Saturday 30 September 2023

Waving goodbye to Rye

A fond farewell this afternoon to the layout that has perched to my right for a good number of years. Built as a fairly quick micro layout project and as a one day exhibition beast, Dury's Gap has been somewhat successful, though perhaps not as intended. The exhibition showings have been few and where it has scored has been as a photo backdrop, not only for various rolling stock portraits, but more recently to drop the odd building project onto for a snap. Here receiving more fame than intended when one of these ended up as a Wills advert to show the slate walling sheet.
The new owner is not new to layouts built hereabouts and (ten years ago I was informed) purchased the Western Region N gauge layout Unnycoombe. Dury's Gap is of course itself a recycled baseboard and under the Peco Code 75 lurks the ghostly underpinnings of a 7mm NG layout in the form of Morton Stanley, parts of which still exist in a shoebox in the loft and may yet see the light of day again.

Remarkably, Unnycoombe is still extant and a phone photo came my way showing some of the subtle upgrades. As I've opined before (and not always been well received) upgrades can go one of two ways in the eye of the original builder, but I'm particularly taken with these,
especially the short avenue of trees which has given it a whole different vibe and one which suits it very well. The addition of Dury's Gap appears to be the extension of a collection.

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Thursday 28 September 2023

North Leith

Back when I was in short trousers, RM published a RoM article called North Leith (Sept 78). This may well have been North Korea to me at the time, but I found the scene fascinating with its short stock and triangular platforms. Later I worked out the the layout must have been unworkable due to the track that had been removed in order to compress it. That said, it still remains an influential piece. Last week I ended up where else but North Leith, though I didn't immediately start joining the dots; the area has been greatly developed and of course the line shut.

Into Edinburgh I peeped over a parapet in Leith Walk (as we are all bound to do) and surprisingly found an overgrown line (below) the line the falls off the bottom of the centre of the map. Where does this go? North Leith. A bit of research found that the track stops short of the waterway and the rest of the line is now cycleways. This information came later and after another peep over a bridge and finding Bonnington station still complete with platforms (map centre). My guess at the station building proved correct and is the splendid squat building which descends from street to track level.


What's this got to do with modelling? Nothing of course. The station is/was a bland commuter halt (with remarkably narrow staggered platforms) and not really worth a second glance except it's fun to stand for a few second and imagine what it was before WW2 and be just slightly thankful that the Scots don't casually sweep things away, but put them to good use and leave just enough history for me to want to go online and see if my guessing is proved correct 45 years after I bumped into the North Leith line.


Sunday 17 September 2023

The 009 Society 50th anniversary

Well that was worth a trip. Most of the model railway societies started their lives in the 1970s and the 009 bunch is no different. 1973 being 50 years ago suggests a serious party and this didn't disappoint. I'd never been to Statfold Barn before, but I'll put that to one side for a moment as it deserves a better post than I could fit in here. Safe to say it is a one-man funded enterprise which is simply outstanding and highly professional. 

The 009 Society had occupied a huge 'barn' and filled it with some of the finest of the Society's membership layouts. Actually taking a look at these was hard with so many old friends to talk to, all topped off with what was a surprisingly impressive meal (save the coffee). The final shot was being dragged out to the car park to view a Garn-influenced layout to be shown on day two.



 Things we have to research part 431: After making a big deal about The Seething Pigs there had to be some. Despite not having ever bought any, I found a trio in a tobacco tin. Now suitably researched and painted. The Seething Pigs made real.

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Seething Bridge

And so it came to pass that the bridge was built. This, like everything else on this project, was to be as close to zero cost as possible. Any bit of scrap and offcut was inspected to assess usefulness and a selection of (unmatching) brick sheet was selected. These were assembled into piers and joined in a flimsy manner with what I think are Wills barge boards, here masquerading as small girders. 

The structure as repeatedly checked for fit before throwing some slightly dried up end-of-the-pot Humbrol acrylic at it. The form is one of a farm occupation bridge and thus quite lightweight though at a scale 10' wide a Coopercraft AEC will just pass through.
I'm on a roll now