Heroism at Liss station prior to WW1

Petersfield Post 28th November 2018 Nostalgia Section recalls an act of heroism by the booking clerk, Percy Norwood,  at Liss Railway Station on November 27th 1913 for which he received the Edward Medal*- a forerunner of the George Medal.

He saved the life of a local blacksmith who was driving a cart approaching the railway crossing. The pony pulling the cart bolted and dashed into the level crossing gates throwing Harry Rasell into the path of an approaching train. Norwood just succeeded in getting Rasell clear, but the engine which had been thrown into reverse by the engine driver, still struck Norwood on the head causing him  serious injuries – fractured skull amongst others.  After recovery he returned to work on the London & South Western Railway. He died in 1972 aged 79.

Percy Norwood came from Eastleigh and in 1977 a primary school was named after him. The school holds an annual event to remember his heroism.

*Edward Medal instituted in the reign of Edward VII for miners, quarry men and industrial workers who had risked their lives for fellow workers. In 1971 holders of this medal were given the option of converting their award to the George Cross. This was introduced in 1940 for acts of great courage not in the face of an enemy and is the highest bravery award that can be given to civilians. One of the most famous recipients of the GC was the people of Malta for their courage in the siege of that island  by the Italian and German forces during WW 2

Binari for Summer 2017 arrives

Binari the Italian Railways Society Journal arrived today- always a good read.

The Society is reaching its 30th Anniversary and there is an interesting layout competition for the 2018 AGM which I am tempted to enter.

On the rear cover is a photo of Manarola* railway station on the north west coast of Italy, between Genoa and Pisa. Its location has some similarities with Dawlish on the Devon coast of S.W. England, but has a more dramatic  location with the railway line better protected from the sea!

(Manarola* is a small town, a frazione of the commune of Riomaggiore, in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy. It is the second smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists.)

Network South East

This British Railways Sector was formed on this day in 1986 under the leadership of Chris Green. It comprised the following area, replacing in its area the BR Regions that had existed since Nationalisation in 1948

 It absorbed the entire London suburban network as well as Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and beyond to Weymouth, Salisbury and Exeter, plus the Isle of Wight; north to Bedford, Northampton and Banbury; west to Bedwyn; east to Kings Lynn, Harwich, Clacton and Shoeburyness In terms of BR regions, it encompassed the entire Southern (re-branded as Southeast, Central and Southwest), plus parts of the Western, Midland and Eastern (re-branded West, North and East – West subsequently became Thames & Chiltern and East became Anglia). 
There was a “tube style” system map across the network; red platform lamp posts and a NSE logo and livery on rolling stock and station signage. Electronic clocks on all platforms and more staff.
It lasted until 1994 when the whole system was prepared for privatisation by the creation of line management the precursor to the  letting of private franchises
For much more info see the Network South East Society site http://www.nsers.org/what-was-nse.html  

Society magazines recently received

French Railways Society

For the last 40 years known as the SNCF Society, but apparently some thought the SNCF organisation was somewhat “devalued” and that the interests of the members was more accurately represented by the new name.

That aside, the quality of the magazines content is thankfully unchanged and as always a “good read”  covering the modern scene, memories of earlier times and of layouts/modelling.

N Gauge Journal

I am a very new member of this society which is 50 years old this year. I joined because of my involvement in the Liphook U3A Building a Model Railway Group and the need to build a small  tramway layout in this scale.

Fortuitously the latest issue contains an article about the availability of N gauge trams and covers the main Japanese makers of same in 1:150 scale. It seems I am well up to speed on this, but I need to read the article in more depth.

Again a potential good read.


Southern Nouveau & the Lineside

Just received my copy of this book from Irwell Press and for devotees of all things Southern what a a book.

I have had only the briefest of looks but it is a feast of all the items that made the Southern have such a distinctive “house style”. Buildings, lamp standards, signage- it all appears to be here in this book, which was definitely a labour of love for all those who were involved over many years and there were many- all listed on the first pages.

Well done all- many hours of armchair reading awaits plus also hopefully lots more fine Southern layouts in all scales.


Southern pre-cast concrete footbridges remembered

An interesting article in the Southern Railway’s Group Notebook just received today, reminded me that these structures, which were prefabricated to a standard design and such a feature of Southern Railway stations, were nearly coincidental with the formation of the company in 1923.

The first such example was designed by W.H Shortt M Inst CE, the L&SWR later SR Divisional Engineer at Exeter,  in whose patch the Exmouth Concrete Works, where they were made, had been established in 1913, and was erected in 1924. This first installation took 13 hours and the design was described thus by the designer in a report published in The Railway Engineer- “No bolts or tie rods are anywhere used to hold the various parts of the bridge together, all being designed to be mutually self-supporting when once fitted together; further, no reinforcement is anywhere exposed for the purpose of joint making..”

The design continued to be used well into British Railway days and spread far & wide, in many cases well beyond SR or BR(S) territory. I have seen one at Towyn (North Wales)- now demolished. Hornby Dublo produced a die-cast metal model version in OO which probably means there was one within easy travelling distance of the Meccano works in Binns Road, Liverpool 3!

There are plenty still around, which for a 94 year old design ain’t bad!

South West Trains- Sorry to see you go

So one of the best run rail franchises over the past 21 years, South West Trains (Stagecoach) has lost its franchise  to First.

Sorry to see them go- obviously running it well for 21 years doesn’t count much with the Department against Transport.

First- you’ve got a great act to follow and based on your performance elsewhere  we could all be in for a rough ride!

Good day at Ally Pally

Good day at the Alexandra Palace- lots of friendly modellers- what a wonderful hobby.

Met up with some ex work colleagues for a good chin wag-good to see how fit they look, even though I am nearly a decade younger!

As a new member of the N gauge Society signed up for a version of their forthcoming industrial diesel shunter. Impressed with the members on their stand- all very efficient and friendly.

Pity there was little or no N gauge layouts!

Made a few small purchases N scale Nissen hut, tank and Warflat from Gramodels  and an N scale rule from Eileen’s plus a book on Ambulance Trains from Friends of the NRM.

Interesting to see the amount of engineering works on the approaches to Waterloo in connection with reclaiming ex Eurostar space into main station (Windsor Line platforms once again- but alas no tea rooms!- showing my age here) and extending platforms 1 to 8.

How often to you see such engineering  activity modelled?


A slight error in the estimate or buy a new calculator?

Report in Live Rail Feb 2017 (Journal of the Southern Electric Group)

“The Department for Transport has discovered that the £20 M originally allocated was far from adequate, so is providing £300 M for improving the resilience of the Southern & Thameslink network.”

That is an error in the “estimate” of £280 M- ( 1400% ).

Anybody dismissed, shot at dawn or hung from a lamp- post- course not- the taxpayer will provide!