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Hello from Somerset

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  • Noel
    Hello, I ve just joined the group and thought it would be polite to introduce myself. My name is Noel and I hail from the Mendip Hills of Somerset, in the
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 18, 2012
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      Hello,

      I've just joined the group and thought it would be polite to introduce myself. My name is Noel and I hail from the Mendip Hills of Somerset, in the West of England. I grew up around here and started my working life as an engineering apprentice in the local coal mines. The mines are long gone now and you would probably have to be pushing 50 to even remember them as the last one closed in 1973.

      This area was served by the Somerset & Dorset Railway and the Great Western Railway, although there are no railways in the old coalfield now. They mostly disappeared in the 1960s, with just one line serving a wagon repair works hanging on until the 1980s.

      I retired in 2004 and I'm now building a model railway supposedly based in the Nettlebridge Valley, just down the hill from where I live. In truth, there never was a line through the valley despite a few early proposals to build one, so the Nettlebridge Valley Tramway is entirely fictitious. The lines that did serve the coalfield were almost exclusively built to the standard gauge but my little railway is different in that respect too, being a narrow gauge line of just 2ft (or perhaps a little more) between the rails. Naturally, the main traffic on the line will be coal and I'm planning to model a small Somerset coal mine as a major feature.

      The scale I'm working to is unusual at 5.5mm = 1ft. There is an Association based here in the UK for modellers in this scale, but you probably won't be surprised to learn that there are not many of us - there are just under 60 members at the moment.

      I'm hoping to gain inspiration and knowledge from membership of this group, and hopefully to make some new friends as well.

      Best wishes to all,

      Noel
    • Ken Ruble
      Welcome aboard. Your post makes me want to ask several questions. 1) Where are the Mendip Hills, that is what city might they be near? 2) Did the mines close
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 18, 2012
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        Welcome aboard. Your post makes me want to ask several questions. 1) Where are the Mendip Hills, that is what city might they be near? 2) Did the mines close because of a lack of demand for coal? 3) the 5.5mm = 1FT IS THE same as 1/55 scale and I believe this means that HO or OO gage equals 3 ft. Do you intend to scratch/kitbash from these scales? Will look forward to pictures.
         
        Ken
         
        From: Noel
        Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:21 AM
        Subject: [NGMMG] Hello from Somerset
         
         

        Hello,

        I've just joined the group and thought it would be polite to introduce myself. My name is Noel and I hail from the Mendip Hills of Somerset, in the West of England. I grew up around here and started my working life as an engineering apprentice in the local coal mines. The mines are long gone now and you would probably have to be pushing 50 to even remember them as the last one closed in 1973.

        This area was served by the Somerset & Dorset Railway and the Great Western Railway, although there are no railways in the old coalfield now. They mostly disappeared in the 1960s, with just one line serving a wagon repair works hanging on until the 1980s.

        I retired in 2004 and I'm now building a model railway supposedly based in the Nettlebridge Valley, just down the hill from where I live. In truth, there never was a line through the valley despite a few early proposals to build one, so the Nettlebridge Valley Tramway is entirely fictitious. The lines that did serve the coalfield were almost exclusively built to the standard gauge but my little railway is different in that respect too, being a narrow gauge line of just 2ft (or perhaps a little more) between the rails. Naturally, the main traffic on the line will be coal and I'm planning to model a small Somerset coal mine as a major feature.

        The scale I'm working to is unusual at 5.5mm = 1ft. There is an Association based here in the UK for modellers in this scale, but you probably won't be surprised to learn that there are not many of us - there are just under 60 members at the moment.

        I'm hoping to gain inspiration and knowledge from membership of this group, and hopefully to make some new friends as well.

        Best wishes to all,

        Noel

      • Noel
        Ken The Mendip Hills are between Bath and Wells. See these links:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendip_Hills http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerset_Coalfield
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 18, 2012
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          Ken

          The Mendip Hills are between Bath and Wells.
          See these links:-
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendip_Hills
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerset_Coalfield

          The Somerset coalfield was always difficult to work, with thin seams - rarely more than 2ft thick, often less - and many geological faults. There was still a reasonable demand for coal in the 70s but the big mines in South Wales and the North of England were much more efficient with seams of 4-5-6ft thick. By the 1970s there were just two connected mines working in Somerset and their dominant customer was Portishead Power Station, on the coast South of Bristol. When the power station closed in 1973, so did the last two mines.

          5.5mm/ft is indeed 1/55 scale and 16.5mm OO/HO track is dead right for 3ft gauge. Some modellers in the scale use 16.5mm and others (like me) use 12mm gauge to represent somewhere near 2ft gauge.
          Some folks use old TT mechanisms from the likes of Tri-Ang, others use European TT or HOm mechs, while others scratch build. Probably the best source, however, is the small range of kits from Malcolm Savage with chassis from Mike Chinery. The body kits are fairly readily available but supply of the chassis has been erratic recently.
          You can see all of these from the 5.5mm Association web page at
          http://www.blackhamtransfers.com/55/5andahalflogo.html

          Thanks for your interest,

          Noel


          --- In NGMMG@yahoogroups.com, "Ken Ruble" wrote:

          Welcome aboard. Your post makes me want to ask several questions. 1) Where are the Mendip Hills, that is what city might they be near? 2) Did the mines close because of a lack of demand for coal? 3) the 5.5mm = 1FT IS THE same as 1/55 scale and I believe this means that HO or OO gage equals 3 ft. Do you intend to scratch/kitbash from these scales? Will look forward to pictures.

          Ken

          From: Noel
          Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:21 AM
          To: NGMMG@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [NGMMG] Hello from Somerset


          Hello,

          I've just joined the group and thought it would be polite to introduce myself. My name is Noel and I hail from the Mendip Hills of Somerset, in the West of England. I grew up around here and started my working life as an engineering apprentice in the local coal mines. The mines are long gone now and you would probably have to be pushing 50 to even remember them as the last one closed in 1973.

          This area was served by the Somerset & Dorset Railway and the Great Western Railway, although there are no railways in the old coalfield now. They mostly disappeared in the 1960s, with just one line serving a wagon repair works hanging on until the 1980s.

          I retired in 2004 and I'm now building a model railway supposedly based in the Nettlebridge Valley, just down the hill from where I live. In truth, there never was a line through the valley despite a few early proposals to build one, so the Nettlebridge Valley Tramway is entirely fictitious. The lines that did serve the coalfield were almost exclusively built to the standard gauge but my little railway is different in that respect too, being a narrow gauge line of just 2ft (or perhaps a little more) between the rails. Naturally, the main traffic on the line will be coal and I'm planning to model a small Somerset coal mine as a major feature.

          The scale I'm working to is unusual at 5.5mm = 1ft. There is an Association based here in the UK for modellers in this scale, but you probably won't be surprised to learn that there are not many of us - there are just under 60 members at the moment.

          I'm hoping to gain inspiration and knowledge from membership of this group, and hopefully to make some new friends as well.

          Best wishes to all,

          Noel
        • Noel
          Sorry, the links in my last post didn t come out too well. Here they are again (I hope):- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendip_Hills
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 18, 2012
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            Sorry, the links in my last post didn't come out too well.
            Here they are again (I hope):-

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendip_Hills

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerset_Coalfield

            http://www.blackhamtransfers.com/55/5andahalflogo.html

            Noel
          • Ken Ruble
            Very interesting. I liked the picture of the led mine. Nice modeling. I also thought the picture of the hills was very scenic. I don’t believe anything quite
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 18, 2012
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              Very interesting. I liked the picture of the led mine. Nice modeling. I also thought the picture of the hills was very scenic. I don’t believe anything quite like exists in America although perhaps in New England or New York state. The 2 areas were adjacent to each other many eons ago but continental drift separated them. I live on the west coast near Sacramento. There is a copper mining area about 80 miles away at a place called Copperopolis. Some of the ore from this area was shipped as far as London for refining in the 19th century.
               
              Ken
               
              From: Noel
              Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 2:53 PM
              Subject: [NGMMG] Re: Hello from Somerset
               
            • Noel
              Ken Thanks for the compliment, but the picture of the old lead mining area is not a model. It s a photo of the real thing. The lead and other metal ores in
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 18, 2012
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                Ken

                Thanks for the compliment, but the picture of the old lead mining area is not a model. It's a photo of the real thing. The lead and other metal ores in the Mendip area were near the surface at this point and the Romans, and presumably others before them, mined using what you might describe as an early form of opencast operation. Channels were dug to follow the lodes, resulting in the deeply disturbed ground that can still be seen to this day and known locally as "Gruffy Ground."

                Noel


                --- In NGMMG@yahoogroups.com, "Ken Ruble" <kenruble@...> wrote:
                >
                > Very interesting. I liked the picture of the led mine. Nice modeling. I also thought the picture of the hills was very scenic. I don’t believe anything quite like exists in America although perhaps in New England or New York state. The 2 areas were adjacent to each other many eons ago but continental drift separated them. I live on the west coast near Sacramento. There is a copper mining area about 80 miles away at a place called Copperopolis. Some of the ore from this area was shipped as far as London for refining in the 19th century.
                >
                > Ken
                >
                > From: Noel
                > Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 2:53 PM
                > To: NGMMG@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [NGMMG] Re: Hello from Somerset
                >
                >
                > Sorry, the links in my last post didn't come out too well.
                > Here they are again (I hope):-
                >
                > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendip_Hills
                >
                > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerset_Coalfield
                >
                > http://www.blackhamtransfers.com/55/5andahalflogo.html
                >
                > Noel
                >
              • Ken Ruble
                I think we are looking at 2 different pictures. The caption says that the buildings are scribed plaster. From: Noel Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:38 PM
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 19, 2012
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                  I think we are looking at 2 different pictures. The caption says that the buildings are scribed plaster.
                   
                  From: Noel
                  Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:38 PM
                  Subject: [NGMMG] Re: Hello from Somerset
                   
                   

                  Ken

                  Thanks for the compliment, but the picture of the old lead mining area is not a model. It's a photo of the real thing. The lead and other metal ores in the Mendip area were near the surface at this point and the Romans, and presumably others before them, mined using what you might describe as an early form of opencast operation. Channels were dug to follow the lodes, resulting in the deeply disturbed ground that can still be seen to this day and known locally as "Gruffy Ground."

                  Noel

                  --- In mailto:NGMMG%40yahoogroups.com, "Ken Ruble" <kenruble@...> wrote:

                  >
                  > Very interesting. I liked the
                  picture of the led mine. Nice modeling. I also thought the picture of the hills was very scenic. I don’t believe anything quite like exists in America although perhaps in New England or New York state. The 2 areas were adjacent to each other many eons ago but continental drift separated them. I live on the west coast near Sacramento. There is a copper mining area about 80 miles away at a place called Copperopolis. Some of the ore from this area was shipped as far as London for refining in the 19th century.
                  >
                  > Ken
                  >
                  > From: Noel
                  > Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 2:53 PM
                  >
                  To: mailto:NGMMG%40yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [NGMMG] Re: Hello from Somerset
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  Sorry, the links in my last post didn't come out too well.
                  > Here they are
                  again (I hope):-
                  >
                  >
                  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendip_Hills">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendip_Hills
                  >
                  >
                  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerset_Coalfield">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerset_Coalfield
                  >
                  >
                  href="http://www.blackhamtransfers.com/55/5andahalflogo.html">http://www.blackhamtransfers.com/55/5andahalflogo.html
                  >
                  > Noel
                  >

                • Noel
                  Ah - Ken, I now realise what you are looking at! (For anyone else reading this, follow my Blackham Transfers link to the 5.5mm Association website and it s
                  Message 8 of 8 , Dec 19, 2012
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                    Ah - Ken, I now realise what you are looking at!

                    (For anyone else reading this, follow my Blackham Transfers link to the 5.5mm Association website and it's page 2 of the Gallery section - the Towy Valley Railway)

                    The Towy Valley Railway was built by my good friend Dennis Harrison and as you rightly say, he's a great modeller. Dennis lives in West Wales and I visit him a couple of times each year. The TVR is a delight to see, almost as good as Gaynor's cooking!
                    The lead mine scene was finished a long time ago and the dead body on the platform has been respectfully removed!
                    As a matter of fact, Dennis built the TVR to 6mm/ft scale, but what's a half mil between friends?

                    (My earlier post was referring to the picture of the remains of Roman lead mines on the Mendip Hills website.)

                    Noel

                    --- In NGMMG@yahoogroups.com, "Ken Ruble" <kenruble@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I think we are looking at 2 different pictures. The caption says that the buildings are scribed plaster.
                    >
                    > From: Noel
                    > Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:38 PM
                    > To: NGMMG@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [NGMMG] Re: Hello from Somerset
                    >
                    >
                    > Ken
                    >
                    > Thanks for the compliment, but the picture of the old lead mining area is not a model. It's a photo of the real thing. The lead and other metal ores in the Mendip area were near the surface at this point and the Romans, and presumably others before them, mined using what you might describe as an early form of opencast operation. Channels were dug to follow the lodes, resulting in the deeply disturbed ground that can still be seen to this day and known locally as "Gruffy Ground."
                    >
                    > Noel
                    >
                    > --- In mailto:NGMMG%40yahoogroups.com, "Ken Ruble" <kenruble@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Very interesting. I liked the picture of the led mine. Nice modeling. I also thought the picture of the hills was very scenic. I don’t believe anything quite like exists in America although perhaps in New England or New York state. The 2 areas were adjacent to each other many eons ago but continental drift separated them. I live on the west coast near Sacramento. There is a copper mining area about 80 miles away at a place called Copperopolis. Some of the ore from this area was shipped as far as London for refining in the 19th century.
                    > >
                    > > Ken
                    > >
                    > > From: Noel
                    > > Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 2:53 PM
                    > > To: mailto:NGMMG%40yahoogroups.com
                    > > Subject: [NGMMG] Re: Hello from Somerset
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Sorry, the links in my last post didn't come out too well.
                    > > Here they are again (I hope):-
                    > >
                    > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendip_Hills
                    > >
                    > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerset_Coalfield
                    > >
                    > > http://www.blackhamtransfers.com/55/5andahalflogo.html
                    > >
                    > > Noel
                    > >
                    >
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