Sunday, 24 November 2013

Saturday Ramble

A few points to ponder:

1. There's been more than the usual comment on the question of the Bembridge turntable. This is very informative and leads to a little more research on these things. This does have a point; if the O gauge project gets built then the plan was to have something similar a) to save space and b) because it screams 19th century.

2 Just to make people feel old, I note that it is twenty years since the British railway system was privatised. I still think that all the pretty liveries that came on the back of the sectorisation programme are new - it seems like I blinked for too long.

3. On the same tack: I'm still sorting through stuff and came across the first issue of Morill. The cover date? November 1993. Exactly 20 years ago. For those too young, Modelling Railways Illustrated was Irwell Press' pitch at the market hitting at a point just below MRJ and a bit above 'the average modeller' with Iain Rice at the helm. All started very well and I subscribed, however as with a lot of things with Mr Rice there is the feeling that he bites off more than he can chew and it slid until they parted company. At which point the tits went up.
There is possibly still a market for this area although have we moved on? Where it did score with me was the long narrative style prose that used to be the staple of the model press, but has now given way to the Janet and John, paint -by -numbers style of model journalism that dominates the market now. In short is was a good read.
Maybe we've forgotten how to do that.


  1. Ah, the late lamented Morill. Note that Rice's later venture, RailModel Digest, also folded. Perhaps the market for a thoughtfull 'middle ground' model railway mag. just isn't big enough. I subscribed to both, I like Rice's writings even though I don't agree with everything that he says, and he always managed to find interesting articles. As you say, they were magazines to read, which is probably why mine have survived several purges unscathed, unlike some of todays disposable efforts.

  2. Turntables........well the station where I now work had a wagon t/t either side of the running lines (at the ends of the staggered platforms) which formed the access from the down siding across to the small goods yard on the up side. I understand a similar arrangement existed at several early SER stations (Ham Street & Orlestone was built in 1852) although I suspect it survived longer there than at busier places.....not least because a lot of those staggered platforms were extended and the turntables would have been in the way.
    I have seen a similar arrangement modelled on a 7mm layout whose name escapes me. Will have to keep an eye out for it a local shows. As an engine release a turntable is attractive, both aesthetically and for space reasons. Probably cheaper to build than two points as well.

    I still hear a lot of references to "British Rail", usually when passengers are complaining about something, whereupon I remind them that it hasn't been BR for a rather long time. No doubt my predecessors back in the 1960s/70s had people talking about the old SR in the same way..........

    I liked MORILL, but then I also used to enjoy Iain Rice's articles in Model Railways (remember "Bringewood Chase?") and MRJ.
    I can't help wondering if part of the problem is perhaps that he'll get on and do something for a while and then something new catches his attention and, as you say, things go t.u. Rather like a lot of us, especially me!

    Always good reading though, unlike the majority of the popular (modelling) press nowadays. Just how many "how to....." articles do we need ffs?

    Stig......currently curled up with latest MRJ, Hawkwind and a cuppa.