Saturday 22 June 2024

Ghost Lettering


Ghost Lettering

It’s an unusually quiet Saturday morning at Fountain Colliery deep in The Forest of Dean. The little people sometimes like to hide when a camera appears, so they’re probably here somewhere, with the pub in the distance being a likely choice. Others might be hiding in plain sight if you look carefully. They’re clever little bu§§ers. 

Note the former private owner ‘Northern United’ wagon, but with a British Railways numbering. Sights like this weren’t uncommon in olden times, for budgets were tight and a shortage of manpower meant wagons often weren’t repainted to reflect their new ownership, especially with wooden bodied wagons like this being near the end of their lives. 

So if you have a favourite private owner liveried coal wagon but it’s wrong for your era, grub it up a bit and pop a BR number on top. You can then feel smug when Adenoidal Andrew tells you off, for you can boldly reply “Wrong!”  

And finally, former private owner wagon numbering started with the letter ‘P’, that being for ‘private’, though of course P is not a number. Just for interest, ‘P’ is also the first letter in Peter, parp, pecker, pedantic, pint, poke, pecksniffian, persiflage, persnickety and not forgetting poppycock. 

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Friday 21 June 2024

The Railway to Stonehenge

It's 4.52 am and the little people celebrate finishing the 'Stone Henge' a day late after the Summer Solstice (some years it’s the 20th, others it’s the 21st of June), and as you can see, it's a bit of a rush job with broken and misshapen stones. It was also built too small due to an error interpreting the plan. Personally I think that was means of cutting costs, hoping that ‘nobody will notice’, though tourists are frequently heard saying “oh, it’s a lot smaller than I thought it might be”. 

But sadly now the railway has no further use, so it will shortly be turned in a new road called 'The A303' - though something more glamorous like 'Highway to the Sun' would be nicer, with it likely to be a popular holiday route to the West Country - especially with traffic queue fanatics and caravan fanciers called Malcolm and Doris. 

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Sunday 16 June 2024

A Couple of Tools

Weekend engineering is underway, and Peter Pickaxe is performing some ‘technical work’ on the catch point. But Stan the Spanner suggests that a spanner might be better, because it can also be used as a hammer. What a couple of tools. 

And over there in the distance Nasal Nigel and Adenoidal Andrew have their hands in their special pockets. In Nigel’s pocket he has his usual Flying Scotsman, because he knows what he likes and likes what he knows. But Andrew today has a new Triang Hornby Hymek and is loving its silky smooth wipe clean finish. 

And finally, Rufus hound has aligned himself perfectly so it looks like he’s eating Peter’s leg. such a clever dog🐾

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Friday 14 June 2024

Thwack, Bing, Bong, Crack!

Nothing of note here, other than Shrewsbury shed’s missing ‘coal tank’ has again mysteriously turned up at Combwich under a magnificent sky. Officially these locos never ran on the ‘Somerset & Dorset’, but this photo proves otherwise, something that will no doubt upset the joyless - but of course anything goes in the land of the inch high. 

Chatting away on the platform are Pete & Dud, or Derek & Clive, I can never tell the difference, but if you put your ear up to the screen and listen, you’ll almost certainly be able to tell. 

And of course that’s our Bob Geeza Cat balancing on the rail, he’s good at that, as most cats are. And finally you can see Harry The Hammer who has just tapped the wheels to check for cracks, and if they didn’t have any, they almost certainly will now. Thwack, bing, bong, crack. 

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Wednesday 5 June 2024

Boom Boom!

Local businessman, ladies’ man, shifty charmer and cad Terry Tuttle-Thomas-Smythe watches the morning Burnham on Sea to Evercreech Junction goods rumble past. He knows that the railway has limited time, with so many railways closing around the country, with this one being high on Dr Beeching’s list of extermination. 

Facing the train with his trademark ‘look no hands’ pose, he thinks ‘this will soon all be mine’ as he plans to put in a bid as soon as British Railways decides to sell the land. He has many ideas, maybe a nudist camp, a trailer park, an open prison for shamed ex-celebrities, maybe one of those new fangled supermarkets or simply a scrapyard, because a scrapyard will compliment the beauty of the Somerset Levels so well. 

The railway will have plenty of old iron, steel, lead, blue asbestos and other deadly substances that need processing. A fat brown envelope will take care of any nimby councillors and planners who object on the grounds of water pollution and it being an eyesore. 

And finally we have Bob Geeza Cat, complimenting the scene as he always does so well. Many will notice that he is a rather large cat, this is because he’s one third fox who is rumoured to be related to TV’s foxy children’s presenter Basil Brush. Boom boom!

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Saturday 1 June 2024

Dirty Old Town

Saturday morning down at the gasworks, young loves Farmer George & Deidre are dropping off a moonshine order disguised as milk bottles. We’ve not seen George & Deidre for a while, they’ve been keeping a low profile after rival Barry Bullhead from the Ministry of Misery was busted a few weeks ago running his illegal distillery side hustle. 

But PC Rob Banks is not to be feared up there on the balcony of the gasometer, for he’s heavily absorbed conducting the dawn chorus, with this elevated spot being ideal for the task in hand. Mr Banks has quite a knack of making the hedge sparrows and young starlings perform an instrumental version of ‘Dirty Old Town’ in C - the favourite key for all birds, it being known as the key of ‘chirpy chirp’. 

Below, Nasal Nigel and Adenoidal Andrew often hang about the gasworks at weekends, if you zoom in you can see them with their hands in their special pockets. Today as usual Nigel is clutching his TT gauge ‘Flying Scotman’ and Andrew an HO gauge ‘Big Boy’, how he crams it in there I’ve no idea - but maybe that’s why it’s called a ‘special pocket’. Though he’s often seen buying jars of petroleum jelly at the local chemist ‘for mother’s carpet sores’ supposedly. 

Bob Geeza Cat is meowing at Neil asking for pickled pilchards, but Neil doesn’t speak meow so just kneels sympathetically. I must admit they do look good together in this pose and is in just the right spot to balance the composition of this scene. 

Top blokey-bloke ex-boxer and wrestler, Gaylord Grip has just arrived in his lorry. And once PC Rob Banks gets into conducting the leading hedge sparrow to perform a complicated 8 bar solo with key change, he’ll will nip over to George & Deidre to collect his order of moonshine - I mean milk. 

And finally, is that Beryl’s supercharged Austin 7? If so, she’ll be in the cab of the engine with Peter Peckett, for she loves a sweaty man who can do a breakfast fry up on a hot oily coal shovel. 

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