Sunday, December 17, 2017

Station lamps

I visited the North Norfolk Railway this week, and while waiting around, couldn't resist talking a few photos of some of the platform furniture.

Station Lamp - Holt

First, we have the lamps on Holt station. These are a common design, but not often seen on model railways. Does anyone know of a manufacturer doing this design? It would be perfect for those branch-line stations we all like.

Station Lamp - Weybourne

Weybourne is a grander station and hence has grander lamps. You can buy this sort of thing from people like Kytes Lights and they will even work - rather better than the one in my photo!

While I was there, I spotted a useful piece of advice to leave you with this Sunday. 

Wise words indeed.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday Film club: Blue Circle Cement

Just a short film today as I'm sure you are probably doing Christmas preparation stuff. 

It's Crimbo you have to thank for this film. No, I'm not giving anyone a bag of cement as a present, imagine the mess when it is unwrapped! 

No, while in my local branch of WH Smith looking for books, I spotted a history of Rugby Cement lorries. A quick flick through put it firmly in the "if money and shelf space were unlimited I'd buy this" category, but not (for me) at £30. 

The video is interesting because of the range of transport on show. There are even some unbraked railway wagons. Plenty of lorries, squeaky clean drivers (did they really wear those caps?) and of course railway wagons as produced by Airfix.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Review: Felix the railway cat by Kate Moore

Publisher: Michael Joseph

ISBN: 978-0718185435

A5 Softback

272 pages

If you profess and interest in railways, then there is a good chance that you'll find a copy of Felix the Railway Cat under the Christmas tree this year.

A well-meaning relative will have spotted this on their tour of Tesco and thought, "That's got trains in it. I'm sure he'll like it."

The book tells the story of Felix, a cat adopted by staff as Huddersfield railway station. There are heartwarming stories as the cat learns to love its new environment and the people who occupy it.

Let's be honest - this isn't a nerdy book full of  rivet detail. It's a human interest story with added cat. We actually learn quite a lot about the way a modern station operates and it certainly stimulated a desire to visit the place, not just to see the cat. A quick look on the web shows Huddersfield to be quite a size and full of interesting detail.

There's quite a bit about becoming the centre of an Internet phenomenon. How it happened and the pressures that it places those who are part of the story under. If you aspire to web stardom, it's worth reading for this alone. You'll not be surprised to find Felix has his own page on Facebook.

Enjoyed with a few drinks, it's a pleasant read and you can generously pass it on to the rest of the family afterward. Can't say that about Great Western telegraph pole ceramic insulators or whatever else you really wanted. I enjoyed it anyway.

(Thanks to Chris Mead for supplying this after a supermarket shopping trip)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

R2D2 update

In January, I mentioned that my Dad had started the "Build your own R2D2" partwork and it's time for a bit of an update.

He's not quite up to date but getting there. As you can see, the main dome framework is built and sits on it's provided stand. There's a nice roller bearing in the top, and more for the wheels it appears.  One leg is half built and we have the bits for the second.

Generally, things are going well. The biggest problem is that the correct number of nuts, bolts and screws are provided with no spares. Since they are tiny, we now need replacements and I'm not sure where to get them from. Eileens etc. don't sell them, I think I need to check Maplins. In the meantime, the publishers helpful customer service people have promised to send an extra issue out with more attached.

The most exciting bit involve flashing lights and a small projector. I'll show you these another day once I've worked out how to display them to thier best advantage.