Bristol group visit Highbridge Part II

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Bristol group visit Highbridge Part II

Postby Tim V » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:23 pm

We were guests last night at Paul Townsend's model of Highbridge. After coffee and biscuits (umm digestives), it was into the cellar.

Paul foreground, with Noel Anderson background
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A 4F ready for the off from the S&D station
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A 4-4-0 lurking in the works yard
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And a pannier tank under the legs.
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A high view of the S&D station.
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Re: Bristol group visit Higbridge

Postby Tim V » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:42 pm

Noel Anderson tries to get to grips with the Multimause, Robin Gay just looks bemused, Ashley Philips gets his head in the view.
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Meanwhile I spot something green in the staging roads
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The famous level crossing at Highbridge, more pictures of that later.
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The goods yard
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Some workers.
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Re: Bristol group visit Higbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:55 pm

Tim's spelling got even worse after the second pint of London Pride, It is actually Highbridge.

The last piccy of workers taking a breather are relaying a section of drain that will shortly be wrecked by a storm from that vile mauve sky in previous piccies!

The Midland carriages are just visiting, pending some more proper Blue carriages, the 4-4-0 is a re chassised Hornby of 10 years ago, the small Prairie is a Mitchell kit courtesy of my friend Tim Merry. Only just arrived at Highbridge and awaiting weathering if he is so inclined.

Signals on the S&D are temporary placcy Ratios still, never intended to work, soon to be replaced by the proper thing, while GW sigs are hand built from Mundy etc bits. These are plugin, bases' colour not yet matched to surrounding ballast. They all work but await below baseboard contraptions based on Merg ideas using model servos.
Robin ain't bemused, he is just shy!

Ta to Tim for some revelations!

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Tim V » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:23 pm

paultownsend wrote:Tim's spelling got even worse after the second pint of London Pride, It is actually Highbridge.


Amended, must get around to downloading the spell chequer (!) again.....
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Tim V » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:41 pm

The famous shot of Highbridge had to be replicated, though Paul's model is set a lot earlier than the official GWR view of 02/02/1928!
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A view from the UP platform, watch out giants about! Paul Bannerman towers over the down platform building.
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Tim V » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:59 pm

The wedge shaped end of Highbridge Box. S&D to the left, GW straight on.
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The view through the flat crossing to the S&D.
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Paul makes a point to Ashley Philips
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Paul Townsend, Paul Bannerman and Ashley Philips. We have three Paul's in the group, known by code names these days to tell them apart....
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Paul is waving his hands around hence the blur while Mark Humphrys looks on.
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All photos taken on my Canon S90 using available light. Track level photos taken at ISO80, F8, with the camera propped on the layout and using the delayed action to ensure the camera didn't shake.
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:44 pm

Third in this batch, showing the wedge end sigbox, reveals what the vandals did to my lovely S&D barrow crossing timbers to the left of the sig box. After decades of peace it was assaulted recently by my newly made track cleaning machines.
Fed up with quarterly fibre glass brushing and methy rags, I introduced Pendon style hardboard skids under railmotors ( diesels in 1913 ?!). Success on the GWR circuits.
However trials of Lanarkshire Models' roller device and CMX tank hit snags where barrow crossing timbers were above rail heads so ripped up and awaiting replacement with thinner wood. Likewise where I have the A38 level crossing on the Burnham line the plastic cobbles welded to solvent carrying devices! I haven't got a simple cure for that yet.

Fifth in this batch includes Tim V's visiting Mogul. It is beautifully weathered but 1950s style livery rather than 1913's.
It arrived to challenge our poorly performing Manor's and successfully skinned the rice pudding by hauling 7 bogie coaches up 1:40 on 4 ft radius curve. The poor Manors struggle with 4 up with severe wheel spin. The Mogul has a big tender motor and cardan drive shaft to loco wheels. Much research and advice has failed to identify why the Manors are so feeble, I think new CSB chassis are indicated asap.

The overhead lighting gantries were 12volt QI for years but one of my chums had eye watery troubles when turned on ( possibly due to residual UV ) so they fell into disuse except when I was alone. Last summer LED lights were becoming a feasible alternative, and are entirely UV safe AND don't cook the scenery These are still too expensive for me to recommend them but I calculated that the juice saving will pay for them in just 3 years. The colours look better to the naked eye and in the few digital pix I have taken compared to Tim's on here, but then I set my camera to white balance on white paper under the lights; I doubt if Tim had the chance to do that last night...we were too busy running trains and/or trundling up to the pub. The colorimetry is better then the hated fluorescents which are still there for general room lighting when I am not looking at the railway, but one has to be pretty selective as a lot of misleading claims are out there. The multiple sun effect is avoided by training all lights in the same direction, I havent seen any double shadows that annoy me, the few present are very pale and hardly notice. When Tim has finished his potraiture I will put up one or two from similar angles and see if I can convince all about the colours

I may write up the lighting used if I don't run out of roundtuits.

Isn't it curious how photos show off piste backgrounds, shelves, lodspeakers etc much more than the live eye does, I guess the brain tunes out unwanted distractions, perhaps that is why lorries mangle cyclists!

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Mark Tatlow » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:34 pm

What a grand layout!!!

I had always thought Highbridge would make an interesting model and it seems I am not alone in this thought..........

I also thought it would make a large model, and I suspect I got that right too!
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Wizard of the Moor » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:24 pm

That flat crossing is very nice indeed.

Thanks for sharing the pictures.
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Willis » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:26 am

paultownsend wrote:Isn't it curious how photos show off piste backgrounds, shelves, lodspeakers etc much more than the live eye does, I guess the brain tunes out unwanted distractions, perhaps that is why lorries mangle cyclists!

Here you are Paul - a quick grab of one, five minutes rough fiddling in GIMP, and the distracting multiple suns have disappeared... It cold be done much more skillfully, with proper blending of shades, but I wanted to get something out to you, to show your layout in full glory.

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That shows your excellent workmanship off much more clearly! Thanks for sharing the pictures, and to Tim for taking them.

And yes, the brain is a funny thing, which is why all of use bikers fear the SMIDSY :-(

Cheers
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Willis » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:42 am

And as I'd started, I couldn't resist doing another one...

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Now I really must get off to work!

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:08 am

Flymo748 wrote:
paultownsend wrote:Isn't it curious how photos show off piste backgrounds, shelves, lodspeakers etc much more than the live eye does, I guess the brain tunes out unwanted distractions, perhaps that is why lorries mangle cyclists!

Here you are Paul - a quick grab of one, five minutes rough fiddling in GIMP, and the distracting multiple suns have disappeared... It cold be done much more skillfully, with proper blending of shades, but I wanted to get something out to you, to show your layout in full glory.

IMG_2751c.JPG


That shows your excellent workmanship off much more clearly! Thanks for sharing the pictures, and to Tim for taking them.

And yes, the brain is a funny thing, which is why all of use bikers fear the SMIDSY :-(

Cheers
Flymo


Wow, bankers aren't all evil are they?
Thank you for this Gimping.

Googling SMIDSY was fascinating too.
I was subjected to a push bike SMIDSY event some years ago...injuries stole weeks of my modelling time and the bas&*^% driver never even said sorry!

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:56 am

Mark Tatlow wrote:What a grand layout!!!

I had always thought Highbridge would make an interesting model and it seems I am not alone in this thought..........

I also thought it would make a large model, and I suspect I got that right too!


Ta for kind comment.
The room is 19ft x 14ft and it needed a shoe horn to fit the model in.
The station platforms are pretty much to scale length but inevitably compromises were essential, most obviously just off the passenger facility:
S&DJR carriage sidings omitted entirely.
S&DJR works shrunk to bare essentials.
Burnham line curve reversed to bring the Highbridge town, A38 level crossing etc into the room instead of the back garden
Gradient introduced on the GWR platforms and South bound GWR lines curved so as to go under the S&DJR works...a serious scenic break problem which causes the River Brue and railway to appear from a hillside!! Partially successful disguise acheived by an accomodation overbridge with scaffolding below to hide the disappearing river, picture t/f.
GWR North lines also curved including the goods yard.

Apologies to Slartybartfast for slopes introduced into the Somerset levels and to Brunel for curving his dead straight Bristol and Exeter Rly design in North Somerset.

We include expresses in our running schedule and can achieve scale 70mph with 8 up behind the best loco up the hill, but some locos find the 1:40 on a partly 4ft radius a challenge!
Does anyone know if the GWR set a speed limit through Highbridge in 1913 due to the level crossing, or can surmise what restrictions might have applied?
Surprisingly, with the potential for Spads and the slightly lackadaisical running practices well recorded on dear old S&DJR, there were no serious accidents or fatalities there but a slow speed derailment did occur in BR times on GWR down main, I have a picture somewhere of a loco in the 6 ft way.
Interlocking is a great idea innit?

Maintaining the track through the crossing must have been a nightmare for the gangers. Was this the only example of BR running on baulk road? Apart from bridges and viaducts I suppose which don't count &-}

In 1870 and decades around there, the track was Broad Gauge of course on both railways, the Somerset Central (predecessor to S&DJR) narrowed long before the B&E. In my next re-incarnation if I can avoid coming back as a slug I will model Highbridge again in Broad Guage.

When the HSTs arrived, the bridge over the Brue as modelled here was blown up one weekend, platforms and all, I have a lovely official BR piccy. The river is tidal so spoil was bulldozed to the banks immediately and the new girder bridge was dropped in on Sunday and working by Monday morning! Imagine doing that now, it would take weeks with HSE interference and contractors squabbling.
The B&E station still exists but the B&E buildings were flattened in the late 1980's, except for the bit I liberated.... a canopy bracket casting.
S&DJR station was wrecked somewhen between 1966 closure and my survey in late 70's

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Willis » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:09 am

paultownsend wrote:Wow, bankers aren't all evil are they?

Terrible people. I wouldn't want to know one...
paultownsend wrote:Thank you for this Gimping.

You're very welcome! i don't have time to fire up the soldering iron, or get out a paintbrush in the morning, so I can do a bit of playing with other stuff instead...

If you or Tim have a high-res (original) version of that second picture, I'd love to receive it by email. I have a feeling that it would be very usable in one of the magazine adverts for the Society. If not (I don't keep many of my photos at the original file size) no problem, although I'm always looking for good raw material.

paultownsend wrote:Googling SMIDSY was fascinating too.
I was subjected to a push bike SMIDSY event some years ago...injuries stole weeks of my modelling time and the bas&*^% driver never even said sorry!

Yes... I've had a few. I can remember exactly the date of the worst - 6 September 1997. I was riding a Honda VFR 400 (the one in my avatar, to be precise) and I was stationary on Charing Cross Road when I was hit by a 5-ton flatbed truck. It wrapped my wrist around the tank, broke it in five places, and needed a bone graft and three months in an external frame to put right(-ish).

Since then, I'm a lot more wary of Big Stuff(tm) although you can't help the risk whatever you do! Doesn't stop me having fun :-)

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:28 am

Flymo748 wrote:
paultownsend wrote:
If you or Tim have a high-res (original) version of that second picture, I'd love to receive it by email. I have a feeling that it would be very usable in one of the magazine adverts for the Society. If not (I don't keep many of my photos at the original file size) no problem, although I'm always looking for good raw material.

Flymo


I am happy for Tim to comply but don't know what native resolution his piccies are.
When he surfaces from wage slavery he will let us know. If his arent up to it I can take one for you (with improved white balance too)

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:46 am

Flymo748 wrote:
If you or Tim have a high-res (original) version of that second picture, I'd love to receive it by email. I have a feeling that it would be very usable in one of the magazine adverts for the Society. If not (I don't keep many of my photos at the original file size) no problem, although I'm always looking for good raw material.

Flymo


I am happy for Tim to comply but don't know what native resolution his piccies are.
When he surfaces from wage slavery he will let us know. If his arent up to it I can take one for you (with improved white balance too)[/quote]

Further to this thread, I would prefer for a wider audience to see a retake of this picture after I have restored the (lowered) timbers on the barrow crossing...vandalised recently as mentioned above. It should be possible to have that done, repainted and rephotographed on Friday....good trigger to locate the roundtuit. The sun is midday high in the due West in this shot so it must be a very odd time of day and which month would make that possible?

If you await the redone piccy I will do summat about that too.

You would think that after a lifetime in TV production engineering I would know more about correct lighting wouldn't you!

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby martin goodall » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:29 am

Now this is a REAL railway!

It's all very well poncing about with a remote branch terminus in a far corner of Oxfordshire, but Paul has built a really excellent model of a GWR main line, not to mention the much-loved S&D. I can just imagine a Star or Saint racing south through the station towards Exeter, with a long and varied train of corridor stock, not to mention all those fitted freights, milk and parcels trains and the famed West Coast Postal.

More, please.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby essdee » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:51 pm

Paul, Tim,

That is abso-******-lutely stunning Paul; I am totally smitten; looking at these pics I am back in the late 60s/early 70s with Dad. We are peering down at the impossibly ridiculous junction from the roadbridge, on an away-day from the holiday caravan at Brean Sands, and a break from my learning to drive (in a Bedford Dormobile with {very badly worn} column gear change, at low tide) -to the great entertainment of all on a mile long stretch of said sands.

We explored the windswept platforms and damply echoing shells of the old S&D Works - without either taking a single flaming picture! It would be there next time of course.....I do have slides of the re-jigged junction and the 37-hauled fly-ash trains for the M5 building. PM me for copies if you would like.

To mirror Martin's comments, I too am delighted to see that you have encompassed both an internationally important main line and a worthy secondary route. You obviously give due priority to the far-sighted Cardiff-Cherbourg artery promoted by the old Somerset and Dorset company, before they were understandably seduced by the Georgian fleshpots of Bath and, (being sadly if heroically over-extended in the matter of spondulicks), fortunately taken under the wing of the paternalist MR and LSWR. Yet you have given equally appropriate treatment to a quite worthy feeder branch to Brunel's Bristol-London trunk route........(very polite cough).

Seriously - and I will refrain from mentioning 8th Sept 1962 and 6th March 1966, among other dates ritually inscribed on the kitchen wall calendar each January - Martin's Burford is delightful and equally stunning in its own way; such high standards to aim at! My need for a layout deepens.

Warmest thanks to Paul for the creating and Tim for the posting; I look forward to the MRJ article before too long. Coincidentally, only yesterday I learnt of Rev. Sutters' Highbridge Vicarage layout of the 1960s, with its Blue Period S&D era.

Best wishes

Steve

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Bulwell Hall » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:26 pm

Martin

"Now this is a REAL railway!"

I could'nt agree more - it allows the possibility of bringing to life all those lovely photos of GWR trains on the B & E mainline in the Norman Lockett book from Lightmoor Press. I look forward to seeing the layout in due course.

"It's all very well poncing about with a remote branch terminus in a far corner of Oxfordshire"

That comment though creates a rather more uncomfortable image! I've never thought of you "poncing about"!!

Gerry

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby John Palmer » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:47 pm

Many years ago I think I saw Paul’s model of the baulk road crossing itself, but this is the first time I’ve seen pictures of the full layout’s magnificence – many thanks for the photos.

Fifty years ago this station was my point of departure on many excursions with my grandfather, mainly to Western Region destinations, at which time it substantially resembled Paul’s model. It’s still my local station, but aside from the B. & E. platforms about the only remaining traces of the old infrastructure are some GWR spear fencing and the Southern’s footbridge: a concrete structure from the Exmouth Junction works.

The Walrow overbridge spanning the flat crossing still remains, and is subject to increasingly severe weight restrictions. My toes were curling in my boots a few years ago when I was a passenger behind a fourteen ton Fowler tractor going across this very weak bridge, wondering how we were going to explain the wreckage in the four foot if we managed to survive its likely collapse. So it’s good to see the weight warnings on the model bridge’s approaches.

By the time I got to know the station, there was a backing arm on the down platform to control movements from the GW Down Main to the S. & D. and Up side G.W. yard, but perhaps this wasn’t yet in place in 1913.

Martin, shouldn’t that be a reference to the Penzance Postal rather than the WCPT? Northbound through Highbridge at 6.30 p.m., always taking on one or two pouches and usually leaving one in the net of the lineside apparatus – watching the exchange is another fond memory from childhood.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby martin goodall » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:31 pm

John Palmer wrote:Martin, shouldn’t that be a reference to the Penzance Postal rather than the WCPT? Northbound through Highbridge at 6.30 p.m., always taking on one or two pouches and usually leaving one in the net of the lineside apparatus – watching the exchange is another fond memory from childhood.


I am bit hazy on the correct nomenclature. There is a postal special modelled at Pendon (running on the Dartmoor/Teignmouth Sea Wall layout) which includes LNWR/LMS vehicles which I believe ran from Plymouth [maybe Penzance?] to Bristol and then onto the Midland to Birmingham, and then presumably over the LNWR to the north-west. I assume there was also the train which John mentions which ran from Penzance to, I assume, Paddington. I have a booklet about these trains somewhere, but haven't had time to look it up.

Anyway, whatever trains Paul actually runs through Highbridge, the layout looks absolutely stunning. It really does capture that authentic look of a working main line railway.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:28 pm

essdee wrote:Paul, Tim,
We explored the windswept platforms and damply echoing shells of the old S&D Works - without either taking a single flaming picture! It would be there next time of course.....I do have slides of the re-jigged junction and the 37-hauled fly-ash trains for the M5 building. PM me for copies if you would like.


Well lucky you. PM coming.
My first experience of Highbridge was while sunning with my then girlfriend, now wife, Sylvia over cucumber sandwiches on a Sunday afternoon, June 1962 on the top of Brent Knoll which is about 4 miles North of Highbridge. I knew the B&E mainline ran N-S nearby so was train spotting covertly, with my antique telescope, didn't want her to think I was a nerd then, don't care now :)
I knew nowt of S&D so was gob smacked to see obvious steam puffs CROSSING the B&E; how could that be? I wanted to jump on ancient motor bike and head South to check it out, but being almost 20 a roll in the hay won, and later she had to return to digs to prep. for school practice tomorrow am.

I left Bristol student days behind in '63, moved to London and back to Bristol in '68 with a firm resolve to explore the S&D. Some bast^&d had closed it while I was in London :cry:
My only consolation was joining with some other modellers to build Bath Green Park, my last venture with OO. :mrgreen:

You obviously give due priority to the far-sighted Cardiff-Cherbourg artery promoted by the old Somerset and Dorset company, before they were understandably seduced by the Georgian fleshpots of Bath and, (being sadly if heroically over-extended in the matter of spondulicks), fortunately taken under the wing of the paternalist MR and LSWR. Yet you have given equally appropriate treatment to a quite worthy feeder branch to Brunel's Bristol-London trunk route........(very polite cough).


What a lovely way of describing a ludicrous share propectus and total bankruptcy.
Ancient Highbridge locals over a pint or 3 and members of S&D Trust told me that in 1913 it was quicker and cheaper to travel to Waterloo via Templecombe from Highbridge than to use the Great Way Round, so nuts to your feeder!

Coincidentally, only yesterday I learnt of Rev. Sutters' Highbridge Vicarage layout of the 1960s, with its Blue Period S&D era.
I haven't heard of that, tell me more.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:58 pm

John Palmer wrote:Many years ago I think I saw Paul’s model of the baulk road crossing itself,

That was Easter 1980 at Bristol MRX

but aside from the B. & E. platforms about the only remaining traces of the old infrastructure are some GWR spear fencing and the Southern’s footbridge: a concrete structure from the Exmouth Junction works.


Well only half of that 1920s footbridge actually remains, the S&D half would now be in someone's garden! Can't remember exactly when the concrete one went in but it was certainly after my chosen 1913 and is well recorded.
Another trace survives in my garden.... a liberated B&E canopy bracket from UP platform, meant to be a pair but t' other got buried by demolition mob before I got back for it...B. vandals.

So it’s good to see the weight warnings on the model bridge’s approaches.

I will post a piccy tomorrow of the sign so you can see how close to death you were to say nowt of the 400 passengers beneath!

By the time I got to know the station, there was a backing arm on the down platform to control movements from the GW Down Main to the S. & D. and Up side G.W. yard, but perhaps this wasn’t yet in place in 1913.


It certainly was. It is partly modelled but still in a box awaiting the theater indicator it had. Lucky Trevor Pott had Peter Squiobb build one for Churston but my pocket is shallower, so it awaits a skill injection.

Martin, shouldn’t that be a reference to the Penzance Postal rather than the WCPT? Northbound through Highbridge at 6.30 p.m., always taking on one or two pouches and usually leaving one in the net of the lineside apparatus – watching the exchange is another fond memory from childhood.


Are you telling me that there was a mail apparatus at Highbridge? I have no evidence of it and am doubtful that such a tinpot town would have justified it. Photos of the North end of the B&E station environment and goods yard entry are non-existent so it might have been there. What a fun thing to try and model tho'. There must be records of all exchange apparatus locations somewhere.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Tim V » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:15 pm

Just checked the 1948 sectional appendix for Highbridge, ready for next visit.

My 1913 instructions relate to working the "hole", not Highbridge.
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby HowardGWR » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:29 pm

Now that's what I call an area group report.

Perhaps model railway shows could be dispensed with and just send in the photos.

Regarding 'photos show off piste backgrounds' was that a reference to the visitors after the pub visit?


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