Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What is this?

The following are photos of some machinery located beside a railway track (between two inspection pits) at the former Clyde Wagon Workshops.

One one side is this object which seems to be operated by some sort of air cylinder (it looks quite a bit like the air brakes under a wagon).

Clyde029

Clyde edited-1

On the other side (i.e. opposite) is this item

Clyde014

I thought that they might be some sort of retarders except they are on the wrong side of the track!

This area was used to do heavy repair of four wheel wagons so I am assuming it relates to this work.

All ideas welcome.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

B-64 in Teacup Scheme

To add to my collection of B class photos I am posting these two black and white photos of B 64 on a train of GH wagons. My notes don't say where but I think possibly north-west Victoria I am thinking in the Summer c1984? But possibly this is earlier due to the lack of radio stickers on the nose.

Bs &Ss_0002

Bs &Ss_0003

While I am never going to be a Peter Vincent or Rob O’Regan I thought the images show something of the beast.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My new cassettes don't play music

Here is a little video of my new rolling stock cassettes (courtesy of Phil Collins) and my new NPPF limestone hoppers recently released by On Track Models

They roll quite freely as you can see.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Bees have arrived!

B Class 002 blog After a few years wait, my HO scale models of the B class diesel-electric locomotives of the Victorian Railways have arrived courtesy of Auscision Models. I ended up with three in classic VR colour schemes.

Curiously when I searched my photos I couldn't find any good shots of the B class in this scheme. Lots of Blue and Gold S class but no B’s. I wonder why?

B 8o at Keynton blog This is the best I could come up with, B80 in “tea cup” scheme at Kyneton (Vic) on the third Sunday in November 1982.

The more I look the more I think I should buy a B in “tea cup’

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Fall of the Wall meant the end of many things

In the last two days there has been a great deal of interest in the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin and the consequent reunification of Germany months later (typically reported as the reunification of Berlin!). We have been very interested in all this as Jane and I were in Germany in August-September.

I keep thinking of Chemnitz where they have 30,000 empty houses (symbolic of the population migration and decline)and apartments and a large head of Marx.

I think of the Bio Towers of Lauchammer. These are the few remnants of a truly remarkable endeavour the production of coke from brown coal

Bio towers

In 1952 with supplies of quality coking coal from the Ruhr region (in West Germany) the former GDR needed another source of coke for its industry (coke is critical in iron production). The world’s first large-scale lignite (Brown coal) coking plant came into service at Lauchhammer. This technological breakthrough enabled the GDR to replace imported coke with it own supplies.

The process involved briquetting the coal to achieve an even grain size and a reduction of moisture content to about 1%. The briquettes are then coked.

Lauchhammer laid the foundations for the expansion of the East German metallurgy industry. Briquetting plants and power stations started springing up in the industrial haze surrounding the town.

The bio-tower are called tower-type trickling filters they were trickling installation for the biological purification of coking plant wastewater containing harmful substances from the coke works

But of this break-through plant nothing much remains except for the bio-towers. The post-reunification era demolition fever did more than flatten factories: it damaged the identity of Lauchhammer and its people by basically throwing them out of work and devaluing their achievements.

We visited the bio-towers and were greeted by members of the Traditional Brown Coal Association who were keen to show use around. One of their publications Die BraunKohlenengrosskokerei Lauchhammer. Lauchhammer: Traditionsverein Braunkohle (written by an editors cooperative) proudly details the works and the hours and awards its staff were given.

All this is not to say that the GDR was a happy place, clearly it was a most totalitarian and repressive regime and its replacement is a huge step forward for the people of East Germany but and there is always a but, there was a human cost to the people at Lauchhammer that the restoration of the bio-towers can only go some way to heal.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another Archaeological Blog


Visit australian archaeology blog

Yes it is a new archaeology blog although so far Gary Vines and I are the only ones actually blogging although there are 69 members.

Odd isn’t it?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Supplies

Stash 002

Here it is my supply of things stashed for a “rainy day”. While it may seem a prudent step to do this the fact is that it represents a depressingly slow amount of progress on completing models.

Stash 003

Underneath this is for example a tray of semi completed SEM/BGM kits in plastic glad bags. Inside hopefully are all the bits and somewhere else (stored flat) are the brass etchings for the shunters steps and brake rigging.

Stash 001

There is also this draw filled with kits and accessories.

I have no idea how i am going to build all these items. Some have been got simply because they are limited one off kits and others have been started and then filed away as something new occupies my workbench.

I really wonder why I do not spend more time on what is supposed to be a relaxing time enjoying my hobby. But I don't think I am alone in this.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Industrial Nature at the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin

Industrial Nature is a concept that originated in Germany – particularly with the deindustrialisation of the Ruhr (Zollverein for example is a good example of such a site). The term refers to three things – the revegetation of industrial sites by native species, the colonisation of industrial sites (working or abandoned) by species adapted to the new environment created by industry and the deliberate plantings on industrialised sites.

The Deutsches Technikmuseum (German Technical Museum) at the former locomotive workshops and goods yard (Anhalter G├╝terbahnhof) of Berlin-Anhalt Railway Company. The workshops were closed in 1952 but it is not clear when the goods yard was closed. The Museum began using the site in 1987 – naturally it houses a display of railway locomotives and associated items.

There are two roundhouses around two turntables and if you look at Google Maps you can see gaps in one of the roundhouses which are described as follows

“A group of three overgrown tracks in the first engine shed provide a reminder that the site lay abandoned for thirty years. The plants growing here include the Mahaleb cherry (normally a Mediterranean plant), giant knotweed (a native of Siberia) and the medicinal herbs evening primrose and lady’s mantle.”

This is what they were talking about - the abandoned tracks have been colonised.

Below is another example of a ruined building next to the roundhouse simply being left for nature to colonise.

This is a interesting management technique one that could meet both industrial and nature conservation goals without the “prettying up” of sites that often occurs.

The Museum also preserves trains – this is an example of the V-200 class of diesel hydraulic locomotives in service from 1957 to 1984 and cosmetically restored.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Germany’s Industrial Heritage

One of the advantages of my work is that I get to go to some interesting places. This time Jane and I are going to the TICCHI conference in Freiberg and we have spend the last three days in the Ruhr Valley looking at some industrial sites and museums.

This is a view along one side of a truly huge bank of coke ovens at the Coke works which is part of the Zollverein Word Heritage Site near Essen. The coke works are relatively modern (1958 & 1961)but their size and scale is huge – quite different from the ones I worked on at Bowen.

The view is taken from the cafe where a nice meal and a beef can be had – imagine that on an Australian site.

Zollverein itself consists of the Coke works and two colliery shafts. The main shaft Shaft 12 was constructed between 1928 and 1932 to consolidate a number of other coal pits. The headframe and colliery buildings were designed by some famous architects and so the interpretation has tended to focus on the colliery design rather than anything else. Curiously for a World Heritage site the interpretation is mostly in German. I wouldn't have an issue with this except this is a world heritage site and presumably the visitors might come from the world.

This is the headframe and shaft buildings which are quite stark. I am not sure whether they were always that way or whether this is a result of conservation management.

This is the headframe of Shaft 1/2/8 taken from an elevated conveyor (now a a walkway) over railway sidings. Thee green are trees planted or self sown since the site stopped working. This is a modern headframe on a site that was operating from (supposedly)the 1840’s.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ballast Point- Interpreting Industrial Heritage

In the wonderful world of heritage there often seems to be two options when it comes to managing an industrial site with heritage values – adaptive use as some form of community building like a museum or gallery or demolition. There are limitations to both approaches demolition is forever and with museums and galleries often sites are transformed so that their heritage disappears or the sites gradually fall into disrepair as profits seem never to be directed into maintenance.

Ballast Point in Birchgrove is the site of the former Caltex Depot. Purchased in 1928, by Texaco (later Caltex) who demolished a large house, Menevia, which was on the site to construct a fuel depot, manufacturing and packaging facility. Ballast Point formed Texaco’s and later Caltex’s major distribution point in Sydney and continued in use until the late 1990s.

Ballast point 1943

Ballast Point in 1943

In September 2002, the derelict site was returned to public ownership after compulsory purchase for A$24m by the NSW Government. Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority worked with McGregor + Coxall Landscape Architects to design the park and Landscape Solutions for construction. The site as opened on the 11th July 2009.

Jane, Alistair and I have been there twice. It is really great. it is not a sanitised landscape but one that actively engages with the industrial remains there to provide a rich experience for dogs and people. Ballast Point Explorer

Here is Alistair exploring some sort of structure. He has has a great time climbing in and out of things and generally being “Action Dachshund”. For the rest of us the park offers fabulous views of the Harbour, well designed and interesting walks, great toilets and interesting archaeology.

Ballast Point 1 Here it all is you can see the base of a tank, the Bridge and that rotten old Blues Point tower and the foundations of a building underneath where the tank was.

The past is not hidden, it coexists with the present so that a trip to Ballast Point is exciting whether you are an Industrial Archaeologist, landscape designer, 92 year old Mother in Law, excited dog or one of the many kids rolling down a grassy embankment.

Ballast Point is a great example of how industrial heritage can live on.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Broad Gauge Models - models

Broad Gauge Models is well known to modellers of the Victorian Railways for their extensive range of models and RTR Brass locomotives. I am unclear when they started probably some time in 1980 with their first release in late 1980. They continued in business until c1990 when they split into Steam Era Models – who got the plastic kits and bogies, Heritage signals –the brass signals and Broad Gauge Models who kept the name and the locomotives, although under new ownership. The structures seem to have gone to Ian Lindsay Models.

In a misguided fit of enthusiasm I decided to see whether I could garner a list of all the Broad Gauge Models releases from the reviews in AMRM using Magindex. The result is an impressive list although a few items seem not to have been reviewed. I recall the E steam locomotive kit – I know this as I have one, and there was a Y steam locomotive and a SAR 700 class.

Here is the list (comments welcome)

VR standard 4 -door goods shed (HO) AMRM Reviews In the November/December 1980

VR Y class bogie sideframe (HO) AMRM Reviews In the March/April 1981

VR style shunters steps and brakewheels (HO) AMRM Reviews In the March/April 1981

VR G side frame casting AMRM Reviews In the May/June 1981

“Blacken-it” chemical metal blackener AMRM Reviews In the July/August 1981

VR E series and PL series passenger bogies (HO) AMRM Reviews In the July/August 1981

“Weather-it” chemical ageing for wood and cardstock AMRM Reviews In the September/October 1981

VR shunters steps and brake handles (HO) AMRM Reviews December 1981

VR GY open wagon (HO) AMRM Reviews April 1982

VR station building (HO) AMRM Reviews August 1982

VR K class (HO) Samhongsa/Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews August 1982

VR GY brake gear and shunters steps (HO) AMRM Reviews December 1982

VR D3 class 4 -6 -0 steam (HO) Samhongsa / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews February 1983

VR A2 class 4 -6 -0 steam (HO) Samhongsa / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews December 1983

VR archbar and cast steel bogies (HO) AMRM Reviews December 1983

#2 gauge 3/16in pan head screws AMRM Reviews December 1983

VR U van (HO) AMRM Reviews February 1984

VR UB van (HO) AMRM Reviews April 1984

VR E open wagon (HO) kit bash – not reviewed but released August 1984

VR T van (HO) AMRM Reviews October 1984

VR X class 2 -8 -2 steam (HO) Samhongsa / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews February 1985

VR Y class diesel (HO) Samhongsa / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews February 1985

VR loco numbers (HO) AMRM Reviews February 1985 issue,

VR I wagon (HO) AMRM Reviews April 1985

VR M cattle wagon (HO) AMRM Reviews August 1985

VR GY brake gear and shunters steps AMRM Reviews October 1985

VR I open wagon and M cattle wagon Decals AMRM Reviews February 1986

VR X class diesel electric (HO) Samhongsa / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews April 1986

VR T van (HO) Decals AMRM Reviews October 1986

V/Line G class diesel electric (HO) Samhongsa / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews February 1987

AN BL class diesel electric (HO) Samhongsa / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews February 1987

Silver and V/Line green/white lines Decals (HO) AMRM Reviews February 1987

VR W series passenger cars (HO) AMRM Reviews June 1987

VR W passenger and Plate frame bogies (HO) AMRM Reviews June 1987 issue,

16 .5mm gauge wheelsets (HO) (16 .5mm) AMRM Reviews June 1987

VR 18ft T van conversion (HO) AMRM Reviews June 1987

VR IY wagon (HO) AMRM Reviews December 1987

VR C class diesel electric (HO) Samhongsa / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews February 1988

VR timber trestle bridge kit(HO) AMRM Reviews June 1988

VR / V/Line FQX (VQCX) container flat wagon (HO) AMRM Reviews October 1988

VR Z van (HO) AMRM Reviews August 1989

VR bogie wagon brake gear (HO) AMRM Reviews February 1990

VR A2 class 4 -6 -0 passenger, Stephenson valve gear, coal fired version (HO) :Kit by DJH / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews February 1990

Liquid modelling water AMRM Reviews August 1990

VR / V/Line SFX (VFLX) bogie flat wagon (HO) AMRM Reviews April 1991

Colonial cottage: Kit (HO) AMRM Reviews June 1991

VR N class 2 -8 -2 steam locomotive kit (HO) Kit by DJH / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews August 1995

VR D3 class 4 -6 -0 steam locomotive kit(HO) Kit by DJH / Broad Gauge Models AMRM Reviews October 2000

National Rail RQZY 5 -pack container wagon (HO) AMRM Reviews June 2004

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bowen Creek (Epping 2009)

I am a perennial visitor to model railway exhibitions – sometimes I am there for only a few minutes and leave depressed by the overall amateurish modelling or the evident lack of interest the exhibitors have towards the public. But every so often comes a model that is so impressing that it just blows me away. From my past I remember Woodend, Crafton, Boliva, Sunset Siding, Time and Patience …

At Epping was another, possibly the greatest - Bowen Creek .

Bowen Creek 013

Bowen Creek represents a unattended crossing loop on an imaginary line in Central West NSW. The layout is built to Proto:87 standards but with skill and subtlety that is rarely seen in modelling.

The strength is two areas – the landscape and in the display. The landscape is constructed so that the railway sits in the landscape as in real life.

Bowen Creek 015 Look at this section for example the track is almost invisible.

Bowen Creek 017

yet there is incredible detail in the track and with the shunter’s shed. There is a point rod to the lever and wire to the signal. The inside of the shed has internal bracing

Bowen Creek 022

visible. Look at the landscaping around the short siding and the S truck.

Then look at the wider shot I took (above) and you can see how it all works together.

The other matter is the display. The model is constructed from steel tube with a high density polystyrene foam as the base. The module encloses the scenes and lights them with lights from the front. This allows the modeller to control the light and the view of the scene. It is also raised fairly high again to control viewing. Unfortunately at Epping, Bowen Creek caught the afternoon sun and this made photography a bit tricky.

The other layouts on show such as Palden Hill and Brunswick Park probably had similar quality modelling but because of their standard design they had no control of the light and they looked fairly gloomy.

Being P-87 all the rolling stock had to be converted but some old RTR favourites were there such as a 620/720 rail car, Bowen Creek 023 the C30 and this 47. They tended to be a few derailments which I put down to this being the layouts first show, others might reflect unkindly on those finescale flanges.

Bowen Creek is a credit to all involved in particular its owners Ian Millard and Andrew Campbell.

Friday, May 29, 2009

TW Bogie Tanks Wagons

After some head scratching and discussion on Railpage – one of the internet discussion groups Australian modellers regularly use to nut things out I have begun.

TW part 1 005

Progress is at a measured pace largely due to the need to Araldite the brass to the underlying plastic frame. Tonight I have added the headstocks using “Slow Zap” CA which is a slower acting cousin of the dangerous “Zap a Gap” which could be relied to stick anything just where you don’t want it (such as another finger).

The headstocks needed some serious holding in place but there was no space to clamp so CA was the way to go and it seems to have worked.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cement and Railways – SCMRA Seminar

The Southern Cross Model Railway Association runs an annual thematic seminar on matters relating to modelling the railways of NSW. It is usually held in a community centre in Epping with a spit roast provided. I have been to a few – notably one with a just broken foot.

The topic for this year was Cement and the running order was:

Modern Day Cement Trains - Alex Nadalini

Cement Wagons -John Beckhaus

Portland Cement works -Howard Armstrong

Cement plants and their railways - Trevor Moore

Kitbashing a limestone wagon - Alec Warner

Weathering your Cement Wagons - Mike Crompton

Models for Cement - Trevor Moore

Modelling a Cement Batching Plant -Marcus Ammann

Smaldon the layout -Geoff & Ben Small

Closing Discussion -John Parker

It was a well run event and for me very useful in giving me lots of ideas about modelling approaches and techniques.

Bald pates

Here is Marcus Ammann’s presentation –this view unfortunately shows off the bald pates of the audience!

A sample of the model rolling stock is below.

Cememn models

Cement works

I am not sure who is doing this but a cement works is under construction in HO and it looks pretty good.

Below is one of the curves on Smaldon Curve.

Smalldon Curve

This model shows what you can achieve with a simple concept. Better still it was completed one of a number of models Geoff Small has completed to exhibition standard(roughly 1 every 2 years).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Strange Beauty

Sydney Water statues These three beauties were sculpted by Mr W.P. Macintosh of Annandale and were erected at the new offices of what was then Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage, in Sydney (1918).

The figures represent (from L to R) : The City of Sydney (notice the resemblance to Clover), Aquaria symbol of the water supply and Hygeia symbolising water supply (as she holds a cog and ewer). There is no symbol for sewerage so it is left up to our imaginations.

All this seems right an proper and done in copper (during a World War when copper might have better uses). Imagine the fuss if Sydney Water tried to do a similar thing today.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Photos of the Edwin Davey Weighbridge

Here are some photos of the remains of the rail weighbridge used by the Edwin Davey Flour Mill.

Report F1

This is the Flour Mill building sitting on the sandstone escarpment. The siding was located in the middle ground where the fence is. The weighbridge and loading facilities were located roughly where the graffiti can be seen.

The overhanging part of the building is where the grain was elevated to.


Report F2 This is a view from the top of the escarpment looking down on the rail weighbridge. You can see the weighbridge itself and remains of the balance and evidence of underground loading facilities.

Report F3

This is a close up shot of the weighbridge and balance. The weighbridge was made by the Australasian Scale Co, Sydney which were associated in some way with Avery’s the British scale manufacturer. You can see artefacts associated with graffiti art discarded on the ground.

The Edwin Davey Flour Mill and its rail connection

I have been doing a heritage assessment on the rail weighbridge that served the Edwin Davey Flour mill in Pyrmont. The Mill which was established c1890 and taken over by Edwin Davey in 1900 was connected to the Darling Harbour Goods line when it was constructed c1922.

The siding was cut into the sandstone escarpment on which the mill stood creating space for several wagons and a rail weighbridge. Wagons presumably were weighed and then discharged into underground bind that conveyed the wheat to bucket lifts that took the wheat up the escarpment to the storage silos in the mill. There is no evidence that the Mill discharged flour into rail trucks.

Mill 2

This is an undated photo of the siding and the mill. From the ‘newish” look of the exposed sandstone cutting it must have been taken when the siding was newly opened. If you look closely you can see that the wagons on the street outside are horse drawn.

What is interesting about the place is that later a connection was made to the Sydney City Council’s depot which seems to have been established in an old quarry (probably “Hellhole”).

I haven't been able to establish a date for the siding. If you look at the website for the City of Sydney archives (http://www2.photosau.com/cityofsydney/scripts/home.asp) you can search on Wattle Street and see pretty much all their photos. The earliest ones date to 1931 and show the siding with wagons “in situ” (e.g. SRC 13736). It looks like that the Council had established an asphalting plant on the site which was located at the rear of the site next to the quarry face and which was loaded from Jones Street.

The railway wagons seem to have discharged from their elevated track onto the area at the base of the asphalt plant. Later there was some sort of cement making plant as well. It seems obvious that the wagons (only 4 wheelers have been seen) brought in material for Council use.

Flour Mill plan

This plan taken from the current Parish Plan shows the layout of the Council’s siding and the rather complex shunting required from the Flour Mill siding. There wouldn't be much room for traffic so presumably the trains were short or stood on the main line while portions were shunted.

The Council siding seems to have lasted until at least 1970 – it is not there in 1973 I think. The siding to Edwin Dave lasted until 1995 – I even saw a 48 class hauling some wagons from the siding when I first moved up here.

My thoughts about this area also drift to what an interesting little model railway this would make.

Any further information on the topic would be most welcome.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

D51714 preserved at Kagoshima

These are images of a preserved locomotive I found next to our hotel (the Sun Royal) at Kagoshima (photographed 12th February 2009). The address is Yojiro, Kagoshima City just up from the hotel, across a small street (Google maps .

D51 is a type of 2-4-2 steam locomotive (the wheel arrangement is called a Mikado) built by the Japanese Government Railways, the Japanese National Railways and various manufacturers from 1936 to 1951. The design of D51 was based on D50 which was launched in 1923. A total of 1,115 D51 locomotives were built. Early D51s built were known as "Namekuji type" (or "slug").

The number consists of a "D" for the four sets of driving wheels and the class number 51 is one of the series for tender locomotives that the numbers 50 through 99 were assigned to under the 1928 locomotive classification rule.

Several of the D51 class survive. A D51, D5122 stands outside the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Railway Station Sakhalin Island, Russia having been captured during World War II Another D51 , D51231 stands outside the National Science Museum in Tokyo.

The loco is preserved with some track and a signal.

Morning at Exile Bay

There is something good about our early morning walks with Alistair along the footpath along Exile Bay. The sun, the water and the clear skies make this a wonderful time and experience. Sun just comming up

Here is the sun arriving over Abbotsford with smooth water, the boats bobbing and the somewhere out there a rowing boat training and coach hurrying them on.

Exile Bay Sunrise

Later the sun lights up the sky and the ridges; colouring the water.

Walking back

On the way home to a well deserved coffee and dried dog food. The Bushell’s factory is in the background – last of the industries along the waterfront in Concord.

I think we are lucky or blessed to be able to do this walk every day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Industrial Heritage and Art: Yamamoto Sakubei in Tagawa

Yamamoto Sakubei

This is Yamamoto Sakubei one of the most stunning artists in the area of industrial heritage I have ever seen. I am not sure of his story but his art – in the form of pre-Manga drawings - documents life in the coal mines of Tagawa in the Chikuho region of Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu. I know very little about him except that he was an ex-coal miner. I was sent a book of over 500 of his drawings and saw more at the Tagawa City Coal Mining historical Museum. cola mining woman miner

Here we see a typical drawing of a woman mining a coal seam. There is text describing the drawing (I wish I could read Japanese) and the drawing is quite detailed.

coal mining loading coalOn the right another miner is shown taking the coal to a skip. Women and men worked together in Japanese coal mines until the 1930’s. The work was really tough as there was little mechanisation in the mines until after the Second World War. Yamamoto Sakubei seems to document the gradual mechanisation of the mines.

coal mining miners equipment

This image shows the equipment of the Japanese miners although it should also be noted underground because of the heat very little clothing was worn.

The collection of drawings is not only an important documentation of the work involved in mining but is also quite poignant in its depiction of what was a hard and dangerous life.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Winning isn't everything…but

We all know this but it is nice to be able to report that I won the raffle for the door prize at the inaugural Small Business Book Club run by the City of Canada Bay and the Department of State and Regional Development. Cover

The prize was a copy of Louise Woodbury’s book on the subject of taking time out from a business in order to recharge your batteries but also to refocus and restructure your business goals. She was very positive about the effects of this approach and the changed mindset that can result from the break.

We are lucky in Canada Bay that the Council is very positive towards small business and actively supports the development of small and micro businesses in their area largely because of the balance it brings to the suburbs, dragging them back from being simply dormitory suburbs.

Normally Jane wins all these things so I was happy to win a prize for once!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Forestville Model Railway Exhibition 2009

The Forestville show is always one I look forward to as it can be quite interesting, although often it is a bit samey. Last weekend was typical – the mostly the same layouts with the same issues.

Forestville09 2 001

Here is the main hall from the stage showing that at 10:30 on a Sunday the show was quite well attended although there didn't seem to be the same number of stands and non train stands seem to have expanded.

One of my pet hates is going to a layout and seeing nothing happening – this seemed to be the case with both Dungog and Main Line Mk2. Surely a simple rehearsed sequence of trains would solve the problem and engage the public.

In contrast Bridport had a choreographed and narrated sequence which packed the people in.

Forestville09 2 017Still there is a lot to learn from Dungog. I really love this area on the layout because of the high quality of the scenic work. Especially I like the trees and the texture and colour of the cutting.

Forestville09 2 021

Here it is looking the other direction and you can see how it captures the feel of an Australian scene.

When I make a layout it will be hard to live up to this standard.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spices at Herbies

Today Jane and I did a Spice Appreciation Class at Herbies (see http://www.herbies.com.au/). This was my Christmas present to Jane. The course was at Herbies in Rozelle and presented by Jacqui Newling (who has worked at Herbies and has done a Masters in Gastronomy with a thesis on on food in the first (European) settlement of New South Wales).

The course was held in the back shed where there were several nice wooden tables and a very aromatic atmosphere. We were given a general introduction to spices and then a run through of Saffron (best from Kashmir), Cinnamon and its cousin Cassia and Black, White and Pink pepper.

We then tasted four blends of spices (on chicken) and discussed their main components – lemon myrtle in the Native Barbeque blend; sumac in the Greek seasoning, Ras el Hannout (top of the shelf spice mixture and the various Paprika’s – in Smokey Barbeque seasoning.

We finished off with a coffee and Nutmeg cake. Yum!

All this was really inspiring stuff and we had a great time. It is well worth going to if you have the time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

At Work in Chikuho (14th February 2009)

This page hopefully gives some idea of the inspection work and the team doing the work. On the right we are inspecting a canal used for coal barges.

Dinu.Bumbaru turns his back on a steam engine (below). We visited many sites and Museums and worked to a fairly tight schedule. There was a lot to see.

The team from Kagoshima Prefecture are being briefed about coal mining locations at one of the coal mining museums (above).

Barry and Koko discuss matters while the others listen or try and find where we are on a map. Mike checks out an archaeological point (switch) lever.

At the end of the day we all began to fade.