ecf33431d15548d085582ac49b3e9e.jpg

 

In order to proceed, it involved a bit of science, mixed with a bit of art.

 

I took a tape measure, and measured the length of those exposed bearers from layout edge to edge of track-bed support, as well as the spacing between them.  That's the science. 

 

The art was then to imagine the mirror image hillside, and the contours I want to create, use the tape measure to simulate some heights, and then assign those heights to the layout edge, centre of the bearer, and near track side locations.

 

I came up with this contour plan:

 

1901a.jpg.b7c86c9a51ccc9b293cc1b9029a060d1.jpg

 

I'd gotten 3/4 way through when I realised the elevation of each riser needed an additional 40mm to be attached to the cross bearer underneath - that's what the black ends represent - and why the numbers that follow do not match that Master Plan.  I call it the Master Plan, because this is the document I will need to refer back to as I attach each riser.

 

I also had to allow from bracing between the uprights, and a pair of longitudinal braces, to create a rigid space frame.

 

In the end, I came up with a bill of quantities:

 

1901b.jpg.61add7385e9d9c2a4669fe2ac27fa918.jpg

 

Then the maths part of the problem kicked in.  I had x4 off 1.2m lengths of 19mmx42mm pine (my timber of choice) lying around as leftover from the previous terra-forming, and knew I needed more.  Off to Bunnings, I discovered that perversely, the per/m rate for 1.2m lengths was *more expensive* than for 1.8m lengths.  2.4m lengths were priced between the two, and would be pushing to fit in my hatchback.  So the Scotsman in me told me to work with 1.8's... 

 

I hadn't made the Master Plan when I went to Bunnings (!!!!!!) so I just guesstimated I'd need x4 off 1.8m lengths, and I grabbed those and a 5m roll of chicken wire, and loaded up the car.

 

Then the fun began.

 

I needed to work out the best way to use the timber - the one with the least waste.   I set up a spreadsheet, with the lengths of material I had, and a cell that subtracted each length as I assigned it to a long timber.  I also need two long pieces - or equivalent - to form the lengthway bracing.  Rather amusingly, by pure fluke I came very close to getting exactly the right amount of timber I needed:

 

1901c.jpg.5de22a82ef9816f46e91b7963c32b91a.jpg

 

So I have 12 linear metres of timber, and needed 12.015m in theory.

 

The one piece I am short is a 435mm long brace.  Luckily I have an off-cut left over from earlier that  I'd not included in my stocktake, and I can use for that.

 

The last thing I did was make up a cutting list, so I could mark up the 8 long timbers, and cut them out in the shed...

 

1901e.jpg.7e54c13d4ed7d1882a9d1750048d3e88.jpg

 

 

15 mins with a jig saw this morning and I've now got ~25 pieces of timber, ready to stick-build my cutting.

 

So now back to the duck on top of the lake.

 

Cheers

 

Scott

 

Edited by jukebox
typos and a few details for clarity...
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3 hours ago, jukebox said:

And to close the weekend out, just some shots of the terrace house corner, now substantially complete, except for populating with some residents.

 

1901f.jpg.a57736971a1dc176172f2940d38f79c2.jpg

 

1901g.jpg.81561470e477190d3327e3e75deec7b9.jpg

 

1901h.jpg.ae50203fed5c59be100ca301276a5338.jpg

 

1901i.jpg.2541a3a071a54f5c572bb0a82f3e6049.jpg

 

1901j.jpg.2e319234478f29d8b6c831f6c4f05554.jpg

 

1901k.jpg.e31c174c3db5795404cb28eae132fbb0.jpg

 

1901l.jpg.e3c7fe2c430ea680168798abe4232481.jpg

 

Cheers,

 

Scott

 

 

 

Looking very nice.

 

One extra thing that you might consider adding are racing pigeon lofts.

 

Adrian

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Last night I broke out the thinners and cotton rag, and cleaned the mainline along the east wall. before I started construction  That's (hopefully) the last time elbow grease will be used there - the CMX needs to earn it's keep moving forward.

 

I slipped upstairs this evening, with a view to hooking in to forming up the hill frame shell.

 

The progress looked a lot like this...

 

2201a.jpg.815e0d91032a3aabe4c843939d968b7c.jpg

 

 

(I see in a number of these recent photos areas where there is a green tinge to the ballast where I've not properly vacuumed the static grass off the 4ft.  I will rectify that)

 

Start with the risers furthest in and work out toward the layout edge...

 

2201b.jpg.d52f95b77197defddcefa187f8a23ed7.jpg

 

But when I clamped the ones by the layout edge in place, I was served a hefty dose of reality.

 

My original plan was to have the terra rise from 200mm at the top of the cutting, to 400mm at the layout edge.  When I had the four tallest edge risers clamped, I took a bit of a breath.  They were high.  Very high.  I mean stupidly high.  To the point where I doubted I could reach in to apply scenic details to the cutting , let alone see any trains afterward...  As I had a number of different riser lengths pre-cut, I had a play, and figured a 100mm reduction was in order.  So I shuffled those carefully planned and cut lengths around, using the ones that I could, and that got me to here:

 

2201c.jpg.91cc45280df2a7de333370bbbbbcfde6.jpg

 

I stopped the timberwork, and grabbed some drop cloths I had in the room, to get a feel for the bulk I was about to create.

 

2201d.jpg.c098667f8023b06104c00bb606d0a4eb.jpg

 

It's only rough, because the chicken wire will form more rigid / gentle contours, but it went a long way to modelling what the end result will feel like.

 

The views from the top of the cutting look promising

 

2201g.jpg.3d7e47ac81a901d59bce5798a989fc6d.jpg

 

And down the long straight, too:

 

2201i.jpg.dcd00393405b4f315d899b937e6450d5.jpg

 

The reverse view from the junction shows how that hill mass will hide the rest of the room from that angle:

 

2201h.jpg.40364535328df47430f84321e1d924eb.jpg

 

And my favourite angle, where the hill blocks Stockrington station site, and creates a reverse curve for the trains to appear from, and lean in to:

 

2201f.jpg.59d1ed4e6e7133a479c7f4a16001a619.jpg

 

I'll need to wait till the weekend to dock 100mm off five risers to their new shorter lengths, but I'm hopeful I can get the chicken wire attached in good time after that, and check that the cutting looks symmetrical before I start to plaster.

 

Cheers

 

Scott

 

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Productive weekend.

 

Plans altered, risers shortened... and added to the hillside

 

2501a.jpg.310ef579c492f4101bb0290b53700fa0.jpg

 

Which also looks like this

 

2501b.jpg.b082c30f7c7c8a680b4d2b8fcb32b333.jpg

 

Then add in the cross bracing...

 

2501c.jpg.1f2fc3f3a7ae677c59ba7d641b9962ce.jpg

 

Which locks things up one one axis.

 

And then the long bracing, locking it all up in three dimensions:

2501d.jpg.6f983560fa9374d65d67842ba7d87672.jpg

 

And I'm left with something like this:

 

2501e.jpg.328a945e82d190828c991512106dd12b.jpg

 

It's not quite as tidy as I wanted, and there was a bit of playing around on the way, but that frame now transfers loads down those front six risers into the main L-girders.  The bracing makes sure it gets spread around, and is plenty rigid.

 

Time for the next step....

 

Cheers

 

Scott

Edited by jukebox
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That's going to be one hell of a hill......:D

 

I just love seeing well executed woodwork and if ever war breaks out, what a safe place to hide....A ton of bricks could fall on that and the trains would still run.

 

I meant to say earlier, that the gently winding tracks through the cutting to be really do look the business. Is there no end to your skills?.....;)

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After the timber was sorted, I unrolled a 5m roll of chicken wire...

 

2601a.jpg.b16c9b152874ee0af19fa17b1a8a57d7.jpg

 

...and started by stapling the hard edge of the roll to the front (straight) edge of the layout.

 

Working my way from the centre, I pinned it reasonably taught...

 

2601b.jpg.81172828192c46fb2d89493cf7413f24.jpg

 

I then stapled the wire to the toe of the embankment, before trimming it up

 

 

2601c.jpg.e5073887a9d9b73514b73170a1e6059a.jpg

 

It was not *quite* wide enough, so I had to cut a 40cm long x 20 cm high flap, and stitch that in just past the pliers in the next shot.  It will work just as well as a contiguous piece of mesh, especially there where there are no building loads.

 

The timber work needs to be bullet proof, as I'll need to lean and lie on in as I build.  With no hard shell (yet), I use an old pillow, and stand on a chair.  That gave me enough reach to get down into the cutting 

 

2601d.jpg.d492d1d7e884fd4daa0f9535fe858367.jpg

 

Leaning on the wire does stretch it and push it out of shape.  I'll "fluff" up the contours before I add the plaster shell.

 

In the meantime, I can check the angles of the cutting and some of the sighlines of the lowered hillside

 

2601e.jpg.0c96f2b3d174b7954f5dbfe509b23102.jpg

 

 

The end on view is the litmus test.  Near enough to symmetric for me.

 

2601f.jpg.1bfedf5e876ae3a6d38b9ccfa1010343.jpg

 

The reverse angle is looking good, too.. (you can see the "collapsed" ridge line in this next shot - It'll be easy to right before I plaster)

 

2601g.jpg.9b81a44670213ba722d86c4dc9272d6c.jpg

 

I didn't take a photo of it, but the front view has the hill with a very - to me - subtle profile, not exaggerated like the corner hill had to be to disguise the curve and tunnel.

 

It's going to work out okay, I think.

 

Cheers

 

Scott

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So, what's the story with the faux Tourist Stock, you ask?

 

2701b.jpg.a72ef2febae75dd1271329a8e36dbf04.jpg

 

About 18 years ago (!) I had accepted a position as a Project Engineer in Taipei.  Apartment life in Taiwan meant spare time but no railway, however I had a workbench of sorts, and had brought my modelling tools with me from Australia. 

 

Being a lot less discerning back then, I had acquired some second hand Mk1 coaches, and decided to respray them in LNER tourist stock colours.  I didn't even have an airbrush - just the Phoenix spray bottle system that was propelled by lighter fluid.  I used some Fox lining and decals and ended up with a not too unsightly, but very unprototypical, representation of a tourist stock rake.

 

2701d.jpg.cdd2b9bc2a73d793603f5d5266225ff6.jpg

 

Fast forward to last Christmas, and a rather generous sale going on at Model Railways Direct.

 

I used that sale to acquire a mix of accurate Bachmann Mk1 stock to build up a representation of a typical BR era train, and then started investigating the make up of the Eastern Region Car Carrier, as about a decade ago, I had bought myself four Southern Pride TCV kits to build.

 

I remembered that I had some Triang sleeper cars that I acquired, ostensibly to fill out the Eastern Region Car Carrier rake; but MRD had nice new Bachmans Mk1 Sleeper Seconds on sale... and with a proper make up of that train now at my fingertips, I ordered a pair.  For those who are curious: 4TCV/BSO/RU/3SLP/3FK or 3TCV/2SLP/2FK/RU/BSK appear to be typical formations ~ when the time comes, I'll abbreviate mine slightly for the sake of scale.

 

So whilst I might never reach the lofty levels of Gilbert's Peterborough North accuracy with his passenger rakes, my modelling has matured since 2002, and I decided it was time to cull all the old stock. 

 

I knew I had seven Stanier coaches up in storage (!), and remembered six sleepers... turned out I had a complete Blue and Grey rake of composites and brake thirds as well.  All not up to today's finesse, and totally inappropriate for Stockrington's NE England locale (there's a pair of Comet brass LMS Coronation kitchen car side sides around somewhere, too...  I used to own two Princess Coronations (!!)... I had plans to make a faux LMS Coronation set in Caledonian Blue.... I still have Duchess of Sutherland, but she's soon for eBay, too), so they found a new home.

 

Well it was in my digging through all those coaches, I discovered the long forgotten tourist set. As I said, it had been almost 20 years since I built it. A lot's gone on since then. 

 

It's a sad truth that my money at the time would have been better spent buying a rake of correct (and back then readily available) Kirk tourist stock kits and just holding them until I had the time to build them, but hindsight is 20/20.

 

The first 15 (!) old coaches sold on eBay last weekend, and I'm putting the tourist rake up this week.  These sales won't break even, but will recoup some costs, and go some way to paying for a smaller, but more accurate fleet of BR period stock.

 

As a parting gesture, I posed the set behind a Replica/Mainline B1 on the layout - the loco looks a bit coarse by today's standards, so there may be another round of thinning out as I turn my focus from layout to rolling stock.

 

2701e.jpg.92d2318bdfa4d1a93df56cdec04e0b58.jpg

 

But in the meantime....

 

2701c.jpg.e081442f6c4091d558e9e0a3267efa47.jpg

 

Cheers

 

Scott

Edited by jukebox
A few too many TLA's, added more detail for clarity
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Cripes, February already....

 

Chicken wire on, I fluffed up those crushed ridges using rolled up newspaper.

 

Next the trusty old-shirt drop cloths were put in place to protect the track bed:

 

0102a.jpg.5c39718ddb29313121f03d0af60df442.jpg

 

Then it was on with a skin of soaked newspaper strips.

 

Hat tip to @BrianD , (I had incorrectly remembered Brian as the clever chap who put me on to this - if the real magician remembers who he is, please let me know and I will credit you appropriately.  In the meantime, do stop by Brian's thread and look at his work - he's very good!) who used this method on his Deneside layout.  It performs two functions for me - creates a nice barrier so my plaster soaked cloth strips don't drip through the wire and all over the floor and storage tracks below, and just as importantly, creates a solid skin which I can use as a final check that I am happy with all the contours.

 

*CORRECTION*  Okay, I've done a search and it turns out it is Mike (@67A of this Parish) who uses this technique on his Dent layout.  I even commented on it when I saw it - which is how I was able to track it back down.  Apologies for the memory slip Mike, and Brian!

 

I soak my strips in a 1:5 mix of PVA to water; the glue helps the strips stick to one another and bridge any sharp changes in contours, but also provides a slightly stiff finish when dry, that holds it's shape a little better when the heavy plaster cloth is added next.

 

0102b.jpg.87fae8399e2cdf1ac8bdf39a2b2c08a6.jpg

 

Elevated view:

 

0102e.jpg.1945b93d3d8d895f1ada6df386096668.jpg

 

 

The all important contour checks;

 

 

0102c.jpg.ff2ca5a75152ae1ab01a58a106f92396.jpg

 

 

And the reverse view.  Headed left from the junction turnouts, it's almost 900mm of real estate on a gentle slope up from the railway.  That is a big open space.  A blessing and curse, really.  I'm thinking maybe a mustard crop - it's too green everywhere else here for wheat, and I didn't really want to build another farm.  I want to keep it rural... so will probably plant a stand of trees down the river end where the land tapers in at an acute angle. There's about 2 linear metres here, so I could fence the land into three properties and still have lots to play with...

 

Like most things, I'll get more inspiration once the plaster cloth is down, and I have a wide brown canvas to plan on...

 

 

0102f.jpg.9cc38572d62d67f7a754c71c241c0032.jpg

 

 

One last shot...  a panorama of four stitched together, actually, so you can ignore the San Andreas fault above and below the third riser; it's not there in real life! 

 

As I'd said in a previous post, with 100mm shaved off its' height, the hill takes on a quite subtle shape, and creates a plausible reason for a cut-and-fill embankment level across the valley to the river crossing. 

 

When I'm done, I'll face the upper half of this opening with teak-stained fascia.

 

 

0102z.jpg.d2ee297e6e2ac5299eeeb1ae844182f2.jpg

 

 

Cheers for now,

 

Scott

Edited by jukebox
giving credit where credit is due
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That's really taking shape now and the S course of the main line is impressive. If you're stuck for ideas, you could always flatten a bit and turn it into a golf course.  A tee on the top of the hill and a green down by the river. Job done.....:D

 

Still a long way away for me, but I like the strip paper technique, so that's been logged for future use.

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On 28/01/2020 at 12:36, jukebox said:

About 18 years ago (!) I had accepted a position as a Project Engineer in Taipei.  Apartment life in Taiwan meant spare time but no railway, however I had a workbench of sorts, and had brought my modelling tools with me from Australia. 

 

Scott,

 

Were you working on the Taiwan High Speed Rail project?

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9 hours ago, jukebox said:

 

 

Then it was on with a skin of soaked newspaper strips.

 

Hat tip to @BrianD , who used this method on his Deneside layout. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Scott,

Great scenic work as usual and thanks for the "hat tip" but I fear you are mixing me up with someone else.  All the land form on Deneside is expanded polystyrene, hot wire cut to shape/profile and then either covered in filler or plaster bandage before painting and static grassing.  I haven't used soaked newspaper strips but that is definitely the way to go with chicken wire land form.

I look forward to seeing a video of trains passing through this cutting.  The cutting actually reminds me of the location of the "white steps" crossing near Easington on the Durham coast line.

Keep up the great work.

Best Regards,

Brian.

PS Hopefully no bush fires in your location.

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18 hours ago, gordon s said:

That's really taking shape now and the S course of the main line is impressive. If you're stuck for ideas, you could always flatten a bit and turn it into a golf course.  A tee on the top of the hill and a green down by the river. Job done.....:D

 

Still a long way away for me, but I like the strip paper technique, so that's been logged for future use.

 

I laughed at this idea, Gordon.  At first...   I can't say I've ever seen a golf course modelled.  The idea of just the end of a fairway, and a green with some bunkers around it is rather thought provoking.  

 

Let's just say I will not write it off...

 

 

13 hours ago, ISW said:

Scott,

 

Were you working on the Taiwan High Speed Rail project?

 

Hi Ian - yes, T200, the contract for the section in the tunnels underneath Taipei city. 

 

9 hours ago, Brian D said:

 

Hi Scott,

Great scenic work as usual and thanks for the "hat tip" but I fear you are mixing me up with someone else.  All the land form on Deneside is expanded polystyrene, hot wire cut to shape/profile and then either covered in filler or plaster bandage before painting and static grassing.  I haven't used soaked newspaper strips but that is definitely the way to go with chicken wire land form.

I look forward to seeing a video of trains passing through this cutting.  The cutting actually reminds me of the location of the "white steps" crossing near Easington on the Durham coast line.

Keep up the great work.

Best Regards,

Brian.

PS Hopefully no bush fires in your location.

 

Hi Brian - b*gger me!  I honestly remembered it was you.  Turns out it was Mike 67A over at Dent.  Have edited my post accordingly. 

 

Glad the cutting is looking "familiar" - it's very hard doing this from such a distance, and I know there are some things that really don't gel as well as they could, but post 2013, I've learned that if Stockrington is ever to look anything near complete, I need to just hoof into it and build.  If anything *really* bugs me, I can always go back and remove and replace - it's not set in stone.

 

Thankfully well clear of any bushfires, or threats of them, but they remain frightening to watch, and the aftermath devastatingly sad on our native animal population.

 

Regards,

 

Scott

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This afternoon I finished track cleaning, and trains were once again running. 

 

After a few laps with the track cleaning car (CMX), I set up the minicam.  I didn't expect much for £9... it's only marginally better than filming with a potato, but it gives you an impression of the drivers-eye view of Stockrington.

 

Apologies;

 

1) for the Mallard level pace - the camera was blu-tacked to a Weltrol, but was still out of gauge and didn't have a knuckle coupler, so was loose shunted ahead of Kestrel....

2) for the ropey trackwork!  The things you don't see in still photos, eh...

 

 

 

On the plus side, I was rather happy that everything worked okay electrically after two years of inactivity.  The CMX pads were filthy, and will need to be run with fresh pads another dozen times on each track, but that was to be expected.  My NCE seems to have defaulted back to 28 step speed settings, so I need to check that out.  

 

At one point I had Kestrel orbiting with the CMX on the Up track, and I got a K3 out for a run and orbiting on the Down.  T'was a good feeling seeing all that action.  It has been far too long...

 

Cheers

 

Scott

 

 

 

 

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Congratulations on getting trains running again and an interesting comment re your CMX.  Amazing how much dirt must accumulate just sitting there.

 

You're not alone with that thinking re track alignment, Scott.....

 

"I swear blind cameras don't like track work and seem to insert odd looking joins and kinks where there are none. At least none I could see when I was laying the bloomin’ track".

 

Remind me not to run a camera around....:D

 

Edited by gordon s
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Other than playing amateur Martin Scorsese,  I've been contemplating the real estate on the new hillside:

 

0602a.jpg.6e6a63cfec3e63a4b8eeff10b5be24ca.jpg

 

After Gordon's light-hearted comment about golf courses, I did a lot of looking around at the real thing on line...

 

...and am now rather enamoured with the idea, and the challenge of recreating the grass textures.  That, and I couldn't face modelling a 0.5sq metre area of crop.  It wasn't very inspiring, to be honest.

 

I started a separate thread to discuss the idea, but now I'm settled, will report the progress back here on the layout thread.

 

This is the space in question:

 

0902b.jpg.086359dfe0fdff86ff9c1dd0fc04536a.jpg

 

The red areas are out, either because they are earmarked for continuity, or are the sides of the embankment.

 

That space that is left is approx 1200mm x700mm.

 

So on this side of the hill, with the (relatively) gentle downslope, I'm going to try and represent the last 75m of a golf hole.

 

0602b.jpg.b0c94d8527a4a0e6793f7d9b2d4be10a.jpg

 

I'll need to terraform a flat area to develop a green, and possibly cut a couple of holes to excavate bunkers.  Trees down the sides, shorter bushes along the railway fenceline.

 

With a bit of jiggy-pokery, I'm hoping to get a view a little like this:

 

0902a.jpg.63abe141c81c0d3ff181c1362b4c8034.jpg

 

Watch this space...

 

Cheers

 

Scott

Edited by jukebox
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That's making me want to get my clubs out......;)

 

Just some thoughts for you.

 

That pic is a par 3 hole with the tees at the front of the pic. If you have 1200mm then would would scale at 100yds. Some courses do have par 3's of that length, but I would suspect the length of the fairway would be limited to 20 yards or so in front of the green. That's to stop someone nobbing it off the tee and the ball just running down onto the green.

 

If it were a par 4, then the fairway would extend back to the top of the hill, but then golfers would be faced with a blind second shot over the hill and down to the green. Those holes do exist, but are often seen as unfair as you can't see where you're going and of course they can be dangerous as you can't see if anyone is still on the green when you lash your ball in that direction.

 

There would be a marker post at the top of the hill, to give you an idea what line to take to the green.

 

The pic also has a cart path down the side of the fairway for buggies. It takes a slightly smoother route down the side of the hole and would then continue from the green to the next tee box. These are designed with with less severe gradients to reduce the chance of a buggy turning over.

 

I must say it really looks promising.....

 

 

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I won't have enough space for tees and green, Gordon, so am thinking this is the make up:

 

0602e.jpg.5b34cc2c11c5ead5afa5ab0883e6c619.jpg

 

Then I can have a path leading away to the next hole off stage at the lower left.

 

The space at the far right will be important not to fill, as it is close to the site of the Station - so an open or treed area there will form a break between it and the green.

 

Cheers

 

Scott

 

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A tallish, thick, Privet hedge might be advisable just beyond the edge of the Green, to avoid claims from the railway, for damage to trains from over-enthusiastic golf swings.  It might help divide the scene, too.

 

Julian

 

Edited by jcredfer
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  • jukebox changed the title to Stockrington - Merry Christmas, and a safe 2021 to all

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