Saturday, 18 May 2019

Ments - Some Odd, Some Less So (1)

An Unexpected Gift
A small packet was delivered to fbb mansions on Thursday and, although small enough to poke through the slot, kind Mr Postman, cognisant of the dire warning on the exterior, rang the door knocker and handed the goody bag to its nominated recipient.
Who was it from? (Sorry. From whom did it emanate?) and what did it contain? After careful examination, fbb concluded it had come from chum Richard, who with his spouse, Peggy, dwells at Bont Dolgadfan near Llanbrynmair. You can guess their general geographical locale!

And the contents were intriguing.
The wagon is a Hornby Dublo tanker, labelled for "Royal Daylight" and, way back in its history, it cost two shillings and six pence.
The above picture is of a pre-war model as indicated by the original Hornby couplings and you could own one of these today for a modest £85! 2/6 immediately prewar would inflate to £4.25 today.
Reasonably good models as per fbb's post WW2 gift sell at about £10 but only IF they are in good condition. 

Later versions had Esso added.
Royal Daylight was a brand of the American Oil Company used for heating oil (paraffin) and other domestic products.
The brand name for "Ethyl Oil" (Petrol) was Pratts ...
... "the one with the orange pump", well remembered for its enamel signs beloved of collectors.
It all became Esso in due course.

The model is "play worn" and "age worn" - i.e. bashed to bits and rusty - with paintwork that is probably irrecoverable. But it takes fbb back to a long lost age of pre- and post-war pioneering three rail OO gauge trains that continued in production almost unaltered until the Hornby's change to two rail in the early 1960s.

Here is the tanker alongside a cheap plastic model, also labelled Hornby but Triang in reality and produced from 1975 to 1989.
The Texaco "Monobloc" tank needs its ladder replacing ...
... and is almost 100% plastic whilst the Dublo model is 100% metal.

But maybe do not replace the ladder as most (all?) models were sold without one - possibly removed from the real thing for operation under the electric string - or maybe added to the model above by an over-keen modeller.

Ladders were fitted to some, for sure.
Or is the Texaco livery a Hornby invention? fbb could find no pictures on-line of this standard real-size wagon in Texaco livery.

Another tantalising puzzle to tempt the grey cells of blog readers. Bachmann's Monobloc tank does have ladders.

You could have a Texaco branded tanker for your Dublo 3-rail layout.
The more recent Hornby version of the Royal Daylight vehicle has better detail ...
... but is possibly based on a later design of the real thing. The older ones are more like the fbb arrival in reality.
This one lives at the Didcot Railway Museum.

If you model in N gauge, there is a version for you available from Peco.
There is also an vintage tinplate wagon of similar livery for O gauge collectors.
Richard's gift model will never run on fbb's layout because it has metal wheels on uninsulated metal axles so would short out the two-rail electrics. But it will stand happily on a "dead" siding to store fuel for Peterville's diesels.

Put there is a moral dilemma. Should fbb repaint it or leave it as a rusty hulk?

fbb has yet to discover the source of the GWR notice board!

First Falters or Forges Forwards?
Readers of the business pages will have gathered that the Board of First Group faces renewed pressure caused by its under performance. In very simple terms, a major shareholder wants its people on the Board with a possible view to re-opening the previously abandoned take-over bid from Apollo.

The best response comes via James Freeman at Bristol, published in this week's staff newsletter. fbb has distilled the essence.
Last weekend Coast Capital, a large shareholder, wrote to the FirstGroup plc Board to advise that, as is their right as a large shareholder, they will be requisitioning a General Meeting of the Company. The purpose of the meeting is to consider their proposals, which are an attempt to take control of the Board by removing six of the current eleven Board Directors and appointing seven of their nominees.

Matthew Gregory, FirstGroup’s Chief Executive said: “We consider the views of all shareholders and continue to engage with Coast Capital, having attempted to do so constructively for more than a year."

This is not the first "approach".

Gregory continues “Above all, I understand this type of activity can be distracting. The Board has reiterated its focus on delivering shareholder value and we must keep focused on delivering our objectives and providing the best service for our customers. Please be assured that any events or decisions of significance will be relayed through the usual channels as appropriate. We will be releasing our full year results, and updating on progress and strategy, on 30 May 2019.”

Worth watching out for the figures and the statement?

So, the message is it’s Business As Usual and we just have to get on with running the buses.

Meanwhile in Glasgow ...
... the news is spectacular and multicoloured!
fbb's personal observation on his brief but hobbling foray into Glasgow recently revealed a brighter and newer fleet looking much better.
... and in Guildford.

Here a snippet in Guildford was confirmed by a "usually reliable source" a few days ago.
More details in due course.

Problems in Preston?
Hmm? It has disappeared already from the company web site!
There was nothing there. Lancashire helps out.
It runs Monday to Saturday; hourly Preston to Clitheroe continuing every two hours to Skipton. It will be missed, of course, bit bits of it are covered by other services.
Enthusiasts are ready with their "Farewell Tour".

And a Texaco Tailpiece
With ladders, or not with ladders: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous accuracy,
Or to take arms against a sea of experts,
And by opposing silence them? To add: to omit?
No more; and when we add we say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To add, 'tis good;
To glue: perchance to fail: ay, there’s the rub;
For in a search for truth, what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this model coil?
Very few modellers realise that Will Shakespeare was building tank wagons many years before the railways were invented!

So fbb looked in his box of ladders (as you do), found a couple of lengths of the right size and glued them to his Texaco tank wagon. A little matt black paint to take away the shininess of the raw plastic and his cheap Texaco Monobloc looks much better.
Well, fbb thinks so!

 More Ments on the Morrow : Sunday 19th May 

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