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Everything posted by Edwardian

  1. Ha, well it won't be Norfolk you see when you step outside castle Aching's shed! What a splendid scene. Please feel free to post as many pictures of your model railway as you like!
  2. I swear by them. They have protected my belongings through several moves and prolonged storage in hostile conditions both Northern winters and tropical summers. They have proved proof against damp and against moths or other intrusions. Some of mine, I realised during this last move, are some 20 years old and still going strong! Really, I should have bought shares ....
  3. Yes, but I think in many cases it was the superintendent pushing the bean counters on the Board to do something splendid. Wainwright got his way only to have to scale back under pressure from his Board after a decade or so of one of the most opulent loco liveries we've seen. Also, some superintendents were able to exert more forceful personalities than others.
  4. If you destroy something, you at least ought to leave something better in it's place. That does not happen as often as we'd wish! We have a problem, Euston
  5. I suspect in many cases two-tone carriage liveries were the front line in the perpetual battle between the grandiosity of locomotive and carriage superintendents and burgeoning publicity departments on the one hand and practicality and parsimony of Directors on the other. Fortunately on the whole the forces are kept in balance until a Churchward or a Maunsell comes along to unleash a puritanical zealotry against extravagant liveries!
  6. An early insight, for me, was repeatedly coming across architects' practices housed in beautiful old buildings; they did not choose to work in the sort of office they made their living designing for the rest of us to work in. At the very least it argued a lack of conviction in what they were doing. Back in the post-war decades, architects at least believed they were designing a better future, albeit that out-of-touch arrogance left them isolated in not so much an ivory tower, but a brutalist concrete one. For them the Luftwaffe had been a gift, an opportunity and a mere start; they would wreak much, much more destruction upon the fabric of our towns and cities. However, generally only architects, planners and corrupt local politicians and construction companies ever thought the Modernist re-imagining of British towns was an improving step towards utopia. The citizenry, on the whole, never bought in and went from an, at best, indifferent start to an outright contempt for the ugly weather-stained progeny of post-war architectural hubris. You see, it's all down to artistic snobbery. Now in the case of music, were you a composer, to win critical acceptance you might need to be avant garde. As a music lover, that is fine, because it's the easiest thing in the world to avoid purchases, concerts or programmes that contain your atonal sh1te. If you are an architect, however, we all have to live with your award-winning, critically acclaimed eyesores every day of our lives. That might leave us longing for Quinlan Terry to an accompaniment of derisive snorts about 'backward looking historical pastiche' from the architectural elite and the guardians of taste, yet I know where I'd rather live and work and the sort of buildings I'd prefer to walk by on the street or view from my window. There's a lot to be said for middle-brow! So, it comes to this IMHO. Good quality design can be from any period or style or school. That includes modernism. BTW, I'm a huge fan of Robinson College, Cambridge, which evokes the brooding form of a mediaeval fortress, yet is entirely modern (though I was nonetheless glad that my alma mater was genuinely mediaeval). There are, however, two problems. First, modernism by definition represented a revolutionary break from the past. Some revivalist Victorian architecture was criticised here. Again, this was not universally good or sympathetically placed, yet in terms of both the styles and materials employed it represented the growth of traditions and continuity. That is not to say architecture has to do this, but where your chosen architecture is in deliberate defiance of what went before, there are only so many places you can build it without doing violence to the setting it is imposed upon, however good an individual example it may be. Second, much of modernist architecture is not of good quality. Most of it is dull, formulaic and uninspired. Mere boxes. How many soulless hospitals, airports, office blocks, housing blocks, shops and, most sadly, schools ,do we see every day of our lives that represent the ultimate dreary legacy of modernist utopian theorising? This architecture serves only to impoverish our townscapes and our souls. Sad facts only exacerbated by the fact, as noted, that it doesn't even wear well.
  7. Well, not 'not quite' right, Bill, completely right! I was referring to the practice on the GER as regards its teak stock. The specific point under discussion was whether one could successfully over-paint teak. This in turn stemmed from an earlier comment that apparently LCDR teak was difficult to over-paint as it was quite oily. The GER livery change in 1919 was an example of a livery change from a varnished wood to a painted livery, so worth mentioning, though it doesn't qualify or negate the point made. Other companies may well have had a similar practice regarding worn varnished finishes as they would presumably have encountered the same issues as the GER.
  8. - GER was teak. When due to age a satisfactory varnished finish could no longer be obtained, the coaches were painted brown. The LNER continued the practice.
  9. Stephen's just upset at the thought you need large locomotives to travel north from London
  10. The fact that you can't see it from a neighbouring street lined by tall Nineteenth Century terraces is probative of nothing. Where you can see it it looks like some giant alien structure has landed in Regency London. There are better places for it. Milton Keynes, perhaps. This is what the alien ship landed on The Brunswick Centre is not a structure without merit. Whether Bloomsbury was improved by it is another matter, however.
  11. Bauhaus was fine. In small doses. It was bold, it was brave and it annoyed the Hell out of Hitler. Turning this revolution into a universal architectural language for our towns and cities did not, IMHO, turned out so well. The '50s, '60s and '70s were dominated by architecture that only looked good in the models and, if you were lucky, for the first year or so it's up. That, combined with the social deprivation associated with public high-ruse housing and it's completely understandable why most folk have never been able to love modernist or brutalist architecture. And, IMHO, rightly so. It's all rather a case of, 'yes, I can see how what you are doing is very clever, but it's still the last place I'd want to live or have to look at' I have mixed feelings about Brunswick Square. I used to live round the corner and occasionally shopped there. A convenience store that sells Duchy Original biscuits? That's London for you. Silly place in many ways when you think about it. Slanting the accommodation leads to attractive shapes, but it remains a towering monstrosity in the context of Bloomsbury.
  12. Birmingham addendum Wall art at Hockley bypass has been Grade II listed A fine example by William Mitchell of the Pasta Picture Primary School of art. Apparently there is another listed Mitchell underpass in Stevenage. Something almost Aztec or Egyptian about those figures. Thus, here feminists anticipate the Bangles by walking like an Egyptian.
  13. Hilarious. If only the damage were confined to these Darwin Award runners up. Idiots. The details of the victims and the impact on survivors and families of the Texas shooting that came onto my radio this morning was harrowing. This was followed by an interview with a Texas Senator and NRA member who explained the shooting as the result of an outcast and a misfit, his evidence for which characterisation being that the boy sometimes wore eye shadow and dresses. The senator blamed the atrocity on the shooter's roommate for not reporting him based on an ambiguous comment made prior to the gun purchase. Senator Pete Sessions, you absolute fecking moron.
  14. The CA boards are ply framed. They are open save where there is track, where they have ply tops. This baseboard top is currently, IIRC, 43" off the ground, as that is the height when the legs are inserted. The ply frames are about 4" deep at the front and higher at the back because forced perspective means the boards rise toward the vanishing point. This also means that I can drop the level at the front because I have 4" to play with. This was designed with storage in mind, allowing the Really Useful Box Co 64L crates to be stacked several high underneath on a pallet (which was necessary in the old digs 'cos of damp). Mine do not contain files ... The depths of the boards allowed them to be set end on and with a row in front. The layout legs were spaced to facilitate the use of these boxes. If I change the baseboard height, it will be to increase it slightly. Visually a bit higher is better, but I have to be able to lean over. In any case, CA offers excellent storage capacity, as would the other two stations in the plan. I really need the storage space. Thus, among the other considerations concerning hidden loops and sub-baseboard lines is the fact that I would lose considerable storage space. I did not mention this before now, because I did not want the consideration to influence or constrain the planning; if the optimum layout plan had involved loss of under-baseboard storage, I would have re-thought storage. As it is, the process we have gone through over the last few pages looking at Schooner's designs has satisfied me that we have the optimal plan for what I wanted to achieve, so now I can mention the considerable advantage of the shed in providing a second function as a long-term storage facility. Marching under the CA boards will be the Imperial Guard in 1/72nd, sundry WW2 tanks and aircraft and even 28mm knights and orcs as well as lots of empty stock boxes, scenic materials and my childhood railway stock. Mainly, however, the storage will be for the empty crates I used to transport my books (65 in the end, most of which are or will be empty). If I don't need all the space for storage, I'm minded to mount Richmond at a lower level at one end in due course. My thought is to develop Richmond in an exhibition format because, to be frank, erecting it temporarily either in the house or at an exhibition is likely to prove the best chance to operate it. If there is anyone in the Darlington or Richmond area who would be up for forming a Richmond layout team in due course, it could eventually go places.
  15. Yes, the bit when he dubbed the panorama of brutalist concrete as a view that "nearly took my breath away" the piece lost conviction for me. There was a 180 arc of ugly stretching to the horizon. Closer views were often quite depressing, too. The grotty outdoor market gasping under the stained concrete ring road overpass was just desperate. The thing about brutalistic architecture is that it's, well, brutal. New Street Station, even when new, clearly looked dingy and cack, and, save for a small coterie of modernist architects for a relatively brief period of time, there is no way that you can really sell the idea that the (already visibly pealing) Bull Ring (or the South Bank in Lunnon, for that matter) are in anyway attractive.
  16. Thanks very much for that, which is reassuring. I've taken pot luck on the Bay Of Fleas because I read someone online reporting the Hogarth Stone 0-4-0 ran slowly. That is explained if fitted with the same chassis you bought. Fingers crossed then! I'll let you know how it turns out.
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