Found card

I found this in a pile of old letters a few days ago. We knew exactly who to send it to, a very old friend who comes from the south west. It’s about the Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow railway.

The railway line was very curved, the corners were tight, so very few engines could travel along it. It was closed to passengers in the 1930s. It was one of the earliest railways and only very short wheelbased engines could used it. It was mainly used for transportation of China clay across Bodmin moor in Cornwall to Plymouth. The track bed was laid with a camber so the engines could get round the curves. The engines were 240 Beattie Well tanks. They were usde to lower the centre of gravity (Information courtesy of my hubby).

Many times

Have you ever been camping?

When I was younger we used to go camping a lot. I can recall many adventures over a few years. On one occasion we decided to go cyclo camping. We took a train to Wales and cycled over to a campsite. But when we got there I realised we didn’t have the tent just the fly sheet and poles! We had a chat with someone who was already there and he kindly let us attach our flysheet to the back of his tent. We spent a cold night under it and in the morning decided we couldn’t continue. We did not have enough money to buy a new tent and carry on so we caught the train home!

Another time we drove down to St Ives. The campsite was on a field above the town and we spent a few nights there. On the last night there was a howling gale. My hubby stretched out and put his foot through the zip at the front of the tent! We knew we would get soaked if rain got in, so I got out my sewing kit, I had a torch in my mouth (hubby had gone to sleep) so I sewed up the front of the tent to hold it shut. I think that was our last night there.

We got a new tent and went to Grizedale forest in the lake district. It was a sculpture park and I remember walking around the forest trying to find all the sculptures, these included ones by Anthony Gormley I think. We also cycled up to Hawkshead and from and to Windermere where we travelled on the train.

The last trip I remember was in the car. We went to Anglesey and camped at Red Wharf bay. We had borrowed a big six berth frame tent, which we had never used before. It was only after an hour of trying to put it up that I noticed the built in curtains in it were on the OUTSIDE! We had to start again. The other slight disaster was my hubby backing the car up next to the tent. He drove over the saucepan we had taken with us.

I think that’s enough for one night. Safe camping!

Forty years ago

Distant memory

A memory of something that happened to me when I was at college just popped into my head. We wereon a London trip to look at Art galleries and museums. For some reason wewere given cloakroom tickets (raffle tickets) instead of actual train tickets on the way down. We spent several hours visiting the National Gallery, the Courtauld Institute, the Tate and the Whitechapel Gallery. But then I miscalculated the distance from another gallery to Euston Station via the Underground (the map is very beautifully designed but the distances are altered to make all the stations fit. And so me and my friend arrived on the platform at Euston as the train yo Stoke-on-Trent started to pull out. I ran but couldn’t jump up to the train door. We had to go to the station ticket office with our raffle tickets! After explaining they agreed we could catch the next train, two hours later we were off. But unfortunately it only went to Stafford, I don’t know how we got back from there but we did… Bus I think, yes, I couldn’t afford to get a taxi the twenty miles we were short on a student grant…

Minature train

Good to see a woman driver on the minature train at Trentham Gardens. We went there today because our neighbours are having some work done and had mini diggers rumbling all morning so I couldn’t open my windows because of the noise.

We decided to walk round the lake which was lovely because there was a cool breeze, but then we caught the minature train down half the length of the lake to make life easier. I still had a twinge in my back so had to get my hubby to help me get back off the train!

We walked round the rest of the lake and I took some photos of flowers around the lake which are still looking lovely. I might try and look at doing some small paintings of them.

Balsa Wood models

I went up to Burslem School of Art today and after looking around downstairs we went and had a look at the first floor. There was a lot of work by a local school. There were also these train engine models that had been made of balsa wood.

I don’t know their history but one has a named City of Stoke-on-Trent. If my hubby has been there he would have known what type of engine it was and who originally made it. He’s very good at recognising them.

Ludford Ginger beer

Digital drawing I did a few years ago. It’s a ceramic bottle that we unearthed in the garden if I remember correctly. I like the train symbol on the front. It might be something g to do with the name, or the place it was made? But because it is old I’m nor sure. I really like the image on it. I guess it’s transfer printed.

Meanwhile in hubby’s world..

Double ‘O’ gauge Station with a green LMS ginty engine, 060. Model, night time view.

It’s just on a small piece of board but it’s got two platforms and an engine shed waiting for trains to enter for repairs and maintenance. Behind the platform stand beer barrels waiting to be loaded. This would be a small country town station, perhaps in Devon, although LMS trains would usually be found all over the country and were used for shunting local freight, acting as pilot engines that ran in front of main engines to assist them on steep sections of track. They were also engines for passenger trains. With the 060 wheel set up (no leading wheels, six main wheels and no trailing wheels) they could get round twisting tracks easier.

The board is too small to have moving engines, but it’s an idea of how a station would have been set up in the past.

Rail bus at Bury

This was a German railbus last year at Bury Station. This was on the East Lancashire Preserved railway that runs up to Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall. The line is run by volunteers. This was part of a line that extended up to the Keighthly and Worth Valley railway. But a section was lost when Dr Beeching cut many of the railways in the early 1960’s when masses of steam trains were scrapped. Some of this was done when passenger use was light (eg school holidays). Lines were shortened and diesel trains were bought in (which sometimes proved unreliable). Info from my hubby.


Hubby’s drawings

It’s great to see his drawings, he doesn’t draw very often and definitely has his own style. He bought himself a drawing kit with a drawing board, (a piece of card) some different harnesses of pencils, an eraser and a pencil sharpener. The pictures were his own ideas, the mountainous one is from the cover of a book about the lake district, and the train drawing is taken from a picture on the cover of a leaflet from the Apedale railway. I hope he does more. I’m going to buy him a sketch pad.

If anyone wants to watch some drawing techniques go over to my friend Martha Kennedy’s WordPress pages. Sorry I don’t have a link, I will try and find one. She has done some drawing tutorials over on YouTube.