Jump to content

Please use M,M&M only for topics that do not fit within other forum areas. All topics posted here await admin team approval to ensure they don't belong elsewhere.

Tony Wright

Wright writes.....

Recommended Posts

I give you, Len Plum's daughter, Victoria.  Len worked for Ford at Dagenham when I worked there, as did the young lady who made her name as Sandie Shaw (Puppet on a String).

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, thegreenhowards said:

I can’t claim any personal credit for this (other than some eBay bargaining skills!) but I thought people on here would be interested in my latest purchase.

D5AC9CC2-5BF1-4C58-9CD1-57888504105B.jpeg.7c1b4a11a6be54af37c6f03aafced1bd.jpeg13919429-BAAD-4B9E-B031-0B92DC061DC6.jpeg.c4b1ddfc328e9ccbc4352ef81d7958e1.jpeg

 

Andy

 

Lovely, although frighteningly fragile in appearance.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Just how much is still to be completed on Retford can be appreciated from this picture............

 

2057498200_Retford72010.jpg.22ae45804684abc4a3725017c93332f5.jpg

 

The GN loco shed and almost all of the station buildings are still just mock-ups in card. A few shed details are complete, though.

 

In the background can be seen Geoff Kent's Black Lion Crossing (and one of my cameras!). 

 

926121781_Retford72009.jpg.d7cbbf9a16b4709c692148d64c66e8cb.jpg

 

When you think that the GC section on Retford (the small trainset) occupies probably a bigger footprint than my own Little Bytham, some idea of the size of this magnificent achievement can be appreciated. 

 

1855424087_Retford72006.jpg.df1d823c820a65a99fa33be36edd2125.jpg

 

Some folk seem to rejoice in small, 'shunting plank' layouts, many of which are beautifully-made.

 

Using an art analogy, they're exquisite miniatures compared with Monet's breath-taking whole-wall water lilies! 

 

 

Tony, Many thanks for posting this. I wonder thought would there be any chance of some moving image footage of Retford could be taken? I appreciate that Covid may impact this. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

There was a plan published in a BRM article in March 2013. I am sure others have appeared in the press, one being in MRJ if I recall correctly.

 

Basically, it is the real Retford shrunk to 4mm scale, so if you have a plan of the real place, you have the model plan too.

 

I was looking at the photos and running my mind and memory over who has done what on the layout. The list of people who have contributed is very long indeed.

 

What it does demonstrate is that a project like that, impressive as it is, was not nearly finished in the lifetime of the person who dreamed up the idea. That was with huge amounts of help from lots of people.

 

Perhaps that goes some way towards explaining why some of us prefer to be less ambitious. We have less room, less time and we don't have people willing to give hundreds if not thousands of hours of their own time in return for little more than tea, good friendship and lots of verbal abuse!

 

 

When I look at the vast area of scenery in the south east quadrant between the GN and the GC on Retford, I'm reminded of how much of it is your work, Tony. And Babworth 'box, and.........................

 

Despite the amount of time given by others (in spite of the abuse), it's my perception that Retford stalled in the last decade (apart from some still-amazing amounts of work). Why, I'm not sure. However, the 'journey' was probably more important for Roy. He told me half a century ago, when I scrambled around the encroaching vegetation inside a disused Methodist Chapel in Walkerith attempting to photograph the boards containing the north junction, that he never expected to see it finished; but kept going. 

 

I think it's very wise to be 'less ambitious', though a project like Retford is heroic, if rather 'insane'. The latter said, the model railway world is far richer because of it. And, given the resources, vast model railways are possible. 

 

When I say 'vast', I'm reminded of the likes of the EM Carlisle, being built in France. It's even bigger than Retford, though the approach is fundamentally-different. I mentioned resources, and that includes, if necessary, a huge fiscal budget in order that top professionals (the likes of Mike Edge) be paid in order to work on it, often for weeks on end. It's been my privilege to photograph it already on two occasions (a putative third visit was suggested for this year, but Covid scuppered that). I've certainly worked on re-wheeling and tweaking rolling stock (as barter for our wonderful accommodation), the RM paying for the photography. Having seen some of Mike's more-recent shots (it's over two years since I've been there), progress has been very rapid, and it's far nearer completion than Retford, though at huge expense. As I say, given 'fiscal clout', though Roy always pleaded poverty. 

 

But I don't know that Roy Jackson would have ever been happy with 'chequebook' modelling, even given a rich purse. I'm not deriding those who pay others to do their modelling for them (often they have the 'vision', though lack the practical skills), and, rather in the manner of patrons in the past, they facilitate the creation of 'masterpieces' through having enough dosh. I suppose the ultimate expression of this was a layout (in O Gauge) which I'd been commissioned to photograph, only to have the owner die before any pictures were taken (I don't think my taking of pictures was potentially-lethal, though the guy who was arranging the photo shoot also died shortly after!). Anyway, not only was everything on this huge model made by top pros (including Beeson), the owner employed a couple of chaps to maintain and run it! 

 

All the above said, from a personal perspective, I don't think I'd derive any great pleasure if my layout was all the product of others' work (not that I have the money!). Though LB is the work of many, talented modellers (the likes of which, I hope, I acknowledge all the time), much of it is my work and most has been achieved by barter. 

 

I suppose ultimately it comes down to personal satisfaction. Some get that by way of 'possession', though that would not suit me (nor Roy, nor you if I may say so?). Others get it by making just about everything themselves, meaning their creations are smaller and often take years to complete - even a lifetime. I like to think that Little Bytham fits somewhere in between; the work of many (but not in a 'possessive' sense), in the main pooling resources. A much smaller version of Retford in a way, though nowhere near as 'heroic'. That took a great man's vision, even if the vision ultimately disappeared. I count it a great privilege to be potentially among the team which completes it. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

  • Like 12
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Chamby said:

 

Neater, I suspect.  Use of stuff like static grass instead of dyed carper underlay, and fewer coarse materials such as lichen, means there is less scraggy scenery about, for sure.  

 

My recently ‘static grassed’ countryside section looks more like tidy parkland at the moment, it definitely needs scruffing up a bit.

 

Afternoon Chamby,

 

I hadn't thought of that, I suppose that the  scenic wizards of my acquaintance, don't buy much pre packaged stuff, they have their magic potions and their secret spells and incantations. I guess that modern product produces beautifully manicured undergrowth that  sits well with the sea of shiny plastic roofs.

Edited by Headstock
  • Like 1
  • Funny 1
  • Friendly/supportive 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

Thanks Andrew. It has been a real labour of love and I doubt that I will ever make anything better.

 

I have collected many hundreds of wheels over the years. Much of what the late George Norton had went to Malcolm Crawley and when he died, both George's wheels and Malcolm's came to me and added to my already large collection. Sadly many of them had no packets to confirm the origin.

 

The bogie wheels were from that lot and they are 3'6" scale sized and 10 spoke. From the type of plastic and the way the tread is turned, they look like Sharman wheels. Going back to the earlier discussion about wheels and flange sizes, they may need to be replaced with slightly smaller ones. The flanges catch ever so slightly on the frames and even in a straight line, the wheel flanges are very close to the cylinders. Or at least the spacer between the cylinder and the frame. I don't want to start filing the spacer back unless absolutely necessary. I haven't run it on track and round curves yet as it doesn't have pick ups. I can see clearance problems before I start but I have plenty of ideas how to get around the problems, including being clever with the bogie pivot position.

 

Nobody makes a correct GCR tender wheel. The ones fitted are 4'3" 12 spoke Ultrascale. They should have 13 spokes. You have to some sort of x-ray eyed superhero able to see through the outside frames to tell.

 

Thanks Tony,

 

I should have thought about Sharmans, they look very effective, perhaps Franks bogie pinning method might be beneficial and allow them to remain in place, I hope so. You are dead right about the tender wheels. Anybody looking at a photograph, would conclude that they had twelve spokes, not thirteen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Hawin Dooiey said:

This has made my evening seeing these new photographs of Retford. It could almost be 1956 (wasn't that the year Roy set it?)

I remember having an enjoyable chat with him about B16s. I seem to recall he liked them in all their varieties. 

 

 

An East coast mainline layout set in 1956! You're pulling my leg, it only opened in 1957..................and closed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

I have always had the little daydream that somewhere in the world, a man and his wife, Mr & Mrs Stein, have a daughter and decide to name her Phyllis.

A friend of mine went to school with the daughter of a Mr and Mrs Branch  who was cruelly saddled with the name Olive.

 

Tone

  • Funny 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Short trousers and a voice hoarse from shouting 'Streak'!

 

Hopefully an observation rather than an instruction... I know you had to make your own entertainment in those days, but there are limits.

  • Like 1
  • Funny 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a client 25 years ago whose maiden name was Cherry Orchard, she said that her parents had thought it a lovely name and she said it didn't bother her too much growing up. When she met and married Paul Stone she might have had different outlook on it.

  • Like 2
  • Funny 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I can't believe it, but it is almost 6 years to the day since I weathered this one for you Tony. If I remember correctly, I handed it back to you at the Pickering Show, where you told Dad the joke about the TVR.... :lol:

10560554_10152304911842984_2993299503884896265_o.jpg.041ef5f48a22f977d373325eeb35da09.jpg


Still one of my favourites all these years on.

Edited by Hawin Dooiey
  • Like 8
  • Craftsmanship/clever 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Hawin Dooiey said:

Still one of my favourites all these years on.

The loco or the joke?

  • Funny 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Hawin Dooiey said:

I can't believe it, but it is almost 6 years to the day since I weathered this one for you Tony. If I remember correctly, I handed it back to you at the Pickering Show, where you told Dad the joke about the TVR.... :lol:

10560554_10152304911842984_2993299503884896265_o.jpg.041ef5f48a22f977d373325eeb35da09.jpg


Still one of my favourites all these years on.

Is it really that long ago, Tom? 

 

You really are a top-weatherer. 

 

I think my painting of the loco was 'adequate'.........

 

1138953703_K162070DMRkit.jpg.98e9f64a855de7ebe82c5b29fe100fed.jpg

 

But you brought it to life!

 

404306021_Downfaststarter62070.jpg.fbce67c824053b98918c364464dfabe9.jpg

 

It still sees regular service on Little Bytham, and it's one of my favourite loco-builds.

 

Do you remember weathering that modified Hornby B1 at much the same time?

 

2091567172_B161175K162070.jpg.1f91c14ff0585cb72bc33a308e4450fa.jpg

 

Obviously some little time ago; no point rodding.............

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

  • Like 9
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Headstock said:

 

Thanks Tony,

 

I should have thought about Sharmans, they look very effective, perhaps Franks bogie pinning method might be beneficial and allow them to remain in place, I hope so. You are dead right about the tender wheels. Anybody looking at a photograph, would conclude that they had twelve spokes, not thirteen.

Hi Andrew,

If you are wanting your locomotives to run on Leicester South then I wouldn't recommend Sharman wheels because of my previous comment with regard their relative slimness.  As I have said to you previously, in order to accommodate such a range of wheel standards the check rail gauge on LS is very generous and I suspect you would end up with Sharman wheels jumping the points.  The B1 chassis I built for John has Alan Gibson wheels and these seemed to be okay for LS as should be Ultrascale.  If they do the wheels you need I'd be happy to help you set them up.  If you are sticking with rigid frames then  you would need to double check the concentricity of each AG driving wheel before committing them to your model.   AG will swap the wheels if there is a problem.

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dr Gerbil-Fritters said:

 

Hopefully an observation rather than an instruction... I know you had to make your own entertainment in those days, but there are limits.

'an instruction' to streak? 

 

In 1957? Perhaps a decade later?

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Chuffer Davies said:

Hi Andrew,

If you are wanting your locomotives to run on Leicester South then I wouldn't recommend Sharman wheels because of my previous comment with regard their relative slimness.  As I have said to you previously, in order to accommodate such a range of wheel standards the check rail gauge on LS is very generous and I suspect you would end up with Sharman wheels jumping the points.  The B1 chassis I built for John has Alan Gibson wheels and these seemed to be okay for LS as should be Ultrascale.  If they do the wheels you need I'd be happy to help you set them up.  If you are sticking with rigid frames then  you would need to double check the concentricity of each AG driving wheel before committing them to your model.   AG will swap the wheels if there is a problem.

Frank

 

Good evening Frank,

 

believe it or not, I have some Sharman wheels running on LSGC without any issues, V2 tenders. I wasn't considering any new additions based on Tonys locomotive, rather I was just admiring the quality of his wheels. There isn't an absolutely correct bogie or tender wheel available for class B7 from Gibson, Ultrascale or Markits, at present I'm shopping around. Thanks for the offer re wheel set up, it is very much appreciated. The B1 chassis is a typically beautiful example of your workmanship, I am hoping to liberate it from captivity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MikeTrice said:

The loco or the joke?

 

Apologies Mike,

 

I haven't forgotten about the roof, I have been somewhat busy today with work and just discovered my camera battery needs recharging. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Is it really that long ago, Tom? 

 

You really are a top-weatherer. 

 

I think my painting of the loco was 'adequate'.........

But you brought it to life!

 

 

 

 

That's very kind of you Tony. I'm constantly learning, but it has gone from being and enjoyable hobby, to a rewarding business too.

 

You painting and lining looked very good to me. It was one of my favourite locomotives to work on, primarily because it wasn't flimsy like RTR is to work on.

 

49 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Do you remember weathering that modified Hornby B1 at much the same time?

 

2091567172_B161175K162070.jpg.1f91c14ff0585cb72bc33a308e4450fa.jpg

 

 

 

 

I do indeed! Another favourite I worked on for Little Bytham. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Is it really that long ago, Tom? 

 

You really are a top-weatherer. 

 

I think my painting of the loco was 'adequate'.........

 

1138953703_K162070DMRkit.jpg.98e9f64a855de7ebe82c5b29fe100fed.jpg

 

But you brought it to life!

 

 

 

It still sees regular service on Little Bytham, and it's one of my favourite loco-builds.

 

Do you remember weathering that modified Hornby B1 at much the same time?

 

 

 

Obviously some little time ago; no point rodding.............

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

 

Good evening Tony,

 

I think 62070 looks rather neat in the raw, quite a nice quality finish. I don't think it would have been to difficult to add the go faster strypes to the loco and tender valances

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

When I look at the vast area of scenery in the south east quadrant between the GN and the GC on Retford, I'm reminded of how much of it is your work, Tony. And Babworth 'box, and.........................

 

Despite the amount of time given by others (in spite of the abuse), it's my perception that Retford stalled in the last decade (apart from some still-amazing amounts of work). Why, I'm not sure. However, the 'journey' was probably more important for Roy. He told me half a century ago, when I scrambled around the encroaching vegetation inside a disused Methodist Chapel in Walkerith attempting to photograph the boards containing the north junction, that he never expected to see it finished; but kept going. 

 

I think it's very wise to be 'less ambitious', though a project like Retford is heroic, if rather 'insane'. The latter said, the model railway world is far richer because of it. And, given the resources, vast model railways are possible. 

 

When I say 'vast', I'm reminded of the likes of the EM Carlisle, being built in France. It's even bigger than Retford, though the approach is fundamentally-different. I mentioned resources, and that includes, if necessary, a huge fiscal budget in order that top professionals (the likes of Mike Edge) be paid in order to work on it, often for weeks on end. It's been my privilege to photograph it already on two occasions (a putative third visit was suggested for this year, but Covid scuppered that). I've certainly worked on re-wheeling and tweaking rolling stock (as barter for our wonderful accommodation), the RM paying for the photography. Having seen some of Mike's more-recent shots (it's over two years since I've been there), progress has been very rapid, and it's far nearer completion than Retford, though at huge expense. As I say, given 'fiscal clout', though Roy always pleaded poverty. 

 

But I don't know that Roy Jackson would have ever been happy with 'chequebook' modelling, even given a rich purse. I'm not deriding those who pay others to do their modelling for them (often they have the 'vision', though lack the practical skills), and, rather in the manner of patrons in the past, they facilitate the creation of 'masterpieces' through having enough dosh. I suppose the ultimate expression of this was a layout (in O Gauge) which I'd been commissioned to photograph, only to have the owner die before any pictures were taken (I don't think my taking of pictures was potentially-lethal, though the guy who was arranging the photo shoot also died shortly after!). Anyway, not only was everything on this huge model made by top pros (including Beeson), the owner employed a couple of chaps to maintain and run it! 

 

All the above said, from a personal perspective, I don't think I'd derive any great pleasure if my layout was all the product of others' work (not that I have the money!). Though LB is the work of many, talented modellers (the likes of which, I hope, I acknowledge all the time), much of it is my work and most has been achieved by barter. 

 

I suppose ultimately it comes down to personal satisfaction. Some get that by way of 'possession', though that would not suit me (nor Roy, nor you if I may say so?). Others get it by making just about everything themselves, meaning their creations are smaller and often take years to complete - even a lifetime. I like to think that Little Bytham fits somewhere in between; the work of many (but not in a 'possessive' sense), in the main pooling resources. A much smaller version of Retford in a way, though nowhere near as 'heroic'. That took a great man's vision, even if the vision ultimately disappeared. I count it a great privilege to be potentially among the team which completes it. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

 

Good post Tony. You have summed up the situation with Retford and other projects very well.

 

Retford did tend to "drift" a bit in recent years. Roy's eyesight and hands were not as good as they were and he was personally struggling to do work of a quality that satisfied him. He grew increasingly grumpy and negative towards what he was doing and also towards what others were doing and amongst his many qualities, leadership and man management did not figure highly!

 

As you know, I stopped going some time ago due to a few differences with Roy and I don't think I was alone in finding it difficult to be very enthusiastic about putting many hours of work into the project.

 

Despite our differences,  we remained friends and I probably feel more inclined to contribute for the new owner than I was for Roy. Both as a memorial to him and as a thank you to the new owner for making sure that the layout that I and others have put so much into has a secure future. 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
  • Friendly/supportive 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sandra said:


Tony,

 

It was lovely to see you and Mo yesterday when you came to see Retford. Thank you for kindly lending me some stock and converting it to EM. As I said to you, now I am the owner of Retford, my aim is to complete it. A large amount to work has been done on the layout but a lot still needs to be done, particularly in completing the buildings many of which are just mockups. 
 

I admired the layout from the moment I first read about it in MRJ. I was lucky enough to talk to Roy Jackson at an Expo EM exhibition and to my surprise he invited me to visit Retford. On entering the railway shed I was completely captivated by the “train-set” as he called it. It took enormous imagination to visualise a project such as this. He started it not even having anywhere to erect it in full. It even went out on exhibition two or three times which must have been an enormous undertaking.

 

In the marvellous photographs taken by Tony two of the locomotives are mine. The V2 is from a Nucast kit I built and painted during lockdown. It still needs weathering as well as crew and lamps. The A1 “Madge Wildfire” is actually a Hornby “Tornado” converted to EM gauge by changing the bogie and tender wheels but moving the Hornby driving wheels out on their axles to the EM back to back. Other changes have been made including extensive alterations to the tender and new smoke deflectors.

 

Although Roy Jackson was the driving force behind Retford many other people made enormous contributions to the project. I would love them to continue to work on the railway if they feel they can . I appreciate that without Roy it will not be the same but I would like the railway to be finished as a tribute to Roy.

 

Sandra

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Sandra, for acquiring Retford (and the property that goes with it!). I doubt it would have survived in any recognisable form, if at all, without you.

 

I first met Roy at a show, Nottingham if I recall correctly, and we had a very good chat. Not long afterwards, I visited Retford with the LNER Society and found it absolutely amazing. I visited almost every year from then onward until 2018. It is a layout where full-length East Coast expresses can really be seen in a proper scale setting, and not many layouts can achieve that. Roy invited me to come to one of the regular mid-week running sessions but it wasn't possible due to my work and the distance involved.

 

I was also very fortunate to be introduced to Sandra by Tony when we visited along with Mark Jenkins (Mark54 on this forum) to run Little Bytham. Tony even left the three of us in charge of it.

 

Photos, or even video, do not really convey the scale of it all. The way I usually describe Retford is that the floor area of the room in which it and Black Lion Crossing live is almost exactly the same as the area of the plot of land on which my house stands - a 3-bedroom house on the London/Surrey border with garage and large railway room in the garden. Retford is around a scale one mile in length if I recall correctly. And there was still room for Geoff Kent's previous layout, Blakeney, as well - that has now been sold.

 

I too hope that Retford can move forward. I think my own contribution is likely to be very small in comparison with others but I have taken a first tentative step in EM by ordering some carriage wheels. One has to start somewhere!  As I wrote in a previous post, it would be good to find the Summer 1957 carriage workings and working timetables but they seem elusive. I have been looking through books and magazines for photos of trains that ran through Retford in the Summer of 1957, and even they seem hard to come by.

 

Something that I believe Sandra missed as she was unable to attend Expo EM that year was Roy's talk on layouts he had been involved with. This was interspersed with lots of anecdotes and a bit of life story. It was excellent and I wish I had been able to record it.

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Headstock said:

 

Good evening Tony,

 

I think 62070 looks rather neat in the raw, quite a nice quality finish. I don't think it would have been to difficult to add the go faster strypes to the loco and tender valances

Good evening Andrew,

 

'I don't think it would have been to difficult to add the go faster strypes to the loco and tender valances'

 

Difficult? Perhaps not, but many prototype pictures show that the valance lining seemed to disappear more quickly under grime than on other areas, excepting boiler bands. There's also my natural indolence, of course!

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have posted this video clip before but in the light of today's postings, I thought it worth linking to it again as both Roy and Sandra are in it.  Roy is engaged in lively dialogue with the GN operators about a possible oversight in the operation - the train passing through should have stopped - and Sandra is at the far end operating the GC side.  This was my final visit before Roy passed away.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

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.