Monday 5 June 2023

Monday Variety

A Welter Of Shelters

Remember this poor litte reader unable to sit, unable to "perch" in the new too-small shelters at Ryde's new too-small bus station? Well, senior correspondent Alan spotted these at Fishbourne ferry terminal as he left for a holiday in Cornwall.
Four rustic shelters had travelled across as Wightlink passengers and were awaiting their taxi to who knows where. There are four unsatisfactory shelters at Ryde bus station.

Alan mused as to whether these were replacements. 


If so, they have better seating - actually they have seating - but much less of it.
So prettier but no real improvement. Bearing in mind the millions spent on the too-small roadway ...
... you would have though that a proper overall canopy would be desirable. It does sometimes rain on the Island (sorry for the lack of a spoiler alert) and the shelterage at the new facility is utterly useless to protect the summer crowds in a summer downpour.

Bring Back The Back That's Hiding The Track
The minimalist representation of the town of Peterville was low relief in front ot the back fence at fbb mansions. There was a bit  more to the right ...
... next to the church and pub.

When No 1 son visited just over a week ago, he offered - an offer hurriedly accepted - to recreate the infrastructure for said back scene. And he did.
Painted with a touch of wispy blue to represent a sky for all seasons, the roadway covers the hidden turn-back siding below.
As any railway modeller knows, trains only break down or derail on the less accessible bits of track. Hence the gap! There was no similar hidden track in the outdoor version; it would have been in the car park!

Work is now in hand to up-fettle and rebuild the street after several years outside in the weather.
"Stone" has been delivered for the retaining wall as the original has warped beyond re-use. Setts (erroneously often called cobbles) have arrived for the roadway. Buildings have been made slightly less low relief with bits of thin ply and lots of gunk ...
... with more roof and a partial repaint to follow. Plenty for the old man to do!

L1? D1? What's The Difference?
Answer, not much. 
The L1 is at the top, the D1 below. Naughtily, fbb captioned them the wrong way round in a previous blog - but you spotted the tease, didn't you?

Both locos were originally from the pen of SECR loco engineer Harry Wainwright. But when Richard Maunsell took over the engineering chair, he modified both Wainwright's D and L class and designated them D1 and L1. His aim was to make them more powerful for the Kent Coast Expresses in the inter-war period.

Modellers still love the Triang L1 loco, last available in 1967; and one on-line report shows how this vintage "toy" came to be be transformed into a much better model.
Various pipes and handrails have been added ...
... and numerous small details. His driver and fireman look very tall (hard hats needed), which is because the cab floor is two scale feet too high but too tricky to modify.
fbb reckons he could use HO loco men rather than OO, smaller but barely noticeable once the tender is connected. The modeller has resprayed the loco in unlined  "Southern" black which looks smart. 
You would be hard-pressed to recognise it from the original.
Back in the mid sixties, the L1 sold for approx £2.50, fifty shillings in the old money. That would inflate to about £50 today.  

This one was still around for real in 1963.
And this one lasted long enough to haul what look like BR blue/grey coaches in 1965.
Those were the days!

But if you didn't want the faff, today you could buy a D1 (not that different to an inexperienced eye).
It would cost you £200!

fbb's schoolboy chum Mike had a Triang L1 for his layout. fbb was jealous! But it did tend to derail on pointwork. By the time fbb could afford one they were out of production!!

Good News From Northampton - Or Not.
Alan kindly sent fbb a snap of two timetable leaflets that he was able to pick up at Northampton station. He eagerly clutched "Stansted to Cardiff" to his bosom ...
... and equally eagerly grabbed an exciting "Scotland to the South Coast".
Now the really cleverest of our readers may work out that neither service runs via Northampton - EVER! The closest they get for rail connections is Birmingham New Street.

What Alan did NOT obtain was ANy printed information for London North Western Railway which DOES serve Northampton.

No. not THAT LNWR ... but the modern and inferior one.
Never mind, eh? 

It's ...

... readers are invited to think of a suitable phrase to complete the above three letter "starter". Sadly, due to the cost of living crisis, there are no prizes.


But Scotland's ferries seem to be in a mess. For the last couple of years the press has bee full of articles about failures and cancellations, some serious enough to risk cutting off some routes completely for hours on end.
the reasons are long and complicated, due to funding, late delivery of new vessels and a series of unfortunate mishaps. But all the failings can ultimately be summarised in one two word phrase:-


But fbb has found one user's way of dealing with failures, at least.
The picture is captioned "Marshall towing the CalMac ferry into Rothesay".

 Next Leighton Buzzard blog : Tuesday 6th June 


  1. I would suggest that the coaching stock was red and cream - far too early for BR corporate blue and grey.

  2. Andrew Kleissner5 June 2023 at 08:31

    That can't be 1965 as the last L1 went in 1962. Also, the tender is bearing the older BR lion-and-wheel emblem, and there's an old carriage (?pre-grouping) in the train. I suggest it's 1955 (could be a wee bit later) and that the coaches are indeed red and cream.

    1. Yes, the second coach is an ex-SR Maunsell Hastings-gauge brake.