Catcott Burtle on a bright but blustery day in magnificent summer of 1959. Click on the photo to get a bigger view.
'59 was very similar to the summer of 2006, with hot temperatures and wall to wall sunshine running well into the autumn. This is probably one of the reasons why there are so many colour photographs from that year, colour films like Kodachrome 1 from that era being generally very slow and totally unsuitable for photography of moving trains unless the sun was out. Cameras in the 1950's compared to today where very expensive, especially if you wanted something with a lens faster than f2.8 which would have been needed to get a high enough shutter speed to stop a fast moving train on the mainline, even with the sun out much of the time.
Catcott has been wrapped up since last autumn in a cat proof cocoon of black dustbin liners, mostly to stop Saffy our British Short Har from chewing the tops off signal posts. This she has done this twice, I'm not really sure of the attraction of etched brass and white metal, it's not as if she's teething and the vet gave her a clean bill of health just the other day at great expense. Why is it that cats always go for the bit that cost the most in time and skills?
Cats aside, keeping the layout wrapped up has also kept it nice and fresh, dust being one of the main things that make a layout look tired, that and direct sunlight. Some think that dust makes a layout more realistic, the problem is that good lighting and a camera show it for what it is, 12 inch to the foot fluff and dead skin, mostly the latter I hasten to add! Tip: 'economy' black dustbin liners, split down either side make great lightweight layout covers that won't damage what's underneath.
Since doing up the Bachmann Midland 3F I haven't had a chance to show it off on my rose-tinted portrayal of 'The Branch' (the home of the real engine for many years), so this was one of the reasons to get the layout out, as well as trying out a new 35mm f2 Nikkor which focuses extraordinarily close for such a lens, the result being the above. It will make a good partner to my 55mm Micro-Nikkor.
- Chris Nevard
- Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom
- I've been into photography, railways and modelling them in miniature for 30 or so years. As well as creating the personal projects showcased on this website, I also write about model making and undertake photographic commissions for the UK based Model Rail Magazine, associated publications and books. Other interests include vintage motor cars, fine ale, having a good moan, social and industrial history. Find out more at www.nevard.com