Cornish Riviera Area Group

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steve howe
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Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby steve howe » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:38 pm

With temperatures nudging 30, the Cornish Riviera was living up to its name at the first meeting of the CRAG held at Inter City Models premises in Porthleven. This informal get-together was arranged to offer S4 modellers living throughout Cornwall an opportunity to meet and have a natter. Four S4 members were present, but we hope this number will increase as the project becomes better known. We extend a welcome to all finescale modellers who might be interested in coming along for what we hope will be regular meetings. The objective of the day was also to erect as much as possible of the P4 layout 'Watermouth Riverside' and its companion 'Watermouth Junction' which has been in storage by the Falmouth Model Railway Club for several years following the death of its owner Pat English, and for any modellers to consider if they might be interested in contributing to its refurbishment and development.

The layout represents a medium sized terminus of an imaginary GWR branch running south from Chard to the coast near Charmouth. Just short of the terminus on the north bank of the estuary at Watermouth Junction, the branch is joined by a GWR/SR line running down from Axminster and Kilmington. The line crosses the tidal estuary by a timber viaduct and enters Watermouth Riverside which is also assumed to have a branch running on to Watermouth Docks. The station draws inspiration from Kingsbridge, Weymouth and Kingswear, Watermouth Docks is assumed to be an embarkation port for steamers to the Continent and the track plan is designed to accomodate a busy summer passenger traffic, including a daily Sleeper to London and through trains from the Midlands, London and Taunton as well as local branchline services.

The layout was begun over 35 years ago and represents a pioneering example of early P4 modelling. Pat was a meticulous modeller and researcher (he was a History lecturer at Cornwall College by profession) and the layout was designed to strict prototype practice. Originally concieved as a 'U' shape with the stations on either side of the room, it was later rebuilt following a house move into a 'L' shape and the bridge over the estuary and Watermouth Junction were abandoned, (Watermouth Junction being given to another Club member who has also since passed away) Although never developed to a fully scenic finish, enough has survived to make a full restoration feasible, particularly since 'Watermouth Junction' has also since come into Club custody.

The baseboards were originaly constructed on half inch chipboard and 2"x1" timber as was the custom of the time; track is fully chaired 'Brook-Smith' pattern with correct 2 bolt chairs and captures beautifully the 'flow' of the prototype. All this has withstood the years remarkably well, but as the baseboards were altered and rebuilt at various times, the depth of the baseboard members varies from board to board making setting up and dismantling uneccesarily awkward (the layout was never intended for exhibition viewing) The intention is to renew the main baseboard framing with timber of consistent depth, and update the alignment and fixing bolts with a more accurate and modern system. Then suitable support legs can be constructed allowing accurate alignment and levelling to be achieved. The baseboards representing the estuary and bridge connecting the two stations will need to be reconstructed from scratch and a suitable cassette deck system created to replace the original and highly complex fiddle yard that Pat constructed. This item actually has the potential to form a seperate layout in its own right possibly representing an inner city depot or urban terminus approach.

As can be seen from the photos, the layout even in its present form is impressive, and we hope will encourage other Cornish finescale modellers to join in the project.

So if you are resident in Cornwall (or Devon) or planning a holiday here, let us know, or call in at InterCity Models in Porthleven (http://www.intercitymodels.com) and have a chat with Pete - or better still buy something! and view the layout.

We hope this will be the start of an exciting project.
Steve Howe
Attachments
watermouth1.JPG
General View of Watermouth riverside looking north
watermouth2.JPG
watermouth3.JPG
watermouth4.JPG
The scratchbuilt slip coach looks dwarfed by the expanse of platforms
watermouth5.JPG
Watermouth Riverside looking south
watermouth6.JPG
watermouth7.JPG
The station buildings awaiting completion
watermouth8.JPG
watermouth9.JPG
watermouth10.JPG
watermouth11.JPG
The line curving round to the river bridge
watermouth12.JPG
watermouth13.JPG
watermouth14.JPG
watermouth15.JPG
Watermouth Junction
watermouth16.JPG
watermouth17.JPG
watermouth18.JPG
watermouth19.JPG
watermouth20.JPG
watermouth21.JPG

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Jim Summers
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby Jim Summers » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:44 pm

Steve,
Pity about the heat, but you are far better indoors, especially with such a super project as you have taken on. I found the photos fascinating, and it is good when a modeller's vision can live on in this way. Thanks for such a comprehensive report.

Best wishes to everyone in CRAG.

Jim

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steve howe
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby steve howe » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:38 pm

For those interested members who are able to come along, the working sessions on the Watermouth Project have been arranged for the first and third Saturdays of each month from around 11.00am to around 4.00pm.

The first session is scheduled for July 24th followed by August 7th. The initial aim is to reconstruct the older baseboard frames to match the later versions and construct a support system for the whole layout. We already have eight sets of frames to use for this purpose, but more will be needed. We also have to construct a casette deck baseboard (and casettes) and two new drop-section boards to bridge the gap between the two layouts. Funding for the initial work has been agreed by the Falmouth MRC using sales of surplus modelling equipment.

If anyone living (or holidaying) in Cornwall would like to get involved please drop me a line or give me a ring.

Steve Howe

Terry Bendall
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:06 am

Hi Steve

Thanks for posing this. There is lots to see that is of interest and clearly a lot still to do. I wish the group well with the project and when you feel ready, let me know and you can bring it to Scaleforum even if it is still "work in progress". Perhaps 2012? Targets like that are often good to encourage progress.

Terry Bendall

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steve howe
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Watermouth Developments

Postby steve howe » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:37 pm

Watermouth and Watermouth Junction have now been re-united, at least by baseboards for the first time in many years. The Layout, with the exception of a suitable cassette deck/fiddle yard section, is now free-standing on its own custom built supports, and the framework for the connecting baseboards joining the two sections together has been installed. We now have to consider the construction of the trackbase and bridge section, and the rather daunting task of sorting out the re-wiring.

The pictures below give some idea of the progress so far. With the large scale carpentry largely out of the way, there is a multitude of small jobs concerning trackwork, point control and general fettling which can be undertaken on an individual basis - Cornish S4 modellers we need you!

The layout can be seen at InterCity Models, Holbrook, Porthleven during normal shop opening hours. The next working session is Saturday Sept. 4

Steve
Attachments
Watermouth with new river baseboards in place.JPG
Watermouth Junction looking to river.JPG
Watermouth from site of  the river bridge.JPG
New river estuary baseboards inplace.JPG
The new river section.JPG

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Jim Summers
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby Jim Summers » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:34 pm

More power to your elbows, folks.

I hope you are keep up this diary, as I have friends contemplating a similar enterprise.

Jim

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steve howe
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby steve howe » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:12 pm

Its been a long wait, but I am pleased to say that Watermouth has now been erected in the Helston & Falmouth MRC's clubroom and work has restarted on its revival. Its still early days; the baseboards are now set and levelled and some temporary wiring and remedial repairs have been carried out to enable at least the main line to operate. We are evaluating the state of the wiring and how it can be rationalised before connecting up the new control panel. Plans to go DCC have been shelved for the time being owing to various factors, but we are finding our fleet of locos seem happy with the current Pentrollers, so for the time being sleeping dogs will lie!

There is a great deal to do, both technical and scenic, and currently our Scalefour membership numbers 2! of which I am the only practising modeller...so if any Cornish members fancy getting involved please do get in touch. You don't have to be a full Club member to participate in the Area Group, we operate an Associate Membership scheme whereby visiting Associate Members pay a small attendance fee (£2.00) per visit to cover clubroom expenses. Main meeting nights are Wednesdays and Fridays from about 8.00pm to 10.30. but it is possible that monthly Saturday or Sunday sessions could be arranged during daytime.

I will endeavour to take some more pictures as we progress!

For full information and directions please contact me via PM.

Steve Howe

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steve howe
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby steve howe » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:52 pm

Forgive if this is a numpty question, but wiring is not my strong point...

Trying to work out the multi-coloured, multi-cored spaghetti that is the wiring under 'Watermouth' some of it dating back some 40 years, it seems that the original builder did not use 'common return' in the sense that I understand it, preferring to take all the lives and commons back to the panel, presumably through DPDT switches, so that each section was independently fed and switched. The point motors appear to follow the same principle. My understanding of 'common return' (and which I have always used) uses a thick copper wire 'busbar' under the baseboard to which all the track commons are fed, with a seperate busbar system for the point motor commons. Only the live feeds are taken via spdt switches on the panel to the appropriate section. This I believe greatly reduces the amount of wires going back to the panel...(or am I missing something?)

My question is: what, other than fault-finding by isolating independent sections, is the advantage of seperate switched feeds? and am I likely to compromise the existing wiring by attaching the track commons to one common feed via a continuous busbar?

One of the problems with Watermouth is that the original builder, Pat English, liked to use a different colour wire for every feed, :shock: in some ways this makes tracing the cable runs easier because we simply follow the appropriate coloured wire back to its source, but, as much of the wire was ex-Government Surplus, it varies considerably in gauge and colour variations....My thinking is it would be simplest, having identified the droppers to the actual track sections, to remove all the old wiring and start again.

Anyone living in Cornwall who likes doing electrics? :thumb

Steve

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Common Return v switched feed

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:53 pm

Response in your other topic.
Keith

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John McAleely
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby John McAleely » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:12 pm

I swapped keith's replies, so the substantive response is in the 'electrics' thread:

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=4325

That seemed more likely to be helpful to others with similar problems.

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steve howe
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby steve howe » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:10 pm

I am pleased to report that work is underway with the re-wiring of Watermouth. I have attached a few images of the layout set up in its new home in the Helston & Falmouth MRC's clubroom. Its going to be a long job, particularly as we propose to replace the old solenoid point motors with servo-based units, but at the moment we are concentrating on the main power feeds and control panel. Any members in Cornwall who like doing electrics? :D :D

1.JPG
General view before the first two boards were dismantled again for rewiring, the long curved bridge over the estuary is in the foreground and we are currently making the iron stanchions for its base


2.JPG


3.JPG


4.JPG


5.JPG
The corresponding junction station, Watermouth St Davids on the opposite bank. This section of the project will require the most effort, as point control is via a manual system, much of which has seized up, and the track chairs still need to be added


9.JPG
The rat's nest under the baseboards.....


7.JPG


8.JPG
The terminus baseboard from a rather unusual angle!

Terry Bendall
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby Terry Bendall » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:59 pm

Looks like a good challenge there Steve but it will be worth it when it is done. Some nice complex trackwork in the terminus which always looks impressive. When it is finished we will see about having it at Scaleforum if the group wants to come.

Terry Bendall

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steve howe
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby steve howe » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:30 pm

Terry Bendall wrote:Looks like a good challenge there Steve but it will be worth it when it is done. Some nice complex trackwork in the terminus which always looks impressive. When it is finished we will see about having it at Scaleforum if the group wants to come.

Terry Bendall


That'll be me and Howard then! (If we live long enough! :D :D :D )

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steve howe
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Re: Cornish Riviera Area Group

Postby steve howe » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:13 pm

Its been a long time since I updated this thread, but progress on the Watermouth project is being made, albeit at a glacial pace, partly due to our Club 00 layout requiring all hands to get ready for this year's exhibition. The main emphasis is still on re-wiring and upgrading the control systems and on this front we have made substantial progress with virtually all re-wiring completed and replacement Cobalt point motors installed. We also have a new and exciting control panel with LED route indication and capacity to select up to three controllers.

With the technical elements nearing completion, I decided to make a start on looking at the station buildings which were started by the late Pat English about 30 or so years ago and have remained unfinished. Watermouth draws inspiration from several GWR termini serving the south Devon/Dorset coast, particularly Weymouth and Kingsbridge. The station buildings are of the typical GWR modular timber design but as Pat left no written record of his intentions, we are having to guess the layout of the buildings and later additions. I have added some images here which show the main station building and the later, rather Art Deco style buffet, which judging from pencilled notes on the end walls, suggest it was intended to join on to the main building.

My queries and theories are attached to the images.


1.platform face.JPG
The platform face of the main building. I would be interested to know what style of canopy might be appropriate. The view of Weymouth in Vaughan's GWR Architecture shows wooden cantilevered brackets over the forecourt face, with an overall roof over the platforms, but overall roof seems a bit OTT for Watermouth. I am considering a pitched awning with columns along the platform which would give us the opportunity to extend the canopy along the platform between platforms 2 & 3 beyond the station building.


2.forecourt face.JPG
The forecourt elevation. A photograph of Oxford in Vaughan's GWR Architecture shows a 'Luggage Lobby' adjacent to the Booking Hall. As Watermouth is supposedly an embarkation point for steamers to the Channel Islands and Europe, it might be supposed that luggage facilities would be important.The double doors next to the Booking Hall suggest this.


3. plan.JPG
Pat modelled a basic arrangement of interior walls and this is my interpretation of the various spaces informed partly by the location of chimney stacks on the roof.


4. buffet forecourt face.JPG
No provision seems to have been made for a Buffet in the original building, and this rather interesting structure seems to have been intended to join on to the original building at the concourse end. Its style is quite distinctive and I would be interested to know if anyone can identify its origins? This is the Forecourt elevation.


5 buffet platform face.JPG
The platform elevation shows a hatch, presumably for snacks?


6 full set platform face.JPG
The supposed arrangement from the platform side with the Buffet installed. Pencilled notes on both un-treated end walls suggest it was intended to abut the main building.


7. fullset forcourt face.JPG
The Forecourt elevation in full


8. full set platform face.JPG
View looking along the buildings from the Concourse.


No provision seems to have been made for parcels so I am assuming a separate Parcels Office will be needed.

I am hoping to begin the completion of the building this Autumn when Watermouth should be ready for final electrical testing and commissioning, but I would be very interested to hear views from those more knowledgeable than me in the finer points of GWR architecture!


Steve


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