Stamford Station Canopy Part 3 – Completion!

Stamford Railway Station's New Canopy

Stamford Railway Station’s New Canopy

Last night, after the final train had left, a team of Network Rail construction workers laboured through the small hours to put the finishing touch on the new platform one canopy – the valance which makes an attractive finish to the canopy edge and provides a little extra protection from driving rain.

It is very smart.

View from platform 2, the shadows make a tartan on the back wall.

View from platform 2, the shadows make a tartan on the back wall.

Another view across the tracks. Don't anyone say that the new valance doesn't match the one on platform 2. The old one didn't either.

Another view across the tracks. Don’t anyone complain that the new valance doesn’t match the one on platform 2. The old one didn’t either.

View from under the footbridge

View from under the footbridge

View from the footbridge

View from the footbridge

View from under the canopy. The platform here has been nicely repaved.

View from under the canopy. The platform here has been nicely repaved.

Oxford Goods Shed Plans – Free

Among the dubious items remaining in Station House after we had removed everything saleable to our new shop was this roll of thirteen GWR plans for their goods shed at Oxford.

Oxford Good Shed Plans

Oxford Good Shed Plans

It’s not a very impressive bundle. Despite most of the plans being linen-backed they have crumbled away at the edges, particularly at the leading edge.

Oxford Goods Shed plans, showing damage to edges

Oxford Goods Shed plans, showing damage to edges

Some of the pages are also cracked right across, due to being stored rolled-up for some 145 years.

These are the foundations. Such a shame.

Oxford Goods Shed plans - foundations. The weights belong with the kitchen scales and are not part of the deal.

Oxford Goods Shed plans – foundations. The weights belong with the kitchen scales and are not part of the deal.

Not to labour the point – it’s unsaleable. The Guvnor asked me to bin it, but somehow I felt it needed a second chance. The hand colouring is nice.

Oxford Goods Shed plans

Oxford Goods Shed plans

There is also a plan of a crane to be built by Armstrongs. And a stern warning against disbinding the plans. The new owner will have to disregard this as it will not be possible to flatten them otherwise. For this reason I wan’t able to measure the length (probably between 24 – 36 inches) but the height of the roll is 15 inches. The pencil is there for scale. It’s not part of the deal either.

Oxford Goods Shed plans. To see them properly you are going to have to risk the wroth of the GWR and unfasten the binding

Oxford Goods Shed plans. To see them properly you are going to have to risk the wrath of the GWR and unfasten the binding

The first person who asks can have them.

The downside is that we are not posting them. You have to come and fetch them.

The upside is that you have a fine excuse to visit Stamford.

Oxford Goods Shed plans - skylights over cranes

Oxford Goods Shed plans – skylights over cranes

 

Christmas Shopping

Here are a few ideas for a surprise present for the railway enthusiast, railfan or gricer in your life. A good start to your choice is to look for a recent publication that the recipient hasn’t had a chance to buy for him- or herself – all the books we’ve had new in since March are listed in our Latest Arrivals section. Among the most recent of all are these:

The Railway Goods Shed And Warehouse In England

The Railway Goods Shed And Warehouse In England £14.99. An attractive book which will appeal to anyone with an interest in railway sites and buildings.

From Gridiron To Grassland - the rise and fall of Britain's railway marshalling yards. £34.95.

From Gridiron To Grassland – the rise and fall of Britain’s railway marshalling yards. £34.95. Now made redundant by the use of containers, these huge yards for sorting wagons and assembling goods trains were formerly an essential part of railway operations.

The London Railway Atlas Then And Now. £21.95.  A useful and engrossing atlas. It provides on facing pages a 1921 London railway map in 45 sections, each opposite a 2016 map of the lines and stations of precisely the same area.

The London Railway Atlas Then And Now. £21.95. A useful and engrossing atlas. It provides on facing pages a 1921 London railway map in 45 sections, each opposite a 2016 map of the lines and stations of precisely the same area.

Lines Around Stamford. £18.95. An album of photos (7 supplied by Robert) of our own local railway. An ideal present for anyone living in Stamford or its neighbourhood who is interested in local railway history.

Lines Around Stamford. £18.95. An album of photos (7 supplied by Robert) of our own local railway. An ideal present for anyone living in Stamford or its neighbourhood who is interested in local railway history.

Lucky Thirteen

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Lautoka No 11 (Fiji). Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 972 of 1912.

Although we may have counted wrong, it was quite hard to pin them down, storming up the gradient, rotating grandly on the turntable, batting round the loop, double headed, single headed, thirteen engines in steam is an awful lot. Unless it was fourteen. So where do you go to see thirteen engines in steam? Just sixty miles west of Stamford is a remarkable farm which has the usual stuff – farmhouse, fields, barns etc etc –  and one dickens of a narrow gauge railway with all the trimmings:  stations, signal boxes, turntable, workshops, roundhouse, museum. It’s called Statfold Barn and it’s near Tamworth.

The railway is private, obviously, but they have several open days a year. You can’t just turn up (they make this very clear) – you must apply in advance for an invitation. Once you’ve shown your invitation and parked your car in the large field you just stroll over to where all the loud and steamy noises are coming from and join in the fun. The great thing is that visitors have the run of the place. There are no rules, no grey areas. Anywhere they don’t want you to go (assuming there is anywhere) you can’t get into. You can walk round the site, ride on the trains, explore the workshops and roundhouse, have tea in the museum, browse the trade stands and photograph from wherever you like.

Oh well, yes, there is one rule. No children. A pity, but there you go.

And thirteen (or was it fourteen?) engines in steam. Imagine! Here they are:

Sragi No 1. Krauss 0-4-2T 4045 of 1899. Also Minas de Aller No 2 (behind, in cloud of steam).

Sragi No 1. Krauss 0-4-2T 4045 of 1899. Also Minas de Aller No 2 (behind, in cloud of steam).

Minas de Aller No 2.  Corpet 0-6-0PT 439 of 1884. Also Sragi No 1.

Minas de Aller No 2. Corpet 0-6-0PT 439 of 1884. Also Sragi No 1.

Sybil Mary.  Hunslet 0-4-0ST 921 of 1906. Marchlyn behind.

Sybil Mary. Hunslet 0-4-0ST 921 of 1906. Marchlyn behind.

Trangkil No 4, Saccharine.

Trangkil No 4, Saccharine.

From Station Footbridge. Howard, Marchlyn, Max. Rail bus and real bus in background. NB AA searchlight on goods train.

From Station Footbridge. Howard, Marchlyn, Max. Rail bus and real bus in background. Note the anti-aircraft searchlight on the goods train.

Lautoka No 19.  Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST 1056 of 1914

Lautoka No 19. Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST 1056 of 1914

The railway produces a handsome Guide Book and Stock List, but this was issued in 2014 and does not include all the engines that were working when we went. Alpha and the two Howards are missing. If I’d noticed at the time I’d have photographed their works plates as well, as it is all I have are their names. They may well have been visiting engines as they don’t appear in the list of engines awaiting restoration either.

Howard vertical boiler on lake circuit.

Howard vertical boiler on lake circuit. A close examination of Howard’s works plate suggests a new build. The date appears to be 2007. Alas, no more is legible.

 

 

 

Here are dates and builders of the locomotives not described in the captions:

Marchlyn : Avonside 0-6-0T 2067 of 1933.

Trangkil No 4 : Hunslet 0-4-0ST 3902 of 1971.

Saccharine : John Fowler 0-4-2T 13355 of 1912.

Max (Sragi No 14) : Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-4-0T 10750 of 1923.

End of Statfold Barn Railway Part One

Return next week for Part Two – Museum, workshop and more locomotives.

Howard & goods train passing station signal box

Howard & goods train passing station signal box

GP39. Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0WT 1643 of 1930

GP39. Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0WT 1643 of 1930

Alpha

Alpha

Behind the scenes

I was surprised how long it is since I last posted on the blog, and embarrassed to see that I promised a map of how to reach 59 Scotgate from the Station. I made the map some while ago and somewhat optimistically left copies in a stout envelope stuck to the shop window under cover of the arcade, near Cross Country’s ticket machine. As long as the envelope is allowed to remain there I’ll keep it topped up. Meanwhile here is the map itself, if you are planning a train trip to Stamford it might be better to print it off beforehand than to rely on finding a copy still in the envelope.

Route map foot only

Station House continues to keep us busy. By the end of this month we have to have cleared it completely. Of course we have already removed 99.9% of the stock and equipment to 59 Scotgate but you can have no idea the amount of extraneous junk that can be accumulated in a workplace over twenty-nine years. Once we have finished this monumental task we shall hardly know what to do with our time. Or so it seems just now.

Back at 59 Scotgate the one thing we still lack is a signboard. It’s taken rather a while to organise this, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that the new boards will go up next week. This will be a relief because – assuming I get a nice blue sky day to photograph it – I shall at long last be able to update the photos on the web site. Watch this space.

New Books – 2

Our stock of the latest new books arrived safely this afternoon and the Guvnor has enjoyed arranging them on the centre table. He hadn’t quite finished when I took these pictures.

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I’m looking forward to adding these to our web site listings. Although you won’t find them on the web site yet, they are all available to order by phone. 01780 766266.

Meanwhile to celebrate I have restored the New Book section of our on-line catalogue, which I had to remove when the stock was boxed up at Station House. On the table I can see at least one book (Andrew Dow’s magisterial treatise on permanent way – The Railway) which you’ll already find on our site.

We’re open!

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At last we have opened the doors at 59 Scotgate. We’re a bit anonymous still, as we have no signboard, but do come in and see our unrivalled collection of books on all railway subjects.

New Books

Our favourite publishers keep on putting out new books and we haven’t seen any of them since August. The Guvnor recently spent a happy afternoon on the phone to our supplier, discussing the new releases and ordering heaps of them. The supplier was to motor across with them today, and have a look at the new place. On the sound old principle of Murphy’s Law, you won’t be surprised to learn that events overtook him and the carload is still in his stockroom. Now they won’t reach us till Monday.

So if you were hoping to stock up on the newest publications, please don’t call on us till Tuesday. In fact, seeing as how our luck is, you would be wise to phone on Monday just to make sure that they’ve arrived.

Here are some of the “old” new books we brought with us from Station House.

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Monday 15 February 2016

And about time too! At long last we have an opening date.

59 Scotgate - front door and shop window

59 Scotgate – front door and shop window

We shall be opening at 59 Scotgate, Stamford PE9 2YQ at 9:30 am on Monday 15 February. Our opening hours will be as before – 9:30 – 5:00 every day except Wednesdays and Sundays. We usually close for lunch 1:00 – 2:00.

My apologies to those of you to whom I gave 12 February. Caution has prevailed and we’ve given ourselves a few extra days to tidy up after the arrival of the last knockings from Station House.

Here are a couple more pictures of the new shop. Take a good look because we have no shop sign yet, and might still not have one when we open. However there is every hope that we may have some books in the window by then.

Over the next week I’ll be posting details of how to find us, where to park, and the route of the 10 minute walk from the railway station.

59 Scotgate

59 Scotgate

 

Countermove

Our old shop at Station House really looks blitzed now that the counter has gone.

 2456 Stn Hse Counter area

2454 Counter

 

But here it is, neatly adapted and installed in our new shop at the old Black Horse. All we need are some beer pumps and racks of sparkling glasses.

We are now ready to have the phone system moved; this is scheduled for 15 December – please note that this will not be a good day to phone us. But if all goes well you’ll be able to reach us at the new premises using our old number – 01780 766266 – from the 16 December. There’ll usually be someone around, but if there is no reply try later or send us an e-mail.

2452 R and Counter

Here’s the Guvnor tidying up after the installation. As you can tell from the background, we’ve already got most of the shelves moved and installed, and much of the stock unpacked and arranged. There’s a little more tidying and arranging – for example finishing off the cut end nearest the camera – and then we’ll be ready for the carpet fitter.

So when shall we open? Sadly it doesn’t really look like being before Christmas, and probably not till the new year. Watch this space!