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Sarn (Montgomeryshire) and Nantcwmdu (South Wales)


corneliuslundie
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Came across something fairly recently implying that the distinctive single-ended inside-framed brake vans were built by the Metropolitan. Don't know the provenance of that. Will see if I can dig something up. I have two Cambrian drawings of these, with slightly different planking arrangements, from memory dated early 1900s.

 

Edit: I have a list, from where I know not, of Cambrian wagons which includes the builders. It has the above brake vans as being Cambrian built.

Edited by NCB
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If that list was from me don't trust it as I added the information on the basis if the Mike Lloyd drawing.

I assume you couldn't sleep worrying about such an important matter!

I have four difference "Cambrian" drawings of the type, all supplied to me by the HMRS, some with the longer 18 ft length and 10 ft wheelbase but the same basic design. I also have this list which I scanned from a document supplied to me some years ago by Birmingham library. It is useful as it has dates. Only one brake van and a much earlier one, but on the basis of drawing numbers it does give a rough date for the ballast brake van for which I also have the drawing.

 

Jonathan

Cambrian Railway drawings at Birmingham library.png

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The list I have apparently originated with Richard Evans and I got it from Quarryscapes.

 

Sleep!  How can one sleep when there are such pressing matters of such importance!  :jester:

 

I have looked in a 'New History' and there is a table of stock added from 1890 to 1895, and another list of invoices, stock bought and company.  It states that 3 Brake Vans were added in 1894, for which there is no invoice.  All the vans are, according to the list, single verandah, outside frames, but it states one is built by B'ham.  The list also has six double ended Brake Vans built in 1895 by Metropolitan Coach and Wagon .  The invoice list has an invoice from the Metropolitan dated December 1894 but does not have what it is for; it ius a godd assumption it is for six Brake Vans.  

 

So, there is not much information, and what there is contradicts itself.  My feeling is that if the original diagram was a Metro original then there would have been others of the same type seen around the country, more than the M&M one, or did they have several of the same type?  (If they had built 25 or so for the LB&SCR or LSWR, or LNWR then we could have a cheap kit and not have to scratchbuild.)

 

Where are the Metropolitan drawings kept, and is it possible to get drawings?

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The HMRS has a lot (and I mean A LOT) of Met Camm drawings - going back to Metropolitan and other predecessors, but not all are lndexed yet and many really need cleaning up before being made available. If they are shown as thumbnails on the website they are available. Those at Birmingham used to be available by post but these days one has to go and photograph them - when they are open. There was a big staff cutback a few years ago.

The HMRS has the brake van drawing 4273 listed by Birmingham. Usually they are listed with what is referred to as "Original drawing number" which is not the earlier HMRS numbers as I thought but the railway company number. If you know the manufacturer's drawing number it is often easiest just to put the number in the "Search entire store here" box. If the listing for the drawing includes the manufacturer's number. you will find it (what I just did for the brake van).

Back to the Mike Lloyd drawing, he states that four were bought in 1888 and three more in 1894 which would be the three you mention.  To be honest at this stage I have not been worrying about anything after 1892 as that is the cut-off date for the first Cambrian drawings volume I am working on.

I have the Richard Evans list too.

Jonathan

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Think it's the Richard Evans list which I have. Re brake vans, I notice he groups vans of the same number together, so say van number 7 is followed by its replacement number 7 for example. However, I'd by surprised if a van of a certain type was always replaced by another van of the same overall type. The no. 7s are listed under Double verandah, steel frame. I can see the second, built in 1913, being of that type. But would the first, built in 1882 and withdrawn 1913?  Would be surprised.

Nigel

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My question, as always, is where is the original data?  Someone must have had it to state how many coaches there were at the start, and when certain wagons and coaches were built.  Are they still tucked away in Kew, or have they been transcribed and are languishing in a file somewhere?  What I find interesting, and slightly disturbing is that in 'A New History' build numbers are included from 1890, but not before.  As I understand that the information at Kew had been trawled for the book, perhaps it was not there. 

 

Perhaps we are better off than the modellers of the GWR as if they get a rivet out of place, everyone can find a picture/file/ notebook/ scratching on a wall somewhere to tell them that it is wrong, where it is not quite as bad for us.  (Tongue firmly in cheek mode.)

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Perhaps I am better off because strict prototype accuracy has never bothered me; I take the best guess approach :)

 

I like building models, and they can't hang around for ever because some information isn't available or some component isn't. My Cambrian wagons don't have split spoke wheels, because they're not available currently in 3mm/ft.

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I must admit I am more interested in getting the flavour right than being dead accurate.  So I work on the following principles

Go for the easy bits first - if there is a kit or a model that is just right go or it while it is available.

 

Replace ( or fix) the most glaring out of place pieces.- totally inapropriate models.  Things like a top feed or can be tolerated if on a round toit list. for a pre-group layout any Mk1s go 1st then say Collett coaches  etc.

 

Gradually the stock gets nearer to what you want . Try to avoid being tempted by inapropriate things

and if you never alter the minor inconsistances so what if you can live with them. 

 

Anything glaringly out of place you cannot bear to part with can be  kept  for 'FUN' days when you just run anything and to hell with it. Obviously not visitor days,  for most of us our spouses will not notice a King running on that country branch.

 

After all if you can accept that your superdetailed spot on loco has an electric motor where there should be a fire, well why not live with a Belpaire boilered Dean Goods when there are more pressing things to do before building the round topped boiler one.

 

Don

 

 

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Roughly my sentiment. The discussion about Cambrian brake vans is not because I intend to model any as they would be rather unlikely on the Rhymney in 1912, but to try to get things as correct as possible for the proposed WRRC drawings book.

For example, I also produce 7 mm models for the club's Bishop's Castle Railway layout (a proposed part which was never built). Here we often have no idea of the provenance. There are some early cattle wagons, very distinctive but only seen behind other vehicles so anything less than about eight feet above the ground is a complete guess. But I shall in time have a go at a couple. And we don't even know what wagons were used for the quite extensive timber traffic as the BCR had no timber wagons. So I am building, LNWR and Cambrian types. And there is also a first generation BCR van for which all we have is an incomplete Mike Lloyd drawing so I don't actually know how wide it was or any details below the solebar. But that will not stop one being built. And another club member is building a pair of Ford railcars on the basis that Colonel Stephens liked them so perhaps the BCR saw them locally and bought a pair. And we have "transferred" a loco from the S&M on the basis that it was too small for S&M traffic so Stephens might have been happy to sell it (and there is a RTR model available).

And of course for most of us we are building a fictitious place anyway (though I sometimes feel the Traeth Mawer MUST be a real place but somehow missing on my maps).

Let's not let the real world get in the way of our modelling!

Jonathan

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Believe it or not, I try and get the flavour and give the right impression but can get sucked into pedantic detail.  If all else fails I ask Mr Price and he usually tells me if it looks right.

 

I think Traeth Mawr is a real place too; you canniot find it on a modern map as Barmouth has subsumed it and got rid of any reference to it.

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On 01/01/2021 at 19:10, mike morley said:

I think the entire subject of Welsh brake vans is a minefield. 

For instance, I'd love a Mid Wales Railway van, but as far as I know there is nothing to go on other than a couple of pictures of the one (or was it two?) that went to the Elan Valley.  The Oakwood press says they only had one, but photographic evidence suggests that either they had two that were rather different or they altered the one they'd got during the comparatively brief time they had it.  And neither bears much more than superficial resemblance to the 16mm version that's on sale.

 

is this the sort of thing?

 

Marc

Cam 6ton BV.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 30/12/2020 at 08:18, mike morley said:

I did a couple of field trips to Llangurig in 2003/4 when the embankment across the back of the Blue Bell's car park was still there.  The bridge had already gone but recently enough for the height restriction signs on the approaches to it to still be in place.  I felt that where the railway had crossed the road that runs between the Blue Bell and the village hall was too high for a level crossing but nowhere near high enough for it to have ever been a bridge.  My conclusion, therefore, was that the road had been severed when the railway was built and the detour road across the front of the school to the bridge at the other end of the Blue Bell's car park built as a replacement.

 

 

Bit of a general update on the whole, location of the road bridge carrying the line through Llangurig village (or at least, the intended line);

 

 

 

Llangurig_Walk_Snow Scenes_24-01-2021_27.jpg

 

 

Taken today (24.01.2021), I had intended to wait for a nice sunny day, but snowy will do just as well.  In this image, I am facing North with the main A44 road through the village, behind me.  This is almost at the extreme West end of the village (heading out to Aberystwyth) and shows the remains of both the East-West embankment and the road bridge abutments.  So as discussed, the road down from the North (to/from Llanidloes), which lies some yards to the right, originally did turn West when it met the embankment (now gone), run along its rear face, and then turned down South again under the bridge, at the location shown in the photo.  You can, of course, find the self same spot using Google Street View if so inclined.

 

[Embarrassing note: I actually been living here since April last year, but I've never walked along to this end of the village before (driven past it loads of times).  This is because, as a pedestrian, you cannot go anywhere (safely at least) in this direction, because once you reach the village limits, its just grass verges (no pavements) and a (usually) very busy main road]

 

 

 

Edited by steveNCB7754
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Didn't realise that the road had been brought back into use. After the direct route had been create, the road was blocked off, with the bridge still intact, and that was the state I was intending to take a pic of. When i got around to it the bridge had disappeared. I thought I'd taken a pic of that state but can't find it. I've vague memories of some sort of fence between road and stream.

 

Nice pic. Nigel

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19 hours ago, NCB said:

Didn't realise that the road had been brought back into use.

 

 

Yes, I was slightly confused as well.  At the point in the photo (its junction with the main A44), it looks obviously to be a (public) road, but if you go up the (now) main road North to Llanidloes and look across behind the pub (and thus, alongside the old school) it isn't that obvious that there is a right of way.  Checking the OS Map I have (2015 copy, updated in 2012) it definitely shows it as a yellow route, off the road north as I mentioned, so I guess that means it is (still) a public right of way.  Interestingly, at the junction in my photo (on a wall at the corner, just out of shot on my right), there are a couple of small, white signs with black numbers on them ; 'A44xxxx' (can't remember what the actual number(s) are), but I don't know what their significance is.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Although I have not posted about my modelling I have not been idle, just very slow at achieving anything. A year ago I decided not to start any new projects and try to finish some of those which have been around for a couple of decades – plus GWR 1196 for Sarn which I have been working on for many months.

1196-1.JPG.60fc3d17e35f631fc794539914e091f6.JPG

 

The lettering is the best I could do,. as each letter had to be added separately, there not being room on the tank for the normal GWR spacing.

I almost succeeded in keeping to my vow, but did break my own rule by starting a wagon for the club layout – a 7 mm BCR timber bodied van, which is now nearly complete. Photos next time.

One of the outstanding projects - for about 40 years I think - was half a dozen Ratio 4-wheel GWR carriages, which had been painted in the 1930s livery but never actually finished. Since they needed backdating to 1912 I had to think about the livery. One reason for choosing 1912 is that it is possible to have chocolate and cream, chocolate, and lake liveried carriages. Therefore the easy decision was to repaint some of them in the latter two colours, and two are now complete and lettered, with two others nearly ready. I have had real fun with the HMRS Methfix transfers, but got there in the end.

So here are the results. There is too much varnish, in fact too much paint altogether, but they will do, though I think thet the painting of the window frames needs tidying up.

982089158_Brown4-wheeler1.JPG.fb6bc50c5e8172388cf48cfc16476dbb.JPG

 

253530506_Lake4-wheeler.JPG.018c7ca4f6ebc1ceba624530e5bf6ec6.JPG

 

But I would like some in chocolate and cream too, so I decided to look at modifying the livery of one. The first problem was that the cream on the carriage was far darker than my current tin of Precision GWR cream. I therefore decided to try to remove the paint; this has been distinctly problematic and I have not really succeeded yet.

In parallel with this I have been completing a Slaters GWR clerestory third kit. Let’s call it a challenge. A problem I still have not completely solved is getting the brake shoes in place with the wheels still able to rotate as there is not room between the wheels and the bogie frames. I have therefore fudged the brake pull rods so that it is possible to remove the bogies to fiddle with them some more. The carriage is now painted and lettered, and other than this only needs the door handles and grab irons added. The irony is that I am not sure that one of them would ever have been seen up a South Wales valley in 1912. But I was not going to be defeated. And annoyingly, after I had made interiors and painted and added some specially purchased figures, some of the solvent used to attach the roof got onto the windows of one compartment one side and they are now distinctly white.

So once these jobs are out of the way the next batch of unfinished models is seven Trevor Charlton Rhymney 6-wheelers which are in various stages of incompletion, having been started at least 25 years ago.

The only other thing I have been doing is thinking about the buildings to go along the road at the back of the layout, which is the village main street. There will be two terraces of houses, a chapel, several shops but what else in 1912 in a mining village? I have been producing mock-ups, but nearly eight feet of road swallows a lot of buildings.

And I nearly forgot a very important project: a border collie for the farmer on Sarn, acquired and painted and shortly to be added to the layout.

I hope it will not be another four months before the next update.

Jonathan

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3 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

Although I have not posted about my modelling I have not been idle, just very slow at achieving anything. A year ago I decided not to start any new projects and try to finish some of those which have been around for a couple of decades – plus GWR 1196 for Sarn which I have been working on for many months.

1196-1.JPG.60fc3d17e35f631fc794539914e091f6.JPG

 

The lettering is the best I could do,. as each letter had to be added separately, there not being room on the tank for the normal GWR spacing.

I almost succeeded in keeping to my vow, but did break my own rule by starting a wagon for the club layout – a 7 mm BCR timber bodied van, which is now nearly complete. Photos next time.

One of the outstanding projects - for about 40 years I think - was half a dozen Ratio 4-wheel GWR carriages, which had been painted in the 1930s livery but never actually finished. Since they needed backdating to 1912 I had to think about the livery. One reason for choosing 1912 is that it is possible to have chocolate and cream, chocolate, and lake liveried carriages. Therefore the easy decision was to repaint some of them in the latter two colours, and two are now complete and lettered, with two others nearly ready. I have had real fun with the HMRS Methfix transfers, but got there in the end.

So here are the results. There is too much varnish, in fact too much paint altogether, but they will do, though I think thet the painting of the window frames needs tidying up.

982089158_Brown4-wheeler1.JPG.fb6bc50c5e8172388cf48cfc16476dbb.JPG

 

253530506_Lake4-wheeler.JPG.018c7ca4f6ebc1ceba624530e5bf6ec6.JPG

 

But I would like some in chocolate and cream too, so I decided to look at modifying the livery of one. The first problem was that the cream on the carriage was far darker than my current tin of Precision GWR cream. I therefore decided to try to remove the paint; this has been distinctly problematic and I have not really succeeded yet.

In parallel with this I have been completing a Slaters GWR clerestory third kit. Let’s call it a challenge. A problem I still have not completely solved is getting the brake shoes in place with the wheels still able to rotate as there is not room between the wheels and the bogie frames. I have therefore fudged the brake pull rods so that it is possible to remove the bogies to fiddle with them some more. The carriage is now painted and lettered, and other than this only needs the door handles and grab irons added. The irony is that I am not sure that one of them would ever have been seen up a South Wales valley in 1912. But I was not going to be defeated. And annoyingly, after I had made interiors and painted and added some specially purchased figures, some of the solvent used to attach the roof got onto the windows of one compartment one side and they are now distinctly white.

So once these jobs are out of the way the next batch of unfinished models is seven Trevor Charlton Rhymney 6-wheelers which are in various stages of incompletion, having been started at least 25 years ago.

The only other thing I have been doing is thinking about the buildings to go along the road at the back of the layout, which is the village main street. There will be two terraces of houses, a chapel, several shops but what else in 1912 in a mining village? I have been producing mock-ups, but nearly eight feet of road swallows a lot of buildings.

And I nearly forgot a very important project: a border collie for the farmer on Sarn, acquired and painted and shortly to be added to the layout.

I hope it will not be another four months before the next update.

Jonathan


Mining villages would be rows and rows of houses? That was certainly how they were in Barnsley where I grew up (70 years later). The nearest to where I lived was two and a half parallel streets lined both sides with terraced houses. A pub could break the monotony. However in this example it was down the road a way at the junction with the major road and actually nearer to the next village. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

More of the projects which were nearly finished.

First that Slaters 8 compartment GWR carriage I have already mentioned - from its better side. What you can't see is that one of the passengers is now lying on the floor as I prodded her with the drill while fixing the door handles and grab handles - which was fun in itself. The livery is in fact lake but it looks very dark. In fact I have still not sorted out the running completely.

PICT0004.JPG.7287e6e1dff259226ed6361e12189638.JPG

 

And three four wheelers. First a standard Ratio GWR composite: This one is also in lake, and even though the photos were taken at the same time it actually looks lake. I am wondering if I should spend a happy hour touching up the door handles and grab irons with brass paint.

PICT0007.JPG.e50fe9350e0147670ca86920bfda7a9d.JPG

 

Next a parcels van using Ratio parts and etched brass sides. This one is in brown - and it is only looking at the photo that I realise the the roof is not set properly. Oh, well. Another job.

PICT0009.JPG.8aa188ddbcd4cb322c01e0de6a4334b1.JPG

 

And finally a brake van with a similar pedigree, though this time the roof seems OK. Also in brown.

PICT0012.JPG.402fa8b57710741a27568ba817cde69c.JPG

 

More HMRS transfers have now arrived so I can complete the lettering of one more 4-wheeler. Then there are three 4-wheelers which need a complete repaint in the 1912 chocolate and cream livery when I can remove enough of the thick coat of paint they already carry.

 

You will notice than none of these vehicles carry any lining. I spent some time experimenting with lining transfers and pens of various thicknesses. If the line was thick enough to be seen from 2 ft away it was far too thick, and the transfer lining was almost invisible. I therefore decided not to add any, though if I can get a pen of an intermediate thickness I may try again.

 

Also on the workbench currently are a Rhymney Railway 6-wheen CCT, which needs lettering and the painting touching up - great fun adding 

LOAD NOT TO EXCEED

            5 TONS

in very small lettering one character at a time (from a GWR wagons transfer sheet, mostly from the brake van allocations and similar.

And well under way is a scratch built 7 mm/ft timber bodied van for the club's Bishop's Castle Railway layout. This should be illustrated in the next update.

Jonathan

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re the pics of Llangurig station site which I mentioned on the previous page, I've now stumbled upon them, actually taken the same day as the the pic I showed on the previous page which I had thought was later. Date 31 December 1998. Here's two of the just demolished bridge:

 

h1.jpg.77e6ad54a10c6eb119ebef5d445ff720.jpg

 

h2.jpg.f482792f582b8dd0a236dd392746fa8c.jpg

 

Here's one of the western part of the station site, with much of it obliterated by the re-established road:

 

h3.jpg.028efc73bfb4421c7f95adf6909e8ddf.jpg

 

The railway ran along the embankment. Here's the eastern approach cutting to the station:

 

h5.jpg.c61f1d62f1a942933cfca3810fd32629.jpg

 

I'm at a loss to guess the layout. Finally, the cutting west of the bridge carrying the A470 over the railway:

 

h6.jpg.6c2de8f5637440b11bbd3c87c0ab03ef.jpg

 

Apologies for hijacking your thread, Jonathan!

 

Nigel

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No problem. Great to see the pics. Before the pandemic my wife and I were thinking of taking a day to visit Llangurig. Of course it has not happened yet. Maybe later in the summer. But it will be constrained by the limited number of buses as we shall  be reliant on the X75 - neither of us drives. Perhaps we can even meet up when that eventually happens.

No hope of getting to Traeth Mawr this summer though.

And just as a reminder that this is a modelling thread, I have just obtained a replacement loading gauge for Sarn, though it is going to be "interesting" to assemble the kit.

The border collie has now been waiting for two weeks for its owner to finish talking to the farm worker.

Jonathan

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12 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

Before the pandemic my wife and I were thinking of taking a day to visit Llangurig. Of course it has not happened yet. Maybe later in the summer. But it will be constrained by the limited number of buses as we shall  be reliant on the X75 - neither of us drives. Perhaps we can even meet up when that eventually happens.

 

 

Have just got back from a very pleasant 'stroll' up the hill above Llangurig.  Thrushes are singing and the boughs of (I assume) either plums or Damsons, are heavy with blossom. Last year of course, all were burnt off by an earlier frost, so we might see some fruits this year.  Get in touch if you are coming for a visit, it would be good to meet up.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time for an update as I have actually finished something.

This is a 7 mm/ft model of what I believe to be the second generation of Bishop’s Castle Railway vans. I know of no photos of the vans in use. There is a drawing of a side view and a small part of the end, with the late Harold’s Morgan’s name and the information that it was No. 24. There are two photos of a grounded body somewhat after they were replaced by the Iron Minks, and it is possible to get an idea of the construction of the end. And in a photo of one of the ex-GWR brake vans there is the end of a grounded body. This must have been photographed soon after it was placed there as the paintwork is still clean. There is just one letter showing, the B of BCR, and it is clearly shaded.

The rest of the lettering I have done to follow the style of that on the later Iron Minks.

I am now waiting  for a clear photo of the prototype to appear, showing that my model is completely wrong.

 

315032624_BCRvan24old.JPG.948530cdac6cd36da65b6d331266d8a0.JPG

Jonathan

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Posted (edited)

That's a very attractive van, prototype and model both.

 

It made me curious so I searched for the photos you mentioned and ended up right back on RMweb, in the thread below. Very satisfying to see it brought to life again in your model.

 

 

 

Edited by Mikkel
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  • 3 weeks later...

Time for an update.

I am working on a rake of seven RR 6-wheeled carriages from Trevor Charlton etched zinc sides etc, but they will be on the workbench for a good while yet.

But one vehicle finished after only a few years:

PICT0012.JPG.d1932dcd3812098e7315499fe5564955.JPG

 

The kit actually went together quite well, though you are on your own with the underframe. I used a Clemison chassis which was Ok until I realised that adding brake gear would stop the centre axle moving from side to side or the end ones rotating. Rather an unlikely visitor to Sarn, but the easiest place to take a photo. The lettering on the right hand side was fun, a letter at a time from a very old sheet of HMRS Methfix GWR goods vehicle transfers.

 

And there is now a replacement loading gauge to replace the one I destroyed while track cleaning. Very fiddly. A white metal column, some etches and wire. The kit instructions claimed that there were three thicknesses but there were only two, so I found some fine wire in my store. The kit instructions also give no idea what happens to the wire/rope which raises the end parts of the gauge after it reaches the pulley attached to the column. After unsuccessful enquiries on RMWeb I decided that I would put a small S shaped bracket on the post about 4 ft from the ground and put a loop on the end of the wire to fit over it. Not that you can really see it.

 

PICT0011.JPG.1668aa48a028325707c57a3d002eb626.JPG

 

Anyway back to the rake of carriages.

Jonathan

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