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Playing Norfolk Trains

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Perhaps I am better at making railways than working out how to post photos on the forum!   :default_pcwhack:

So while you are all swanning about on the newly opened Broads, I am still stuck here in France. Actually it's not that bad - at least going for a beer in the local bar is still a perfectly normal activity!

I thought you would like a quick update on progress so far -


The profile of the scenery is now a lot less steep than it was but I think the slope from front to back adds a lot of realism, rather than everything on one flat board as I have often seen on railway layouts. The road surface is tile cement, to give it some texture and then coloured in thin poster paint. It is still too light at the moment and I will darken it down a bit, but 1950s type asphalt on a model is not black : it is light grey.


There will be another layer of thin Polyfilla which will cover over the cobblestones on the level crossing, leaving just a few showing through, where vehicles have worn the asphalt away


The crossing keeper's cottage will now be on the other side of the road. This will leave room for typical Norfolk flint and pantile outbuildings in the pub yard and a lot more room for the crossing keeper's garden!



The pub is just a cardboard mock up, made to scale, to see how it fits into the scenery. The slope in the ground is the same as on the real building, which is the King's Head at Hethersett. That pub is built in whitewashed brick with pantile rooves but I am thinking it would look rather nice in Norfolk knapped flint, typical of the area.



You have to use a lot of imagination at this stage as there are no grass banks, hedges, fences, gates, bridle-paths or trees. Nor are there any puddles or vehicle tracks in the side roads.

All that is to come!

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Now that we are all back in a lockdown again, perhaps it is time for an up-date! Notice that the pub now has gutters and downpipes, which make a big difference.  The road surface is some kind of

I thought you might like an up-date on what I have been up to in the garage this summer! I thought it was time I started to make a layout, although I will have nowhere in the house big enough for

So here I am, "locked down" in the garage with all the time in the world to do some railway modelling!  It doesn't seem as though I have done that much since the last photos but it has needed a lot of

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Absolutely fantastic. How you have the patience I do not know. Or indeed the knowledge of where to start. Indeed the vision to achieve the final outcome. Thanks for sharing. May I also include Grendle and Mr Q, for their contribution to Norfolk modelling.

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  • 2 months later...

It's been a while since I posted an update, as I have been busy on some fine detail!

The mock up of the pub has now become the actual model :



The shell of the building is thick card, used for mounting picture frames.  The flint paper and brick paper is from a company called Scale Model Scenery and the pantiles are from Wills and Slaters plastic sheets.  All the rest is hand made including the window frames.



The centre window is modelled as a genuine sash window in two separate layers but it took so long to make it that I didn't really think it was worth it, in such a small scale!




There is a long way to go yet!  Now that it is seated into the baseboard, it needs gutters and downpipes.  Also concrete steps to the front doors. Then a lot of weathering, to make it look very old, instead of brand new.

There will be an extension at the back for the new ladies and gents' toilets.  Quite a luxury, for a country pub of the 1950s!  There will be a back yard with flint walled outbuildings, a car park and a garden.  At the front, the main road going by, with perhaps some garden seats, a telephone box, and a bus stop.

Susie is also insisting on climbing roses, a bit of wisteria and some hanging baskets.  So some way to go yet!

Materials have probably cost around £20 as I had a lot of stuff already in stock.  Labour hours?  No idea, but perhaps around 180, plus all the googling and researching old books.



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Being born a bit after the Beeching era and having very minor memories of redundant railways being turned into bypasses, North Walsham at the briggate end I can remember a road roller in the distance once before opening as my great aunt drove me,in the Wolseley equivalent of the landcrab, to Walsham sweet shop then mundesley hospital to pick up her lodger, 1975 maybe. For me it has always been about the infrastructure which survived viz the beautiful Victorian station houses, Knapton & Overstrand, and the crossing cottages e.g. honing, stepping stone lane, and the two on the Potter strait, broads shed on the riverbank in appearance perhaps but in keeping. I was shocked when my elder sister told me that someone had died when they blew up one of the old railway bridges in ‘Walsham to build the bypass junction. To think that risk of death was acceptable from construction operations as recently as that took me aback.

If you run out of track Vaughan it would be lovely to see some overgrown track bed and a nod toward current uses of the old buildings left behind.

The KH looks great, I have been there once about 15=P years ago, real local pub.

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12 minutes ago, MotorBoater said:

Presumably you won't need socially distanced greenhouses and table service ?

That had occurred to me! This is one pub that will stay open regardless of hours, or any other pettifogging regulations.

Just as the real thing no doubt did, in the 1950s!    :default_drinks:

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22 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

Just as the real thing no doubt did, in the 1950s!

I thought in the 1950s all the pubs outside of London were only allowed to open for eight hours a day mid week starting no earlier than eleven in the morning, with an enforced two hour close before the evening session which ended at ten o'clock prompt...pursuant to the 1921 Licensing Act...of course...lock in's excluded! :default_norty: But...I'm way too young to remember the 1950's!:default_gbxhmm::default_biggrin:

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29 minutes ago, Timbo said:

I thought in the 1950s all the pubs outside of London were only allowed to open for eight hours a day mid week starting no earlier than eleven in the morning, with an enforced two hour close before the evening session which ended at ten o'clock prompt...pursuant to the 1921 Licensing Act...of course...lock in's excluded! :default_norty: But...I'm way too young to remember the 1950's!:default_gbxhmm::default_biggrin:

It used to be fun in Ipswich in the early '70s, town pubs closed at 10:30, country ones at 11:00. It was possible (I was told) to get a pint at last orders in town, neck it, then thrash out to a certain country pub before last orders was called there. If more than half a dozen were in a lock in would then ensue. At about 2:30 the village bobby would lean his bicycle against the empties 'out the back' where our bikes were, stroll into behind the bar, scoop up the large rum left for him and suggest we might like to go home, remembering to throttle down past Granny Crabby's cottage at the crossroads. Happy days!

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I thought I'd show you The Type 84 Radar as it is now,, lots of fiddly bits still to be installed the SSR750 on top of the T84, the waveguide assembly and the upper level walkway around it.. image.thumb.png.6f4c63e3303529ab02063b9d70830387.png

Broadland MRC reopened a couple of weeks ago, luckily we rent the building and so can come and go as we please. So most nights there are socially distanced groups of up to 6 in attendance. All sticking to their group..

So Friday we had 3 in, all working on different layouts, two more should join in next week after their Holidays elsewhere.

In the days the Swan Inn in Horning was still a pub and not a restaurant that serves beer. I can remember a few lock ins there..

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I don't know if it's true or not but I was once told by a friend at RAF Coltishall that if the Cold War had turned nasty and they ever had to put that radar at Neatishead on full power, it would have blown out the cathode ray tubes in every television in north Norfolk.

Very glad to hear that the club is still functioning!

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Not quite true as once a month, we actually did do a full power run at Neatishead, normally at stupid O'clock in the morning. It wouldn't have blown the tubes, it would have severely interfered with reception.

The T 85 At full power with everything fully tuned to max could put out 60 M Watts, we normally only ran on 2 of the 12 transmitters though..

The T84 at max power was only 5 M Watts,

The HF200 nodding Height finders were only, 2.5 M Watts.

As it was on Normal power I lived a mile away on the back road to Hoveton, and it interfered with my cassette deck.

After Neatishead I was Posted to work on the T88 /T89 radars essentially a mobile T84 on the back of an Artic  and it's sister height finder. There the Tea Bar was lined with tinfoil connected to earth and painted over as the radar would blow up the TV's Electronics. Luckily by careful positioning of the TV we could get it to see the TV Transmitter on Clettraval but be shielded from the radar.. 

We could see the Clettraval Transmitter from the base, you only needed a 2 inch piece of wire in the TV aerial socket to get a picture!!

The electronics store room there was less than 100 ft from the radar transmitter and the fluorescent tubes used to come on as the radar swept through

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I remember the effect that a warship's air search radar could have on a stereo cassette player, if you were on another ship moored nearby.

Also why the officer of the watch would have to have a board in his possession on the bridge, which physically switched the radar off, before anyone was allowed to climb the masts.

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Oh yes , anyone visiting Neatishead and the other sites, that were likely to go above ground level had to visit the control room for a briefing, for which they signed.

It didn't work all the time though, we had painters in and one came in for the sign on next day. The other went directly to the aerial, one of the nodding height finders. He climbed the Aerial without permission. Anyone could have pressed an operate button and thrown him off, and those radars still transmitted when parked. So he was heavily radiated..

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12 hours ago, Wussername said:

They were good days. Once the village policeman had finished his shift he would pop in for a swifty.  A night cap. The lights were dimmed, the door was bolted. You were in a safe place.

Was the same in Somerset around 2001 when I lived there, if the police walked in from the back yard with their caps under their arms then all was well.

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  • 1 month later...



Now that we are all back in a lockdown again, perhaps it is time for an up-date!

Notice that the pub now has gutters and downpipes, which make a big difference.  The road surface is some kind of casting sand, given to me by a modelling neighbour, and makes a good imitation of asphalt, when sprinkled over PVA glue.  The colour is toned down at the verges with brown poster paint and an airbrush.  That telephone box seems to jump about a bit whenever I take a photo but I am sure it will find a permanent home one day!




In the foreground will be a country triangular road junction with an old fashioned sign post in the middle.  To the right, I am thinking of a small village garage with a couple of petrol pumps and some old abandoned tractors in the nettles round the back and an old army lorry, made into a breakdown truck.  It may be more of a tin shed, rather than a Nissen hut, but we shall see.




The hedge round the back of the paddock in the background is sphagnum moss, that I collected off a tree about 12 years ago and have had in a box, waiting for this moment! It is the same stuff florists use, for lining hanging baskets.




The front of the cottage garden can be a yew hedge, like the photo; a white palisade railing the same as the platform ramp, or maybe a 4ft high flint wall with brick posts at the gateway.  We shall see!




I have been trying to get the effect of exposed paving stones, where vehicles passing over the crossing have worn the asphalt away.  I think I am quite pleased with that, although I may adjust the colours a bit.




I have also been playing with static grass, as taught to me by The Q at the model railway show in Hoveton!




The field will be modelled as a small paddock, with a couple of horses peering over the fence, maybe an old grounded railway wagon as their shelter and it needs a couple of elm trees along the inside of the hedge, which I am working on at the moment.  Not sure of the grass in the paddock yet, as it will be short-cropped grazed grass, so it will look different from that on the bank.  Notice the bridle path, along the front of the verge.

You can see tractor tracks in the mud going through the gateway and there is a bit of water lying in the ditch beside the fence.  That is a couple of light coats of International Goldspar yacht varnish!



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16 minutes ago, Lulu said:

The attendance to detail

*Attention!   Grrrrrrrr predictive text 

This thread reminds me of my childhood when i spent endless happy hours playing with Britains horses and farm toys.  I had ‘acres’ of paddocks with all the fencing and masses of horses and jumps, little plastic bales of straw, tractors and trailers to maintain my show jumping estate. It took up the whole of the living room carpet. I won Hickstead every year and was olympic champion over and over despite the interference of my cat who liked to bat the horses over with her paw.  Very happy memories and Im going to buy my granddaughter a set now. :)


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