Any model railway layout needs the little people to complete the scene. I try where possible to position them in natural groupings. This post, the first in a series of ‘views from the line’, looks at the little people on Fisherton Sarum.
Alongside the typical Southern concrete platelayers hut next to the main line my grandfather can be seen taking a break. He is leaning on his ballast fork, with his co-gangers and linesmen, one of whom is sat reading the newspaper and another has a mug of tea in his hand. The look out flag man is just walking towards them to join them in their well deserved tea break. My grandfather in reality was a ganger for the Southern Railway, based at Salisbury for most of the period that I model before he gained promotion to Sub Inspector (permanent way) at Andover Junction during 1948.
On the steps at the entrance to the shed my father in his younger, short trouser days, along with some of his school mates can be seen trying to bunk the shed. To gain entrance undetected involved ducking under the time keepers office hatch that overlooked the access steps from Cherry Orchard Lane. Once in the shed it was hoped that engineman that that they recognised as being friendly was about.
In and around the shed itself various locomotive crew are preparing for their next duty, obtaining items from the stores such as oil cans and engine head signal discs. The cleaners go about their role utilising ladders and platforms to reach the slab sides of Bulleid’s air smoothed pacific’s.
The ash pit gang are trying not to get the ash in their eyes as they remove the loco ash from in and around the pits into wheel barrows before it is loaded into a 5 plank open wagon that appears occasionally to take the ash away from the shed.
Also in the shed area couple of trainspotters, armed with the letter of permission from the head office at Waterloo allowing them open access to the shed, can be seen taking the opportunity to record the locomotives on shed being prepared for there turns.
Away from the shed and walking along the carriage siding a wheeltapper awaiting the next rake of rolling stock to ding the wheels in order to check their integrity.
By the houses, a couple of school children heading home watch as the postman has made a mistake of letting the household’s dog get between him and his bike (the postman’s bike not the dogs) which he has left leaning up against the railings at the back entrance to the shed. In one back garden the owner tends to his garden whilst in the other a gentleman rests on his bench watching, who we assume is, his wife hanging the washing!
At least this is what we see of the little people through the lens, what they do when we are not watching who knows….