sed30's Blog

Railways & other things

Favourite photo-spots: Oulton Broad North

Semophores soon to disappear ☹️

IMG_0165For its combination of manual signalling, interesting scenery and the regular chance of Class 37-haulage, there can be few places in England more attractive for rail enthusiasts than the Wherry Lines in Norfolk, linking Norwich with the seaside resorts of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

This 46¼-mile network features a total of nine manual signal boxes, two of which also operate swing bridges, a weekend-only request stop (Buckenham), and Berney Arms, one of the remotest and quietest stations (albeit without any signalling) in the whole of England.

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A Wherry nice day out

Fav neck of the woods

Heritage traction, mechanical signalling and good beer make the Norfolk Broads a distinctly attractive place to visit, not just for those interested in boating, but also for those who fancy remembering British Rail of the 1970s and 1980s, travelling in Mark III coaches to the distinctive roar of English Electric Class 37 locomotives.

Pictured top are 37419/425 approaching Acle on 1 June 2018 with the 13.17 Great Yarmouth-Norwich service

For the past four years a pair of Class 37s, on hire from Direct Rail Services, has top-and-tailed a three-coach “short set” on regular weekday services from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, as well as seasonal summer Saturday services to Great Yarmouth.

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Lymington branch – then and now

Never travelled on this line – one day

Returning to the 5¼-mile Lymington branch line this weekend, almost a decade after the end of heritage traction, I was interested to see how the designated community railway had fared in the absence of the slam-door stock that had made it an enthusiast mecca from 2005 until May 2010.

When the two 3-CIG slam-door units were finally stood down there were not sufficient electric units to replace them, so the line is worked from Mondays to Fridays by a Class 158 diesel unit and only sees electric traction at week-ends, when services are in the hands of a Class 450 Desiro unit.

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‘Godzilla weed’ could make Brick by Brick homes unsaleable

Are we surprised!

Inside Croydon

Our housing correspondent, BARRATT HOLMES, reports on how a notorious invasive plant Japanese knotweed could render flats in a Brick by Brick development unmortgageable

Japanese knotweed – the Godzilla weed – threatens one of Brick by Brick’s sites

Colm Lacey, the Croydon employee who styles himself as “CEO” of Brick by Brick, has confirmed that the council’s housing developer will go ahead with a scheme in South Croydon, despite the site being infested with Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant which undermines the foundations of buildings.

Not for the first time, the council’s planners and Brick by Brick are accused of covering-up serious problems with one of their development sites.

By building on the council-owned site at Heathfield Gardens, Brick by Brick could find itself in multiple breaches of environmental legislation, and the council has been warned that it will be building properties on which it will be very difficult, if…

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Amiens and The Hundred Days Offensive

Stephen Liddell

This week marks the centenary of one of the pivotal but less known battle of the Western Front in WW1, Amiens and the more broadly labelled 100 Days Offensive.

The Western Front is often categorised as being a static war with little or no progress made by either side despite major attempts costing too many lives. However, the generals on both sides did eventually adapt to the times.

More importantly advances in technology, especially the invention of the tank made things a lot more flexible during 1917 and with the imminent arrival of the Americans, Kaiser Wilhelm decided to make a big push in the spring of 1918 utilising the almost 50 additional divisions freed up by the treaty with Russia. The hope was that Germany could overwhelm the Allies before their reinforcements arrived from across the Atlantic and involved outflanking the British and defeating them before forcing France to…

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ESNG update


Some ESNG club updates for all and sundry….

We will be exhibiting at the Gaugemaster show over the first week in September, at their shop in Ford, near Arundel.  We’re taking the usual modular layout, but with some different modules.  We were there two years ago, and it was a good show with plenty to see.  And you can shop (or if nothing else window-shop) in Gaugemaster.

We’ve had to cancel the ESNG Open Day in October. Having taken a quick poll of who was available on the day, we didn’t get enough definite people to set up and run both an N-mod and N-club layout, and look after the door and catering.  I have probably been too ambitious with plans for this and making it into a ‘mini-show’. We’ll think again and perhaps open up the November PlayDay and publicise it.

The Stuttgart N Club International meet is November…

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How to add that luxury touch to your special afternoon tea

Inside Croydon

National Afternoon Tea Week is coming up (who knew?!). Here, exclusively for Inside Croydon, RICHARD SIMMONDS, the head chef at De Vere Selsdon Estate, offers his top tips to help you host a memorable afternoon tea

Without doubt the most important element of an afternoon tea is the tea itself.

A traditional English Breakfast is a firm favourite with guests at De Vere Selsdon Estate. However, you could tempt your guests with something a little more exotic like Keemun, which has a subtle smoky finish. Or, for something cooler in hot weather, try brewing an iced tea using your favourite leaf and add slices of citrus fruits for a refreshing twist.

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One to One IT Support, Scratchley Hall, every Friday

More trouble in store as House of Fraser is sold to Ashley

Inside Croydon

MT WALLETTE, our retailing correspondent, on the latest set-back for Croydon’s plans for a £1.4bn temple to shopping

Any closure of House of Fraser would rip the guts out of Croydon’s Centrale

House of Fraser, the troubled department store, has this morning been snatched out of administration by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley for a bargain-basement price of £90million. Just four years ago, House of Fraser changed hands when the business was valued at £500million.

Today’s deal, announced within a couple of hours of House of Fraser putting itself into administration, still leaves uncertainty for the 17,000 whose jobs depend on the store, including several hundred who work in Croydon.

Ashley, the founder of Sports Direct, will now get to pick and choose which House of Fraser stores will, or will not, continue in business.

“The group has acquired all of the UK stores of House of Fraser, the House…

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Platform Souls

Steve's 009 and 09 Adventure

My summer reading is ‘Platform Souls’. First published in 1995 I got my copy quite by chance during one of my many forays into second-hand bookshops. It tells the story of a trainspotter over three decades.

In 1964 the 11 year old Nicholas Whittaker is drawn to trains, starts trainspotting and travels across the country ‘bunking’ into locomotive sheds to get numbers.

Steam was already vanishing and over the next five years Whittaker goes long distances, often alone, to find the last operating steam locos so he can underline them in his copy of the ‘ABC Combine’. For me his descriptions of the last days of steam are the most evocative and enjoyable parts of the book.

Whittaker was open to the rise of diesels. He hunts Warships, Westerns, Hymeks and Deltics while these are in the assendance and then, in their turn, withdrawn from service.

Finally, the book reflects…

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