Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

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mikemeg

Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:28 am

Almost exactly half a century ago - my God is it really that long ago - I and many of my boyhood mates liked nothing better that cycling the one, two or three miles from our various homes to sit or stand by the railway and watch that seemingly never ending procession of trains which was the railway of the late fifties and early sixties.

One of our favourite haunts for doing this was a place called Hessle Haven; a place just outside Hull on the main line to Selby, Doncaster, Leeds and all points west and south. It was a four track main line with the exits and entries to the major Hull marshalling yards located at this same place. There was a profusion of pointwork and crossings and those huge signal gantries and bridges which were such a feature of the steam railways. All of this set against the Haven itself, with its small shipyard which built trawlers and small vessels (it built the Winston Churchill and Malcolm Miller - the two sail training schooners) and the local gasworks.

Just up the line was Hessle Station which, even in the early sixties was much as it had appeared throughout the twentieth century. It still had gas lighting, coal fires, an 80 lever signal box and a working and very busy goods yard. Most of the station staff (and even this modest station had a station master) were ageing and most were by this time quite irrascible. The place simply oozed the atmosphere and essence of the railway of Wilson Worsdell, of Sir Vincent Raven and of Gresley and Thompson - it was a time warp.

So, coming back into this hobby, perhaps four years ago, and after 'serving a short apprenticeship' building wagon kits and coach kits, then 'graduating' to scratch building a few coaches and, finally, the odd loco, I needed somewhere to run and test these models. At first I thought I would simply build a four or six foot section of track, merely to do that, to act as a test track but the plan moved on in the comfort of my armchair and fuelled by a very good Shiraz.

Anyway, by around 10.30 of that same evening and with the bottle of Shiraz now nearly empty I settled on my plan for a model railway. I decided I would build not a model railway, but a model of a railway, a real place, somewhere that would allow me to see again that glorious and wonderful thing which was the railway of the late fifties. Well with such an intention now firmly planted, there could only be one place to model; one place which would fulfill all of these 'wine filled' plans and aspirations - Hessle Haven.

Strangely having decided to build this place, I was rummaging around one of those delightful second hand places which sell all sorts of miscellaneous books and magazines and I came across a copy of Steam World for July 1995. Just musing through this magazine I cam across an article - Memories of Hessle Station, written by one Denis Robinson - we all know that's not his real name but he does publish under that name. This was the first real source of information on this place to come to hand and served, very quickly, to show what had to be learned, uncovered, researched.

So, anyway, that's how it came about and perhaps, if anyone's interested, I'll show what came about.

Mike
P4060002.JPG
The same section of railway as in the prototype photograph
P4060002.JPG (180.56 KiB) Viewed 10917 times
Attachments
Hessle Brackets.jpg
One of the few photos I have of this place. I don't know the date but it is probably around 1962
Hessle Brackets.jpg (92.19 KiB) Viewed 10905 times

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby Rod Cameron » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:10 am

Yes please Mike, been following your signals thread with interest on RMWeb :)
Rod

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Jonathan Wells
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Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:57 pm

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby Jonathan Wells » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:10 am

mikemeg wrote:So, anyway, that's how it came about and perhaps, if anyone's interested, I'll show what came about.

Yes please! :)

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:45 pm

Rod and Jonathan,

If you hunt through RMWeb, under the layout section, about three hundred topics in you will find one titled Hessle Haven - a model of a railway. I started this thread early December of last year. To my great surprise, within a week it had over 2,000 views and I was even more surprised to see how many folk wanted more details of this model. Anyway, feeling very guilty that I haven't/didn't post this to the S4 forum I decided that I would.

So what do I say now? Having decided to make a model of this place, how on earth could I find details of how the railway looked way back in 1950, for that is the period that I decided to set the model in?

Here serendipity played its part, or perhaps fate. When I was a teenager, one of my mates was a guy called Mick Nicholson; he was also one of the best model makers, even as a teenager, that I had ever seen. Anyway, I set off on the University, career, wife, family, travel all over the place thing and completely lost contact with Mick sometime in the early seventies.

When, eventually, I retired from all of this corporate stuff, and decided to take up the modelling again, I started to buy the odd magazine. One such mag, perhaps BRM, had an article by a Mick Nicholson - had to be the same guy. Anyway I contacted Mick, told him of my plan to build a model of Hessle Haven set in 1950 and Mick sent literally hundreds of photos, NER and LNER track diagrams and yardage charts, signalling diagrams, drawings of signal boxes and all manner of things. It is fair to say that without Mick's incredible archive of information, none of this would have been possible.

Anyway, here's another of those wonderfully atmospheric and inspirational photos. It was taken in July of 1963 and shows further details of this place. Though this picture is actually July 1963, it is a grey, wet and foul day, with that B16/3 (nearing the end of its days) wheezing and struggling onto the main line with its load of 16 ton mineral empties. Yet, for all of that, doesn't this picture just speak volumes of the railway of the early sixties? Oh, tell it like it was!

Mike
Attachments
Hessle Haven 61467 7 63.jpg
Another of those inspirational pictures. We should treasure them for they can never be taken ever again!
Hessle Haven 61467 7 63.jpg (104.24 KiB) Viewed 10843 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:58 am

So far, two sections of the railway, each seven feet long, have been completed. This gives a totally straight and uninterrupted fourteen feet of four track main line, with all of the turnouts and crossovers, which were present on the prototype, modelled. To date I have used B8 turnouts, however, further main line turnouts and crossovers will probably revert to C9. The additional length of these turnouts is more than compensated by the easier lead in to the 'C' switches, especially for the eight coupled locos. The third section, covering the photograph of the B16/3 has just been started and, hopefully, should be largely completed by the end of this year.

At the other end of the layout from the picture shown at the top of this thread, was a bridge - shipyard bridge - much frequented by the local band of train spotters, at least until it was demolished to make way for a new road and with the inevitable rationalisation of the track formation in the seventies and eighties.

So, for any one who knew this place, then these are for you. Photograph 2 shows the view from shipyard bridge, looking over the bridge platework; photograph 1 shows the bridge with an LNER T1 4-8-0 tank basking in the afternoon sunshine.

I make no apologies for trying to re-create those halcyon days of our childhood and youth; days when steam reigned almost supreme (the diesel multiple units had already decimated the suburban tank classes) and when the railway was a truly wondrous thing to behold.
Attachments
P2240003.JPG
Basking in the sun on the main line.
P2240003.JPG (169.75 KiB) Viewed 10808 times
J39 Chassis 003.jpg
The view from the bridge.
J39 Chassis 003.jpg (203.6 KiB) Viewed 10803 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:19 am

This is one of my favourite pictures of the railway. I took this when this loco was still 16.5mm and was 'straight out of the box', so it's propped up on a third rail. When I first rendered this picture onto the computer, I was very disappointed, the depth of field had just gone and much of it is out of focus. So I was intending to consign it to the waste basket, until someone saw it and said 'No, that picture just has the atmosphere of the railway'.

Well I don't know but for all that it does seem to work and has occasioned some favourable comments, though not by the photographic purists.

So it's June 1950 as a Peppercorn A1, then only a couple of years old, coasts under shipyard bridge and into the early morning sunshine of a glorious early summer's day. A lovely day, a handsome locomotive, a snapshot of times long gone. The lighting on this photo is the sunshine of an early morning.
Attachments
Hessle Haven - 001.jpg
Early Morning A1
Hessle Haven - 001.jpg (192.58 KiB) Viewed 10805 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:41 pm

When I built the two sections of the railway, thus far done, I didn't take any photos during the track building stage, so there's not really much to illustrate this. As these were my first attempts (at least for thirty five years) I did buy one or two of the 'how to do it - track building' books and borrowed some of the techniques in these books. The trackwork all utilises P4 Track Co. components, except for all of the sleepering, which I make myself from 1/16th obechi.. This wood is very light, is harder than balsa (which I tried and the chairs very prototypically dug into the wood very quickly) and can be stained using white spirit based wood dyes. I used mixtures of colonial oak (almost black) and mahogany (rich brown). By altering both the mix of these two colours and the degree of dilution with white spirit, a range of colours and textures can be produced from very dark brown (new sleepers) to that silvery grey of aged and weather worn sleepers.

I laid all sleepers on each board, including point timbers which were simply glued onto the appropriate template which had been PVA's to the track bed, prior to doing anything else. After sleepering I then ballasted the whole trackbed, except for a small strip by each point ,where the timber numbers could be seen. Throughout the trackwork I used 'N' gauge granite ballast, I found the 'OO' products too coarse. I used the normal method of doing this - lay the ballast, damp it with a mister, then drip dilute PVA onto the moistened ballast, at which point it turns a very strange green colour.

I also painted the ballast, again before any rail was laid. For this I used very dilute white emulsion (the sample tins used for sample mixing of colours) coloured grey with water colour paint. This dries impervious to water. Once dry then various lighter/darker greys, browns, beiges, black and white were touched in, to break up the uniformity and give highlight and lowlights. One of the advantages of the dilute emulsion is that is doesn't flood the ballast and destroy that appearance of stones.

The cess used a different scatter - ash path, which is different in both colour and texture to the ballast, being very similar to ash ballast. Gives a nice contrast to the ballast.

So that's about it for the track building method. Pretty standard.

So that, in a nutshell, is how the track was built.

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:51 pm

The photo below shows the result of the ballast painting and track laying stage, as well as the contrast in colour and texture of the cess. Also shown is the start of the scenery build with the trackside banks in progress.
Attachments
P3060001 - 1.JPG
Ballast painted, track laid, scenery in build.
P3060001 - 1.JPG (240.05 KiB) Viewed 10577 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:47 pm

Here's a picture of a new model, which will sit on the section of railway in the photo above. This is my very first venture into the whole area of building model signals - there is a full thread on RMWeb under the Workbench section, around this project. Anyway, this will sit approximately half way down the furthest crossover in the photo, though the actual turnout controlled by the lower doll/arm is in front of the photo towards the viewer.

The prototype photo, at the start of this thread, shows this bracket in the middle distance; the one in the foreground is just being completed.

Mike
Attachments
Completed.JPG
All done. Now to re-cycle the wine bottles.
Completed.JPG (91.85 KiB) Viewed 10485 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:58 am

One of the things which fascinates me now - especially since I have taken up painting - is light. I do love to experiment with taking photos in various lights, different lighting angles, different lighting intensities. For me it's about creating mood. Oh I can just hear the model railway purists, the 'engineers' saying 'what does it matter; it's about the engineering accuracy and quality of the model?' If that's your view well you're entitled to it but I would beg to differ.

Of course many of these photos simply go wrong, or at least appear to go wrong. Others achieve some kind of 'mood' largely by accident and on some very rare occasions, the photo achieves what was intended from the outset. I'm not sure what category this picture falls into but for those who have seen it and stood in this place it does seem to have struck a chord.

So it's late evening, the sun sinking towards the horizon. Time to pack up the notebook, put away the Ian Allan Combined Volume get on our bikes and cycle home.
Attachments
Bridge - 1.jpg
The land of lost content.
Bridge - 1.jpg (117.98 KiB) Viewed 10453 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:53 am

One of the acid tests for my models is can I set the model up and photograph it such that I can convince at least one person, that this is real? Notwithstanding the fact that both spectacle lights seem to have gone out or they are at least dirty on this.

So dusk falls slow on a long warm day, the Hessle Up Main Starter stands sentinel over the up main, as it has for half a century.
Attachments
Dusk Falling.JPG
Dusk falls slow on a long warm day.
Dusk Falling.JPG (80.67 KiB) Viewed 10433 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:18 pm

So here's another of these 'moody' photos - or perhaps I just got the lighting all wrong. This was the bridge shortly after I finished building it and before the platework was weathered, so the bridge painters have just finished applying the silver-grey.

These were some of my first attempts at wagon building, including the good old Airfix BR standard long wheelbase guards van. This has been significantly 'hacked about' with a new scratch built underframe, all moulded handrails replaced by .3 mm wire, new ends for the cabin, a new roof, vents and chimney and the guards ducket glazed.

Anyway I called the picture night freight.
Attachments
Hessle Haven 013 - 1.jpg
A freight setting off into the night.
Hessle Haven 013 - 1.jpg (183.12 KiB) Viewed 10412 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:38 am

Perhaps at this point it may be worth making both a comparison and an observation. When I posted this thread, organised broadly similarly, to RMWeb back in December last, it had over 2,000 views in the first four days. Not surprising as the member community is much larger. But the thread was augmented by all sorts of contributions from other folk - people who knew the place, people with information on the place or the time, even one ex-S&T guy who had serviced some of the signalling installations shown on the photographs. All of this served as tremendous encouragement to continue to share the model and this place with others who were interested.

By comparison, apart from two responses at the start of this thread, one of which I know is from an active RMWeb contributor, there has been absolutely no expression of interest, at all.

Now the whole point of these forums (fora?) is that they are interactive, not inactive. This one will 'be strangled' at birth unless a much greater proportion of the membership :-

a) Recognise that this technology has become/will become the pre-eminent information medium in the hobby and rapidly adapt to it and equip for it.

b) That whereas this Society and many others can support a largely passive membership, the new world of the information age is about active membership; that's why it's called INTERACTIVE.

So there you go; that is my view.

Regards

Mike

David Knight
Posts: 623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:02 pm

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby David Knight » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:50 pm

Hi Mike,

Your point is well taken. As it happens I passed on the link to this string and the one on RMweb to a couple of pals who are LNER fans and others who are just plain modellers. None of them, however, are members here so even if they had information to share they could not post it in this forum. FWIW have been following along even though your layout is the "wrong" time, area, etc., etc.. for what I am modelling so I have nothing to add but a bit of praise for a job well done.

HTH

David

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:26 pm

None of them, however, are members here so even if they had information to share they could not post it in this forum.

We do have a 'Guest Book' where visitors can comment or provide info if they so wish.
Regards

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:34 pm

Hi David,

Many thanks for the comment above. I'm sure if you or your LNER modelling colleagues have anything to offer or vice versa, if I can provide them with anything, they will post to the Hessle Haven threads on RMWeb. I shall be happy to help.

Regards

Mike

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:17 am

grovenor-2685 wrote:We do have a 'Guest Book' where visitors can comment or provide info if they so wish.


That's true, there is; but I wouldn't draw too much attention to it. There is one topic and one posting and that is from a disenchanted member who has used this section to register his disgust (albeit with himself) and resign from the Society.

No, no, this particular section (Guest Book) isn't - yet - the best marketing vehicle for the Scalefour Society.

Mike

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:35 am

The guest book is there to get feedback. Won't help if we discourage use of it! I don't want to censor it unless someone tries to start a war in there. I've moved that existing topic into Private Sales. Didn't realise before that I could do that when he could not post there as he is not registered.
Regards
PS Getting rather OT here. Any more posts on this and I'll split it off into the Members Lounge.

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:02 am

Keith,

Agreed. So getting back to this place, its railway and its models, here's one more view of the bridge. It's another of those glorious early summer days, when the sun shone never endingly and the railway and the trains went about their business.

A J39 ambles off along the up main on its way to the local chalk quarry to collect the chalk train for onward movement to the cement factory in Hull. And yes such a working did exist and no, the cement quarry will not be modelled.

The J39 is Bachmann heavily rebuilt - new chassis, new handrails, cab glazing, boiler bands, repainted, etc. This loco was one of the dozen or so J39's which Hull Dairycoates had in 1950. Amazingly, in 1950, there were over forty different classes shedded at the four Hull locomotive depots and at least another forty classes, including most of the ex-LMS and some ex-Midland and L&Y, could be seen regularly working into or through the town. Those were the days!

Regards

Mike
Attachments
P2240002.JPG
Ambling along the up Main.
P2240002.JPG (204.24 KiB) Viewed 10300 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:10 pm

So what next on the railway. First and current job is to finish the second of the two bracket signals (photo of completed one and part completed second bracket shown below) and then motorise and install them on the railway.

But these signals are merely the precursor to a much more ambitious signal building 'main event' and one which I still have to fully work out in terms of the techniques and materials to build and drive them. The drawings, shown below, are of the two signalling installations which stood either side of the bridge which features so prominently in the pictures of the railway. For once these are built and installed then the model is unmistakeably Hessle Haven - it cannot be anywhere else.
Attachments
And Another.JPG
Two together
And Another.JPG (96.02 KiB) Viewed 10269 times
Scan0002 - 1.jpg
The ultimate signal building challenge - Hessle Haven's up signal bridge.
Scan0002 - 1.jpg (69.58 KiB) Viewed 10262 times
Down bracket.jpg
Or maybe not, could be this one - Hessle Haven's down gantry.
Down bracket.jpg (88.14 KiB) Viewed 10260 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:58 pm

Another ongoing job, on the railway, is the modelling of the point rodding and stools, to be followed by modelling (or perhaps simulating or suggesting) the wire posts and runs for the signal wiring. To date I have made the rodding stools - each assembled from .020" plasticard - for the east end of the railway, up to the nearest of the crossovers. The signal wire posts will be next, using plasticard posts and very short lengths of 1/32" aluminium tube to represent the rollers. I've booked myself into an analyst, for therapy, once these several (dozens) posts are done!
Attachments
P4290003 - 1.JPG
Rodding stools - lots of them!
P4290003 - 1.JPG (166.23 KiB) Viewed 10255 times

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Dave K
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:11 pm

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby Dave K » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:09 am

mikemeg wrote:Perhaps at this point it may be worth making both a comparison and an observation. When I posted this thread, organised broadly similarly, to RMWeb back in December last, it had over 2,000 views in the first four days. Not surprising as the member community is much larger. But the thread was augmented by all sorts of contributions from other folk - people who knew the place, people with information on the place or the time, even one ex-S&T guy who had serviced some of the signalling installations shown on the photographs. All of this served as tremendous encouragement to continue to share the model and this place with others who were interested.

By comparison, apart from two responses at the start of this thread, one of which I know is from an active RMWeb contributor, there has been absolutely no expression of interest, at all.


I've been following the 'Hessle Haven' story and the building of signals on RMWeb. Its a pity that the signal building saga has only been posted and not here as I am sure it would be of interest.

By the way I liked the idea of painting the fishplates a differant colour - made me think. I look forward to the next instalment.

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:16 am

Dave,

Many thanks for the comments and the interest. Now it's time to set the signal up on the railway, just temporarily, and see whether it conveys that 'atmosphere'? It does need a little weathering, it's just too white and unstained at the moment but this photo should serve to indicate how much weathering, and where, is necessary.

So it's evening, the sun casting long shadows as that J39 rattles along the up main bound for who knows where.
Attachments
P3120005.JPG
Rattling along the up main.
P3120005.JPG (123.22 KiB) Viewed 10179 times

mikemeg

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby mikemeg » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:40 am

dave k wrote:By the way I liked the idea of painting the fishplates a differant colour - made me think. I look forward to the next instalment.


The idea for this came from reading the 1950 British Railways book on Permanent Way, where one of the lineman's maintenance tasks is clearly described as 'greasing all fishplates'. Apparently they used some pretty evil, black or very dark grey grease and just coated them.

Mike

Andy G
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:25 pm

Re: Hessle Haven - a model of a railway

Postby Andy G » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:33 am

mikemeg wrote:
dave k wrote:By the way I liked the idea of painting the fishplates a differant colour - made me think. I look forward to the next instalment.


The idea for this came from reading the 1950 British Railways book on Permanent Way, where one of the lineman's maintenance tasks is clearly described as 'greasing all fishplates'. Apparently they used some pretty evil, black or very dark grey grease and just coated them.

Mike


If it was anything like the stuff used on the Welsh Highland it is horrible and as described above, plus it doesn't wash out of anything you get it on. We usually applied it with a stick or similar found lying around if the brush had gone missing as usual. I haven't commented on this thread here or on RMWeb before but this is very inspirational stuff Mike and has set us a goal to aim for in the relaying of the track on Slattocks Junction.

Cheers
Andy


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