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Everything posted by br2975

  1. I have 'ironed' most of our kit since we were wed (1978). . Mrs. 2975's efforts at ironing my uniform didn't impress Gwyn Michael, my late lamented 'drill pig' - so yours truly adopted the onerous task. . Over those intervening years, in conversations with myself, whilst ironing, I have solved innumerable important issues, both foreign and domestic..........................
  2. I still have my tee shirt "Police drivers do it with their eyes closed !" . But then, I kept the Traffic Department supervisors in a job - thanks to my numerous 'POLACs" . However, the one below 'wasn't my fault' ..........the Traffic officers pursuing the outstanding stolen Cavalier vouched for me - I even dealt with the prisoner, who amassed some 30+ charges............... but that didn't stop the Canton D.S. banning me from borrowing their cars again !
  3. Puffs out chest, and says...................... . When working for Schmidt Oceanography, on their research vessel Falkor, my son Leighton - ( with a lifelong obsession into the likes of Scott, Shackleton, Tom Crean etc) was responsible for the research, and construction of the homemade 'SHRIMP' ( a towed array comprising a RSJ with Go-Pro cameras attached ) and with only a limited window, having lowered the SHRIMP over the side they found the Terra Nova on one of their first runs. . He has subsequently been involved in numerous other voyages, notably onboard the Petrel, identifying Japanese warships lying in the Surigao Straight. . https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/captain-scotts-ship-terra-nova-2025872?utm_source=linkCopy&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar . He continues to 'dine out' on his exploits.......................................
  4. I have a confession to make. . "I like trams - primarily former Eastern Bloc vehicles" . Hence my soft spot for things like this Polish Konstal 105, trundling along Starowislna in Krakow during March 2019 . There, I feel better for getting that off my chest.
  5. What a cracking idea. . I recall visiting the Yorvic Centre in York, which replicated the smells of a Viking settlement....................... imagine a museum replicating Abercwmboi, or Coed Ely with a layer of dark red dust thrown in, from GKN ?.
  6. When I was in the 6th. Form, allegedly studying English, Economics & Geography, a fellow classmate was studying 'ancient languages' and I remember him reading Greek poetry to two other friends who were canoodling (they were courting), and then prior to our 'mocks' telling me how he revised Latin, for six hours on Christmas Day. . That is why he became the boss of the Waterfront Museum, and I didn't - I knew what a beam engine, a pump and a compound winding engine were - but I suppose the ability to recite "amo, amas, amat....." is more relevant to displaying and explaining industrial artefacts.
  7. For "Enginuity" also read "Wateerfront Museum" (Swasea). . Worth attending (if you are stuck nearby, and it is raining) , and looking at - but none of us will learn anything there.
  8. Spent most of today day in the man cave, finishing the baseboards for the "Efflew Valley Branch" . And here is said 'man cave'
  9. They are an exceptional unit, of that there is little doubt. . However, in 1969, when this was a purely freight line, no one would have believed it would ever see a passenger service, lose its freight service completely, let alone become electrified, and used to test Swiss built units - so yes, had you told me this would come to pass, however good the Swiss unit may be, I still would have laughed.
  10. As did we, about half a mile down our road, the premises of "The Cymric Trading Co. Ltd." . They were located alongside Waterhall Junction Signal Box on the western outskirts of Cardiff. . Many years earlier, whilst operating in Cardiff's docklands they had bought and sold standard gauge locomotives. . By the early 60s they were dealing more in narrow gauge mining and quarrying equipment, including Hudson 'V' tippers, mine tubs, 'Jubilee' sectional track. . They too had a large, black, wiggly tin shed, with an overhead travelling crane inside. . Using the track and mine tubs, we enacted Indiana Jones' Temple of Doom stunts 35 years before the film was made.
  11. Today, I stood alongside my 'alma mater' from whose windows, fifty plus years past, I watched a steady stream of freights to and from Radyr Yard along a freight only line. . If you had told me, in say 1969, that 53 years later I'd be at the same spot watching lineside clearance, the installation of OHLE masts, and the trial run of a Swiss built Stadler unit - I would have laughed in your face. . Such is progress, but a Stadler 'Flirt' does not stir the loins in the manner of a 'six-eighter' dragging 50 or 60 sixteen tonners. . So, with my loins totally unstirred, and cogitating over the fact - how far have I moved in 50 years, it was home to cook this evenings chili con carne.
  12. 'Alec' was a law unto himself - he even fell foul of the radical, satirical Welsh magazine 'Rebecca'. . Not a particularly 'nice' man - and there is a further tale of 'Alec' and other flagons.
  13. In South Wales one company stood out in this field, namely A.R.Adams of Coomassie Street, Pillgwenlly, Newport. . Adams were not only dealers in industrial locomotives, and also owned a sizeable 'hire fleet' they were also engineers and boilersmiths. . Adams would overhaul your RSH 14" or your Avonside SS, and provide a 'courtesy car' as well (OK courtesy loco). . 'twas they who, at the expense of H.P. Bulmer of Hereford, restored 6000 King George V to mainline standards in 1968 - albeit in the former United Wagon Works building, as Adams didn't have the space. . From the same time, Adams replaced their steam hire fleet by purchasing several surplus ex-BR Class 03, 04 and 11 diesel shunters.
  14. Superintendents, a subject upon which I could join the circuit of 'after dinner speakers' . On my very first day, at my first posting, together with the other 'proby' who we'll call 'Bob' (because that was his name) we were instructed by the station sergeant, Howard, to ..... "March into the supers office, come to attention, and throw one up !" adding "the super likes all that bullsh*t" Now, I'd had a few years in industry, Bob hadn't, and I twigged that there was some character building involved in this..... Bob led the way, into the inner sanctum, as I lagged behind. Bob came to attention, stamped his bulled boots and threw one up (saluted) The superintendent, never looked up from the paperwork on his desk and bawled "You don't f*****g salute in doors you silly **** !" Five paces behind Bob, I successfully grabbed my right arm, to prevent it saluting. There then followed a 1970s style welcome to the police address by the superintendent, which in total, amounted to...... "Remember this, a good copper never gets wet........... at least, not on the outside" . One of our regular 'reserve men' (station enquiry officer) had a drink problem, and was therefore confined to barracks. His name was also Bob. This Bob stashed flagons of BrAIns Dark in secret locations around the station, to quench his thirst on nights. Alec, the Super mentioned above was well aware of this, so during the day, Alec would scour the nick, topping up Bob's flagons with cold tea. . Now, as for Jamie's 'super' having an 'en-suite dubs' - I cannot recall working at any station in South Wales (except one, Cardiff Central) where the boss had his own bog. . In fact, back in 1985, one of my later Superintendents addressed a course I attended at our HQ, with the phrase "I work Ely, where rank has no privilege, and the only reason I know I'm the Superintendent, is because I have a car parking space" . Viv was a top man. .
  15. My grandsons are in their first year at Comprehensive School, a brand new edifice with three cafe / cafeteria / restaurants. . Each child has an account, which their parents 'top up' with credit, as and when. . The children select their meals, all of a healthier option than in my day, and then have their fingerprint scanned. . No cash changes hands, so kids (allegedly) can't be bullied for their dinner money; . . BUT, harking back to my school meals of the early 60s, well........................... "Quatermass and The Pit" was filmed on location in our school kitchen. . In fact, it was also rumoured that the creatures inside Daleks were the result of a school lunch recipe that went wrong at Peter Lea Juniors, Cardiff.. . My abiding memory of school meals, aged around 9, was being given a right royal public rollocking by the buxom, middle aged 'dinner lady' (a catering equivalent of Nurse Ratched) for having the audacity to ask for ........................ "Cold custard, you want cold custard ?" "Yes, please Miss....." "Is your name....on the list ?" "What list, Miss ?" "The cold custard list " "No Miss, I didn't know there was a list Miss" "That's why you're not having cold custard ! - and think yourself lucky I don't send you to the headmistress" . Imagine that happening today ? . I'd be an instant star of social media and daytime t.v. getting to meet the likes of Jeremy Vine, Piers Morgan, Lorraine what's her name, and even Philip Schofield....and I'd becaome a cause celebre pin-up for society's 'snowflakes' .
  16. Surely any 'cones' in the Long Dyke - Croes Newydd would have been empties returning to the ICI Cookes Works at Penrhyndeudraeth ? . The main flow was loaded to South Wales, primarily Brofiscin until 1968, thence Llantrisant.
  17. I too put out the washing, before dawn - arising early due to a sort of post Covid jet-lag. . Mr Grey Cloud failed to show, but his brother, Mr. Black Cloud suddenly deposited a great deal small white balls upon the shed roof and alerted me to the washing situation. . In best Jonners parlance - "Hail stopped play", as far as the baseboards for the Efflew Valley branch were concerned. . Now I have the daughter's animated toilet brush (a Cockapoo named Ralph) to distract me from baseboard building over the Easter break.
  18. Agreed, Having driven and ridden several 08s along what passed for 'track' in Tidal Sidings, I can safely say that at any speed above walking pace they could provide more fear than any theme park white knuckle ride.
  19. As far as I'm aware, one of the last, if not the last, GWR / BR (WR) shunters truck in normal use, survived at Burry Port until circa 1980/1981. . The Burry Port pilot was invariably a Cl.03, . At one time, the Burry Port pilot was a 'full fat Noddy' diagram, not a 'cut down Noddy' - even though the BPGV examples worked from Burry Port. . (Shunters traucks also survived in the Cardiff, Newtown, Tyndall Fields, Spike Sidings, Long Dyke complex until at least 1976 see the attached image of 08188, dated 1975)
  20. And there's me, just been sat with the grandsons watching YouTube footage of the mid-Wales 'Mach Loop' - highly recommended for those of a military flying bent
  21. There was a shortage of motive power in South Wales created by the move of Class 37s to the North East, and Scotland in an effort to oust the last remaining steam turns in those places. This resulted in Hymeks taking over most, if not all turns west of Llanelli / Caramrthen, and eventually Landore gaining D601, D602 & D604 from Laira, a move which didn't last long. Some of the turns operated by Cl.14s did become Cl.37 duties e.g. the afternoon Tidal - Long Dyke - Llantrisant and return, and some became Cl.08 trips e.g. Radyr - Treforest - Pontypridd, also Penarth Curve North - Penarth Cement Works, and also Radyr - Penarth Curve North - Ferry Road / Ely Paper Mill. . From the jobs they were assigned, I doubt there were many turns in the Valleys where the class ever achieved their 40mph top speed, certainly not up to Ynysybwl, or tripping the Rhondda Valley. They may have reached 40mph descending 'The Big Hill' returning from Windsor Colliery / Aber Junction to Radyr, but it is interesting to note that at one time, the Aber Junction based diagram, serving Caerphilly Goods, Wernddu tar plant, Windsor Colliery and the Steetley Dolomite Works at Walnut Tree West worked as either light engine or engine and van from Radyr to Aber Junction up 'The Big Hill', perhaps suggesting the loco may have struggled, as the Walnut Tree bankers ceased with the end of steam in July 1965. . However, I would see the "H58" later "E76" Cl.14 hauled trip heading for Radyr some mornings loaded to 50+ BWU, and whilst the noise was excruciating, the train would be rolling along well, whereas when the diagram went over to Cl.08 haulage, the noise, whilst deeper, was just as loud but the trip crawled along at a snails pace. . The attached photo was taken on 29th. April, 1966 from a passing Radyr - Cardiff DMU by Bob Masterman and shows D9520 waiting to come off the Llandaff Loop with "T47" bound for (i) Roath Line Sidings, (ii) Cathays C&W, (iii) Stanton & Staveley. The length of the train, and its consist (several local staples) is noteworthy. "T47" later became a Barry Cl.08 pilot duty, thence a Radyr based Cl.37 turn, serving Aber Junction and the Rhymney Valley, so comparing diagrams by their 'target' is somewhat awkward. . As Tony Sayer mentions, redeploying the the 'nine-fivers' would prove difficult as they were proposed, and built, as a low cost, budget production employing mainly 'off the shelf parts' - multiple working and train heating were never an option.
  22. In general terms; . "C" was adopted for local passenger and freight workings in the Cardiff District from the 69/70 WTT - prior to which freight trips were designated "H" But "F" appears to have persisted on inter-divisional workings to the Cardiff/Swansea District until the commencement of the 71/72 WTT However "E" was also used in the Cardiff area for certain trip workings, including those performed by the 650hp locos, such as Canton's '9E76' which served amongst other places, canton Mileage Yard, Penarth Curve North, Ferry Road and Ely Paper Mill. Swansea / Margam and points west trips were generally "B" and Newport trips "A" . 56 years ago today, 17th. March, 1966 D9511 worked "F49" the Margam - Cymmer - Avon Colliery - Duffryn Rhonnda - Maesteg - Tondu - Margam turn. . Other enlightening turns included Cardiff - Merthyr thence Pontypridd - Cardiff parcels. . Trips from Merthyr to Vaynor Quarry, trips along the Rhondda Fawr from Treherbert, others from Abercynon/Stormstown to Lady Windsor (Ynysybwl) and Maritime Collieries.................. . I'll need to delve into my files; .
  23. "H" was also used on virtually all Cardiff valleys freight turns until at least 1968, including those diagrammed for 650hp and 1750hp traction. . Since the author first made contact with me, and after the book had gone to press, I came by quite a bit more operational information on the South Wales allocated 650hp locos, for 1966-1968, including sightings, workings and BR (WR) freight diagrams. . It all makes interesting reading, with some intensive diagramming for the 650hp locos, not what one would expect for a perceived 'black sheep' . As for storage at Worcester, I cannot think of anywhere covered, and secure in South Wales that would have fitted the bill. I can thoroughly recommend Tony Sayer's book.
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