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Ulster Folk & Transport Museum 2015.

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Lovely photos Popeye and well colour balanced. Culta is a great place, but the lightning is not the most user friendly for photographers.

You managed to get a good selection and all nicely composed. Great to see them on the Forum.


Great shot of the Inchicore Workshop, D17s included. I wonder is there any other way that Culta Management could present these? All those cracking models are kind of hidden away in it.


Other than the lack of rear drivers, that BCDR is very like a Bandon Tank

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Went a couple of years ago & like Weshty, found taking photos difficult, so well done with these - they are much better than my efforts. Did do a lot of detail stuff on Donegal Railcar 10 though. One day...

Cultra must be one of the finest museums anywhere, regardless of content. Interesting that the spell checker wants it to be 'Culture' & certainly better than 'Swanky' instead of Swanley for the ExpoNG venue!

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Have they painted the dome and boiler of Blanche black? Thought they were meant to be red like the rest of it.


Indeed,this is not prototipical. They probably looked at a picture in the 50s( when they were filthy ) and thought the boiler and dome were black. Cultra has done this before an example is Meadbh in CIE green with the GSR lettering on her tender

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I like the photo of Drew Donaldson's locos with an 800 Class lurking inside the shed while the MGWR 2-4-0 with flyaway cab tries to look inconspicuous between the ex-WLWR & GSWR 4-4-0s.


There is a story that museum staff thought Blanche's boiler and dome were black when the loco 1st arrived but found red paint under the soot and muck.


In most colour photos from the 50s the red cladding can be seen grinning through the muck though the domes seem to have an almost satin back finish just like the preserved loco!

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Unfortunately, while Cultra is overall a fascinating place, superbly presented, just about anything they have painted themselves is wrong, sometimes totally.


800: wrong crest and tender lettering.


C & L loco: green probably too light.


C & L coach: lettering completely wrong in style and colour; maroon probably a bit too light.


Castlederg carriage: Lettering completely wrong. Original shade of maroon hasn't survived to my knowledge, so I can't comment on its accuracy.


Donegal open wagon: bodywork in original unrepainted Donegal grey, but metal strapping shouldn't be black.


GSWR covered steel van: completely wrong. Body paint, chassis paint and lettering, the lot. In GSWR days, the whole thing was plain black, body and all. Lettering wrong style and shape; should be smaller. In GSR and CIE days, plain darkish grey with "G S" or (later) "flying snail".


Drew's models are truly superb. I like the CIE livery on them personally, I think it looks very well. It would have been amazing if CIE had painted all their locos that way instead of plain grey, though I have to say I think that the grey sufficiently unusual to have its place too. How've for young modellers it's important, from the historical perspective, just to point out that in fact few CIE locos ever wore green, and those that did belonged only to a few classes. The mighty J15s, for example, by a huge stretch the most numerous steam engines ever to run in Ireland, were be anything but grey after about 1915.


The RPSI's 461 was painted green to show lined green CIE livery as elsewhere if only survived on "Maedb" in Cultra. However, prototypical paints are notorious for not transforming well to models, as many of us know, and it's worse in reverse. Thus, having copied CIE green from Drew's models, 461 has end up in real life in the wrong shade. Modellers will be award that to copy CIE green, a visit to Cultra or Headhunters barber & railway museum in Enniskillen is the only show in town. Enniskillen has a genuine flying snail mounted on a board painted in Inchicore.


Other stuff was painted before it came to Cultra, so it's ok!

Edited by jhb171achill
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Drew's models are truly superb. I like the CIE livery on them personally, I think it looks very well. It would have been amazing if CIE had painted all their locos that way instead of plain grey, though I have to say I think that the grey sufficiently unusual to have its place too



For those who may not know who Drew (who passed away in 1978) was you can read the attached. http://www.steamtrainsireland.com/FFT/FFT22.pdf


Drew studied in the Methodist College Belfast and TCD, graduating with first class honours in classics, a gold medal and a Trinity Scholarship. He learnt Irish and broadcast on RTE and lectured in college and then taught in Omagh and Belfas from the 40's until his retirement in 1971.


He is most remembered as a railway enthusiast, having published “Decade of Steam”, and having edited and wrote for the journal “Five Foot Three"


He was an avid photographer, with much of his work appearing in books and articles relating to Irish Railways. He was a gifted modeller having started his main layout in college on which the main steam prototypes were represented. His layout was a popular draw to professional railwaymen and his models were exhibited in Belfast, Dublin and London.

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Thanks for your comments on my pictures, the Museum is difficult to take photographs in because of the crampt space and

the lighting is really patchy so i used flash in some shots to lighten up some dark spots. I loved the Inchicore model

and the model coach with the roof open was beatiful with very fine detail inside.

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I was remiss in mentioning firstly, absolutely brilliant pictures. It is indeed an awkward place to photograph anything, but your methods have produced superb results.


David; I think that museums SHOULD be able to be trusted on such matters. Occasionally, where original colour is not certain (such as the C & V B Tramway coach), a notice to that effect should be provided. But look at the trouble the NRM in York takes to get such things right. It is absolutely elementary, and the fact that in the railway collections at Cultra, virtually nothing they have painted is anywhere near right, is just disgraceful.


The RPSI ensured the right grey for 186, the right blue for the GNR locos, and at one time the right livery for the wooden coaches. Downpatrick has adopted in recent years an accuracy policy; anything incorrect there dates from early days (such as a CIE goods van with a brown body and black chassis).


The latter two bodies are run by volunteers with scarce time and resources. An outfit like Cultra ought to get it right.

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