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THE RAMCHESTER CHRONICLES


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The last update for April! I've been getting plastered again the last couple of days with the new bit of embankment at the entrance to the yard and the new scenic section with the stream now almost done.

 

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14 hours ago, HSB said:

I've been getting plastered again

 

Considering you've been drinking I think its coming on very well ! :laugh_mini2:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I decided to modify the abutments to the culvert as they didn't look quite right now the weir has gone. It is now back in position although I have pulled it forward a few scale inches as Rod didn't think the lane was wide enough where it crossed the culvert! I have also started adding a bit of greenery around the area while Rod is building a small shed to hide the point motor at the entrance to the new sidings which we were unable to mount underneath.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We didn't do anything on the layout last week as Rod and Maggie were on holiday in Cornwall but we are back in the swing this week. To get a better idea of what the bed of the new section of stream should look like I photographed the one in Cockington on my regular Friday walk there last week and have now scattered a mixture of ballast material along it to try and duplicate the effect. We are going to use some Woodland Scenics 'water'.

This is what I'm trying to reproduce:-                                        And this is what the model stream looks like prior to adding 'water':-

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I have also ballasted one of the points.

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As Howard indicated in an earlier post Maggie and I have just returned from a weeks holiday in Porthcurno in Cornwall where we had a lovely week. We did not get wet once and were lucky enough to see a show at the open air Minack theatre which as many of you will know has been built on the cliff face overlooking the beach. I am pleased to say that the show (Fishermans Friends - a Cornish sea shanty group) was excellent and It stayed fine with some sunshine to boot.

 

By now you may be asking what has this to do with Ramchester. Well I have not posted much on this site lately so this holiday is the reason why.

 

We needed to cover a surface mounted point motor near the front edge of the baseboard so Howard "ordered" me to construct a hut for this purpose. I did a mock up first of all but when it was placed on the layout it looked too big. As a result I cut out a section in the middle and glued it back together again. This too was placed over the point motor but it still looked to big. I made a fresh start on another mock up much smaller this time and when it was placed in position it seemed OK. This was the one I used as a template for the final model. I constructed this from thick card and glued it together using card glue which I had never tried before. I then reinforced the corners as well as the top and bottom with strip wood. Once again I used card glue for the adhesive and all seems well. The following photos show the model thus far.

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As I was satisfied with the model I decided to cover the card with individual thin wood strips so I made up a simple cutting jig to ensure that the strips were all the same size and this is shown in the next photo.

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All for now.

 

Rod

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Howard has been doing more work on the scenery and adding another layer to the stream. He has also done a bit more ballasting and sleeper painting, tasks that are beyond my level of vision. In the meantime I have done a little more work on the shed shown in the attached photo. It is just placed roughly in position before any of the adjacent scenery has been completed. I may decide to put it on top of a shallow brick base to make it easier to bed it in.

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Rod

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Here's the stream now it's had a few more layers of Realistic Water. The main problem has been getting enough depth upstream as it naturally runs down hill. I have found pouring some in a container for an hour or so to thicken up before pouring onto the layout can help a bit although it's mainly a case of pushing some of the liquid back upstream and hoping enough will stay there!

 

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Edited by HSB
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Just a quick update on progress both on the scenic side and on the hut.

 

Yesterday I gave the hut a thin coating of acrylic paint purchased from my local model shop in Paignton. This was applied by brush dipped into water then into the paint and left to dry. In this state it looked OK but as it dried I noticed the there were sections which had not taken the paint. This was particularly true between the individually stuck on "planks" so a second coat of paint was applied today. The picture shows the state on play yesterday before the second coat was applied. The door (from a PECO line side hut was simply pushed into the the opening which I had cut to receive it and has not been fitted properly as yet. The roof made out of two of my old business cards is a temporary affair laid on top as I wanted to see how the final thing would look. The photo shows how much of the paint job I have missed but the second coat should put this right. A cruel enlargement Me thinks!!

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In the meantime Howard has done more to the scenery by painting the track/sleepers/rails and doing a bit of ballasting. He did this between bouts of working on the stream which is coming along nicely. I will ask him to do another post on his input.

 

Rod

 

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Here is the stream after I poured a final layer of 'water' this afternoon. I have also been adding a few bits of greenery around the area, mainly reusing bits salvaged from the sections of the scenery which we had to demolish during the alterations.

 

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The 'dam' has been removed from where the stream reaches the fascia and the depth of the water there is now revealed. I have also been adding more greenery along the banks and elsewhere. In between scenicking I have been slowly progressing with painting the sides of the rails in the new sidings while Rod is still working on his little hut.

 

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I've at last finished painting the sleepers and rails in the new yard although we still need to add some buffer stops to the oil sidings.

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I have also added a little bit more greenery around the stream.

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Howard and I had another session this afternoon during which a little progress was made. He spent most of the time "planting" more greenery and as you will see from the photograph the recent wet weather has certainly allowed the plants to grow! He still has quite a bit more to do but what he has completed so far is (in my - probably biased opinion) nothing short of sheer brilliance. I await any comments with interest!

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In the meantime I have been busy with the little shed which is now more or less complete except for weathering. I still have to decide what sort of base to mount it on but I am now leaning towards inserting old sleepers underneath to raise it slightly off the ground. I have posted a picture of the more or less complete shed below.

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I have also been busy making a concrete bin to cover the crank alongside the shed. This was made up from plastic sheet and when painted concrete colour and topped up with ballast or sand will occupy this spot. I have posted some pictures below to show progress to date.

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Well that brings you all up to date for now but thank you all for following this thread.

 

Rod 

 

 

 

 

 

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Howard and I had another session this afternoon to progress the good work on the layout. As usual Howard got engrossed in the scenery while I looked at making the brick base for the shed. Just to illustrate what Howard has achieved I have posted some "before and after" photos for your perusal.

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This shot taken some 2 years ago shows the scene as built. The grey fascia in the foreground can clearly be seen and the stream is quite short.

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This is the big hole that Howard had to fill. No supports, no fascia and the realigned curtain rail which carries the under baseboard curtains. This shot was taken earlier this year and I remember feeling anxious as to how the hole was to be sorted. I need not have worried however as Howard told me he had it all under control.

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And here is the state of affairs at close of play today. Almost impossible to believe that the hole has gone, but it has!!!

 

In the meantime I have made a start on the brick base to the hut. Like a lot of "easy" jobs this turned out to be more trouble than I had expected. Mainly because I made up a lovely rectangular base but forgot that the boards on the hut should hang outside the wall, yes I had made it slightly to big. Next I decided that I could perhaps cut a piece out of each side and re cement it together. No go. So in the end I made up a new one to the correct dimensions this time, cemented it together and made a start on mounting the bricks  Two sides done, two sides to go. I hope that next time I can get it finished.

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Rod

 

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I went for a ramble around Ramblechester the other day. It's some time since I had a poke about there and as we, Ramchester and I, go back a long way, since before it was even a scribbling on the back of an envelope, I thought it was about time. It did feel strange wandering around in the 1950s (have I got that right?) wearing a Covid mask but there we are, strange times. It all had a very comfortable feeling about it all though, standing at the buffer stops with the sea and beach behind me, seagulls wheeling and screeching and tracks disappearing off in front of me. I knew I'd have to make it along to the other end where the tracks curve into the hills. Is the platform really that long - should have brought my bike, the ole knees aren't what they were. It's a Sunday so not much going on which is fine as I shall be able to do a bit of trespassing without any of the aggravation which often accompanies such activities. A few wagons in the yard at this end, one half in and half out of the shed, how do you load/unload with the wagon thus - it makes a better picture though if you're into that sort of thing. A few cobwebs on the old crane, perhaps the amount of traffic has been effected by Covid after all. Not too bad wandering about in this bit of the yard as I think someone has been tidying up the ground cover since I was last here but they haven't tidied up the seagull guano. I glimpse a part of the town between the buildings behind the station which I hadn't noticed before, maybe something has been knocked down around there opening up the view. Speaking of the view the hills over the back there don't seem to be as high as I remember them but then my memory its not what it was either. I must get that seen to. Something has changed at the west yard as well. I can see there is some work going on. Didn't there used to be a difficult to shunt oil siding at this end and some difficult to turn a lorry at coal staithes? The sidings here seem a bit longer to me but it's still work in progress so I shall have to wait and see. It's a jump across the stream we used to piddle in, (that seems longer too, must have been some teraforming going on) to make it up to the tunnel mouth. I see they haven't replaced that dodgy signal mast by the tunnel, just bodged it up with a bit of wood. I'm not venturing through the tunnel, dark as hell in there and who knows what nasties there might be at the far end. I've enjoyed my little oldtimessake ramble, must do it again some time, perhaps even ride the line in those new mk1's I've heard about, we'll see.

Baron.

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To Baron Harrap.

 

Glad you enjoyed your ramble around Ramchester, your honour, making notes and comments about some of the changes that have taken place since you last visited the line pre covid. It is a lovely place to take a holiday and the hotel has some vacancies at the moment. If you ask them nicely you might even be allowed to use one of the rooms which overlook the station and you could spend all day watching the large amount of traffic both passenger and goods that use the station. Or you could take a walk to the hills and stand over the tunnel taking in the panoramic sights that are there to be enjoyed. Mind you don't slip as there is no fence at this point, just a steep drop right down onto the track. You could join Harry who spends hours and hours up there watching the wild life and the trains. He does get a bit lonely and he would be pleased to see you for a chat and if you are very lucky he may share a glass or two of his favourite tipple with you.

 

Bear in mind, your honour, that as soon as covid restrictions are dealt with and when folks feel safe once again you must pay Ramchester another visit and I will free myself up to give you a personal tour of the new developments that are taking place.

 

Lord Ramchester CEO. LCFC Sup. Dip MRB. and about 100 other bits of nonsense.

 

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  • HSB changed the title to THE RAMCHESTER CHRONICLES

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