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Midland Railway in EM gauge


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Now that looks like something the Midland might well have laid. No reverse curve between the Juntion and the singleling worth the extra effort I feel.

Don

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Thanks for your nice and encouraging comments fellas.  Tomorrow I will try and do something with the bridge section for the Grassington line.  Get that done and all that remains is to lay the fiddle yard AND finish off the turntable which has been languishing on my bench for far too long.

Derek

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So, over the weekend I extended the Grassington branch track over the bridge section.  Always a slow job spanning boards, especially the ones that block the door.  It is difficult ducking down to get in and out.  To think I used to duck under wide boards without a thought.  Anyway the pics show the latest work done

Pic 1 is the extended branch line, managed to curve it round varying between 3' 6" and 4'.

Pic 2 is looking the other way.  I put the bridge in that carries the main line, but did not push it right home, so there is a nasty little kink which I did not notice at the time..  That most definitely will not be there in practise.

Pic 3 Shows that intolerable kink.

Finally the last two shots are of the boards which will be the fiddle yard proper  Where the h£ll am I going to put all that stuff. In the last one, you can see the  '0' gauge 2F made for my son.  Need to paint it this year.

However, first there is a little matter of wiring the last four boards, including the double junction.  Should be entertaining, but I have worked out how it needs to be wired.  Actually I did it the other night or rather early morning.  Not being able to sleep, I thought of how to deal with the double junction.  Trouble was. when I had worked it all out, didn't want to sleep.  'Yer cant win'

Derek

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've just found and read this thread and I must say its inspirational to see an old layout brought back to life with renewed vigour. And good to see the old ply and rivet trackwork still alive and well!

 

I have an old P4 one to tackle that I built over 30 years ago using those methods which subsequently went through many (some not very careful) hands before it came back to me by a chance coincidence a couple of years ago. Despite its rough treatment, the track is still spot-on which I think underlines the durability of these 'old' techniques.

 

Great work Derek, some of the scenes remind me of the late David Jenkinson's last 4mm epic.

 

Steve

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Thanks for that, Steve.  David Jenkinson and I had very similar interests  His Marthwaite layout was inspired by Grassington.  At the same time I was building a 75% model of the place.  Having known it since the early fifties, it was my ambition to have a layout as close as possible to the original 1902 build.  A couple of house moves saw it changed out of all recognition, then the baseboards - made out of 3" * 1" frames and softboard tops began to change shape.  The softboard began to ripple, that is when the idea for Canal Road was born.  By that time DJ had moved on to '0' gauge.

The old board frames for Grassington are still good and I used them to build a small exhibition layout, no scenery or buildings, just track - to demonstrate Alex Jackson couplings.  I still used my scratch built locos and stock, and allowed anyone interested to have a go.  It did prove quite popular at our club's show, some lads were very reluctant to go when mum and dad said so, and on some occasions it seemed like  world war 3 was about to start.

From all this, you will realize I never throw anything away, a source of contention with my wife.

Derek

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Work is still progressing on Kirkby Malham, but nothing to photograph.  It's all tidying up and wiring.

We did have a near disaster in about mid April.  It was on a Friday evening and Olga went to get something to eat out of the deep freeze.  It is kept in the garage under what will be the fiddle yard.  However, she found it was warm, the ice cream melted and water beginning to drip into the bottom.  The damn thing was kaput, so then followed a frantic couple of hours ringing round the neighbours and friends to find space in their freezers to store our food.  That evening and Saturday morning was spent deciding on a new one, which we then ordered with a local shop.  The new one wasn't due until the following Wednesday, so then came the painful part of the exercise.  If it was to come in via the main door, then I would have to clear a space, and since all the old boards from Canal Road were blocking it, they would have to go.  Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning saw all those old redundant boards taken to the tip.  I was sad to see them go, they had been part of my life for 25 years, but I would never have used them again, they were no use to the club so into the skip they went.  Other stuff was disposed off as well, and by the time we were done, the garage looked much tidier.

I then had to dismantle the main line which was accomplished in less than half an hour.  The new freezer came, the old one went and everything returned to it's normal peaceful state.  However, the boards are not back in place yet, I am taking this opportunity to do some scenic work and finish off the wiring.

That is where we are now, with the intention of running the first train sometime very soon.

Derek

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I don't suppose you were best pleased but maybe if it was going to pack up it is better that it did so now before you have built all the new stuff.

 

Don

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Dead right there Don.  When appliances break down it is never convenient, whatever the gadget is.  We are lucky to have a lot of very good neighbours who are willing to help.  We live in a cul-de-sac, and have been there for 40 years together with some of the other folks.  So we know each other pretty well,

Derek

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  • 4 weeks later...

At last, the first train has run after just over a year.  Here are two pics of the local from Grassington.  The fiddle yard has not been installed yet, so the train set off from the bridge section.

The loco is a Kirtley well tank, which I scratch built in the late 1960's.  I had seen a model of one of these engines on the layout of Frank Roomes "Lutton" in, I think, the Model Railway News.  J.N.Maskelyne, the editor, had produced drawings of many locos of which the Kirtley well tank featured, so I got one.  It was to 10mm to foot scale, but as I later found out, was not entirely accurate.  These engines were produced by two companies, and each had a slightly different appearance.  Maskelyne's drawing included features from each of the two companies, and I was too uninformed to realise.  However, that said, it is still one of my favourite engines.  Painted and lined by Coachman Larry.

The second vehicle, a Midland covered carriage truck, also scratch built in about 1980, also finished off by Larry.

That vehicle is attached to the train to deliver his lordships car to the big house. Now 64 years old and  after 30 years in the army (Yorkshire Regiment of Foot) he retired to his seat in Kirkby Malham, where he and her ladyship lived in comfort with a large staff.  All would have been well had his lordship's friend in Skipton had not bought one of those new fangled road vehicles.  His lordship decided to get one, and in June 1906 consulted the motor car industry's equivalent of a snake oil salesman.  He eventually bought a Sunbeam 16HP, which after a lesson in how to drive the thing from the agent,  began to tear around the narrow roads of that immediate area of North Yorkshire, reaching speeds in excess of 15 miles per hour.  As he roared around, frightening the horses and giving elderly ladies palpitations, he had a number of near misses, and after the final one when he upset a cart of farmers produce going to market, her ladyship put her foot down, she did not want any boy racers in her house.  She said "don't you think you are too old to do that, why not be more dignified and appoint a driver".  When her ladyship started off a sentence with "don't you think" it really meant she had thought and you are expected to think the same.  Reluctantly, his lordship agreed and appointed the senior footman, a man called Mason. to be his chief mechanic and driver.  Now Mason felt more comfortable the horsepower with legs and not wheels, but he did as was told, and became a very good and solid driver, taking instructions from her ladyship not to exceed 8 mph.

For two years Mason did all that was necessary to the delight of her ladyship.  In the April of 1908 his lordship received an invitation to visit old friends in Derbyshire, so within days he and her ladyship plus a lady's maid and a man servant (there was ample staff where they were to stay, so did not require any one else) were driven to the station at Kirkby Malham to entrain, with changes at Skipton, Leeds and Derby.  However they had a private carriage, so the inconvenience of changing trains was lost on them.

Immediately, the atmosphere in the big house lightened, although the butler, left in charge was a bit of a strict disciplinarian.  On the Friday following his lordship's departure, the butler instructed Mason to drive over to Grassington the next day to collect some provisions ordered by the cook.  Mason was a man of opportunity and had been eyeing up one of the young chambermaids, and by "accident" bumped into her on that Friday and suggested she could come and help him on the following morning.  The butler agreed for her to go with some trepidation.

Saturday morning dawned fine and unnaturally warm for April, and Mason, shoes shining, uniform brushed went out to the car.  She was already there waiting for him in her best long white frock with blue ribbons and a straw hat with a blue band, blond hair well brushed.  As he approached, Mason thought "by 'eck, she's a cracker".

The journey to Grassington was soon over and the groceries safely stowed, when Mason offered to take her for a little drive to Kettlewell for some refreshment.  Tea and cakes in a little tea shop in Kettlewell was very pleasant (Mason would have rather gone to the King's Head) and still it was early in the day, so "lets go up to the Wharfedale Head"  She didn't have much choice but "why not, it was her first ride in a motor car".  Mason took the road to Middleham, a rough unmade road which took the form of a series of switchbacks.  Mason, up till now had been running at the regulation 8mph, suddenly decided to go faster and ran up and down the bumpy road at speed, reaching 18mph on downhill stretches.  He stole a glance at his companion.  She was flushed with excitement, her hat had slipped to the back of her neck, held on by the elastic round her throat, and she kept shouting "what fun".  Mason thought "by 'eck, I'm in 'ere".  It is unfortunate he didn't know the road.  When driving his lordship he had kept to the area around Grassington and Skipton, never came this way.  They suddenly rounded a sharp bend there before them was Park Rash, a very steep, long bendy hill.  They half way up the first steep bit when Mason tried to change gear, crashed the gears and lost it completely.  He grabbed the brake which was stiff as the car at first came to a stand then began to roll backwards, gathering momentum.  The lady companion was just about to tell Mason to stop messing about when she realised he wasn't and this was for real. She panicked and grabbed Mason's arm.  Now having a young lady grab his arm would have been quite thrilling in normal situations but this was not a normal situation, and she was just getting in the way.  To his cresdit he kept the car upright but on reaching the bend they mounted a grass bank and demolished twenty feet of dry stone wall, careered down a meadow down a steep sided hill and came to rest, axle deep in a pool formed by the infant River Wharfe.  The girl in panic jumped out into the water, the level being above her knees.  She waded to the bank and as she tried to climb out fell on her face.  After a repeat performance she gained the top and turned around.  Mason, still sitting in the car, saw this wet, muddy figure with a dress covered in grass stains, hat clamped on her head, blond hair in rats tails.  She didn't look a vision in white now.  Mason realised he could do nothing so got out of the car and they began the long walk back along that interminable undulating road.  She, by now, was hungry, wet, dirty, miserable and very angry and in between complaining about Mason subjected him to abuse.  "How could" he thought "such dreadful words issue from such a pretty mouth"  In late afternoon, they were picked up by a farm cart which took them to Grassington, where they were able to catch the last train of the day to Kirkby Malham.  Then the walk in almost darkness, to the big house, which by now was in darkness and locked up for the night.  Mason, by now was heartily fed up of his companion and wished he had never met her, so instead of trying to find a way into the house round the rear, hammered on the door.  After what seemed an age a flickering light appeared and footsteps were heard coming down the hall.  Bolts were released and the door unlocked and slowly opened to reveal the butler in night gown and night cap, candle holder in one hand and wrought  iron poker in the other.  Behind him were the staff nervously peeping round him.  When Mason and his companion appeared, laughter and ribald comments only stopped when the butler, very angry by now, told them to get to bed  Mason's companion, by now shedding tears of shame and fright was incoherent and was sent to bed with the warning "I'll see you later".

Mason told the butler what had happened and was sent to bed and told to be up at dawn, they must retrieve the car.  The butler was a resourceful type and had hired two teams of horses and a number of farm hands with a cart, and off they went to Grassington, Kettlewell and onwards until they came to a large gap in the dry stone wall.  The farmer was there and the butler had to pay for repair, in the butlers eyes an extortionate amount.  They found the car, overnight rain had swelled the pool so his lordship' pride and joy looked a sorry state.  It was midday now so the farm hands insisted on having their food before work commenced.  Mason, not having brought anything to eat could only look on as cheese sandwiches and bottles of beer were consumed.  Finally a group of cheerful men together with the horses prepared to haul the car out, but first someone was required to wade into the pool to attached the tow ropes.  Guess who?

Eventually, after much pulling and pushing the car was back on the road.  Mason, by now wet through for the second time in two days would have to steer it with the butler sat beside him, while the horse pulled the car home.  The farm hands riding in the cart, now produced more beer.  So began a noisy and for some happy journey home.  They got back long after supper, so there was nothing for Mason to eat, but was instructed to get that motor car cleaned up and dried out.

By Tuesday Mason had done a thorough job and the butler went to inspect his work.  The car bodywork shone, the bare metal sparked, however going to the rear was a  different scene.  No polishing could hide the fact that there had been contact with a stone wall with dents, scratches and a  stove in rear end.

Ten days later his lordship arrived home full of the joys of spring looking forward to a ride in his car.  The butler managed to see his lordship and lady in the library and quietly tell him about the incident.  His lordship could be heard shouting and banging the table all over the house, but not be Mason who had made himself scarce.  The butler was despatched to find Mason, gave her ladyship time to speak to her husband and calm him down a little, and as Mason entered the room, her ladyship slipped out.  Mason turned to face the wrath, a red faced furious lordship, expecting to be dismissed without a reference.  However her ladyship had done a good job and he was put on menial duties for six months and his pay reduced.  As Mason was going out of the room his lordship said to him "never ever ever ever touch my motor cars again --- ever"

The car was taken away, horses pulling it to the station where a carriage truck had been ordered.  Once on board it was taken to Grassington and there attached to an express to Leyburn Junction.  There the North Eastern Railway took over to get it to Newcastle, and in our pic it is being returned in early June 1908.

His lordship now appointed an under-footman as his driver/mechanic. a self confident handsome young man, popular with the female staff, and consequently not liked by Mason, especially when he met him the young man developed a smirk for Mason's benefit.  Mason soon realised his lordship as well as the female staff had long memories and his 'street cred' remain hovering around absolute zero for many a year.

As to his female companion on that ill fated trip.  She met and married a charge hand at Kirkby Lime Co and between them produced twelve children.

 

 

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I had meant to mention in the last posting, the two vehicles behind the carriage truck.  The first a milk van of the Somerset and Dorset design.  Quite what it is doing in North Yorkshire heaven knows.  The next van is a 25' passenger luggage van doubling up as another milk carrier.

The first one was again scratch built with the Coachman finish, the second an etched brass kit, of indeterminate origin and  age.  I would imagine the company producing it is long gone, a pity, it was a nice kit, and painted and lined by me -- pretty obvious when coupled next to Larry's work.

The two milk vans are empty and will be loaded at Kirkby Malham, then to Skipton where the first one will be picked up by a passenger train for Bradford (Market Street)  the second to Bell's Dairy in Leeds.

I mentioned a hill called Park Rash in my last posting.  Next time I will relate my meeting with it.

Derek

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Good to read all ended well and the trains are negotiating the new junction alright. Except for a tram I built from one of Tony Colbecks kits and finished it in Oldham Corporation livery, I have never kept a model as long as you have. The Well Tank still looks good after what must be 42 years or more. I still retain every Invoice book from year one (November 1972) so I must get them down from the attic one day and have a nostalgia trip.

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Thanks for all your kind comments fellas, it gives me a lot of encouragement to try and describe what I am trying to do, although, as I have said before, Olga tells people not to encourage me.  Wonder what she means.

When I was a young bloke living in west Leeds, I did a great deal of cycling, although never got too far.

Later in 1957 I became motorised and bought a Lambretta scooter.  Now I had a bit of engine power, I could go much further.  So, on a nice Saturday morning at about 7.0 am , I would pick up the girlfriend, who had made the sandwiches and a flask of coffee and off we went.  Our trips took us mainly into the Dales, although on occasions we would go off to the coast at Scarborough or Whitby.

On one day we had our elevenses at Kettlewell, then started up the road towards Coverdale.  Really did what Mason did in his tale of woe, because we came to Park Rash.  My little scooter, 150cc, would go all day on reasonably undulating terrain, but this hill was a bit different .  Neither the girlfriend or I were overweight but it just couldn't take us, and chugged to a halt.  So, she had to get off and walk.  When she eventually reached me at the top, she was furious and never forgot me leaving her in the middle of nowhere.  Right to the end of our relationship, any little disagreements would see this incident brought up.  She did take a piccie of me, however, and I include it here, give you all a laugh.  But was I ever that young.

At a later date, we had all acquired cars often of questionable vintage.  My special mate, Peter, bought an old Jaguar, I think it had had six previous owners.  However, it sported real leather seats and we felt a million dollars going off to play ten pin at the bowling alley in Wakefield,

One very pleasant Saturday, Peter took me and our two lady friends into the Dales.  We came over Coverdale and there before us was laid out upper Wharfedale and directly in front the road dropped away.  We were at the top of Park Rash.  We looked at each other and both said bl**dy hell. Pic 2 is taken about half way down.

Off we went.  Think worn clutch, serious engine judder and brake fade.  We were both just a bit scared, but the two young ladies in the back were chatting away, oblivious to anything.

I haven't gone on that road now for over forty years so I suppose it has a better surface, and ,of course, modern cars will take it easily, that is if they don't meet a couple of idiots coming down in a clapped out 15 year old Jaguar..

Now back to the present.  The bridge section across the door leads to the fiddle yard which comprises two boards 4' long and 20" wide.  I started laying the pointwork for the Grassington branch and that is shown in pic 3. Using the points lifted from Canal Road fiddle yard.  The crossover was the start of the old FY so left it in in case I can use it in the future.

For the pointwork on the main lines I had to build a couple of new points, one of which can be seen in progress.  I used copperclad sleepers for those.  So, pic 4 shows the start of the FY for the main line.  I will be able to accommodate 6 tracks in the main and 3 in the branch, which should be enough for me.  The points will be changed by hand but using old H&M motors with their locking arrangement.

Derek

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I am enjoying the stories as much as the modelling. I had some similar incidents although never left a girlfriend to walk. Although Marion was not amused when taking the mountain road  from Dinas Mawddwy to Lake Vyrnwy in a clapped out old reliant with a handbrake that couldn't hold it on the hills

Don

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Hello Don,

           Yes, my first car was a Reliant when I sold the Lambretta.  I always thought it felt like being in the bath when I was driving it.  Of course, I got one so I could drive on a motor cycle licence by having the reverse blocked off.  It was good though.  At the time I was working in Stafford and going home to Leeds at the weekend.  One disadvantage was there was no heater installed, so it could be perishing cold in winter, even though the engine was partially in the passenger compartment.  Many times as I was driving along in very cold weather, the screen would suddenly freeze up leaving me with little visibility.  During one bad snowy period I was driving along the tracks made in the snow by other vehicles, but the front single wheel was riding up on the snow in the middle of the tracks, and the brakes had frozen, so it was a bit hairy.

Derek

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Hello Don,

           Yes, my first car was a Reliant when I sold the Lambretta.  I always thought it felt like being in the bath when I was driving it.  Of course, I got one so I could drive on a motor cycle licence by having the reverse blocked off.  It was good though.  At the time I was working in Stafford and going home to Leeds at the weekend.  One disadvantage was there was no heater installed, so it could be perishing cold in winter, even though the engine was partially in the passenger compartment.  Many times as I was driving along in very cold weather, the screen would suddenly freeze up leaving me with little visibility.  During one bad snowy period I was driving along the tracks made in the snow by other vehicles, but the front single wheel was riding up on the snow in the middle of the tracks, and the brakes had frozen, so it was a bit hairy.

Derek

 

A yes the problems of that middle wheel of frozen rutted snow!

Don

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Hi Derek,

 

I agree with Don, the stories are great, as well as the modelling, and your trackwork is as always a joy.

 

Your exploit with the Lambretta reminds me of the time I and a friend tried to get an old Land Rover up Hardknott Pass in the Lakes, in the middle of a thunderstorm! The road was so slippery we had to use Low-box and 4-wheel-drive, and due to the atrocious turning circle we had to back and fill to get the Landy round the sharper bends :O All great fun at the time.

 

Cheers,

 

Al.

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