Ron’s Rovings – day 3

There seems to be some confusion here.  Ron think’s he’s roving.  Allan claims that he’s ranting.  I wondered whether he was raving!  Whatever – Ron’s on the road again….

A day when plans had to be altered as I went along. Went via Victoria to Paddington to catch 0904 to Newton Abbot where due to a technical problem we arrived just over 10 minutes late. I went outside the station to catch an advertised 12 minute interval service to Paignton but had to wait 20 minutes for a bus. At Paignton I walked down to the seafront and had an enjoyable takeaway sitting in a seafront shelter followed by an ice cream on my way back to town.  Then my luck changed when I found a direct train to Paddington about to pull away so I jumped on and will now be back in London an hour earlier than planned.

[Edit] Great comment from a friend of Ron’s on email….

“First time I ever heard of someone being stalked by an ice cream. I imagine it probably went into meltdown trying to keep up with you Ron.” 

Starting at a deserted Victoria.  I know train travel has dramatically reduced, but these pictures still surprised me.

On to Paddington, with a good number of trains at the platforms – one per passenger by the looks of it!

A grey Exe estuary.

A slightly brighter Dawlish.  Good to see the Great British Public socially distancing – or maybe there just weren’t many people about?

Newton Abbot.  The sun looks like it’s crept out at last.

A pleasant Torquay harbour, seen from the bus.

And so to Paignton Station, with a pleasantly rural, almost GWR feel to it.

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Ron’s Rovings – day 2

Wasn’t expecting anything from Ron till next week, but fortunately here’s another contribution.  Good job too, as I was clean out of ideas for the blog this week.

Did not expect to go out today as an engineer was coming to service our boiler but he had gone by 12.30 so decided to take a fairly local trip. Took train to London Bridge then tube to Bank for DLR to Becton changing at Westferry. Unfortunately due to COVID it no longer possible to travel at the very front of the train. From Beckton took a bus to Barking and what appeared to be a tour of the area doubling back on more than one occasion to serve retail centres/supermarkets. From Barking it was train to West Ham for tube to London Bridge for train home.

Once again we start in deepest Purley.  A good shot of one of the NHS supporting carriages.  They’d make a good model.

More conventionally coloured Southern units at Norwood Junction.

London Bridge Station.  Despite the occasional critique as to the remote location of the toilets, I think this is a superb development.  Though I did rather like it in the 1960’s, with antique EMU’s running out of the Brighton side.

Docklands Light Railway trains at Westferry.

The DLR deport at Poplar.

DLR and buses at Beckton.  Ron, you do visit some exotic places.  My professional interest in Beckton was that it has a massive sewage treatment works, dealing with the northern half of central London.  I analysed the hydraulics of some parts of it.  It all comes out into the Thames through the prosaically named Northern Outfall Sewer.  I recall my father saying, “He’d fall into the Northern Outfall Sewer and come out covered in roses.”

And trains at Barking.  Never heard of ‘C2C’ before – I must live a sheltered life….

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Ron’s Rovings – day 1

It’s about the time of year we would usually get lots of exotic holiday snaps and pictures of Swiss cakes from Allan and Ron.  But Covid-19 has rather put pay to that.  Ron writes:

Following the need to cancel our Swiss holiday at end of May due to COVID19, I am having to take my 2 weeks summer leave during the next 2 weeks.

I am therefore taking day trips using my rail staff perks and bus pass. Today I travelled to Guildford. From there I took the bus to Alton for a connecting bus to Winchester. Due to engineering  work there are no trains south of Winchester, so by the skin of my teeth just managed to catch the hourly train back to London. This was a short trip to get me in the mood for my planned longer trips during the next 2 weeks

So we have some exotic English countryside coming up over the next couple of weeks!  And with typical English summer weather, too….

Starting in deepest Purley….

Clapham Junction, gateway to almost anywhere with a replacement bus service….

Guildford.  They are trying to redevelop all this area.  Please to see the local natives are all wearing masks.  Probably just trying to hide from Ron?

I spent a fair amount of time over the years standing on here waiting for a train back to Redhill, having lectured at Surrey University….

Broadway, Winchester. King Arthur statue in background.  Pity it wasn’t a King Arthur locomotive…..

Winchester bus station….

And Winchester station.  It has kept some of its character from steam days….

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Nice location #2

My eldest has escaped Berlin for a few days down to the Black Forest and the Swiss border.  Being well trained (?), she sent me three railway shots.  Looks great, both forest and trains!

I have got no further than a mile or two from home, but at least timed my daily walk to catch a Redhill-Tonbridge train on the local line.   A train is a train, after all!

Now if I was in California, dodging Covid, this might appeal – an old rail line through the Redwoods. (Thanks, Michael, for the link.)

This was very well received on N Gauge Forum, so I’ll repeat it here!

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Nice location….

Message from John Brightwell….

Hello Jon

That’s what I call a properly sceniced model railway!

Best wishes, John

It’s a garden railway above Lake Thun, Switzerland.  Though you might need to go for a long walk to rescue a derailment at a critical location!

You may need a little more work to make Alpenbahn look like this, John.

John did add this comment, just to make sure we didn’t think that he’d snuck off to Switzerland to annoy the Cha(i)rman.

Just to make it clear: that is a photo sent by my son who departed for Switzerland this morning, and sent me that photo (probably to make me even more jealous!) when he arrived at his apartment.

And this is what said Cha(i)rman is missing from this year’s holiday.  Of more immediate interest than any garden railway…..

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Redhill in video

Finding these videos on YouTube reminded me how much more interesting Redhill was for railways when we moved here nearly 35 years ago.  Lots of locomotives and goods trains to spot, as well as some relatively interesting multiple units.  Enjoy!

Starting in the 1960’s (with a few other locations)….


Then into the 1990’s….

No more Post Office trains at Redhill….

And back to the aftermath of Dunkirk, 1940, when most of the troops saved from the beaches passed through Redhill.


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Covid-19 diary #24

Well, not a good week on the railways.

Having been delayed till Monday due to lack of plywood, I spent the week carefully building a new baseboard.  I always have difficulty keeping things square, but this time built it up using my right-angled cramp (a very useful item).  All was well until I measured once only and cut something wrong, too late to change.  I managed to get around that, but with the last piece of wood in place, one of the baseboard side members seems to have developed a distinct banana shape.

I’ll take a look at it this morning, but it may be a write-off, and I think I’m going to do something else for a few days 🙂

Still, it’s been eventful otherwise!   The essential Marmite parcel was successfully sent to Germany for our eldest, as supplies had run out.  We included this special edition for her intended, who can’t stand the stuff…

Our son went back to work on the recycling lorries after two weeks off work – and a good time to be off, as 41 operatives self-isolated after a Covid case.  Fortunately, there were no more cases recorded.

Finally our youngest daughter moved home, and then decided not to, so took all her clothes away again.  All at a reasonable distance….  But on Friday morning when she appeared we were not only treated to a MacDelivery breakfast, but I also ordered a Ruchita takeaway in the evening.  Very pleasant, curry on the patio.  I remembered my old Indonesia trick.  If it’s got enough chillies and spice in it, the flies avoid it…..

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ESNG meeting – 15 July 2020

Another attempt at Zoom tonight.  Just the four of us, as I received a number of apologies (all for very good reasons) from other members.  It was good to see Phil, who has been more locked down than most, and we had a long chat.  We even mentioned railways once or twice!  (And no-one mentioned curry…..)  We’ll be meeting again for the next Thursday club night – doesn’t look like there’s much hope of a meeting in person for a while yet.

And for the modellers, a little inspiration with this very old picture of a Beattie well-tank, in more-or-less original form, standing in Bournemouth station.  Difficult to build it in ‘N’, though, with no cab and a very low boiler!

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Not much happening here!

Not much to report from deepest Earlswood.  Crisis last week when I needed some more plywood and Champions saw was broken.  So a quick trip to Dorking was delayed till Monday.  A little bit of modelling has occurred, but nothing to ‘show and tell’.

So I’ll resort to two more pictures.  Blackpool Central in steam days.  So many sidings and coaches parked for the holiday traffic.  Enormous, and impossible to model?

And second, a picture from RMWeb (with apologies, couldn’t resist this one).  What happens with Australian ‘O’ gauge garden railways when the spiders come out!  One hopes that they are the friendly kind!

Could be worse, I guess – this is spider’s webs, not snow!

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Three pictures

Two contrasting prototype locations today.  Not sure of the copyright of the photographs, so apologies if they are spoken for.

First, a photo of 60’s Redhill in colour.  Nick Halewood writes on Facebook….

I recently posted a picture of Redhill shed featuring a representative of each of the ‘Big Four’ and a Standard taken in July 1964.  Here is another view on the same occasion taken before or after the line-up; you can see the Black 5, Manor and Standard 2-6-4T (at right) from the line-up.  LMR and WR locos were regular visitors to Redhill, the LNE B1 in the first image being unusual.

Such a good picture of our present home!

Photo: R Hobbs

In contrast, two shots of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1925.  Easton was a bit different for an American railroad depot, as it was on a viaduct with railway ‘arches’ underneath.

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