Signals for Hessle Haven

mikemeg
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Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:50 am

Some years ago - perhaps nine or ten - I posted some details of a layout which I was building - Hessle Haven - based on a real place and as it appeared in mid 1950. Between then and now I left the Society for a number of years; not due to any disagreement or issue but simply due to not having done any modelling for a year or two and moving locale, etc.

Anyway, I have now rejoined the Society and, as a first posting, can I display a photograph or two of some of the signal models which I made for this same layout - Hessle Haven. All of these are scratch built - there are no etches for these prototypes - using brass 'L' angle (0.8 mm and 1.0 mm) and .87 mm x .005" nickel silver strip with parts from MSE. The lattice structures were all built on individually made jigs and from my own drawings which were scaled up from a variety of photographs of the prototypes.

Anyway, that's the history and the background; here are the photographs. Two signal gantries and a signal bridge, all of which once stood at this place- Hessle Haven.

And also, a photo of one of these things in build. This one, almost 100 feet total span, once stood at Scarborough's Londesborough Road station.

Oh, and in a very belated response to someone who once posed the question 'Who am I'; I am Mike Megginson from Scarborough.

But my real love is the building of 4mm locomotives, so perhaps I can post photos of some of those, in the appropriate topic area!

Cheers

Mike
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CornCrake
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby CornCrake » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:35 pm

Welcome back, and thank you.
I've just spent some pleasurable time reading a couple of your Hessle Haven topic on RMWeb, and discovered the wealth of historical photos and also useful contributions from a retired signalman.
Are you planning on building a 95 lever frame using the societies mk 2 kit?
Steve

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby Rod Cameron » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:34 pm

Good to see you back, Mike :)
Rod

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby Mark Tatlow » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:07 pm

Good to see you back too Mike. Looking forward to another board or more appearing in due course.

If you (or indeed others) need etches for the NER heavy signal brackets - 2, 3 or 4 doll - contact me offline. There would be a wait, but I have done the artwork for them.
Mark Tatlow

mikemeg
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:51 am

I confess that whenever someone sends me a photo of one of these ex North Eastern McKenzie & Holland signal gantries or bridges, I am tempted to make a 4 mm drawing of it, lest I should ever decide to build it. My old mate Mick Nicholson - a retired signalman - seems to have an almost inexhaustible supply of photographs of these things, from all across the old NER, which he quite willingly shares.

Though these things were only ever a functional part of the railway infrastructure, they were very impressive and elegant things, spanning large distances and towering over the railway, with their intricate lattice structures based on the pratt truss. Another such signal bridge stood at Barlby West on the approaches to Selby, from Hull, but also signalling the up East Coast Main Line.

Establishing the dimensions of these things is not difficult as both the NER and McKenzie & Holland had a penchant for 3 inch increments i.e. 1' 6", 1' 9", etc. right up to 8 feet, on the lattice girder depths and lattice radii. Simlarly, the doll spacings and signal arms were of different, though uniformly different lengths.

When we were kids, watching the trains, we took no notice of these lovely structures; they would always be there! Of course, they would not always be there and now they are almost completely gone from the railway environment and it is, aesthetically, the poorer for their disappearance.

Anyway, here's how the models all start, with a 4 mm drawing; this of that Barlby West signal bridge. And doesn't the photo just encapsulate what we loved of the railway in the 1950's/early 1960's. Unusually, it is the signal bridge - or even, arguably, the platelayer's hut - which is the principal subject, not the train. And just note how tidy and well kept everything looks!

Cheers

Mike
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BARLBY 20.jpg
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Last edited by mikemeg on Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

mikemeg
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Wed May 01, 2019 8:37 am

Here's one currently in build. This structure stood between Hessle Haven and Hessle East until the late 1960's though the slotted posts and lower quadrants were replaced with solid wooden dolls and upper quadrants in the very early 1950's. The signal bridge was situated about four miles from the centre of Hull on the main line to Selby and Doncaster.

On the model, the lattice girder has been done and fixed to the posts. The two slotted dolls have been made and equipped with North Eastern lower quadrant arms and the balance levers and operating rods from the balance levers to the arms have also been made and fitted.

Still quite a lt to do on this one but it is starting to take shape.

The photographs show the current state of the model and the three dimensional mdf/cardboard jig which was made and used to produce the lattce girder; this from 1.0 mm brass 'L' angle and 0.8 mm x .005" nickelsilver strip.

Cheers

Mike
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P1010015 (1).JPG
P1010031.JPG

mikemeg
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:50 pm

Not exactly at Hessle Haven but about half a mile from Hull's Paragon Station, stood this structure. Erected in 1904, this signal bridge remained in use until 12.01 am, July 27th, 1954. On the photograph, the lines into/out of Hull split just before the bridge, with the Selby/Doncaster route to the left and the Beverley/York/Scarborough route to the right. Beyond the overbridge, the Withernsea/Hornsea route branched further right.

So the bridge carries the signalling for these three routes out of Hull plus the line into Botanic Gardens locomotive depot- the miniature arms - and the two lines, becoming three, into the station throat.

Below is the 4 mm drawing of this structure, representing about eight hours of measuring, checking and calculating and then around thirty hours of drawing.

Doing the work to establish the sizing, dimensioning, etc. relies on a number of known parameters. In this case, the LNER/BR line diagrams which always give the span or spans of these bridges - here 31' 1 1/2" (left span) and 31' 2 1/2" (right span). Equally, the 'crosses' on the lattice posts were always 1' 6" depth. So, from that, the post heights, lattice girder depth can be calculated (here 1' 9"). And so it proceeds until every dimension has been established!!

Of course, the final check, on all of this sizing, dimensioning, etc. is the drawing. Does it work and does everything look correct. If yes, then all is ok.

Reasonably, the only way this can be verified is by reference to an official drawing, which I don't believe exist; or by someone, equally as bizarre as me, for trying to draw these things!!

But, for all that these structures were simply functional 'pieces of railway furniture' they were beautiful examples of Victorian and Edwardian design and engineering practice and, aesthetically, the railway is the poorer for their passing.

Cheers

Mike
Attachments
WESTPARADE 1937.JPG
P2140017.JPG
Last edited by mikemeg on Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

CornCrake
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby CornCrake » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:58 pm

Fabulous!
Both the real thing & the drawing!
Thank you for sharing.

mikemeg
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:40 am

CornCrake wrote:Fabulous!
Both the real thing & the drawing!
Thank you for sharing.


Thank you,

Your comments are much appreciated.

To complete this sub-topic, here is the LNER/BR line diagram of this location. Just look at that track layout!!

Cheers

Mike
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WEST PARADE Signal bridge.jpg

Julian Roberts
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby Julian Roberts » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:04 pm

Yes wonderful sights, thank you Mike. I was getting excited to see single semaphore signals still in use at Girvan on the line to Stranraer last Monday! In fact excited that there is still in this day and age a substantial line controlled entirely by semaphore signalling all the way there, with manned signalboxes controlling passing loops like this one at Barrhill. I don't know how the line can survive long now that ferry passengers go largely by road, the ships having deserted Stranraer for Cairnryan which is not rail served and gives a shorter crossing time to Belfast or Larne. But it's been the situation for 9 years and still the line survives.
20190610_195929.jpg
Stranraer train departing Girvan

20190610_192922.jpg
Barrhill

Also exciting is the thought of the pointwork shown in your track diagram!! Are these 6 way crossings!? - I assume no such thing existed but wonder if you have more of your wonderful photos to show the trackwork there?
WEST PARADE Signal bridge-1-1.jpg
Crop from your track diagram
WEST PARADE Signal bridge-1-1.jpg (7.69 KiB) Viewed 1657 times
Last edited by Julian Roberts on Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:55 pm

Also exciting is the thought of the pointwork shown in your track diagram!! Are these 6 way crossings!? - I assume no such thing existed but wonder if you have more of your wonderful photos to show the trackwork there?

They certainly existed, although I don't know that 6 way crossing is the right description! IMHO they are 3 way diamonds in the middle of a double scissors. I have a drawing of a GW double scissors that was at Park Jcn. Newport. I'll scan the relevant bit if I can find it.
Rgds

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:21 pm

I seem to remember I passed the original drawing on to someone more interested in the GWR than I. However I do have a photocopy and here is a scan of the central 3 way diamonds.
double scissors.jpg

Julian Roberts
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby Julian Roberts » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:23 pm

:thumb thanks Keith! Would look impressive in P4 Mike....

DougN
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby DougN » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:04 am

I hope no one passes that to Michael Godfrey here in Melbourne I know he has a "thing"for complicated trackwork! :thumb
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

mikemeg
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:41 pm

Julian Roberts wrote::thumb thanks Keith! Would look impressive in P4 Mike....


Julian,

No, don't go making such rash suggestions. But, I do have to admit that section of track layout - perhaps from the bridge towards the camera, with the signal bridge as a key feature would make one hell of a model.

First, I must finish Hessle Haven and the next section also has some fairly intricate pointwork and a lot of it! Yet another feature of the railway, that we knew and loved, which has now gone!

The signal bridge, in the two photos below, is the one which first inspired me to make the models of the signals at Hessle Haven including that same signal bridge. And, just as with all of them, the first stage was to produce a 4mm drawing.

I'll leave it to the viewer to judge whether (or not) the model captures the essence of the real thing; now long gone from the railway scene which we grew up with.

Regards

Mike
Attachments
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HESSLE HAVEN 1.jpg
P2170020.JPG
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Will L
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby Will L » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:04 pm

You do have to admit that the NER weren't afraid of interesting pointwork

mikemeg
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:55 pm

Will L wrote:You do have to admit that the NER weren't afraid of interesting pointwork


Oh there's no doubt about that, Will. And with every variation on pointwork, the NER worked out a way of signalling it. Giving rise to these incredible structures with 'lots of dolls' and a veritable plethora of signal arms. But didn't they make a wonderful sight and didn't they enhance the railway 'between the fences'?

Regards

Mike

John Palmer
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby John Palmer » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:18 pm

I wonder whether the line diagram Mike has posted may be a bit misleading as to the complexity of the crossings. The diagram seems more concerned with structures than with track, and when I magnify the West Parade picture I see nothing other than conventional diamonds. Although it's qualified as being 'not to scale' I think that the drawing of this area that appears in the MoT Report on the 1927 head-on collision is likely to give a more accurate representation of the layout and shows only conventional diamonds being used to make up superimposed facing and trailing double crossovers.

Incidentally it may be of interest that the West Parade picture includes the location of the point of impact in the 1927 accident, at a position lying approximately behind the central supporting mast for the signal bridge.

Those hand drawings are true labour of love! However, my personal preference would be to do this as a CAD drawing, as this would, for example, enable you to concentrate on a single doll to reproduce in detail the characteristics common to all before grouping the components of that single instance and generating from it an array of dolls that can be fine tuned for position. I would really like to avoid having to capture more than once the complexities of that M&H pinnacle!

Tony Wilkins
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby Tony Wilkins » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:00 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:
Also exciting is the thought of the pointwork shown in your track diagram!! Are these 6 way crossings!? - I assume no such thing existed but wonder if you have more of your wonderful photos to show the trackwork there?

They certainly existed, although I don't know that 6 way crossing is the right description! IMHO they are 3 way diamonds in the middle of a double scissors. I have a drawing of a GW double scissors that was at Park Jcn. Newport. I'll scan the relevant bit if I can find it.
Rgds

Since you asked.
Park Junction.jpg

Regards
Tony.

mikemeg
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:11 am

Though the geometry of the junction, in the above photo, is different, the overall function of this junction is the same as that depicted at Hull West Parade. Two separate diverging/converging twin track routes merging into a four track route.

My old mate Mick Nicholson might have a photo of the detailed track arrangement of this junction?

Cheers

Mike

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Noel
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby Noel » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:48 pm

mikemeg wrote:Though the geometry of the junction, in the above photo, is different, the overall function of this junction is the same as that depicted at Hull West Parade. Two separate diverging/converging twin track routes merging into a four track route.


Just for info, Park Junction was a little more complicated than that. Immediately behind the photographer four tracks have been joined on the left by two, and from the right by two more, in front of the signal box [hence the double scissors]. In front of him, on the left, two more join to make six, which is why there is a second double scissors just visible in the distance. The down line signals are just visible in the distance. I think that the photographer was on the platform of the bracket signals for the junction behind him.
Regards
Noel

mikemeg
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:10 pm

John Palmer wrote:I wonder whether the line diagram Mike has posted may be a bit misleading as to the complexity of the crossings. The diagram seems more concerned with structures than with track, and when I magnify the West Parade picture I see nothing other than conventional diamonds. Although it's qualified as being 'not to scale' I think that the drawing of this area that appears in the MoT Report on the 1927 head-on collision is likely to give a more accurate representation of the layout and shows only conventional diamonds being used to make up superimposed facing and trailing double crossovers.

Incidentally it may be of interest that the West Parade picture includes the location of the point of impact in the 1927 accident, at a position lying approximately behind the central supporting mast for the signal bridge.

Those hand drawings are true labour of love! However, my personal preference would be to do this as a CAD drawing, as this would, for example, enable you to concentrate on a single doll to reproduce in detail the characteristics common to all before grouping the components of that single instance and generating from it an array of dolls that can be fine tuned for position. I would really like to avoid having to capture more than once the complexities of that M&H pinnacle!


The engineer in me would wholeheartedly agree with your final paragraph. But the artist would argue that the hand drawing has far more soul! And, in this instance, the artist would (and did) prevail.

There are some very subtle differences between each doll so the 'artist approach' is vindicated to an extent. I think I've said, somewhere else, that I do these drawings largely because I can. All too soon they will be beyond the capabilities of my eyesight and then Computer Aided Design will be the only option.

And don't look too closely at all of the M&H finials - they're all drawn slightly differently; and they should be the same, though there were two sizes on this structure.

Many thanks for the comments.

Regards

Mike

John Palmer
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby John Palmer » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:59 pm

Now that I've looked more closely at the photograph of the West Parade signals I see that the 'subs' do indeed have a stumpier version of the M&H pinnacle.

I've just completed CAD drawings of the elevations for the hotel to be represented at the western end of our Burnham layout. Whilst I'm quite pleased with the result because, technically, it captures the extensive ornamentation that went into what was obviously intended as a local showpiece, I have to acknowledge that the drawing has a somewhat cold and clinical feel to it. So yes, I agree with you completely about the artist's approach having more soul.

mikemeg
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Re: Signals for Hessle Haven

Postby mikemeg » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:55 am

John Palmer wrote:Now that I've looked more closely at the photograph of the West Parade signals I see that the 'subs' do indeed have a stumpier version of the M&H pinnacle.

I've just completed CAD drawings of the elevations for the hotel to be represented at the western end of our Burnham layout. Whilst I'm quite pleased with the result because, technically, it captures the extensive ornamentation that went into what was obviously intended as a local showpiece, I have to acknowledge that the drawing has a somewhat cold and clinical feel to it. So yes, I agree with you completely about the artist's approach having more soul.


Following on from the signal bridge drawing, I'm now doing a set of assembly diagrams for the London Road Models B16/1 (the ex Stephen Barnfield kit) in 4 mm scale. I have to confess that my CAD expertise really isn't up to isometric drawing, so I've drawn and annotated these by hand.

Hopefully, these will fit the bill as assembly instructions. The David Bradwell B1 chassis kits, which I am currently building, also have hand drawn and annotated instruction sheets and they are just a lovely mix of engineering drawing and art!

Cheers

Mike


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