Category Archives: South Western Circle

Celebrating Waterloo 175 with the ‘The Waterloo Story’ exhibition

Told through over 100 historical and contemporary images, The Waterloo Story recounts the sometimes surprising history of this 175 year old railway station and will be located on the main concourse of the station. Compiled by friend Mike Lamport and Network Rail, with assistance from the South Western Circle, The Waterloo Story is well worth viewing if you are passing through Waterloo.
A ceremony to mark the occasion is being held on platform 19 at 11am this morning to unveil a plaque as well naming one of the brand new South Western Railway class 701 Arterio electric multiple units.

An early view of the original platform 9

Waterloo station opened by the then London and Southampton Railway on this day Tuesday 11th July 1848 as a ‘roadside station’, supposedly just a stop on the way to a planned for major city terminus that was never realised. This original station, known as ‘central station’, had six platforms.
Waterloo was extended in an ad-hoc way to cope with demand. In 1860 the ‘Windsor station’ was opened on the north-west side of the original central platforms. In 1878 Waterloo gained an additional two platforms on the south-east side for mainline suburban trains in an extension known as the ‘south station’.

In 1885 the ‘north’ station was opened, adding a further six platforms bringing the total at Waterloo to eighteen.
It was however a very confusing station for passengers with platforms divided between four different sections of the station, the platform numbering was unclear, four different areas which were classed as concourses along with very poor information displays. In 1899 London & South Western Railway (as the London & Southampton had become) sought permission to completely rebuild and expand the station.

One of my views taken during a helicopter ride showing the expanse of the current station, the Victory Arch and International station to the left can also be seen.

The Company sent its chief engineer J W Jacomb-Hood to America to gather information on termini buildings to assist its redesign. Following the rebuilding work, that took twenty years to fully complete, Waterloo became a spacious station with a large open concourse.
With 21 platforms under a huge ridge-and-furrow roof it became light and airy compared to the dark maze it once was. Widely praised for its architecture, the new curved building to the front of the station housed the LSWR’s offices and facilities for passengers including a large booking hall and upstairs dining room which were simple and elegant with Georgian style panelling in the dining room and Edwardian decoration in the bars.

The Victory Arch at Waterloo

As the station rebuild was drawing to a close, and as a memorial to their staff that died in the First World War, the LSWR commissioned the Victory Arch; designed by J R Scott, their chief architect and made of Portland stone and bronze it depicts War and Peace, with Britannia holding the torch of liberty above. Leading from Station Approach onto the concourse, the Victory Arch forms the main entrance to Waterloo.

Waterloo remained largely unchanged until early 1990s when platforms 20 and 21 were demolished to make way for Waterloo International. Opened in 1994 this was the terminus for Eurostar services running through the Channel Tunnel until 2007. In July 2012 a first-floor balcony opened at Waterloo to help reduce congestion at the station, additional space has been created by repositioning shops from the middle of the main concourse onto the balcony.

Please Note: The free to view exhibition that opened on the main concourse of Waterloo station at 12.00hrs on Tuesday 11 July has now closed (slightly earlier than planned). It will however return as a permanent fixture in the station later this year.

The quay facts about being on the road with Canute Road Quay

The next couple of exhibition appearance of Canute Road Quay are drawing near, as always I always look forward to exhibiting my little train sets and enjoy catching up with friends and making news ones alike.

An ex LSWR Adams B4 0-4-0T shunts the loco coal to the small sub shed at Canute Road Quay. The B4 is a McGowens white metal kit.

There will be a new feature on Canute Road Quay for these shows as I have commissioned a sound file of suitable background ambient sounds, including steam loco sounds, wagons shunting and buffering up, vehicles moving, voices, general quayside sounds and yes a few gulls make an appearance! I will cover the production of this in a future post with feedback on how it was received after these couple of shows.  As long as I set the volume carefully I believe it will add to, not distract from, the overall effect, time will tell…

In just weeks time over the weekend of the 26th / 27th January 2019 Canute Road Quay will be travelling to its spiritual home and inspiration at the Southampton MRS, exhibition being held at the Barton Peveril Collge, Chestnut Avenue, Eastliegh, SO50 5BX
This excellent show, which is a regular show I visit,  will feature an impressive line up of 24 layouts across a range of scales and gauges and genres. Other highlights from an SR / BR(s) perspective include:

  • Bosun’s Wharf – 00 – BR(s) 1960s
  • Evercreech New – 00 – BR S&D 1950s
  • Fawley – 00 – SR 1930’s
  • Redbridge – 00 –  BR(s) 1960s
  • Littleton – 0 – BR(s) 1960s
  • Atlantic Road – N – 1998 Southern in London

The show opening times are, Saturday: 10.00 to 17.00 and Sunday: 10.00 to 16.30. Also if you are not already a member of the excellent South Western Circle, the historical society for the London South Western Railway, then they will be present with a stand and you will be able to sign up at the weekend!

USA 0-6-0T No. 68 shunts on the quayside at Canute Road Quay. She is a model rail commissioned loco by Bachmann.

A bit closer to my home, well literally very close to home (I could almost throw a lump of coal from my own little cottage in the Chiltern Hills to the show venue) is the RisEx exhibition on Saturday 23rd Feb 2019. This pleasant little show is organised by the Princes Risborough and District MRC,at the Community Centre, Wades Park, Stratton Road, Princes Risborough, Bucks, HP27 9AX

Canute Road Quay at RisEx will also be in the company of my friend Simon Paley’s Norwood Road Layout, set in the West Croydon area circa 2000‘s along with eight other layouts. Some say… the show is worth a visit for the cakes alone…

The show is open between 10.00 and 17.00

If you planning to pop along to either of these shows, please make sure you to say hello.

In addition to appearing at these two shows a few more exhibition appearances are lined up as part of the Canute Road Quay tour along also with a couple more appearances planned for Fisherton Sarum, check out my exhibition diary page here for further information.

In memoriam of Henry Bousher – a brief visit to Southwalk Bridge LSWR splendour in his honour

Today is the funeral, of London South Western Railway historian and modelling stalwart, octogenarian Henry Bousher who sadly passed away on 8th July after a battle with ill health.  This post is by way of a mark of respect to Henry, my condolences to his family and fellow friends and by a small way a celebration of his many full years of life.

Henry was a member of the Epsom and Ewell Model Railway Club in excess of 50 years, an active and long term member of the South Western Circle and and also The Model Railway Club. His knowledge of and enthusiasm for the London and Southern Western Railway (LSWR) was extensive and infectious, along with a great humour coupled to his joy at seeing pictures of or an accurately modelled rake of Salmon and Chocolate LSWR coaching stock (especially with the coach roofs being white).  He will be sorely missed as will be his willingness to assist, teach and impart his knowledge to others.

A view of the representation of Waterloo station on the Southwalk Bridge layout
He was actively involved, even when his health was not so great, in the wonderful LSWR 4mm scale P4 gauge layout Southwalk Bridge, having been instrumental in its conception, research, construction and operation. His legacy of his involvement will happily continue for many years to come.

An M7 brings empty stock into the station under the impressive signal cabin and gantry
Southwalk Bridge, being built by the Southampton Area group of the Scalefour Socity under the helm of Micheal Day, is a piece of LSWR splendour depicting the approaches to a seven platform representation of the LSWR terminus at Waterloo, set in 1912.  It runs to a sequence depicting a typical range of trains and movements of the time,  via a fully interlocked signalling system and a number of controlling driving positions over its 45 foot length.

An O2 arrives, the signalling levers for the interlocked operation can be seen in the background
I have had the pleasure of visiting and operating the layout on a couple of occasions now, and the layout will no doubt form the basis of more detailed future post. I will never forget my last visit, earlier this year, where I was chaperoned / guided / instructed at one of the controller locations, the Up Main, by Henry for the day. I was able to listen to, learn from and enjoy his humour and knowledge for a prolonged period, it was truly a fabulous day and felt very much an honour and fun to be in his company.

Rest In Peace Henry!

South Western Circle in the South West at Exeter this Saturday

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am an active member of the South Western Circle, the historical Society for those interested in primarily the London & South Western Railway  but also its successors the Southern Railway and also the Southern Region of British Railways, Western Sections. You may also have possibly read my dedicated page on the Circle here.

One of the strengths of the Circle are its five informative meetings a year, where a mix of speakers give illustrated talks on subjects of South Western interest. The next meeting is this Saturday, 10th September, in Exeter. This meeting in fact has two presentations: Firstly by guest Phil Collins (no not the Genesis one) on appropriately ‘Exeter Queen Street’; and secondly by Circle committee member Peter Swift titled ‘Reflections on Alan Cooper photographs’.

The meeting is being held at the The Mint Methodist Church, in Rowe Hall, Fore St, Exeter. EX4 3AT, starting at 1.30pm  and last until approximately 4pm. Attendance is also open to non members is free of charge, refreshments are available along with the Circle Sales Stand of all the latest LSWR / SR / BR(s) related books and publications at discounted prices. Directions on how to find the venue can be found here.

If you are one the more South Western based readers of this blog or fancy a trip that way you would be more than welcome to spend a a pleasant and informative afternoon in the company of like minded people.

For further details of the South Western Circle visit their website here and they can be found on Twitter via @LSWR_SWC

Talking Stock #34 ex LSWR Ironclad coaches (also an earlier 1918 Brake Composite) and a tribute to Gordon Weddell

This Talking Stock #34 post about ex LSWR Ironclad coaches is published by way of a tribute to Gordon Weddell whom sadly passed away just over a two weeks ago and whose funeral takes place today.

Gordon was the authority on London and South Western Railway (LSWR) coaches and other rolling stock. He published a number of volumes of reference books on the subject which are a must have for anyone interested in or modelling LSWR rolling stock. I was lucky to have met Gordon on a number of occasions as he was one of the earliest members of the South Western Circle, and to all who had contact with him, he was very friendly and keen to pass on his expertise to all who sought his advice. Indeed it his book ‘LSWR Carriages in the 20th Century‘ that provides the main reference material for this post. He will be sadly missed.

A Drummond K10 class heads a rake comprising of the 1918 56ft Brake Composite with 1925 ‘Ironclad’ set 385 at the rear
The 57 ft ‘Ironclad’ stock was an LSWR design, so known because of the use of flush steel sheeting screwed to a wooden body frame with narrow metal strips protecting the joints and near flush windows giving a the appearance of smooth flush sides.
Previous LSWR designs had used wooden sheeting and panelling. Being built 9′ wide a characteristic feature of the the ‘Ironclad’ stock was the tapering in of the brake part of the coach, to 8’3″, to allow for a guards lookout within the loading gauge.

A view of 1925 built ‘ironclad’ set 385 with Brake Third on the left and Brake Composite on the right
The first sets of Ironclad carriages appeared in July 1921 and being the most modern design available to the SR in 1923, continued in production until January 1926. The Ironclads included a range of the usual coach types but also slightly more unusual types such as Pantry thirds, Pantry Brake Firsts and dining saloons.

A close up of ‘Ironclad’ Brake Composite 6564 of set 385
The Initial batch were formed into five coach sets for the Bournemouth Line (with some longer sets for the Central Section) and allocated to the most important services until superseded by Maunsell stock.
The original 5 coach formations as numbered by the Southern Railway were Sets 431-434 (the original LSWR set numbers were 1c to 4c) and 435-444.

‘Ironclad’ Brake Third 3213 of set 385
Two coach sets 381 -385 comprising of Brake Composites, SR diagram 416, paired with 6-Compartment Brake Thirds, SR diagram 137 were introduced in 1925 for use as branch line through coaches but these were converted to Pull Push sets between 1949 and 1952. General withdrawal occurred between 1957 and 1959 with many passing into departmental stock (although the Restaurant Cars were mainly withdrawn in 1947)

‘Loose’ 1918 built steel and mahogany panelled (pre ‘Ironclad’) number 6539
My models as pictured are built from ex BSL now Phoenix kits and represent two coach set 385 comprising of Brake Third No. 3211 and Brake Composite No. 6564 before their rebuilding into a Pull Push set. My two coach set is strengthened with a ‘loose’ steel and mahogany panelled 1918 56ft Brake Composite No. 6539, LSWR diagram 2362 (SR Diagram 411) and all three are finised in lined olive green livery, note that the lining was actually applied to represent panneling that did not in reality exist. They form a rake regularly seen on Fisherton Sarum.

A view from the line #12 the pressure of signalling the line

The London South Western Railway (LSWR) first started using pneumatic control, rather than traditional wire and point rodding, at Grateley in 1901, utilising the system from the British Pneumatic Railway Signal Company that used low pressure air at 15psi to operate the signals and points. Following this successful trial Salisbury station, that was in the process of being rebuilt at the time, was also so equipped with the two new boxes, Salisbury East and West both containing a 64 slides frame (slides replaced levers on such system).  Air compressors and reservoirs were located next to each box. The system was brought into use in November 1902.  Unlike the systems installed at Grateley (1915), Baskingstoke to Woking (1966) , Staines (1930) and Clapham (1936) the Salisbury system remained in service until 1986.

The East bound (Up) home bracket signal controlled access to either Up platforms 1 or 3

The two signals on Fisherton Sarum are based on the down advanced starter and the up inner home bracket signal for the approach to either platform 1 or 3.   Andrew Hartshorne proprietor or Model Signal Engineering, from photographs of the actual two signals, kindly provided me with the correct combinations of his kits and parts to most economically make up the signals. I have also included a representation of the air cylinder mounted just below the balance arm.

The Viessmann Motor connected directly under the signal baseplate

Each signal is operated via a Viessmann stall type motor mounted directly beneath the baseplate that the signals are constructed on and this allows the signal to removed from the layout for maintenance if required.  Unfortunately it appears that these motors no longer are available and I would therefore think about using a slow motion stall motor type turnout motor in the future.  As the mentioned above the signals at Salisbury were pneumatically operated and therefore did not exhibit any ‘bounce’ so this was not incorporated into the control system.
I think it always good to see working signals on any layout, although a little fiddly to build the effect is well worth the time taken.

The Down (westbound) Advanced Starter
Another view of the Up Home bracket signal

Each signal is also interlocked with a track section next to it to prevent any passing of the signal at danger. On Fisherton Sarum it is usually the fiddle yard operator that drives trains towards them so there is a switch on each of the fiddle yard  local panels to operate the signal. This switch is duplicated on the main control panel with a ‘local /remote’ switch to dictate which of the switches operates the signal.

For those interested in finding out more about the low pressure signalling system I suggest readers join the South Western Circle as following an excellent talk at one of the Society meetings earlier this year, Stuart Isbister has agreed to write a Circle Monograph on the subject. As the Monographs are issued free of charge to members, in addition to the quarterly Circular publication, they are usually worth the membership fee alone!

South Western Circles at Guildford today

Today is the turn of Wood Street, nr Guildford to host one of the quarterly meetings of the South Western Circle . The SWC is historical society of the London & South Western Railway and for anyone interested in the development, history or simply modelling the proper railways to south west that formed the Western Section of the Southern Railway,  it is well worth joining. Membership give access to the meetings,  an excellent quarterly publication (and yes it’s a proper publication rather than just a newsletter), drawings, photographs and portfolios on LSWR subjects.

Today’s meeting is an illustrated presentation / discussion (as the meetings are very much open to all to contribute)  by Colin Chivers on the East Devon branch lines to Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth.

Such presentations are always on LSWR or ex LSWR subjects and not strictly restricted to just the pre grouping period which all helps broaden the interest. Members of the Circle  includes many well known historians, authors, publishers and modellers whose attendance at these meetings adds to the discussions, the interest and information gained. All in all a very pleasant way to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. I totally recommend the South Western Circle to anyone with like minded interests,

Ever increasing South Western Circles…

Tomorrow I shall be attending one of the quarterly meetings of the South Western Circle,  the Society, and I quote from their website:

“was formed in 1962, is a society for railway historians and enthusiasts interested in the London & South Western Railway (LSWR). The society has a membership of over 500, and aims to assist and encourage members to enhance their knowledge of the LSWR and its successors with research and quarterly publication of the Circle’s magazine ‘The South Western Circular’ Modelling activities have a high profile amongst the membership which is able to draw upon the Circle’s sales service of kits and components, comprehensive drawing service and photographic collections.” 

An ex LSWR Adams Jubilee A12 sits on the turntable at Fisherton Sarum with an ex LSWR Drummond M7 in the background

The meetings are well attended, splendidly interactive with an interesting range of  speakers/presentations from well known authoritative historians, authors and publishers including Mike King, Peter Swift, George Reeve and John Nicholas. The latter two gents are presenting tomorrow on the North Devon Railway which I look forward to with interest.

The quarterly magazine, ‘The South Western Circular‘,  more an A5 booklet than a magazine,  is always a tremendous read with an amazing wide range of articles to suit a broad range of interests.

I can whole heartedly recommend the South Western Circle to modellers and/or historians alike who have an interest in the London South Western Railway and its legacy within the Southern Railway.