Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Vintage Digital

It’s Tuesday morning at Combwich as the 8.35am from Evercreech Junction via Highbridge arrives. 3206 can be seen to the right shunting the yard. 

This early digital photograph dates from around 2003 and was taken on an HP Photosmart 945, which at the smallest aperture gave the most incredible depth of field. When the camera was released 19 years ago, it was cutting edge, with what was then a whopping 5.3 million pixels. It lasted to around 2007 before making a strange pop and expiring. It most likely now graces exported landfill somewhere in Asia after futile attempts to fix it. 

Monday, 16 May 2022

Before Colour Was Invented

It’s monochrome Monday at Hemyock, the day of the week when all colour is removed. It can be a hazardous day, because green and red lights look the same and can cause dangerous confusion on the roads and railways. This is why semaphore signals were used on the railways in the olden days, we simply had to look at the angle of such rather than colour. Busy road junctions were often policed by a chap (or a chapess) wearing big white gloves to direct traffic. But we didn’t know any different back then, unless one was really rich and could see in colour or lived in the USA where everything has always been in colour.

Hemyock was unusual, in that it had no signalling due to the ‘one engine in steam’ (or diesel if you can afford it) status of the line. This by the way, is the main reason for the location being a popular choice with railway modellers, for they don’t need to mess about with pesky signals that are a pain in the whotsit to get to work - okay, I made that bit up.

Anyway here we are at the terminus, as old ‘sad eyes’ runs around its recent arrival of milk tanks destined for the creamery in the distance. Norman and Barry look on, and are keen for Tuesday when colour is to be invented.

As always, click, swipe, tap, lick, wiggle or whatever you do to enlarge. 

Help me to make tomorrow’s post a colour one www.buymeacoffee.com/Nevardmedi3

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Coal Mines Have Talent

Terry Tuttle Thomas Smythe hosts the very first ‘Coal Mines Have Talent’ competition, that’s our favourite smarmy chap stood on the engine announcing the next act. And here we have the The Railway Guards’ Barbershop Sing & Dance Troupe from nearby Midsomer Norton about to perform their short set. Liz & Margo have been invited as celebrity royal judges for this inaugural event. Somehow or other Nasal Nigel has managed to get on to the ‘stage’, that’s him in the sticky green bus-spotter flasher-mac (it has special pockets with holes on the inside to allow him to adjust himself surreptitiously in public) on the right. Secretly he’s thinking of entering the competition next year with a bus-spotter flasher-mac dance troupe. The thought of that is pretty horrific to be honest, for Coal Mines Have Talent we all know is a family show. 

As always, click, swipe, tap, lick, wiggle or whatever you do to enlarge. Secure your spot in Nigel’s dance troupe next year www.buymeacoffee.com/Nevardmedi3

Saturday, 14 May 2022

New Diesel

It's the first day of diesel operation on the Hemyock line, and Derek is a little less than impressed with the replacement for the trusty former GWR 0-4-2 tank engine that worked the line until yesterday. But instant starting would at least get rid of the super early shift to light the fire to build up steam.

Friday, 13 May 2022

Devon Knows

It’s a hazy light overcast morning in rose tinted rural Devon. Arthritic Arthur builds up courage to swing the water filler pipe around to Clive stood on the engine. As usual Clive is looking at his wretched notebook. He’s always looking at it, and is so absorbed he’s often blissfully unaware of the world around him. Poor old Arthur suffers with his arthritis, but he won’t let it get in the way, especially now he’s dating local award winning custard maker Nelly Nibbles who is a good 25 years younger that him. But she keeps him active stirring pots of finest custard for various competitions, with tonight being the highlight of the East Devon & District Custard & Cottage Cheese Society’s annual gala at The Half Moon. How Arthur will keep up after a full shift on the railway, Devon knows. 

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Model Rail 300

Model Rail issue 300 is out today. Lots in it from me including a feature on wagon weathering using easy to source paint and simple easy techniques. The cover was particularly fun to photograph. https://www.greatmagazines.co.uk/model-rail-june-2022

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Sea Ageing

Down by the canal, Colin is trying out a cunning plan to replicate ‘sea ageing’ with the latest batch of illicitly produced ‘brandy’. The main problem is that they have a whole tank wagon of the stuff to ‘age’, the aforementioned wagon lurking behind the engine masquerading as a petrochemical tank. More wooden casks will be needed, and certainly more boats, or even a ship to carry out the task. As usual all the usual suspects gather around to advise, but will no doubt soon come to the conclusion that they might as well pop a few casks on the veranda of a rough riding old brake van, the effect will be much the same. But with sulphurous sooty air creating its own unique character instead of the more traditional salty air. 

As usual, pinch, tap, swipe, click, or whatever you have to do to zoom in. And  if you like this post, you can help to buy more casks here www.buymeacoffee.com/Nevardmedi3

Monday, 9 May 2022

Birmingham Screwdriver

Monday morning deep in The Forest of Dean, and Eric & Ernie check over unreliable 13 which has appeared to make a new squeaky grinding sound in addition to the other 23 squeaky grinding sounds. Things should be okay after a few tweaks with Ernie’s new Birmingham screwdriver. He has quite a collection from bull nosed through to sledge, the latter being his choice of tool today - it also being his latest precision instrument. 

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Flat Earthers will like this….


Another scene in the making with the naughty little people. Every time I point a camera at them they freeze. I pop out of the room and they carry on whatever they’re up to. To any Flat Earth Club members looking at this post, this is what the edge of the Earth looks like. 

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Knitted Swimming Trunks

It’s Saturday morning high up on Mendip, and a few lengths of rail are about to be deposited for a track replacement session. Later, single line operation could mean a few delays, but nothing will stop the Pines Express.  Shortly this busy train will be passing through with beige clad dowdy holiday makers destined for their spring break in Bournemouth. Once there, many will be playing bingo or sitting on the beach with a bottle of warm flat brown ale and head protected with a knotted handkerchief. Mother will be keen for her late middle aged still-living-at-home boys to try out their newly knitted swimming trunks. Such wonderful times. 

Friday, 6 May 2022

Chuff Chuff

Front and rear end Friday. Hubert the conversational Latin speaking horse is photographed here trying to converse with Terry the tank engine. Terry only knows how to speak chuff chuff. Derek & Clive try the be translators, but with little success I fear. 

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Mystery Train

Another scene from that strange miniature parallel universe of 1950s little England. Farmer Piles looks on at what appears to be a former Midland loco with a single ex Southern Railway coach and a couple of milk tanks arriving at Hemyock. Deep in former GWR territory, this is a most unusual sight, and one that will almost certainly play havoc with many an enthusiasts’ inner Nasal Nigel. But if we look across at the platform, we see Barry Bullhead from the Ministry of Misery, Shamus O’Flatbottom, Derek, Clive and Beryl, so something dodgy must be afoot. Upon further investigation it would appear that the train is from the creamery at Bason Bridge, with the tank wagons being destined for the creamery here Hemyock just out of shot to the right. But why this wagon exchange? Any thoughts? 

Monday, 2 May 2022

Welded Rail

Monochrome Monday. At an unknown location, possibly somewhere along the Thames Valley, a short passenger train catches the evening light in the early 1960s. Note the long welded rails. Such permanent way inspired PECO to produce their popular flexitrack. 

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Gaylord Grip

Down at the engine shed, new boy Gaylord Grip joins the shed crew. He’s a staggering 6ft 13 inches and has an equally huge character, with plenty of yarns about his days working as pro boxer in the East End of that there London. Being from near the Thames, there isn’t anything he doesn’t know about pickled whelks, jellied eels and knuckle sandwiches. Nervously, Colin has his feet over a crate of moonshine spiked bottled farmhouse cider from Mrs Miggins farm. He’s doing his best to hide the contents with his tiny size 6 boots, being sure that Gaylord Grip is capable of downing the whole contents in under 30 seconds and will want to practice fisticuffs.
As always, flick, tap, bash, wiggle or whatever you have to do to zoom in. And if you really like it, help Colin to hire a bodyguard www.buymeacoffee.com/Nevardmedi3