Old Parrock

Discussion in 'Entries' started by PaulR, 9 August 2017.

  1. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Congratulations, @PaulR - I see that Old Parrock has made it to MRJ!

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  2. NHY 581

    NHY 581 Western Thunderer

    For some reason this passed me by at the time.

    A splendid bit of film of a truly splendid model railway.

    Really enjoyed it. Thank you Paul.

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  3. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Thanks Adam. I haven't actually seen it yet. I get my MRJ by subscription and it's usually late.
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  4. Simpas

    Simpas Western Thunderer


    I endorse Adam's comments - cracking article, excellent layout.

    Mick S
  5. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Now that I've actually read the article (these things take time when working from home with a toddler), I'm even more impressed. Great work!

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  6. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Many thanks for those kind comments - it give me a real boost, bring on the modelling season!

    I'm minded of the fact that it was Mick Bonwick who initially put me in touch with Barry Norman about the layout, and prompted the article to be written. It's hard to believe that he's no longer with us.
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  7. Mikemill

    Mikemill Western Thunderer

    Although I have not seen the copy of MRJ ,Old Parrock is well deserved of inclusion
    Well done Paul

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  8. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    I haven't posted on here for a few months, but I'm pleased to have completed the next phase of Old Parrock. I always wanted to personalise the stock by adding some of my own models rather than just using commercially produced trains, and I've now completed a short rake of close-coupled Stroudley coaches and a Stroudley brake van, all of which are Roxey Mouldings etched-brass kits. Along with new Edwardian figures, the layout has now been backdated to the Pre-Grouping era.


    The terriers are the excellent 'Rails of Sheffield' models which I have weathered and added a crew, coal and headcodes.


    Much as I like 'Boxhill' in improved engine green, I am rather taken with the post-1905 Marsh umber livery.


    The figures are from the excellent Andrew Stadden range.

    28-11-21 3.jpg

    The little boy is being told off for playing on the tracks, while his older sister enjoys his misery! It being a Sunday, I suspect that they are heading off to church.

    26-11-21 8.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 30 November 2021 at 13:02
  9. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    Absolutely wonderful!

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  10. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Thank you for the kind comment Simon.

    The Bachmann E4 is in post-1912 LBSCR livery. It's quite heavily weathered to suggest wartime when keeping locomotives clean was a struggle. The headcode is for the Three Bridges/Tunbridge Wells West line.


    This SECR C class is in the WW1 austerity livery. The headcode is the SECR one for the Oxted Line. South Eastern trains didn't actually venture further south than Crowhurst Junction North, where they joined the line heading east/west from Reading to Ashford. Perhaps this locomotive was working a military train down to Forest Row, from where the troops might have headed on up to Ashdown Forest to the army camp. It's all totally spurious, of course, but I wanted an excuse to run this gorgeous engine on my train set! This photo also offers a view of the Roxey Mouldings brake van.


    Last edited: 2 December 2021 at 21:16
  11. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad


    You might shoot me for saying this, but one (of lots) of things I like about your model is the "chocolate box-ness" of the scene, by which I mean the lovely vibrant colours of the buildings, people and scenery. Thing is, I suspect that what you have portrayed is much closer to reality as it then was than many of the more muted scenes that most of us produce, which believability is highlighted by your characterful stock with its subtle weathering.

    The whole effect is both beguiling and believable, and I love your back stories and the rationale for the model too.

    I think Old Parrock is a perfect example of one of the things I most love about our hobby, the way in which a model or scene can transport us as viewers completely into another place and time. I think when this is achieved in a small space or canvass, as you have here, then the effect is somehow even more magical.

    Reading what you have written and seeing what you have produced reminds me very strongly of the sense of excitement that I felt fifty odd years ago in reading CJ Freezers 9d booklet on branch line modelling. The realisation that, as Cyril described, with a limited set up like a branch line terminus the sense and feel of a whole railway system could be evoked.

    Which is just what you have done, brilliantly.

  12. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Hi Simon,

    I definitely won't shoot you down because I'm really flattered by your very kind comments. I will admit to being pleased with the layout, and also to not actually knowing how it would turn out while I was building it. I think my aims, and understanding of what I wanted to do developed as I was going along. Also, I did stay way from the things that frighten me. For instance, before starting Old Parrock I tried DCC, and was so bad at it that by the time I'd called Helen (my wife) to rescue me and re-set it for the third time, I realised that it would never work for me. Being IT-literate, it was all obvious to her, whereas to me it was a mystery and therefore a huge stress. The other thing I stayed away from was signals, and that is definitely one aspect of model railways that I must tackle. I've made a commitment that when I start my next layout, hopefully sometime in 2022, I'll build all the signals first.

    Old Parrock is now booked for two shows next year; Railex at Aylesbury in June, and Uckfield in October, so this week I've been working on making sure everything is fixed down and all wires and connections are secure - I want it to be bomb-proof!

    There are some beautiful layouts described on this forum, and I love the way we all do things slightly differently, What a great hobby!
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  13. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Nice, I shall be able to inspect the markings on the milepost at close quarters!
    PaulR likes this.
  14. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    This is a beautifully charming layout taking me to a place that I have never been to. Wonderful
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  15. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    I've been thinking a little more following Simon's comments about the use of vibrant colours in model landscapes. I'm aware that I didn't set out to make the model this way but I seemed to fall into it. I'm lucky to live close to Pendon and the colours are quite strong on the Vale Scene, I know that influenced me quite significantly.

    Another influencing factor is whether or not you have built the layout entirely on your own, as I did with Old Parrock - if you have a tendency towards particular style, it's bound to emerge. I'm drawn towards colourful layouts. I particularly like David Stone's Sherton Abbas, and on Western Thunder, Alan's layout Blackney is one I admire. There are many others of course but those are two examples which I find beautiful to look at.
    Last edited: 3 December 2021 at 09:41
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  16. PaulR

    PaulR Western Thunderer

    Having read that through, a last thought is that I recognise that it's not to everyone's taste - grey urban grot can be really dramatic and exciting as well!
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  17. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    I find this quite an interesting observation (for lots of reasons). First, I do think there's a trap for modellers - to pick one example - those of 'urban grot' to make *everything* filthy and so mute the colours accordingly. The rural equivalent is to tone down the colours as if in the hottest days of summer and it's seldom thought about. It's not always appropriate. Take commercial vehicles: they were usually pretty spruce because that was part of a haulier's reputation and smaller operators often took great care over that (the same goes for buses, private cars, and people's homes). Gordon Gravett is the master of this by the way: Pempoul and Ditchling Green have this to perfection.

    The same goes for buildings: the last 150 years have seen staggering amounts of new building (my complaint about Pendon is that there really ought to be a scatter of more or less brand new local authority houses in the Vale - Berkshire is littered with the things, as is much of rural Britain) and most layouts should have at least one new structure on them. It might be a row of 1900 shops, a pre-cast concrete hut, a garage or an estate of '60s houses and they would be brighter and cleaner. My strong suspicion is that - for those of us that don't remember the period - our vision is monochrome or reflected through early colour filmstock.

    It's not just us, of course - depictions of the Middle Ages in the cinema are always filthy and dark (and that's wrong) and that goes for digital reconstructions, too. The current vogue for colourisation exhibits the same tendency. We know Southampton's trams were a bright red and pale cream, for example, that London's buses were usually bright red: the colourisations are always very dull, tending to browns, partly because that's how the people that make the software think the past *should* look. We'd all be well served by going outside and seeing how bright the world actually is, not and again.

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  18. Mikemill

    Mikemill Western Thunderer


    Your thoughts on Pendon are at odds with Roye England’s vision of the vale in the 1930’s. He researched the Vale during the 1920’s measuring and photographing as many structures as he could.

    Working on the principle of ‘You can’t please all of the people all of the time’ I think the Vale is a masterpiece of modelling.

  19. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Not quite: Roye England's vision - not uncommon at the time - was to preserve something that he saw being lost. This was a period of change: the paving of roads (gradually), the improvement of housing for the rural poor. It doesn't mean that Pendon is not a masterpiece (by many hands).

    It is, in many ways a nostalgic and perhaps utopian vision. The lives of the people living in that landscape and the development of local government were also changing what you'd see on a model - this is the sort of ground I cover in the day job - and local authority housing was a visible feature of that, visible on a larger scale from 1919 onwards (when that provision was embedded by statute), but more or less ubiquitous a decade later. There are newish buildings at Pendon, but why not the developments of the Rural District Council? Not picturesque, nor quaint but present in the landscape, nonetheless.


    PS - Some examples: You can see this 200 yards from where I'm typing, a row of '20s houses complimenting the estate cottages 1/4 of a mile further on from c.1900; down the hill in Leigh (an estate of Unwin-inspired cottages), over the hill in Ightham (more '20s cottages); across Tendring Rural District from 1922 onwards in more or less every parish (published in the Victoria County History of Essex, volume 12, part 1 in 2021 - I did the research for that bit: I see this, as series editor, in almost every parish whose history crosses my desk, from Somerset to Westmorland). The expert in this is John Boughton, whose blog I recommend: Municipal Dreams
    Last edited: 3 December 2021 at 16:27
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  20. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    An interesting and thought provoking discussion. For what it's worth I am working with Stephen Williams on a new edition of "In Search of a Dream", (the story of Roye England and the development of Pendon)

    The new edition does in fact have some "urban grot" in it, more related to Roye's early UK experiences than the model though.

    It should be out in the Spring.

    Apologies for the commercial!!


    PS I may be wrong, but I thought there were some new build council houses on Pendon?
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