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Graham_Muz

Pre Grouping general discussion

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The three truly great railways were the GWR, Midland and the LNWR. The GW for its advanced loco design, the Midland for its carriage design & colour adopted by the LMS, and the LNWR for its superb permanent way and ability to keep the West coast mainline ahead of the game for so long. And all three bequeathed their liveries to British Railways. So when you next visit a restored line, you will likely see at least one reminder of those three companies. :)

Can't agree, Larry. The Midlands approach to loco design exclude them from being "great".

 

The GWR were definitely best at self promotion, something started by IKB, apparently the only engineer that the UK ever had.

 

But we all have our own preferences for different reasons. I think the great thing about modelling pre-group is that you create something different, rather than amassing a collection of items from the latest made in China catalogues, something that surely gives more reward and satisfacion.

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The Midlands approach to loco design exclude them from being "great".

 

If that is the sole criterion, then IKB should be excluded too!  He might have been a very great engineer but his 'engines' were disasters until he found Gooch to sort things out :)

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Can't agree, Larry. The Midlands approach to loco design exclude them from being "great".

 

The GWR were definitely best at self promotion, something started by IKB, apparently the only engineer that the UK ever had.

 

But we all have our own preferences for different reasons. I think the great thing about modelling pre-group is that you create something different, rather than amassing a collection of items from the latest made in China catalogues, something that surely gives more reward and satisfacion.

They are not my personal preferences; just looking at it from the point of view of what the companies created and handed down to posterity. The Midland carriage design and reorganisation to allow mass-production tecniques instigated by Reid put this company and the LMS streets ahead of the other railways. The MR 9' bogie with slight modifications served the LMS right to the end of its existence and into BR. The Deeley style crimson lake livery was revived on the LMR Pacifics in 1957 and the colour was adopted (reinvented by BR as maroon) on BR coaching stock from 1956.

 

The Churchward locomotive design concepts on the GWR showed the way forward to all the other UK railways once the penny finally dropped with them.  And the livery was adopted with slight modification by BR in 1949.

 

I don't need to tell you about the LNWR's achievements and standard of permanent way   :)  or the fact that the livery was adopted unmodified by BR in 1949.

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  Thereby hangs a problem, as certain companies have been well covered in print, i.e. GWR, LSWR, MR to cite a few.  However, others are not.  For example, (and this could be wrong), are there quality publications on the locos, carriages, goods stock, signalling etc. for the GNoSR??  I wonder if you carried out a 'blind poll' of RMWeb members, with no reference to the net or books if they actually knew what GNoSR stands for.  

Although I agree entirely with your comments, unfortunately the GNoSR is perhaps, not the best example.  There is an excellent general history, including locos, albeit a bit scanty, from the Stephenson Locomotive Society, Lightmoor Publicaiotns have a detailed book on the Coaches and NPCS, and the goods wagons are farily well covered in the recent LNER wagons series, just leaving the signals and architecture, perhaps.  There is also an active company society to support it.  The line I feel sorry for is the Glasgow and South Western, which seems to have fallen through all the nets, although there are snippets in various LMS tomes, such as architecture and locomotives, and some shared Midland coaching stock.

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I plucked the GNoSR randomly out of the air, probably as its former lines are geographically the furtherest from where I live.  I also said  For example, (and this could be wrong)  

 

Is it worth starting topics where members can list good reference books / materiel  for a specific pre-grouping railway?  For example, for the LSWR, the four volumes of LSWR Locomotives by D.L.Bradley (Wild Sawn) are invaluable.  Thoughts please.

 

This could be a possibility.  I have an interest in the Cambrian and the LC&DR and the number of books is small and I wonder if there are others I have missed.

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Miss P,

 

this is not an official LNWR sign. It was produced by an inferior railway in an attempt to prevent the unwitting from following the Premier Line.

 

It is never too late to follow the true path.

 

Jol

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I would love to model in the period 1905-1914. S&DJR would be my preferred with Midland and L&SWR thrown in

The variety of rolling stock really appeals.

However, I work and have a family. Therefore time us at a premium, time which I could use to practice those skills I do not possess to build the kits.

 

I am sure my appreciation of pre group railways stems from my late father. At the age of about eight he bought me a paperback edition of C Hamilton Ellis The Trains we Loved.

I Still have it and wouldn't part with it for anything.

 

I model the S&D in the 50's having bought my first railway book at 14 with my birthday money. It was Ivo Peters An English Cross Country Railway. This in turn led to more books on the S&D which led to lovely blue engines. Then I read about Midland railway and the L&SWR. ........and so it started.

 

By rights I should be modelling blue diesels but books took me elsewhere, thankfully.

 

Rob

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The Midland carriage design and reorganisation to allow mass-production tecniques instigated by Reid put this company and the LMS streets ahead of the other railways. The MR 9' bogie with slight modifications served the LMS right to the end of its existence and into BR. The Deeley style crimson lake livery was revived on the LMR Pacifics in 1957 and the colour was adopted (reinvented by BR as maroon) on BR coaching stock from 1956.

 

The Churchward locomotive design concepts on the GWR showed the way forward to all the other UK railways once the penny finally dropped with them.  And the livery was adopted with slight modification by BR in 1949.

 

I don't need to tell you about the LNWR's achievements and standard of permanent way   :)  or the fact that the livery was adopted unmodified by BR in 1949.

 

The fact that BR adopted so many pre-gouping symbols is surely a sign that many of the railways most innovative people had decamped to the motor and aeronautical industries by the lat 40s early fifties.

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I echo Simon's post.  I was in my early 30s when I moved up to 7mm, which required a myriad of new skills to be learnt.  I had a full time job, mortgage and kids.  It was over 10 years before I could start a layout, so I slowly built up my rolling stock collection.    My modelling was undertaken on an old drop leaf table in the corner of the lounge-diner.  Everything was put out and away after nearly every modelling session.  Only when I acquired an old lathe and a new pillar drill did I decamp to the shed!  It is a matter of smart time management and an understanding partner.  Which is better, being in the same room or out at the pub or at the footie with your mates?

 

It has been written that before Malcolm Mitchell married, he used to use his lathe sitting up in bed!!  I am NOT recommending this option though!!

Still bed bound after a number of operations I'm still modeling like this now with a bed down stairs in the lounge though things are getting bad I'm actually starting to enjoy Jeremy Kyle 

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The fact that BR adopted so many pre-gouping symbols is surely a sign that many of the railways most innovative people had decamped to the motor and aeronautical industries by the lat 40s early fifties.

 

Or that a lot of them were simply "good enough" already and seen as solved problems.

 

Meanwhile, testing a GWR shunters truck on Aeonian Hills prior to painting (and yes they are pre-grouping!)

 

Time flies by when you're the driver of a train

Steaming into Trumpton with a cargo of cocaine...

 

post-6740-0-45718500-1385830015_thumb.jpg

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I am glad they did take you to where you are obviously more happy, but "should" has no place in making hobby choices: not sure about "by rights", either. There is, as far as I am aware, no such convention, just a commonly found explanation.

 

I think what I was trying to say was this;

 

I spent my early years at the line side from about '78 'til '85 watching the blue diesels. Most of my contemporise went on to model blue diesel's. I started with GWR branch line modelling, now cured......

 

I then bought an English Cross country railway and was chuffed ( no pun intended ...no really) to discover a line where both Southern and LMS locos ran together. I mean I live in the heart of GWR territory and Here I was modelling the S&D. ...then I discovered the pre grouping side of things, so I truly was out of the ordinary amongst my chums...

 

34yrs later and I am still dabbling with the S&DJR. ...

 

Rob

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I was out of the hobby for some 40 years, because of girls, work and other sidelines. When I returned after retirement, I realised how much had changed. Yes I can remember clearly when steam was king, and when he local goods was steam powered. Although my interest is on the dark side (American steam and disease), I can appreciate how much pre-grouping would appeal to the modeller. While the silhouettes of steam were simpler then, complications such as splashers would need to be modelled. This might be an ideal application for 3D modelling, which I suspect might be awkward to make in brass. Also the huge variety of wagons and liveries might well appeal.

 

Another railway which seems to get very little printed coverage (I stand to be corrected here) is the Caledonian ?

 

Dennis

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Apart from the appeals of the pre-grouping period in terms of appearance and design, there is another very good reason for modelling that time in our history, which has been touched upon already. This is the matter of having to build things from kits or from scratch.

 

It is not, in my view, a case of having to build things. It was my choice to do so. There are so many excellent RTR locos available that only the very best modellers could hope to match or improve on them. So, rather than run something I have built alongside a RTR beauty, I prefer to run them alongside others that I have made.

 

I would rather have a smaller layout, on which I could say "I made that" rather than a bigger layout running RTR stuff.

 

Agreed it takes longer. It is not really in tune with the instant satisfaction that so many people seem to need nowadays but it requires me to develop my skills beyond opening a box and is massively more satisfying and enjoyable.

 

Tony

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Another railway which seems to get very little printed coverage (I stand to be corrected here) is the Caledonian ?

 

Dennis

 

Some years ago I met a chap named John Boyle or Doyle at Carlisle MRS. He had drawings and a few 0 gauge kits of Caley locos and coaches from the mid to late 1800s, including Brittain 2-4-0 and 0-4-2 tender locos and an early 2-2-2. I think the kits were what he described as an aid to building rather than full kits. He didn't seem to advertise and I have no further information on him. Anyone know of this chap? 

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If we are going to discuss Pre-grouping railways, it is probably best to be dispassionate and not partisan.

Not partisan? On RMweb? Surely you jest ;)

 

The whole period is very fascinating to me - particularly so because of the diversity.

 

Echoing what many have said, the pre-grouping period is the pinnacle of that most British invention (being railways) at least as far as Britain's global leadership in railway technology was concerned. (Similarly for warships.)

 

The 'Great War' changed everything.

 

That's not to say that many great strides forward weren't made after that war, of course they were, but the focus changed and something was lost. Recreating a bit of what was lost is a part of the appeal of the pre-grouping period.

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My opinion is that if more modellers had the confidence and courage to move away from RTR, then we may just see more from this era.  But it is a big assumption.  I am personally not convinced that the practical skills necessary are taught in UK schools these days and not all of us are blessed with a practical ability either.  So we who can, need to be willing to pass our knowledge on.  It heartens me to see demonstration tables at exhibitions, where those with a teaching ability and patience can show others what can be achieved with practice.  

 

.

 

 

 

I wouldn't worry too much about the education system being a barrier. I doubt very much whether Rev. Edward Beal, Rev. Peter Denny, John Ahern or P.D. Hancock were taught any practical skills in school either. They all had an academic or professional education so would have picked up their modelling skills by modelling. Peter Denny describes that in his books while P.D. Hancock was a distinguished academic librarian at Ediburgh University and probably the last person anyone would expect to be handy with a set of hand tools.

 

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The whole period is very fascinating to me

 

The 'Great War' changed everything.

 

That's not to say that many great strides forward weren't made after that war, of course they were, but the focus changed and something was lost. Recreating a bit of what was lost is a part of the appeal of the pre-grouping period.

I think you have hit the nail on the head there.

The period 1901 to 1914 is viewed by many as a ' golden era' is many areas. Railways and, I would venture, locomotives were at their(arguably of course) their most aesthetically pleasing but there was an emergence of a more workmanlike approach. I am thinking of the Midland here with their Johnson, Deeley and Fowler locomotives here.

 

 

I have wondered whether the next twelve months may see a flurry of WW1 based layouts?

 

Rob

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Fascinated by the Edwardian/WW1 era and far too young to have experienced 'real' steam, however my grandparents lived across the field from a disused NER branch line, and close to Beamish open air museum, hence the interest! Fortunately in N gauge there are three RTR NER types thanks to Union Mills, and luckily the Newcastle Quayside and Shildon-Newport electric locomotives are available thanks to Judith Edge. Pendraken offers 2mm WW1 vehicles which can provide late 1910's cars and lorries, and also WW1 vehicles for military trains. With the sheer variety of different locomotives, rolling stock, interesting prototypes and pride in the railways much then, it's a lot more interesting than run down, on the brink of closure BR

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I wouldn't worry too much about the education system being a barrier. I doubt very much whether Rev. Edward Beal, Rev. Peter Denny, John Ahern or P.D. Hancock were taught any practical skills in school either. They all had an academic or professional education so would have picked up their modelling skills by modelling. Peter Denny describes that in his books while P.D. Hancock was a distinguished academic librarian at Ediburgh University and probably the last person anyone would expect to be handy with a set of hand tools.

 

 

Dave,

 

while I am not entirely convinced that the education system has provided a satisfactory grounding in basic skills for a number of years, or that UK society values engineering skill, ability or education anywhere near enough, I think that other factors also have a very strong influence.

 

Compared to pre-WW2 days, we apparently live in a "better" time. Fewer work and more leisure hours, better health and longevity, more freedom, more comfortable homes, more disposable income, etc. And yet lack of time to build models from kits as well as lack of skills, are often cited as the reason why so many don't do it. There is a culture of "it's too difficult, it's more fun to open a box" particularly among the 4mm collector/modeller today. 

 

However, there are enough willing to give it a go and we are well supported by the kits and bits suppliers even though some railways are less well covered. It's notable that several of today's small suppliers came into being through the owners desire to have the models he couldn't get elsewhere or that weren't good enough. It's a "get up and go" attitude apparently missing in many peoples modelling approach.

 

Jol

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It seems to me a problem lies within RMweb itself.  The majority have come here through buying BRM etc and are box openers, but RMweb is the centre of the universe. In my longish lifetime I have gathered many acquaintances in the railway modelling fraternity and I think only two are on here. Outside of e-forums are plenty of people modelling eras rarely depicted on RMweb. If they weren't I and many others in the trade would have been out of business years ago.

Edited by coachmann

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More disposable income Jol I and many other government and local government employees would beg to differ as a teacher and an old one at that I receive less per year than the cap on benefits £26,000 per annum.Only just less but there it is.

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I would love to model in the period 1905-1914. S&DJR would be my preferred with Midland and L&SWR thrown in

The variety of rolling stock really appeals.

However, I work and have a family. Therefore time us at a premium, time which I could use to practice those skills I do not possess to build the kits.

 

 

<innocent>

 

So you would be in the market, for say, a 4mm RTR Scottie, then?

 

</innocent>

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Fascinated by the Edwardian/WW1 era and far too young to have experienced 'real' steam, however my grandparents lived across the field from a disused NER branch line, and close to Beamish open air museum, hence the interest! Fortunately in N gauge there are three RTR NER types thanks to Union Mills, and luckily the Newcastle Quayside and Shildon-Newport electric locomotives are available thanks to Judith Edge. Pendraken offers 2mm WW1 vehicles which can provide late 1910's cars and lorries, and also WW1 vehicles for military trains. With the sheer variety of different locomotives, rolling stock, interesting prototypes and pride in the railways much then, it's a lot more interesting than run down, on the brink of closure BR

 

There are also a few suitable 2mm scale cars in the Scalelink range and wonderful horse-drawn vehicles from Dart Castings.

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.I wouldn't worry too much about the education system being a barrier. I doubt very much whether Rev. Edward Beal, Rev. Peter Denny, John Ahern or P.D. Hancock were taught any practical skills in school either. They all had an academic or professional education so would have picked up their modelling skills by modelling. Peter Denny describes that in his books while P.D. Hancock was a distinguished academic librarian at Edinburgh University and probably the last person anyone would expect to be handy with a set of hand tools.

 A misconception I am afraid. Unless you were stinking rich, and not even then in respect of some activities, you had to have practical skills in the past simply to get on with life. Very little came in a box ready to be opened, plugged in or whatever and used. When you read diaries of folk 100+ years ago it is very revealing of what they did in the way of things practical. Admittedly diaries are largely written by the wealthy, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that since wealthy women were making and altering clothing (including completely utilitarian items) those with less cash probably did so too. Search on 'lilian bland mayfly' to see where these skills got redeployed

 

Good example from my youth - and I am still a ways from state pension eligibility - our local NHS doctor repairing his own punctured bicycle innertube after making a house call. Can you imagine a modern GP doing anything remotely similar?

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