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  1. Does anyone, by any chance, have a photo of Peter Jessop's model of Selsey on Sea which appeared at the Westminster show in the early 70s, or of the joint appearance with Clive Cobley's Siddlesham at the EM Gauge show that was held at St Katherine's dock? Best wishes Eric
  2. 2 years! That's new. The last Woodham Wagon Works kits would have been cast in the mid 1990s and they are still turning up unbuilt! Best wishes Eric
  3. It certainly looks like WWW and it probably attracted my attention because of the oddity of its construction: most vehicles had a timber body and iron frames. A bit of digging suggests that the drawing originated in an article by Bernard Holland in MRC March 1971, entitled "PO wagons of the North Staffordshire - 8". I seem to have a number of other North Staffs drawings, which suggests that I was in correspondence with someone with North Staffs interests, although the only other vehicle, that I know appeared as a kit, was a 2 plank merchandise. Both would have appeared around the time that I moved from Woodham and migrated to the West Country, after which my casting activities more or less ceased. I shall be interested to see what else turns up in the hoard. Best wishes Eric
  4. I would have thought that railways were pretty well ingrained in the cultures of the Indian sub-continent? Best wishes Eric
  5. Agree. Thanks to @Northroader and others for posting this. That would be an "interesting challenge" to model in HO. Just watching the film, it looks as though the bottom of the boiler is set well below the footplate and the top of the boiler is not a great deal above head level - say 2 metres? Did someone have the contemporary fixation with a low centre of gravity? Best wishes Eric
  6. I am not sure whether 1500 tons qualifies as a ship, but, for what it is worth, this was our home for the last week on the River Rhone. Curiously, the ship was built in Belgrade, Serbia, which is not unreasonable for a river cruiser – except that there is no direct access to the Rhone. The answer is that these kind of vessels are loaded onto heavy lift barges or, according to one of the officers, lashed to a larger ship and taken round the coast to either the Netherlands or the Black Sea. The other unexpected surprise was that the initial phase of the trip, up the Soane to Chalons, had to be cancelled because there was too much water in the river. Despite the ability to lower the bridge, the antennae and the deck rails, the water level still left insufficient clearance, so we ended up making the trip by bus. Best wishes Eric
  7. Well, we took the Eurostar trip and, sadly, it may take us a little time to recover from the experience. Our journey was to Lyon, to join a river cruise, for which we were booked to take a Brussels train, with a change at Lille. The night before, we stayed in the Travel Lodge in Grays Inn Road, which was spartan but adequate. It was also an easy walk to St P. The following morning, we took the Eurostar instruction to check in 2 hours in advance and turned up at 0700. All the signs indicated that check-in did not start until 0730 and the departure “lounge” was uncomfortably full with the passengers for the preceding trains to Paris and Amsterdam. Unlike an airport lounge, however, passengers are still attached to their luggage, so, per person, they take up a lot more space. Lille international station lacks charm. It is a modern, purpose built structure with 4 platforms and 2 through roads, with many of the characteristics of a wind tunnel. It also has the paraphernalia required to allow entry to the UK. Its redeeming feature is that it is only a few minutes walk from the city centre, although the courier who met our group, which turned out to be 20 strong, was determined to corral us within the station. We therefore spent 2½ hours, exploring four branches of the same fast food chain. I wonder whether the timetabling could have been slicker and I heard later that our route deliberately avoided Paris this year because of the Olympics. Transferring to the TGV was interesting. The company had evidently reserved all its seats in the same coach, which made it easy to get everyone to the right part of the platform. However, imagine how long it can take to get 20 people, all somewhat past the first flush of youth, with suitcases, up a step, through a single doorway and far enough into the carriage to allow all those behind them to board. Finding your seat and then hoisting your luggage above head level to go on the rack, proved challenging for a number of the group. I think we stress tested both the patience of the platform staff and the scheduled stopping time of the train, but I cannot imagine that it is not a regular event. Exactly the same process played out on the return journey, with the slight variation that we had become a more cohesive group and had identified those members of the party who needed help. The journey itself was pleasant enough, although the chance to enjoy the countryside can be a bit overrated as you cross the flatter bits of France. I managed to format a useful chunk of the next LB&SCR Modellers’ Digest. The return journey, starting from Avignon, was a replay of much of the outward trip. We did not set off until about mid-day (mainland time) to be back in London by 1900 (UK time) and, again, I wonder if the timetabling could have been better? The TGV ran about 30 minutes late (not just because of our group boarding), so we only had an hour at Lille – demonstrating why you need to allow a reasonable contingency to change trains when different companies are involved and still leave enough for the customs formalities. We were on time at St Pancras and got to Paddington in time to catch a Bristol train before GWR went on strike for the following day. Will we do it again? Given that we paid a premium for the experience, I was impressed that 20, out of 140 on the boat, had chosen to travel by train. I have to say that flying leaves someone else to look after your luggage and, for the most part around Europe, flights are often point to point, rather than involving a change. To be honest, I would think very hard about repeating the experience and Mrs B was rather more forthright and decisive on the subject. A disappointing result. Learning experiences. Take something to do; only a few bits of countryside are actually interesting. Don’t take more luggage than you can carry. Don’t take cases that you cannot lift above your head (yes, I know that there are racks at floor level, but they are first come, first served). Best wishes Eric
  8. It certainly has the look of Woodham Wagon Works! I reckon that they are "Perkins" PO wagons. Lettering used to be available through POWSides. Best wishes Eric
  9. On the few occasions that Vintners' Yard has been exhibited, a step stool goes with it. Most of the time, I sit on the stool at the front of the layout, so that I can chat to visitors. The layout is above an accessible height for small children and so, when one appears, they are offered the step stool, as long as they hold onto the cross bar at the back with both hands. This makes it very hard to poke things. For older children, there is a "homework" sheet of things for them to find. This provokes a conversation (preferably involving the parents) and also seems to reduce the need to touch everything. Best wishes Eric
  10. Adge Cutler and Co of Nailsea? Best wishes Eric
  11. Whereas the Chemin de Fer de L'Est still appears to have had some Cramptons in service at this time! Best wishes Eric
  12. Chinchilla dust is very fine sand, available from pet shops, which chinchillas like to bath in! Best wishes Eric
  13. The ISP had a funny turn around the end of December so it could be a repeat of the same issue. Thanks for the heads up. To reach the last issue of the Digest, there is a duplicate copy at LBSCR-Modellers-Digest-18.pdf (jatws.org) I hope that this helps Best wishes Eric
  14. I remember something similar from sometime in the sixties. I seem to recall the smell of meths, so I think the fire and water brigade were there, with a live steam Gauge 1(?) display track. I don't think risk assessments had been invented in those days. Best wishes Eric
  15. Thanks for all the various suggestions. We have a train at about 0900 and, since we live in the outer darkness (i.e. beyond the M25), it seems most sensible to minimise the travelling that morning. Having been a London commuter for many years, I have no desire to be one of those impediments to progress, that wanders around lost, with a large suitcase, getting in everyone's way! If it can all be made to go smoothly, then there is a better chance of convincing Mrs B to make this a more regular travel option. Best wishes Eric
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