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West Suffolk Junction

70345 Views 420 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  Greyvoices
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I was born in 1950 in Bury St Edmunds. That says it all really. By using the resources available on the web I have discovered that I was born on a Sunday but other than a parent induced few years attendance at the Plymouth Bethren Sunday School the significance of the day of my birth seems to have had no lasting effect. (Goodness me, this is starting out like Lawrence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy).

Let me start again. I have chosen to model a GER location circa 1950 because I was born in West Suffolk in that year. That's better. The catalyst for this was a hopeless case of homesickness following a few years living and working in mainland Europe. (I described this in an earlier thread within the 00 forum, "A return to UK modelling", so I will not bore you with a rehash of all that waffle. David the moderator suggested I move ramblings to this forum). I first thought of modelling Bury St Edmunds but when I dimensioned it for 4mm I soon became aware that to do it justice I would need a room 60 feet long. I can imagine that there may be the odd one or two reading this who will think, "why not N gauge? Such thoughts should be nipped in the bud as 2mm has never appealed to me; it just does not look right. Anyway, there is more chance of Stephen Hawkins threading cotton through the eye of a needle than yours truly usefully employing his 10 thumbs in the pursuit of 2mm modelling excellence. It has to be 4mm because that's what I started out with as a nipper in the fifties, it's a scale still small enough to conceal modelling imperfections, especially if you squint a bit, plus I am just able to place the models on the track within a reasonable timespan. What of 7mm? Too big, too expensive and shoddy modelling skills all too apparent.

So, the lack of 60' to play with and a complete inability to accept compromises that would enable a 4mm version of BSE, complete with 31E and the must have bridge over Fornham Road plus the cannot do without Thetford and Sudbury branch junctions has led me to the conclusion that I must find another location to model. I think it best that the quest to find the right location should be the subject of a separate post so I'll leave that subject for later. My researches have proved to be most enjoyable, the armchair modelling phase being a pure delight not least because you always have one hand free to hold a beer glass.

Even though, for a time, I was unsure what my model would depict I was determined that it would be somewhere in West Suffolk. This knowledge allowed me to make a start on the locomotive and rolling stock fleet. This process commenced whilst I still lived in Germany where I was fully employed and properly remunerated. Being then in my late fifties I could well imagine the not far off time when my income would be severely depleted and my faculties somewhat dimmed. I therefore started to collect the minimum core fleet that would be needed for a true representation of 1950 West Suffolk. This is another "subject for later" as there is much to tell. In the meantime I thought that you might appreciate a glimpse of the pride of the fleet:


GER E4 62783 built for me by John Houlden. An Alan Gibson kit fitted with a DCC chip.

There are so many other elements involved in this tale that I wish to write about. Perhaps that is the intrinsic charm of railway modelling, this multi discipline pastime that can become so important in one's life. I believe that it is this complexity that keeps it fresh in your mind. If you weary of detailing yet another coal wagon you can be revitalised by contemplation of the next trackwork installation or avid study of your bookshelves or the internet to get an accurate composition of the 07:52 all stations stopper to Cambridge. There is also the problem of where can I put my layout? I did a lot of research on this question, bought books on the subject, scoured magazines etc. and the conclusion I came to was that our house in the UK (which we hung onto whilst we were abroad) was just not good enough. I managed to convince my wife that when we returned to the UK we had to move. After much negotiation this has happened, the principal requirements being a decent kitchen and an integral garage that could be converted into a railway room (you can guess which was my wife's stipulation. Sexist? Me?). This has now been acheived, a house found and moved into that we both like, kitchen extended as per without which, "you can forget it buster", garage door removed, replaced with windows and a door punched through into the house plus a radiator plumbed in so that it is nice and snug. Now all that remains is for the detritus of 63 years to be cleared away from the garage and the walls and floor suitably finished off:



That's approximately 20' by 9'. Not quite the 60' that I dreamed of but certainly useful enough. Unfortunately a lot of the clutter is boxes full of models and I am going through a process involving selling what is surplus, donating what I deem still worth something and possible benefit to good causes and taking erstwhile prize possessions that time has deemed worthless to the tip. I will soon be able to start on the shoulder height baseboards upon which West Suffolk Junction will rest. More on this anon.

I think that is enough for the first post. I will appreciate comments, suggestions, criticism if gently put and kindly in intention plus of course, bucketfulls of encouragement.

Best regards ................ Greyvoices (alias John)
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Hi John,
Back to the layout .......... WHAT GREAT FUN! ........


PS. Shame about the game, I watched it too, with similar feelings no doubt.
At least it was the Welsh .....

j
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Possibly but ...........

QUOTE we're thinking of sending TSC to boarding school as even Eton would be cheaper than his eatin'...

Whilst the cost factor may have some merit, it must be worth more than that to avoid him being brought up alongside future politicians ...... and having to endure some of their style of establishing a pecking order .......


J
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Hi John,

All those years ago ...........

After 3 yrs training and 4 years teaching my pay was £6 more ...... per year ...... than an RAF recruit entering training .... and his food and accommodation was all found too .....


I still managed a few beers though ..... well PE was very thirst making .......


I'm pretty sure the ratio of pay to purchasing has improved greatly but I still wonder at what benefit the seemingly vast sums of money, that float about, have brought ..........

At least we can now have fun with a train set or so ......


PS
QUOTE the haddock and chips and 2 pints that I've just consumed
Does Lady P know ..........

J
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Hi John,
Pity about the snow but Norm is probably right about a "blessing in disguise" ..


It looks like the loco upgrade will take a bit of time too. I'm looking forward to the results.

J
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Hi John,

How reassuring to read an observation on life which is positive, includes the majority of the population and is a far cry from the negative assumptions from a press who base massive assumptions on a few minor incidents and the contents of their Belly Buttons.

Thank you.

J
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Hi All,

Surely this is not really a matter of ... "Why do today, something you can do tomorrow!" .....
which rather is the implication here ....


I got pretty certain a while ago that it is really a function of too much spare time ... leaving an open choice of when to do something ... when in reality, when you are busy there is less choice of time and things Have to be done "now, or not at all!" .......
.. so we tended to include them in plans .. AND also tended to stick to them ...


Perhaps this explains the .....

QUOTE I have just spent a week off work with the intention of making some real progress on the layout, but i truth I have made less than if I had been working and doing a bit in the evening.


Perhaps a topic for Alias for his next Philosophy Doctorate paper ....


J
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Hi John & LF&T,

QUOTE I reckon their ply surrounds are unnecessarily thick and weighty -
Thick Ply sides are not required, as the board I bounced on has none at all yet ....

Perhaps a thin, 3mm, skin to the sides, with a Balsa rim under the board to add space underneath, or simply deeper foam [ if required ]

Have fun
J
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Hi,

QUOTE Plessey works in Ilford

Plessey used to be by the side of Vicarage Lane. I taught in the Sec Sch opposite the Eastern end of the Lane. The Railway ran next to the School and Plessey [which was by then Siemens] and was a real bonus to PE lesson Runs. ....


Even 'though it was by then Siemens, the Run was still called the Plessey Run

Out of the School, across the road and down Vicarage Lane. Take the footpath to the Footbridge across the lines and back along the High Road to the road bridge back over the railway lines. No short cuts there .....


Impressive building too..

J
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Hi John,

QUOTE Another development is the plan to locate the power bus in a trough along the edge of the layout.
I like this idea a lot ..... presumably you intend to make grooves in the top of the Foam before gluing it down and then run the droppers in them to the Bus?

Will you lay the Track loose on the unglued top board and drill the holes where the Droppers will go and use the drilled top board as a template to mark where the grooves will start from?

J
Hi John,

QUOTE Just left Swindon en route to Paddington.
............... and I waited all that time on Salisbury Station, just to wave you on your way .....


J
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5
conmaire
QUOTE On the return journeys, the trains were often fairly empty (never understood why).
Can't understand why any Service puts on Return Trains to Bristol ......... who would want to escape and then go back ? .....


QUOTE A great day.......... And we beat the Aussies who put up a spirited fight.
They wouldn't have if you hadn't Hext the game with your earlier comments ..........

I had to sit down every time the Aus got going and then the wickets started to fall ..... I got busy with the Mini Driver this morning and only just got back before lunch to restore the balance ...
.............. it was very close indeed ...........


Glad you had a good day with the kids ...... helps to restore the balance on life ......


J
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4


I suppose the good parking for SWMBO next to the shopping centre not bad either ....
and beautiful curved platforms ......


J
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Hi John,
104 for 8 .................
QUOTE The cricket is going well

But I thought you said "it wasn't a good match if ............................."

Did you just forget to add "unless, of course we are beating them by a couple of miles" ................


J
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Hi John [again],

I forgot to say that the Mock up looks to indicate what should be a layout - well contained by the high buildings ...... and the Shed, at the front should give a good balance to those higher background Fiddle Covers .....


J
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LF&T & Greyvoices,

I have just come back from a family break in Cornwall to .......... the last 2 x Posts ..........................

"Sleepovers, Saws, Soldering Iron .... A&E Department" .... youthful 63 year old .................. finds this a challenge ................................

..........................................
.................... ............................. white flag ....................................

I think I need to take up something less risky ..............................

J
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Forgot to add ...............

You get to hand them back too ..........................


J
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Hi John,
May I echo the greeting on your return.

You seem to have chosen a good time to go to Scotland - and an equally good one to return.

Regards
J
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Hi John,

QUOTE But, (sorry, I know it's not permissible to open a sentence with the word "but" ..... but) ....


Back in the days of the Berlin Wall, there was an Exhibition, in the Reichstag building. It was intended as a reminder of what effects the WWII had on the population - in case anyone needed reminding. One of the exhibits was a [unusually] colour film from a Mustang Recce a/c, as it quartered over Berlin, when the War was over.
It lasted for 35 minutes [if memory serves correctly] and it didn't re-fly over any part of the City. There wasn't a single building to be seen which wasn't completely wrecked.

Back in another life, I worked with Her Majesty's Customs & Excise for a while and as such had access to the bits behind the Carrousel, on occasions [able to see the Loaders work].
QUOTE .........after a tedious half an hour waiting by a stubborn baggage carousel.
You may have been quite lucky to get away with 1/2 an Hour - and I now pack my cases very carefully to ensure anything which could be damaged by percussive events is as far away from the surface of the case and well wrapped in soft clothing.

J
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I don't know what you might think to transparent sheets, supplied cut to size, which might be rather less pricy than kits or fabricated covers.

These might give you an idea of the sort of costs.
Acrylic
Polycarbonate
High Impact Polystyrene
3mm Clear High Impact Polystyrene Sheet (HIPS)

Would you need more than a top, front and two sides, with a scenic background for the rear? It seems that there are suitable glues for joining them together and, maybe some narrow right-angle polished brass strip to add a touch of class to cover the glue in the join.

I recently had delivery of 4, N Gauge, coaches of the British Military train, The Berliner, which used to run every day from Berlin to West Germany, whilst the wall was up. Having matched it with some locos, which seem to be right for the time, I ventured behind the other bedroom door for the 4' x 3'5" sandwich, which had languished there since those earlier times you mentioned.

I got to thinking about a DCC Bus, droppers and point motors, a dangerous activity at 75, involving more energy than common sense should allow. The Ply, foam sandwich, shunting Inglenook had a 2" gap under all the track when it was built. The 4' x 3'6" board doesn't have anything cut into it yet. I came round to consider the idea that the Bus and droppers could be run in small shallow trenches, cut with a small Router Bit. On the top would be easier to service and little problem to camouflage, but not easy to modify with the Router, once track is laid. Perhaps cut into the underside instead, with holes drilled up, to reach the track, might be easier to add to. Also, point motors don't seem to come, scaled to N Gauge, but there are lots of suitably sized, tiny, Servos, which could sit in a small depressions Routed into the top. Just thoughts for the moment, but I thought it might be relevant to share, at this stage.

J
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