Posted tagged ‘Nostalgia’

“Private and not for publication”

November 8, 2014

For some time now I have been working on a project to write timetable for Mortimore’s Yard. Obviously much of the background was thought out long ago when the layout was first conceived, but this project has meant that much more of the detail has had to be worked out, much more “history” written and “geography” mapped out.

I’m gradually approaching the conclusion of the project now, and will hopefully soon be running the layout to the timetable, with a purpose, rather than just shunting trains and wagons about on a whim, or at best a vague idea of where consignments are travelling from and to.

As part of this project I have been trying to develop a few facsimile working documents, based on those used on the real railway, documents which were always branded with the severe instruction that they are “Private and Not for Publication”

So here is an extract of the appropriate Working Time Table:


There is still some work to do, (more…)


My monthly dose of inspiration

January 4, 2014

We all lead busy lives nowadays, and in my case that means lots of things vie for my attention besides model railways. There is of course paid work to factor in, but I also choose to voluntary work too, and as much as I enjoy church and Explorer Scout activities they do require time on a regular basis to prepare and run. And that’s before I consider other hobbies; I sometimes paddle a kayak, or pedal a bike amongst many activities.

There is also a huge distraction in the internet these days. Sure sites such as RMWeb are very useful for asking questions, picking up tips and advice and the numerous photo sites present a seemingly endless stream of images, especially as my favoured 1970s modelling period seems to be the subject of so many.

But there is one monthly source of inspiration which I highly value, and I’ve just taken my monthly dose.BR in the 1970sMy modelling is never likely to reach these levels, but I can hope. So when skills are lacking, attention is distracted and I need a focus the monthly update of British Rail in the 1970s is just the boost I need.

Back in time

December 27, 2013

There is a wonderful new (OK, recent) invention which allows time travel. No, not a time machine, we’re still waiting for that, but following some activity on a well-known on-line auction site I have been transported back 40 years. My Christmas reading this year has been a selection of late 1960s Working Time Tables. DSC_0048 I’m gradually working my way through the detail with the aim of establishing a realistic set of workings for my Mortimore’s Yard layout. True, the yard itself would have been served by various trip-workings, but these need to connect in with long distance services at the main marshalling yards. The late ’60s are rather earlier than the period I model, but so far that is the closest the auction site has yielded. But the workings therein are amazing to see. Some will no doubt be surprised to see that back then there was a goods train from Stoke Gifford to Exeter Riverside every few hours during the day. Today wagonload freight is gone, completely. But compare that to the passenger side. My local station on the Paddington – Bristol mainline used to have a train in each direction roughly every two hours; today we enjoy trains every half an hour, all day. How times change….

What we have lost

October 31, 2013

I’ve just been watching a DVD, one which really takes me back. It might not be “High Definition” or “Broadcast Quality”, but it is most definitely full of nostalgia. And it made me consider what we have lost.

It’s an Anbrico production, “The Newcastle – Liverpool Class 47” and it covers a trip from the Tyne to the Mersey and back on what BR used to market as the Trans-Pennine service. Mixing platform and lineside views with shots from an open drop-light it is undoubtedly an enthusiast’s eye-view, but that, in many ways, is what makes it so valuable. It’s what we saw, and what we did.

47597 at Newcastle Central in 1991

The opening shot is of 47597 arriving at Newcastle Central with the empty stock from Heaton Depot (more…)

In the heat of summer

June 28, 2013

So much for imagining the past on a preserved line, good as it is. Let’s go back to the 1970’s….

It’s the summer of 1975, and the days are long and hot; another summer like this next year and we’ll have a drought. Despite predictions the Westerns are hanging on, although the Hymeks have followed the Warships and departed from BR.

High summer

As the school holidays stretch off seemingly for ever, and September is more a possibility than a reality, Dennis Lillee’s four-wicket opening spell has reduced England to 49 for 4 in the second test against Australia at Lords. The swallows wheel and whistle overhead, there is the possibility of an interesting loco on the afternoon “Trip” (if it runs, it’s “as required” in the timetable) but the priority is to see which ice-cream the few remaining “new pence” of pocket money will buy in the corner shop…

Memories are made of this

June 26, 2013

This one might come as bit of a shock, it’s far too modern! Look its got domino dots covering the headcodes! Yeah, I know, rather more modern than my modelling, but very much my era in terms of real railway experience.


A plain blue freight loco standing on a set of Mk1s at a seaside terminus, it could only be one of BRs numerous Saturday Only summer dated holiday trains offering the bucket and spade brigade escape from the 9 to 5. And of course offering the enthusiast some rateable “no heat” traction.

So what could this be, the Minehead – Birmingham New Street via Worcester Shrub Hill? It is in my mind…

Evening goods

June 24, 2013

I must admit that my favourite “hydraulic” has to be the D1000 class Westerns, they have the looks and a wonderful set of names, they were the elite – let’s be honest they still are, nothing has the looks of a Western!

But coming barely a buffer-beam depth behind the Western, in my league table, is the Beyer-Peacock D7000 Hymek.  True they don’t have the symmetry of a Western, being single engined ensures that, but they certainly have good looks. Perhaps understated, their lines are clean and workmanlike. And their performance was certainly no disgrace to their Type-3 power rating.

Waiting with the goods

Enthusiasts often like the bigger, more powerful, locomotives, (more…)