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The Hintock Branch-1930's Dorset Joint GWR/SR Workings in OO

john flann

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Steve, those are generous and thoughtful comments and it was kind of you to make them, yes you are quite right itis the late Peter Denny from whom I have derived much inspiration and Hintock owes a lot to him. Foremost is that of following his principle of establishing a credible setting (in every sense) and everything else flows from that. Other matters are that I do not concern myself overmuch with detail, often it is fussy and, I consider, detracts from the whole scene.nor do I model to 'scale' but concern myself more with proportion, the whole scene and getting items to live happily in each others company. I see it as akin to the traditional artist composing a picture.. It perhaps helps too because my early professional days were spent with BR(LMR) as a surveyor 'out on the line' where one develops an eye for what is there.


As regards the curved platform as you recognize this adds to the scene immeasurably, the first time I used it was on 'Little Hintock' featured in MR, July 1972 and ,I think, remembered by several members of this Forum,,and others, and I have adopted it since. It also is a very efficient use of space and adds to that sense.


I shall post some images of it, when I find them.

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Thanks for posting these.  I recognise the style.  Interesting what you say about how detail can become 'fussy'; there's much detail in this lower picture that adds to the overall scene yet its things from every day life rather than distinctly railway orientated, i.e. it's what you'd somehow expect to see there, especially if you remember those days.  The shepherd with his sheep, the children and horses on either side of a fence, the scouts in uniform of the day hauling their cart and the horse and trailer.  Settings of their time as much as settings on the 1930's GWR.  

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That's an interesting comment Steve, about that detail, but there it is as you say quite OK because as a train has just arrived such activity would be taking place in that era and circumstances.


It was appropriate too because this was an exhibition layout and such cameos, for that is what it is, the customers liked to see. I would not now do it on Hintock though I do have this.




And some others tucked away.

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Cleaning up 'My Pictures' I came across these two that are worth saving and sharing of the approach to Hintock past Sheepcroft Yard. The Pannier is taking water from the tank that has recently been moved and re positioned.


The passenger train approaching is the 845 am from Weymouth, attached at Dorchester was the horse box that conveys two hunters of His Grace the Earl of Bredy who is honouring the Hintock Hunt today by attendance at one of their meets.


On arrival the horse box will be put in the bay at Hintock, cleaned out and be ready for the return of His Grace later in the day.




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The horse, before it was supplanted by the motor lorry, was another faithful servant of the railway with in the 1900's over 20,000 employed by the major companies. The GWR was no exception and at Hintock there were horses and stabling needed to be provided.


This is the stable in Sheepcroft Yard..






Under construction




Seeing how it looked,




Getting there.




That's beginning to look good.




And better still, however, it was not to sit there long as the addition of the HFTS warehouse and extension of the siding required its removal.




To here.




And it looks quite well.


Those who wish to know a little more of the service railway horses gave might like to refer to Back Track for February 2008, where there is a comprehensive article' Goods, Parcels,Cartage and the Railway Horse c1900'. 

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That is praise indeed and it is appreciated.


No it has no particular prototype, I think I might have seen photographs in the past of railway stables and I've seen stables in general, but they all have a certain form and I built it from that knowledge and a consideration of what would have been required for such a purpose. That is for the horses as stalls, water, forage, storage for the tack, and for the carter a small mess room, a place to dry wet clothes, have a meal and make a brew, etc.. 

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Hi John


I do like that stable block and I may copy that for something similar when I get to do the Junction (a few years away yet), I had started to look in books on horse use on the railways as I like to get ideas up front so I have plenty of options when the time comes.

I think you have captured a good look there, thanks for posting.



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Hi John


As always lovely shots.......as you know I have always admired your stables. One of my hobby horses (sorry!) has been the extent to which most modellers of any period up to Beeching  (including me) ignore the impact of horses on railway operation.......whether it be operational up to the late forties or the legacy stables thereafter

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Most generous gentlemen, both with your 'likes' and comments.


Yes, I still get fun out of the hobby and its a far cry today from these cheap and cheerful days (pre- Bachmann) when to make anything run or look presentable it was a challenge to one's ingenuity. I had more patience then and my exasperation limit was more constrained. That pannier you , 81c, were referring to was a bashed Triang as I recall, one of the first to a better standard and the corridor coaches were from basic Triang compartment stock. I still have both and the coaches now form Hintock's workman's set.


And yes John you are right about the railway horse and items like stables that were so often found in railway station yards, but perhaps it's because we a little 'senior' and can remember the horse and cart as a common sight on the streets.  Adding adding  things as stables does add so much credibility.


I did mention in #133 the article about goods , cartage and railway horses; perhaps I should add with all due modesty I was the author. And although I says it myself it does include some interesting information. It's also an easy read and chosen by the editor, Micheal Blakemore, beautifully illustrated with some very evocative photographs

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John, your remark about 'legacy stables' took me back a few years (60 or so) for when I was at Euston, up on the 3rd floor of the grimy old station, after the summer surveying season was over and I had plotted and drawn my survey  I was sent to broaden my experience as a supernumary  to the Liverpool District Estate Office in the old NW hotel above Lime Street station. I traveled there Mondays using my all stations pass on the 0830 am ex Euston and returned Friday, on the 525pm ex Lime Street making me perhaps one of the first long distance commuters.


But I digress, whilst there one of the jobs I had was to find a tenant for the ex CLC stables in the Upper Parliament Street locality.They were run down and in poor order so it seemed rather a hopeless task, however, two Liverpool lads-real scousers- got interested, we did a deal, and took it on. They then opened there a bagwash laundry, it did a roaring trade,they made money paid the rent on time and we were glad to get it let and revenue earning.


Thanks for the memory.

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I am introducing some new workings at Hintock and first I needed to enlarge and extend the fiddle yard.




In the early stages. The 3way point was an attempt to get 8 roads, but it wouldn't work.




So I resorted to a conventional ladder.




The back end, the roads are perforce of a staggered length.




There is very little clearance, about, 1/4" between the end and the door when being opened/shut. I needed every bit I could get in the roads.




What the new road in the fiddle yard is for. Running in to the platform








Another view




And more.




It's just out of the box as were the coaches. They will be weathered as will the loco, plus crew, coal and discs. Then more photos.

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Hi John

I am so sorry......I missed your follow up post to my comment on stables.....I can well imagine leasing any premises in Upper Parliament St in the fifties would be tricky let alone run down stables.....incidentally, as a child our milk was delivered by horse and trap and the dust bin cart (garbage) was horse drawn.


Your Southern stock looks great.......you must be very pleased with it.................I look forward to reading the legend, which I am sure you are preparing, explaining this intrusion into longstanding GWR territory!


Kind Regards

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Yes, John that stock does look good and I'm very impressed with it. Better still, I think, when lightly weathered.


Excellent question; several reasons, my father as a lad started work with the L&SWR, moved to London working at Waterloo in the Operating Department, we traveled SR to Dorset for family holidays and I collected engine numbers on Surbiton station, so I have some personal loyalties to and happy memories of the SR.


It was at Weymouth I first met up with the GWR.


I also wanted to introduce some new workings and stock to Hintock, so it seems not unreasonable to suppose the Dorchester/Yeovil was a Joint Line as was Dorchester/Weymouth and seeing the Hintock Branch connects to the former it also was worked jointly by the GWR/SR.

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As mentioned in post #1, Hintock  was built to be operated using a sequence, a method I am comfortable with, and now with my enhanced staging yard I can put it fully into effect.


The yard represents, of course, the railway system(s) beyond the layout itself and the extent of those is shown in post#8.




This is a traffic flow diagram to illustrate the trains run into and out of Hintock.




The trains are positioned as follows, and from the top:-


1. SR pick up goods Yeovil to Dorchester. (Awaiting its M7)

2. GWR pick up goods Dorchester to Yeovil.

3. GWR mixed passenger, milk and parcels from and to Hintock Junction.(Conveys alternately GWR/SR milk tanks. These travel by GWR to Old Oak or SR to Vauxhall.)

4. GWR perishable fruit and vegetable train. (GWR/SR vans on alternate days. GWR vans to Midlands and north via Crewe, SR to Nine Elms.)

5. GWR local passenger service via Dorchester to and from Weymouth.

6. GWR through coaches detached/attached at Hintock Junction from Weymouth trains.

7. SR local passenger service Yeovil/Hintock.


Most local passenger trains also have loose brown vehicles attached and/or fitted vans.


I work through the trains systematically and shunt methodically.


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A diversion from tales of Hintock with these images of the scene outside my home. I would add this has nothing to do with the storm in the NE, this is just the result of an everyday Utah winter storm. The snow itself is mostly a fine powder that Utah is renowned for and winter sports. Soon too the sun will be shining brightly.


The place doesn't shut down, the roads are kept plowed and we just go about our business, more or less as usual..




The view from my garage.




From the road.




Wonderful isn't it.




The post box.




The back yard, I couldn't get any further as the snow was over the top of my snow boots.




A summer's day at Hintock, what can be better than that?





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This was the rather uninspired LH end of the layout.




This is what it has become.




The previous arrangement of the bridge over the Port Bredy extension never satisfied me. What I did was to bring the left hand abutment forward, skew the bridge girders add the tree and signal. This attracts the eye and distracts it from a closer examination of the running line and mirror. Thus adding the illusion of its continuance.






And a happier result overall.

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Whilst at the LH end of Hintock I thought I'd post these. They are mostly self explanatory.












The warehouse occupied by Giles Comben I built at least 30 years ago and has appeared on all my GWR layouts since. It is named in memory of  Giles as he was a maternal grandfather who became the first Keeper of the High Ligthouse at Portland Bil in 1716. The family continued to act as keepers of the light for another 200 years with my great grandmother being born in it in 1837.


Here Giles is seen standing at the door of his emporium that can provide farmers with each and every item of tools, equipment, and supplies they might possibly need. He is also admiring his newly painted steam traction engine that he uses as an agricultural contractor for ploughing, timber harvesting, threshing and the like.

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Hi John


The building has stood the test of time very well then, especially if it has featured on other layouts too, I hope mine last as long!


It's a nice little cameo too, quite natural and not showing someone in mid-motion for the rest of their lives. Good stuff as usual.



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