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Wright writes.....


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1 hour ago, rowanj said:

I too am really offended not to have been mentioned by name...  it's just not good enough ( a bit like my modelling).

 

Some folk are just too ruddy sensitive. By all means, take a bit of care with what you post, but also recognise the nature of the beast which is online, quick and easy, communication, and don't analyse every word to look for hidden nuances which don't exist.

Well, I'm greatly offended by the use of the word "ruddy".  I don't come on Wright Writes to read that sort of language.......

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2 hours ago, James Fitzjames said:

Not that singer, the chap concerned was far more dandy and charming ;) He also turned out to have girlfriends all over the country, which did not result in a happy blonde...

Are you, well, adamant about that? ;)

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1 hour ago, Anglian said:

I'm unable to make out all the layouts listed in the magazine's Top100 so I can't tell for sure if a couple haven't made the cut. Both are large 7mm layouts, one influencing the other. At the time of their construction I'd regard both as marking significant milestones.

 

The first being the Norris Layout, which at best had a loose sense of geography and as far as I've read didn't operate to any sort of timetable, yet it remains significant in my eyes at least.

 

The second: Lonsdale by Neil Corner and team. I think this layout has pretty much existed under the wire. I rarely see it mentioned and I have seen precious few images of it. Whilst it depicts a very plausible 'might-have-been' the main station is based on Hellifield.

Like much of what I've written, or been co-author to, I no longer have copies (part of a swelling throng!). Thus, I'm not able to comment exactly if Bob and I included the Norris layout, though I'd be surprised if it were not mentioned. I know John Emerson had some vintage shots of it, and I drove to Redditch to collect some more from a private collection. These were Russell Studios' images if I recall correctly, and were excellent. 

 

I recall reading a book in the library of my school (where I was a pupil) in the late-'50s, which featured pictures of the Norris layout. One showed a Stroudley 0-4-4 at the head of a train in a station, with the caption telling me it was 'the apotheosis of things which had gone before'. I learned two things that day; how good modelling could be and a new word to add to my vocabulary. 

 

I believe the Lonsdale layout was designed by David Jenkinson, and I know Norman Solomon did a lot of work on it. It had been 'sort of' arranged for me to take some pictures of it, though, for obvious reasons, the owner is very sensitive about others knowing where it is. My contacts were via Norman and DJH, but nothing came of it. I subsequently was told that the owner had had some 'professional' pictures taken, but was so disappointed with the results that he wanted no more. I suppose I was scuppered before it even started. If Bob used any pictures of Lonsdale, they'd probably have been those taken by Jenks himself. 

 

Regarding my photographing 'famous' layouts, I once had a phone call out of the blue asking if I'd be interested in photographing what Roger Daltrey was building (who?!). A visit was arranged as a sort of recce to Roger's magnificent estate on the Kent/Sussex border, where the layout was under construction. What a chance, but then I became ill and the opportunity to take pictures disappeared. Whether it has since been photographed, I don't know, but The Who lead singer is a very fine modeller. It should be photographed, if not. 

 

It really has been a privilege down the years to be invited to take photographs of some of the most famous and most impressive layouts ever created. Some have lived up to their 'reputations', others have been a bit of a 'disappointment'; excellent in photographs (not necessarily mine), but 'different' in the flesh. Naturally, my lips are sealed as to which, though my disappointment has usually been with regard to the running. Indeed, on one occasion when I rolled up, even though the layout had some top names in its building CV and the locos/stock had been built by a well-known 'name' in the hobby, I couldn't drive one train into position for photography without it stalling, stuttering and falling off! It's not unique.

 

Regards,

 

Tony.  

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2 hours ago, Anglian said:

I'm unable to make out all the layouts listed in the magazine's Top100 so I can't tell for sure if a couple haven't made the cut. Both are large 7mm layouts, one influencing the other. At the time of their construction I'd regard both as marking significant milestones.

 

The first being the Norris Layout, which at best had a loose sense of geography and as far as I've read didn't operate to any sort of timetable, yet it remains significant in my eyes at least.

 

The second: Lonsdale by Neil Corner and team. I think this layout has pretty much existed under the wire. I rarely see it mentioned and I have seen precious few images of it. Whilst it depicts a very plausible 'might-have-been' the main station is based on Hellifield.

 

You've probably seen the same photos I have, which are in David Jenkinson's book on historical railway modelling.

 

I learned a new word from DJ's book - "supervenes" - he uses it all the time.

 

Al

 

 

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3 hours ago, Anglian said:

I'm unable to make out all the layouts listed in the magazine's Top100 so I can't tell for sure if a couple haven't made the cut. Both are large 7mm layouts, one influencing the other. At the time of their construction I'd regard both as marking significant milestones.

 

The first being the Norris Layout, which at best had a loose sense of geography and as far as I've read didn't operate to any sort of timetable, yet it remains significant in my eyes at least.

 

The second: Lonsdale by Neil Corner and team. I think this layout has pretty much existed under the wire. I rarely see it mentioned and I have seen precious few images of it. Whilst it depicts a very plausible 'might-have-been' the main station is based on Hellifield.

I should be able to help here.

 

Both layouts are on the list, the Norris layout is listed under the name Francisthwaite (I never knew its name before - it was always just 'the Norris layout'!); there are three pages of photographs devoted to it in the magazine.

 

So far as Lonsdale is concerned, it was the feature layout in the first two issues of the much-missed Modellers Backtrack (no surprise there, given that Mr Jenkinson was editor!). Nine pages plus trackplan in issue 1; six pages in issue 2. Photos by Ron Prattley. Lighting is a bit harsh but they illustrate the layout well enough.

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21 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks Tom,

 

Though the thanks should go to Alan (who made 'me') and Tim (who painted 'me'). 

 

'I'm' actually on two other layouts as well (can't you just hear the groans?); Tom Foster's and Ian Wilson's. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Tony,

 

Does that mean that ModelU sell "you"?

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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

And the last; for now......................

 

1168544046_Stodmarsh0Gaugelightrail01.jpg.1b47d9ee1de0bd55b226942bc1bd0f42.jpg

 

Stodmarsh.

 

317874595_Talybont03.jpg.e85d4073539f937c39634ed2a6cb705b.jpg

 

276248290_Talybont7mmNarrowGauge01.jpg.06a545411229e2b9d29aa28e10f8ff4b.jpg

 

Two of Talybont.

 

446398024_WaverleyRouteNGauge01.jpg.55f529926860c7b42a3c85e015c822f1.jpg

 

The Waverley route. 

 

These selections haven't even scratched the surface of the archive (many, many more are in BRM's archive at base, in Bourne).

 

Several are in B&W because the camera's ability to capture the exact colours seemed to be limited at the time, especially at shows with very mixed lighting. 

 

I'll dig a little deeper tomorrow, should anyone be interested...........................

 

 

Good evening Tony, I'm sure I'm not alone in being always interested in these pictures; the vast majority are layouts I've never seen in picture form, let alone in real life (remember how we used to go and see things in real life, with other poeple?) so they're not only very enjoyable but very educational :).

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2 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

I should be able to help here.

 

Both layouts are on the list, the Norris layout is listed under the name Francisthwaite (I never knew its name before - it was always just 'the Norris layout'!); there are three pages of photographs devoted to it in the magazine.

 

So far as Lonsdale is concerned, it was the feature layout in the first two issues of the much-missed Modellers Backtrack (no surprise there, given that Mr Jenkinson was editor!). Nine pages plus trackplan in issue 1; six pages in issue 2. Photos by Ron Prattley. Lighting is a bit harsh but they illustrate the layout well enough.

Thanks Graham,

 

I don't think it was the Ron Prattley photos which the owner of Lonsdale was unhappy with. 

 

It's a pity it hasn't featured more, because I know Norman Solomon had done a fair bit more after the photographs were taken.

 

I enjoyed working for David Jenkinson, doing the odd photo commission and articles for MBT. He didn't suffer fools gladly (though he tolerated me), new exactly what he wanted and I knew what that was. There are few of his calibre left today.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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Just now, Chas Levin said:

Good evening Tony, I'm sure I'm not alone in being always interested in these pictures; the vast majority are layouts I've never seen in picture form, let alone in real life (remember how we used to go and see things in real life, with other poeple?) so they're not only very enjoyable but very educational :).

Thanks Chas,

 

That's very kind of you.

 

As I mentioned, the surface of my model railway photo library has only just been scratched, and that's just the digital archive. There are also thousands of negatives and transparencies. One day, I must get them scanned. 

 

I'll do a little more digging tomorrow; there's an old computer in one corner which I've not switched on for ages!

 

To be honest with you, I'd quite forgotten about many of the images I've shown recently. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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36 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

I have no idea, Archie.

 

If they did, I'd imagine sales would be very low.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

I can't find Tony in their online catalogue but I'm sure he still lives on in their digital archive. I imagine they would be willing to produce you one (or more), if Tony were to give his permission.

 

They really are fabulous figures to paint since the detail is very sharply defined precisely to scale but more than that it's the wonderfully natural poses that the 3D digital technique captures that makes them so special.

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45 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

I enjoyed working for David Jenkinson, doing the odd photo commission and articles for MBT. He didn't suffer fools gladly (though he tolerated me), new exactly what he wanted and I knew what that was. There are few of his calibre left today.

Being of LMS/LMR persuasion myself, I regard him as my modelling muse. I never met him, but his writings were inspiration enough (as well as forever being  a hero of mine for his role on bringing the incomparable No.46229 first back to the NRM and then into working order for mainline railtours - yes, I know many others were involved as well!).

 

I noted your estimate of the number of articles you've written yourself and started me thinking. DJ was also a prolific writer (as well as a prolific producer of drawings). Aided and abetted by the likes of Bob Essery, the railway and modelling press of the 1970s and 1980s were awash with LMS-biased articles and projects.

 

Could it be the case therefore that, since his passing, the LMS/LMR has not had such a high profile? Meanwhile, with 400 articles to your own name in more recent times (and I'm sure there are others who could be named), does the LNER / ECML currently enjoy a correspondingly higher profile?

 

Just a thought!

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7 hours ago, James Fitzjames said:

Not that singer, the chap concerned was far more dandy and charming ;) He also turned out to have girlfriends all over the country, which did not result in a happy blonde...

Ah, Stuart Copeland. I had the dubious honour of working with him in the early 90's

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Did you ever take any pictures of Westford for BRM, Tony? That layout made a big impression on me when they brought it over for one of the Dutch shows. I still rate it as one of the best "big terminus" layouts as there was always something happening on it, and it all seemed to operate well. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Barry Ten said:

Did you ever take any pictures of Westford for BRM, Tony? That layout made a big impression on me when they brought it over for one of the Dutch shows. I still rate it as one of the best "big terminus" layouts as there was always something happening on it, and it all seemed to operate well. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did Al,

 

In Taunton (where the layout was based), many years ago. 

 

Most were on transparency (so, in BRM's archive - somewhere), but a few were digital (in the early days of the format). 

 

I'll see if I can find any. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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38 minutes ago, LNER4479 said:

Being of LMS/LMR persuasion myself, I regard him as my modelling muse. I never met him, but his writings were inspiration enough (as well as forever being  a hero of mine for his role on bringing the incomparable No.46229 first back to the NRM and then into working order for mainline railtours - yes, I know many others were involved as well!).

 

I noted your estimate of the number of articles you've written yourself and started me thinking. DJ was also a prolific writer (as well as a prolific producer of drawings). Aided and abetted by the likes of Bob Essery, the railway and modelling press of the 1970s and 1980s were awash with LMS-biased articles and projects.

 

Could it be the case therefore that, since his passing, the LMS/LMR has not had such a high profile? Meanwhile, with 400 articles to your own name in more recent times (and I'm sure there are others who could be named), does the LNER / ECML currently enjoy a correspondingly higher profile?

 

Just a thought!

The LNER/ECML does enjoy a lot of popularity these days, Graham, but what it's down to, I don't know. Certainly, a 'trip' could be made up the ECML in model form far more easily than any of the other Big Four trunk lines.

 

Regarding the peerless David Jenkinson, I'm sure I've told this tale before about my first commission for him for MBT, but others might not know.

 

A phone call came out of the blue. It went along the lines of..............' Jenkinson here, is that Tony Wright? I'm told you're the best model railway photographer around, and I need a top job doing. Are you?

 

My response was along the lines of if I answered 'yes' I'd be perceived as arrogant and if 'no' then the next question would have been 'Who is?'. 

 

'What I'd like are some high-quality transparencies taking (they must be medium format) of three 'Royal Scots' which Geoff Holt is building. They're needed for MBT. Can you do it?'.

 

'Yes, but might I propose that I do the job (which involved travelling from Wolverhampton to North Wales) and send you the transparencies?'. My rates are........................... If you're happy, then please let me know and please pay me. If not, please also let me know and send my work back (I'll reimburse you the postage)'. 

 

'They'd better work - time is tight!'. 

 

I did the job and posted off the results. Next day, the phone rang, and.......... 'Jenkinson here, they were right; quite splendid. The cheque will be in the post today'. And it was. 

 

After that, it was a series of commissions..................... With Bob Essery involved as well.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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