Sunday 28 November 2021

Sunday Variety

 Arwen Batters Peterville

As usual, the Express is calm and reasoned in its accurate reporting style; but certainly the blog headline above does represent reality for fbb. It joins other headlines which have always amused the old man. From the 1930s, at a time of industrial unrest in East London ...


... and in Sheffield in the very early 1970s


So while storm Arwen in wreaking its havoc in the North East, it has already don't its worst on fbb's Peterville outdoor model railway. Most of the scenery "modules" are safely tucked away in the cupboard but ...

... the cafe and its marquee were left dangling off the edge of the baseboard, held only by the wires joining the LED illuminations. 

Worse, the whole station unit (buildings and platform canopy) were off under the gate and out into the car park.
Amazingly, after going for a flight across the yard, the lighting still works!
Sadly, things didn't go so well for the East Coast main line between Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Arwen, according to some sources is a Welsh girl's name meaning "fair" as in complexion or beauty. Google Translate is ignorant of this! Other sources suggest the name was invented by J R R Tolkien and, in the language of The Shire, means "noble maiden". A similar male name, Arvin, means "Friend of the People".

Neither seems particularly appropriate for a destructive storm!

Oho! It's O, You Know!

For those old crocks who remember their very first tinplate Hornby "O" gauge train set, the "explosion" in ready-to-run quality "O" gauge trains must seem beyond belief. For most of us they do not seem, but are, well outside the bounds of reasonable financial commitment.

Retailer Hattons of Widnes have just announced their range of "O" gauge L N E R coaches.

Wot no lighting? And you can buy a set of three or a set of four at a discounts.
Singles are currently discounted to £179. And to complete the picture, how about an A4 Pacific (A Streak!)?
These prices may seem eye-watering; and they are beyond fbb's desire or budget, but they represent exceedingly good value for money. A large OO loco is now coming off the production lines at over £200 and the latest fully detailed coaches, again in OO, have been announced at nearly £60 each (WITH lighting!).

OO is 4/7ths the size of O in linear dimensions and a little less than 1/5th in volume, yet 1/3rd the price. If you have got the money, and the space indoor or outdoor for a good sized layout, O has moved from being a VERY expensive specialist game to being withing the budget of a retiree on a good pension.

If you want to see O gauge at its best, look out for Heaton Lodge Junction.
It is huuuge!
It will go on show in Wakefield in December and then embark on a tour of the country in 2022.

'Heaton Lodge Junction' O gauge layout is to go on display in Wakefield's WX (Former Market Hall) centre. Masterminded by its owner, Simon George, the model is popular for its attention to detail, exquisite realism and epic proportions. With over three scale miles of track, the realistic model railway is the largest in Britain and took over seven years to build. With sound and automatic operation, the display is a treat for trainspotters and miniature lovers alike.

The layout is to be exhibited between Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 19 between 10.00 and 16.00, with a payable entrance fee. Up to 30 full-length O gauge trains are to appear in action on the detailed 180ft slice of 1980s West Yorkshire.
The sky has been added photographically to these pictures.

Poor Poster Perspective 
Over the last few weeks, fbb has been looking at old railway posters, often mentioning that they are "artist's impressions" of the resort in question and that they can play fast and loose with reality.

How is this for the lovely Lytham St Annes?
Maybe the lovely lady is atop an invisible (and non existent) cliff and the rest of the happy holidaymakers are well below.

This is the pier entrance in the early 1900s.
And this is the bandstand (poster upper left) from much the same date.
Both are still extant; the pier today ...
... with more recent "retail opportunities" added.

Very close by is the bandstand ...
... now surrounded by a paddling pool - ideal for performances of Handel's Water Music. GROAN!

And here is the view from Google Earth.
Contrast and compare! Note a slight lack of cliffs for the poster lady to perambulate upon.

From The Twitterati
Caledonian Sleeper in 2016

Disused Station but Useable
It is Sampford Courtenay between Crediton and Okehampton. The former Sunday Dartmoor Line trains used to stop there by request, but the new two-hourly Okehampton service does not. Locals are asking, "Why not?"

It is just a bare platform these days, but it used to be a very sweet little station building.
Of course, it is nowhere near Sampford Courtenay ...
Surely another opportunity for walkers are pedestrian explorers?
And there is a little car park space.

PLEASE NOTE ; The next part of the Exeter Map blogs will follow soon.

 Next Variety blog : Monday 29th November 

1 comment:

  1. "OO is 4/7ths the size of O in linear dimensions and a little less than 1/5th in volume, yet 1/3rd the price."

    Yes, because the design, research and development costs don't shrink just because the product does. Material costs make only a small contribution to the retail price.