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Tony Wright

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15 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

A fantastic model of surely one of the most-difficult-to-operate loco depots, Mike.

 

If ever an advertisement were needed to promote actual prototype modelling, this is it. You couldn't make this up!

 

Great fun to operate, too!

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At Springs Branch in the 60's the breakdown crane was on the move virtually every day !!

 

939318_SPRINGSBRANCHND011.jpg.fb7ec436a290bb7df6b0341459b93bf8.jpg

 

Why not model "strange" locomotives on a test train ?. First time I saw Kestrel was on a 20 coach test train northbound through Wigan back in 1968. Test trains north out of Crewe were common. 1T60 was the usual headcode. Here are some photos.

 

EE Type 1 southbound test train at Springs Branch around 1967. These locos were as rare as hens teeth around here back then.

 

image.png.8a6701b0d711a78223e71cb68b91ee04.png

 

Next neg on the film, same day, Frank Dyers "typical" scene. Crossing the WCML 100 yards from the photo above, heading down to Ince Moss & the old Lancashire Union St Helens line.

 

image.png.9882c46575a756bdfec8c5d008653c7c.png

 

Southbound green 1T60 at Rylands Sidings Wigan  around 1967

 

image.png.8fe9f8d8b2a2b7ca296ae1fa9b15bd8e.png

 

Two D400'ers ready for test trains at Crewe works around 1968 or so. D448 & D449. Edited  -  actually D411 (right)  & D412. left). Thanks Al for the pm.

 

image.png.3231993b8a941f81deac5b6dc26e6f39.png

 

Yes the 60's was an interesting time.

 

Brit15

 

Edited by APOLLO
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23 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

It was one of my modelling heroes, Frank Dyer, who wrote about modelling the typical rather than the exceptional. In my trainspotting days, I could go for many days before I saw a breakdown crane on the move, or an inspection saloon. Look at some layouts and you would think that every 4th train was a weedkilling train, a track measuring train or suchlike.

 

 

I agree and much prefer to see the usual, ordinary, ubiquitous and omnipresent modelled on layouts. And, also for me, that extends to more than just the trains and stock but applies to road vehicles, structures and scenery.

 

It's probably more of a challenge to model scenes that are commonplace and look realistic and atmospheric (with sympathy and touching restraint) than to incorporate the brash and unusual (such as a phalanx of emergency vehicles with flashing lights) which tend to distract from the modelling standards.

 

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41 minutes ago, LNER4479 said:

Great fun to operate, too!

Haven't had the pleasure - yet...

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1 hour ago, t-b-g said:

It was one of my modelling heroes, Frank Dyer, who wrote about modelling the typical rather than the exceptional. In my trainspotting days, I could go for many days before I saw a breakdown crane on the move, or an inspection saloon. Look at some layouts and you would think that every 4th train was a weedkilling train, a track measuring train or suchlike.

 

I think that is where the distinction comes between rare and common, rather than talking about a particular locomotive.

 

In the case of the ECML, you might have a train that was pulled nearly all of the time by a Kings Cross A4 but maybe once or twice was hauled by a V2 following a failure. So modelling it with a V2 is "the exceptional" despite the fact that there were far more V2s than A4s.  

Hi Tony

 

Typical is what my future aim is to do. I like building the exceptional as a model maker, and there are times when the exceptional can be run but the humdrum everyday workhorse portrays the railway in miniature far better than a continuous fly pass of the unusual.

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1 hour ago, APOLLO said:

At Springs Branch in the 60's the breakdown crane was on the move virtually every day !!

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_11/939318_SPRINGSBRANCHND011.jpg.fb7ec436a290bb7df6b0341459b93bf8.jpg

 

Why not model "strange" locomotives on a test train ?. First time I saw Kestrel was on a 20 coach test train northbound through Wigan back in 1968. Test trains north out of Crewe were common. 1T60 was the usual headcode. Here are some photos.

 

EE Type 1 southbound test train at Springs Branch around 1967. These locos were as rare as hens teeth around here back then.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_11/image.png.8a6701b0d711a78223e71cb68b91ee04.png

 

Next neg on the film, same day, Frank Dyers "typical" scene. Crossing the WCML 100 yards from the photo above, heading down to Ince Moss & the old Lancashire Union St Helens line.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_11/image.png.9882c46575a756bdfec8c5d008653c7c.png

 

Southbound green 1T60 at Rylands Sidings Wigan  around 1967

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_11/image.png.8fe9f8d8b2a2b7ca296ae1fa9b15bd8e.png

 

Two D400'ers ready for test trains at Crewe works around 1968 or so. D448 & D449.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_11/image.png.3231993b8a941f81deac5b6dc26e6f39.png

 

Yes the 60's was an interesting time.

 

Brit15

 

 

There was always a bit of a thrill as a trainspotter when you saw an unfamiliar shape in the distance and wondered what it was that was going to appear.

 

But it was that, the unexpected, the one off, the special. If you spent time at or near a depot with a brakedown crane, you would expect to see it regularly and it becomes part of the "everyday" scene. I used to spend a lot of time at Doncaster and although there was a big crane at the shed, seeing it hauled through the station was an event.

 

If people want to populate their layouts with specials and one offs, that is fine. It is, after all, a hobby and everybody has an absolute right to follow it any way they wish.

 

All I will say is that I don't think that layouts that are over provided with such "specials" create a realistic view of what the real railways were like. On Buckingham we have two trains that are non revenue earning specials. There is a Directors saloon and a ballast/p.way train. That is the grand total of 4 movements out of 100 (All trains make a return trip to and from a destination). I am happy with that as a proportion but if others want 50% specials, that is fine, it just isn't how I picture the real thing working. 

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1 hour ago, t-b-g said:

It was one of my modelling heroes, Frank Dyer, who wrote about modelling the typical rather than the exceptional. In my trainspotting days, I could go for many days before I saw a breakdown crane on the move, or an inspection saloon. Look at some layouts and you would think that every 4th train was a weedkilling train, a track measuring train or suchlike.

 

I think that is where the distinction comes between rare and common, rather than talking about a particular locomotive.

 

In the case of the ECML, you might have a train that was pulled nearly all of the time by a Kings Cross A4 but maybe once or twice was hauled by a V2 following a failure. So modelling it with a V2 is "the exceptional" despite the fact that there were far more V2s than A4s.  

I hope I've arrived at a 'typical' day's running on Little Bytham, Tony.

 

By the way, the layout will feature as 'Railway of the Month' in the first issue of the Railway Modeller in 2020. 

 

Talking of unique locos (one-offs, rather than individual class members), if they were out-of-shops, one would see the A1/1 and the W1 EVERY day at Little Bytham in the '50s. Doncaster, where they were both allocated, used to use them on daily return trips, stopping at principal stations, to/from Kings Cross. 

 

I do run the 'occasional rarity', in the way of a loco fresh from Donny Plant on a running-in turn - hence the presence of (one) Scottish-allocated Pacific, other than a couple of regular Haymarket A4s on the 'Lizzie. It wasn't a daily occurrence, but seeing COLORADO amble through Retford one day is an abiding memory, especially as it was so clean! 

 

I have a couple of engineering vehicles parked in a siding, but I never run a breakdown or weed-killing train.

 

Summer Saturdays were the best for seeing the 'unusual'.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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10 hours ago, The Johnster said:

This is a good point; there's rare and there's rare.  It would be unusual to stand anywhere alongside the ECML between '62 and the early 80s for more than an hour in daylight without seeing one of those 22 locos, even north of Newcastle.  Similarly, by the mid 60s and into the early 70s one would stand a very good chance of seeing Falcon on any given day between Paddington and Bristol via Box, much as one would have a very similar chance of seeing The Great Bear there 50 odd years earlier.  Adams radials and Beattie Well Tanks were more or less unknown on the post grouping Southern, but rather common on the Lyme Regis and Wenford Bridge branches respectively.  

 

Small classes and unique locos have a more prominent presence than their numbers would suggest in specific locations if they work fast long distance expresses on specific routes, or at the other extreme, if they are confined to short branch lines where everybody knows where to look for them, or if they are designed for a specific duty such as Big Bertha.

 

If my layout was set any older I would need a Falcon and a few Westerns.

 

Anything West of England in the early 80s would require at least 5 x 50s.

 

Peaks were not everywhere but they were very common where I grew up.

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1 hour ago, grahame said:

 

I agree and much prefer to see the usual, ordinary, ubiquitous and omnipresent modelled on layouts. And, also for me, that extends to more than just the trains and stock but applies to road vehicles, structures and scenery.

 

 

Personally, I find it fascinating how I regard my print and slide collections from travels in days gone by. At the time I was passionate to record the special and the significant ... for me major architectural masterpieces etc or beautiful scenery. I went to great lengths to frame the shots excluding distractions and extraneous things which I felt at the time might detract from the images.

 

What I find now is that the vast majority of the images I have I can download bigger and better versions of following a simple 5 minute google images search ... the acropolis/Hagia sophia/the alps etc etc. What is much more interesting to me now are the accidentally caught street and village scenes ... what people were wearing, what cars were around and how many, the advertising hoardings, what was in the shops etc etc - ie the mundane and everyday which gave a true picture/snapshot of life at the time.

 

When something has gone ... it is amazing how fascinating/interesting it becomes. Hopefully with the advent of digital images the recording of the everyday moving forward will be much more thorough.

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Dorchester; the proposal was for the LSWR to strike to the West from Dorchester.  The plan was derailed by lack of finance and the line was built from Salisbury rather than Dorchester..  Of course, it left Salisbury with a quirky track plan and THE accident.  Back to Dorchester.  There were a set of plates with numbers on (screwed to sleepers?), which were the drivers' stopping point before reversing into the up platform.

 

Bill

Edited by bbishop
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23 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

I hope I've arrived at a 'typical' day's running on Little Bytham, Tony.

 

By the way, the layout will feature as 'Railway of the Month' in the first issue of the Railway Modeller in 2020. 

 

Talking of unique locos (one-offs, rather than individual class members), if they were out-of-shops, one would see the A1/1 and the W1 EVERY day at Little Bytham in the '50s. Doncaster, where they were both allocated, used to use them on daily return trips, stopping at principal stations, to/from Kings Cross. 

 

I do run the 'occasional rarity', in the way of a loco fresh from Donny Plant on a running-in turn - hence the presence of (one) Scottish-allocated Pacific, other than a couple of regular Haymarket A4s on the 'Lizzie. It wasn't a daily occurrence, but seeing COLORADO amble through Retford one day is an abiding memory, especially as it was so clean! 

 

I have a couple of engineering vehicles parked in a siding, but I never run a breakdown or weed-killing train.

 

Summer Saturdays were the best for seeing the 'unusual'.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Hello Tony

 

They were typical, not exceptional for the location and time period, along with that big blue noisy thing.

 

When I was exhibiting Hanging Hill which was supposed to be based in North East London to have multiples of classes like Baby Deltics and NBL type 1s was typical.  Anywhere else and one of them would have been exceptional.

 

People who are lucky enough to have the space to build a model of a real location have the information of what is typical. The likes of me with my made up place have to consider what could have been typical, it is all to easy to make the exceptional the norm. I also think (and I have been guilty of this) modellers who have made or bought the rare loco, item of stock etc want to display it so at exhibitions we see more of the unusual than we would if stood next to the real railway.

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3 hours ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

I remember bunking it in 1961

 We had been to Bank Hall, Walton, Aintree, Edge Hill, Allerton and Speke and had an hour to spare on our way back to Rock Ferry for the train home. From the hole in the wall it amazed me how they actually got a shed in there.

 

I don't know how you managed that, I never did despite numerous attempts. We never got into Bank Hall either but most of the other sheds in the area were quite friendly.

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Talking of rare sightings. My clearest memory of seeing an A4 when I was child living at Potters Bar in the early 60s was of seeing Golden Plover in the down slow platform one weekend morning with my father. Given she was always a Scottish A4 this seemed unlikely at that time unless she was on a running in turn of some form. The answer lies in Yeadon Vol 2 where there is mention that she took over the up West Riding at Doncaster on 30th March following a failure by D9015. 60031 was at Doncaster for a non classified repair from 27 Feb - 23 March. On the 31st which was a Sat she returned north on the 10.20 am Kings Cross - Leeds which must be when I saw her.  Interestingly she was back the following day on the 6.45pm from Doncaster but then returned home on the 2nd April.

 

Andrew

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35 minutes ago, Michael Edge said:

I don't know how you managed that, I never did despite numerous attempts. We never got into Bank Hall either but most of the other sheds in the area were quite friendly.

At Bank Hall we used a decoy. We got round while the foreman was taking care of him. He only caught up with us when we were at the far end on the way back to the entrance. Meanwhile the decoy got back in while the foreman was rounding us up.

At Brunswick we just walked in at about 5.30 on a Sunday afternoon. 

It's amazing what you could do by public transport on a Sunday in those days. We met up at Snow Hill for the first Down express which was Leamington to Birkenhead, changing at Rock Ferry for Liverpool Central LL. We got round mainly by bus until catching a train back to Rock Ferry for the evening train to Padfington, getting to Snow Hill in time for the last bus home.

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39 minutes ago, Michael Edge said:

I don't know how you managed that, I never did despite numerous attempts. We never got into Bank Hall either but most of the other sheds in the area were quite friendly.

 

Bank Hall - Easy (ish !!!!!!!!!!!!!) - No Jubs though when I got there, alas, my favourite, poor old 45698 Mars was history (so where her 17 minute dashes from Manchester to Wigan Wallgate !!) - History soon would be these pictures --- 1966 /7 (can't remember the date).

 

1992379388_LIVERPOOLBANKHALLND001.jpg.0718decbfec19f293f84d8ccfe41e84d.jpg

 

 

1524796518_LIVERPOOLBANKHALLND004.jpg.6b92794b624f688481c627f77a76c257.jpg

 

755386210_LIVERPOOLBANKHALLND006.jpg.aa1b2de13fea13f8652ef8dd9d36416a.jpg

 

We got thrown out of Edge Hill though - (miserable old scouse git !)  - a far safer shed to bunk - the "electricity" was up there ^^^^^ !!!

 

Brit15

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I suppose that running the "Director's saloon" from Buckingham to Leighton Buzzard on a daily basis may be pushing the boundaries of the likely. One of the Denny sons, Crispin or Stephen, once told me that the back story was that one of the Directors was involved in a relationship with a barmaid at "The Swan" hotel and used to arrange daily meetings there as an excuse to visit her.

 

We all have our "blank spots" when it comes to model railways. One of mine is worrying about whether a loco from a correct shed is working a train. To me, if an ECML express has an appropriate loco on the front, I wouldn't know if it should be worked by a Haymarket or a Top Shed example. As long as it has a type of loco that would have worked that type of train, I am happy. My dad used to study such things and kept his own log book of shed transfers so if an unusual loco appeared in a particular area, he would know if it was well off the beaten track or had been transferred to a local shed. To me, it was either a "cop" or not!

 

So the idea of whether a particular individual loco should or shouldn't be on a particular train at a particular date may be of interest to others but not to me.

 

If it is the right sort of loco on the right sort of train, that is good enough for me.

 

My Dad used to march up to the shed office and rattle on the window. When the Foreman or whoever appeared, Dad would announce "I have brought my lads to have a look around your shed. That is OK isn't it?". If they said that it was, which was almost always, he would put his hand into his tweed jacket pocket and produce a large cigar and hand it over with a "Thank you my man". We had a huge success rate and only got refused once, when senior management were due to visit. Even then we were shown out "the long way round" and saw everything that was there before we left.

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We never thought of using a decoy! Always got caught at Bank Hall, even one day when we tried crawling along the floor outside the foreman's office - he still yelled at us to get out. Edge Hill though was trainspotter's paradise in my schooldays - but only on Sundays, most weeks there would be dozens of us wandering round in there. Apollo's recollections are a bit later than mine though.

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I'm sure that I would never, ever, have trespassed on railway property at a loco depot in my spotting days...

 

My experience was that most places were fine with it if you'd asked, and some would find a locoman with nothing better to do on spare duty to take you around, which resulted in me having a drive of 43106 at Stourton in 1967 as it had to move to the turntable.

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Glad to say I experienced shed visits while it was still tolerated.  Dad took me round Landore depot in 1980 and I seem to remember we just asked someone politely, being told just to keep well clear of anything moving or which sounded like it was about to.  Less than 10 years later and you really couldn't just walk into depots anymore.

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The Spotters Prayer

 

Our Father, who art in Crewe
hallowed be thy name
thy locomotives come
thy will be done
on the main line as it is in heaven (Springs Branch)
Give us this day our daily cop
And forgive us our MPD trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation (that shedplate hanging off !!)
but deliver us from evil (The Edge Hill / Gateshead shed masters)
For Crewe is the kingdom
birthplace of the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Edited by APOLLO
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6 hours ago, Michael Edge said:

We never thought of using a decoy! Always got caught at Bank Hall

One of our crowd had been before and suggested that he distract the foreman for long enough for us to get in and out of sight then when we were spotted he would get in himself while the foreman's back was turned, then meet us at the bus stop.

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The impossibles were Bath Road and Holbeck in my memory. 

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I did both !! Bath Road I walked in and asked politely, a kind guy in the mess room took pity and took me round one saturday afternoon back in 1968. 

 

Holbeck was easy IF you knew how - Just DON'T walk in the entrance. Walk round the back and climb up the low-ish stone wall then through the concrete fence in this photo where some panels were missing - straight into the steam yard & at the side of the roundhouses. The diesel shed was a no-no at Holbeck !!

 

Not my photo but brings back mountaineering memories !! I could just squeeze through the gap on the right with my Duffle bag - No chance now though !!

 

6700626709_9b7930e991_b.jpg

 

Anyone chalk mark headcodes on their locos ! Note 41708 on blocks to the left - Ran a hot box being towed to the K&WVR. I think Neville Hill sorted the bearings out. 4 April 1967

 

2013-01-10-21-22-00.jpg.d4e19047f027e224b031bb0e1d596c0f.jpg

 

2013-01-10-21-22-45.jpg.4a3d603e904b45cb168264d4641e66d5.jpg

 

I remember reconnoitering many sheds, walking the perimeter where possible looking for suitable "entry points". Most shed fences were falling to bits by the mid to late 60's, diesel sheds (including Springs Branch) were nearly always a no go area, but for some reason Finsbury Park was a doddle, especially on a bank holiday Monday !!

 

2013-01-15-14-14-55.jpg.85162453bc554bc3332d4f37feda386b.jpg

 

Crepello on the park

 

2013-01-15-14-13-57.jpg.a9d97adc92666d61ccc6d27c3a60c332.jpg

 

Happy days. 

 

Brit15

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Did anyone manage to get refused access to Reddish Depot? When I visited there (1980) there were all sorts of other characters wondering about inside as well. It felt like if you walked past on the dirt path alongside you would be invited in regardless of whether you wanted to or not. 

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On 13/11/2019 at 20:01, t-b-g said:

 

I used to knock about many small depots in the 70s and 80s. I would say that the layouts I saw all had a degree of realism in the layout and the scenic setting. Even if they reproduced a small section of a larger depot rather than the whole thing.

 

We used to go on a weekend, usually on a Sunday. We would go to Rotherwood, Worksop or Shirebrook and Sunday was best for pure spotting as that was when the locos were all at home and not out on the road.

 

Even on a normal working day the real places were like that operationally. Loco leaves, loco arrives. That was about it. You didn't see locos aimlessly swapping from one siding to another for no apparent reason, then swapping back again, unlike some of the models.

 

So the operation of the models was entirely realistic but still deadly dull. If you build an accurate model of a dull place and operate it realistically, you get a dull layout!

 

 

If you unlucky enough to spend a night shift at Newton Heath with a certain foreman , moving the same 142 three times from one road to another was not unsually. He'd rate a busy night by the number of bits of chalk he'd worn out! 

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