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A few items from Malahide

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Just back from a visit to the Casino. Very impressed with the whole setup. It is a wonderful museum honouring and displaying the incredible Fry collection. The museum exhibits are displayed and organised IMHO way better than the former at Malahide castle. The layout too is superb, perhaps less visual activity to entertain then the old castle layout which was a visual and audible assault on the senses. But from a railway modelling point of view absolutely stunning. Perhaps not as much movement to for general public but it was nice to see children run around the layout following the odd train espcially as they disappeared and reappeared. Bray head is stunning and one thing in particular caught my attention and that was the sublimely realistically modelled wave crests near the beach on Malahide section of the layout. Well one baseboard dave.

 

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1 hour ago, David Holman said:

Indeed it was, though if he built it all himself, then I stand corrected. 

There are 4 issues here to the best of my knowledge:

The Fry Collection which was built by Cyril Fry

The Malahide Castle Fry layout, on which no Fry models ran, all built by various craftsmen

The Casino Fry collection, which are all of Frys models displayed in beautiful cabinets

The OO gauge layout in the Casino which has nothing to do with Fry

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And within the Fry-made collection, there are (a) models of Irish stuff, all of which is being displayed, and (b) models of British, mainland European and American items. Just a few of these are currently displayed, but they will hopefully be rotated from time to time.

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Posted (edited)

I remember reading an article by FRY in the Railway modeller magazine  ( in the IRRS library - can't remember the year) . He made it clear that he could not get any RTR Irish stuff and he had to make it all himself . 

The astonishing thing is the results he got with the tools available at the time.  

Edited by brianmcs
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3 hours ago, Noel said:

Just back from a visit to the Casino. Very impressed with the whole setup. It is a wonderful museum honouring and displaying the incredible Fry collection. The museum exhibits are displayed and organised IMHO way better than the former at Malahide castle. The layout too is superb, perhaps less visual activity to entertain then the old castle layout which was a visual and audible assault on the senses. But from a railway modelling point of view absolutely stunning. Perhaps not as much movement to for general public but it was nice to see children run around the layout following the odd train espcially as they disappeared and reappeared. Bray head is stunning and one thing in particular caught my attention and that was the sublimely realistically modelled wave crests near the beach on Malahide section of the layout. Well done baseboard dave.

Sorry I missed you, Noel! I must have been up in the attic when you called......

22 minutes ago, brianmcs said:

I remember reading an article by FRY in the Railway modeller magazine  ( in the IRRS library - can't remember the year) . He made it clear that he could not get any RTR Irish stuff and he had to make it all himself . 

The astonishing thing is the results he got with the tools available at the time.  

Very much so. I have found his “spares box” which contains 4 or 5 more loco chassis, plus bits of two tram bogies and other stuff. I am trying to persuade them to get more glass cases to display stuff like this.

Look at how he kept his screws, nuts, bolts and other small bits........

 

0620DEEE-11DE-4A78-B820-FE55CE9DDD95.jpeg

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1 minute ago, brianmcs said:

I wonder if his tool box exists !!

Doesn’t seem to. The “spares” bits are in a plastic lunch box which probably originated in the castle.

No tools either. However I have a hunch that I know where there might more bits and pieces; I’ll be making a house call in the near future to see.

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Posted (edited)

Well I found where Dave's tools were left :)  Hopefully they will have an onsite cafe for visitors in the future. Really impressed with the whole setup including the building restoration, landscaping, etc, but the memorabilia and the way the collection is documented and shown off is credit to the organisers, designers and curators.

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Edited by Noel
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On 3/9/2020 at 8:09 AM, brianmcs said:

I remember reading an article by FRY in the Railway modeller magazine  ( in the IRRS library - can't remember the year) . He made it clear that he could not get any RTR Irish stuff and he had to make it all himself . 

The astonishing thing is the results he got with the tools available at the time.  

I think the most exceptional thing about the original Fry models is the sheer size and broad scope of the model collection rather than the actual standard of modelling which was pretty typical of the era 

Modeling complete trains in Irish Broad and Narrow Gauge, British and Continental including pre-Grouping/pre-Amalgamation to 1950s & 60s modern image.

At the time scratchbuilding using hand tools was the normal practice for modellers that wanted anything different to a very limited range of expensive rtr in all the major modelling scales.

Fry's original Irish International Railway and Tramway system appears to be a typical System model railway of the 1930s and 40s similar to Drew Donaldson's & Sam Carse's Irish layouts and the Rev Beales West Midland Railway. At the time it was not uncommon for modellers even in OOO (N) gauge to cast their own wheels and build their own motors and electrical control systems, some modellers in the larger scales O gauge upwards still cast or fabricate their own wheels.

Fry had the advantage of being an insider with access to drawings and information on the prototype, there is a story of Cyril Fry arranging for the Schull and Skibbereen locos and stock to be pulled out of the shed at Skibbereen to be measured and photographed.

He may have knowledge of production techniques and access to machine tools and skilled labour at Inchacore to assist with his modelling, there was an old joke that the Model Railway Society of Ireland was really the Aer Lingus Model Railway  Society as some of the founding members had similar levels of access and assistance to the airlines metal working shops.

Modellers have applied production techniques such as the use of profile cutting, jigs and fixtures to speed up or simplify the repetitive aspects of scratchbuilding from the early days of the hobby. 3D printing, laser cutting and etching are modern examples of these techniques.

The quality of the finished model is as dependent on the knowledge and experience of the modeller in preparing working drawings and understanding the characteristics of the materials used regardless of whether the model is produced by hand using traditional scratchbuilding, by profile cutting, engraving or additive technology. The necessary knowledge and experience can only be gained by practice-practice and even more practice.

Personally the main advantage of 3D printing and photo cutting over traditional scratchbuilding techniques is that it eliminates the risk of error in transferring a design from a drawing to the raw material and in machining or cutting out parts as aging effects my eyesight and ability to cut to a line or read a dial on a machine or gauge.

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You hint at one of the classic traits of 30s-50s modelling, Mayner, which was operational interest more than copying the smallest details of the prototype. GP Keen, Jack Ray and Norman Eagles spring to mind. 

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On 3/10/2020 at 7:54 AM, Mayner said:

I think the most exceptional thing about the original Fry models is the sheer size and broad scope of the model collection rather than the actual standard of modelling which was pretty typical of the era 

Modeling complete trains in Irish Broad and Narrow Gauge, British and Continental including pre-Grouping/pre-Amalgamation to 1950s & 60s modern image.

At the time scratchbuilding using hand tools was the normal practice for modellers that wanted anything different to a very limited range of expensive rtr in all the major modelling scales.

Now that I know about him he is clearly a ferroequinologist, and in an Irish context a FRYrroequinologist

image.png.58bca8043ee50765ed638f2b238cd4e9.png

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On 3/10/2020 at 7:54 AM, Mayner said:

 

Fry had the advantage of being an insider with access to drawings and information on the prototype, there is a story of Cyril Fry arranging for the Schull and Skibbereen locos and stock to be pulled out of the shed at Skibbereen to be measured and photographed.

Was that the occasion where another well known enthusiast was passing by, spotted the smoke, barged in with camera in hand to what was in effect a private party, and words were exchanged?

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On 3/8/2020 at 7:37 PM, brianmcs said:

I wonder if his tool box exists !!

Doesn’t seem to. The “spares” bits are in a plastic lunch box which probably originated in the castle.

No tools either. However I have a hunch that I know where there might more bits and pieces; I’ll be making a house call in the near future to see.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, minister_for_hardship said:

Was that the occasion where another well known enthusiast was passing by, spotted the smoke, barged in with camera in hand to what was in effect a private party, and words were exchanged?

It absolutely was!

Personally, I never knew Cyril Fry, though a number of my friends did. My dad knew OF him but never had a single comment on the subject; whereas my grandfather worked with him. My GF died a few years before I was born, so I never had the chance to quiz him on any subject, but my late aunt was a very vivid conduit into his thoughts. Again, “no comment”. I may read my own private interpretation into that, or I may not.

However, not withstanding the long preamble, I DID know James Boyd well, after travelling with him to chase steam in India in 1979. James was to many a somewhat testy, if not awkward individual but I got on with him like a house on fire. I found him to be an absolute gentleman, albeit one of a very intelligent, but very dry, sense of humour. I had a huge respect for him. He was a man of great knowledge and commitment to what interested him, and (I may say, quite rightly) didn’t suffer fools. He was a man of depth, intelligence and great integrity.

I still maintain contact with his friends.

To say that Boyd and Fry weren’t on each other’s Christmas card lists is an understatement of the highest order!

James elaborated on this to me one time.....  I won’t repeat it here! I am sure if I’d known Fry, I’d have got it from both ends...

Knowing several of Cyril Fry’s family as I have been privileged to do so these days, I have just as high an opinion of them. Cyril’s daughter, an exceptionally young eighty-something, is an absolute delight.

Reality is this: anyone who lets a shared interest come between them or create resentments is indeed a very sad person. A shared interest should be —— Shared!

 

Edited by jhb171achill
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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, minister_for_hardship said:

Was that the occasion where another well known enthusiast was passing by, spotted the smoke, barged in with camera in hand to what was in effect a private party, and words were exchanged?

Ivo Peters an English Railway photographer (of Somerset & Dorset and Bentley fame) called into Skibbereen station in the Summer of 1950 having heard a rumour that an Ivatt 2-4-2T was working the Baltimore Branch train and was surprised to see one of the narrow gauge engines (6S) in steam pulling out the other two. Peters published photographs of the Schull & Skibbereen locos and mentions Fry in his books "Narrow Gauge Charm of Yesterday" & "Somewhere Along the Line". Ivo Peters spent a number of holidays in the South West and recorded steam working on the Kenmare Branch & Tralee and Dingle during the early 1950s. In Somewhere Along the Line Peters simply notes that Cyril Fry had arranged for the locos to be pulled out to be measured for modelling purpose.

Photographers of Ivo Peters generation tended to work by the book and obtain permission to take photographs on the railway rather than just turning up or trespassing.

In Somewhere Along the Line" Peters recounts an "interesting" 1961 meeting with Mr Sheard the General Manager of the Isle of Man Railway to request permission to take photographs of the railway. At the time the Company did not allow photography on railway property and refused to issue photographic permits to visiting enthusiasts.

The meeting appears to have been reasonably civil until a rep. from the Tourist Board told Mr Sheared that Ivo Peters and a friend were recommended by British Railways, the General Manager nearly exploded banged his fist on the table twice and said "Permission Refused".

The General Managers assistant and the man from the Tourist Board left leaving Mr Sheared seated with the two very disappointed enthusiasts, Peters asked the General Manager if he would like to join them for a beer and warmed to them after the second round and literally ended up giving them the red carpet treatment.

Edited by Mayner
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On 3/12/2020 at 8:29 AM, Mayner said:

Peters asked the General Manager if he would like to join them for a beer and warmed to them after the second round and literally ended up giving them the red carpet treatment.

 

Amazing how a simple beer will grease a palm and open many doors or in this case getting the red carpet treatment 

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38 minutes ago, Joe Keegan said:

 

Amazing how a simple beer will grease a palm and open many doors or in this case getting the red carpet treatment 

I hope it was Guinness. One must maintain standards, even in the face of adversity.....!

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9 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

I hope it was Guinness. One must maintain standards, even in the face of adversity.....!

Seems to have been Light Ale a popular summer drink in Great Britain, the Isle of Man and Australasia.  Both Ivo Peters and Norman Lockhart (the other photographer) were English and had decided to drown their sorrows following the general managers refusal.

Having many English and Welsh friends (drinking buddies) I know from experience that they are as  serious about their ales and bitter as the Irish are about Guinnes, Murphy's or Beamish.

I once spent a very enjoyable fortnight in California with a group of British enthusiasts watching trains and taking photographs the only downside was that the popular American beer brands played havoc with our digestion until we found craft beer in an Italian restaurant with an Irish name in a sawmill town called Quincy. Only problem was that we cleared their stock of decent beer in one evening.

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5 hours ago, Mayner said:

 

Seems to have been Light Ale a popular summer drink in Great Britain, the Isle of Man and Australasia.  Both Ivo Peters and Norman Lockhart (the other photographer) were English and had decided to drown their sorrows following the general managers refusal.

Having many English and Welsh friends (drinking buddies) I know from experience that they are as  serious about their ales and bitter as the Irish are about Guinnes, Murphy's or Beamish.

I once spent a very enjoyable fortnight in California with a group of British enthusiasts watching trains and taking photographs the only downside was that the popular American beer brands played havoc with our digestion until we found craft beers in an Italian restaurant with an Irish name in a sawmill town called Quincy. Only problem was that we cleared their stock of decent beer in one evening.

 

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Posted (edited)

The above reminds me of a story I have heard from friends on the Isle of Man, It nearly caused a riot on the Manx Steam Railway, back in the 1960's those involved where Dr R P Hendry, JIC Boyd and Mr Sheared.

While I don't know just who was to blame, I got the impression that Dr Hendry and Jame Boyd didn't hit it off very well, may be it was down to the fact that they could have been both cast from the same mould so to speak.

But I guess I will never know, I am just glade that more Information about the Manx Steam Railways is now coming to light and I can only thanks all those involved in saving this information in the past in the first place.

 

Colin Rainsbury

 

Edited by Colin R

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Fabulous stories. Thank you all.

Can't match them, but when I joined the Chatham club, there was a much respected elder statesman, who was not averse to sharing a drawing one week and turning up with the finished loco the next. Tinplate was his favoured medium, chopped up Castrol GTX oil cans as the source.

 Am sure they weren't state of the art, fine detail, but they always ran well and certainly looked the part, which was what really mattered then.

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Posted (edited)

The Hendry brothers and James Boyd were a powerhouse of information on the IOMR.

I very much suspect that they WERE just “too alike”; in my fifty years of bumbling about within the railway world, the railway historical world, enthusiast and preservation worlds, I’ve met all sorts. And some are pure geniuses at their chosen interests.

In every single hobby, we have our balanced and unbalanced eccentrics and the occasional outright oddball!

Tis part of what makes, eh, life’s rich tapestry so interesting....

James didn’t suffer fools, and nor did Cyril Fry. Anecdotal evidence suggests the Hendrys didn’t either. It’s very probable that none of them had much time for each other!

 However, all four made a monumental contribution to our knowledge of railways, and for that we may be very grateful.

I had Boyd’s books on the IOMR devoured cover to cover before we ever met - and that was when I was 19....

Edited by jhb171achill
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Posted (edited)

Hi John

I agree with you, the only problem I have with JIC Boyds IOM books is while they are very detailed some of the points that appeal to modellers are missing.

I know we could go round and round on this one subject but like the discussion on CIE steam era green the same can be said about IOM era Green and just what shade it was, the same can be said for the exact shade of Red they used as well, no two IOM steam locos came out of the works with the same shade of Red it all depends on how the paint was mixed at the time and most of the locos had different lining which just as well makes getting it right almost impossible to do.

Colin R

Edited by Colin R

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The locos weren't too varied, Colin, but the carriages were actually painted at least three distinct reds. Most were much as now, but some were a maroon and cream colour. The so-called "F" "Saloons" were painted pillar-box-red all over in the 1970s.

As far as the locos were concerned, what happened with the different pigments that you mention, was that while locos looked the same (and were, to all intents and purposed) when newly painted, different batches of paint faded at different rates. Thus, some would look a bit more brownish in time, others not. Weathering and filth, as with all things steam, never helped!

(I'm assuming you're another IOMR enthusiast, like me....)

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25 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

The locos weren't too varied, Colin, but the carriages were actually painted at least three distinct reds. Most were much as now, but some were a maroon and cream colour. The so-called "F" "Saloons" were painted pillar-box-red all over in the 1970s.

As far as the locos were concerned, what happened with the different pigments that you mention, was that while locos looked the same (and were, to all intents and purposed) when newly painted, different batches of paint faded at different rates. Thus, some would look a bit more brownish in time, others not. Weathering and filth, as with all things steam, never helped!

(I'm assuming you're another IOMR enthusiast, like me....)

Yes just a bit, I also have a copy of David Lloyd Jones book on the Manx Peacocks, which has a lot of information about them as well.

But when it comes to true enthusiasm of the IOM, I take my hat off to my mate Robin Winter who has modelled various bits in his time and also produced a couple of books as well.

Somewhere in the back of the workshop there are three IOM loco kits which he built but he was not happy with, so they have ended up with me.

I think I have enough bits now to produce all sixteen steam locos, so that is my long term goal, I think there where 4 greens and 2 reds to deal with plus the MNR livery.

Getting back to the Irish link I also hope to have enough bits to make up both Ballymena locos as well.                

 

 

Colin

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On 2/29/2020 at 7:01 PM, jhb171achill said:

The MGWR tender has, I am sure, a matching loco somewhere; thus far it maintains its secrecy

Did you find the engine . It locks like it is the tender for a midland great western B class

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IMG_5058.thumb.jpeg.54c8e393fb7f4898e6c2948bd38e02f5.jpeg

It turns out the kids santi set had 3 hornby pullmans, if ever i get to bashing/making the models, this is one conversion i could see my self attempting. if only matching the colour.

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1 hour ago, Midland Man said:

Did you find the engine . It locks like it is the tender for a midland great western B class

Yes, an 0.6.0!

25 minutes ago, WaYSidE said:

IMG_5058.thumb.jpeg.54c8e393fb7f4898e6c2948bd38e02f5.jpeg

It turns out the kids santi set had 3 hornby pullmans, if ever i get to bashing/making the models, this is one conversion i could see my self attempting. if only matching the colour.

All of those labels have to be re-done. They were supposed to have had more info on them!

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On ‎3‎/‎8‎/‎2020 at 2:18 PM, Galteemore said:

Any pics of GSWR locos please !

Sorry, Galteemore, missed that. Once I get back in, whenever that is, I'll get those for you.

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6 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

Any pics of the Dublin & Blessington railway @jhb171achill? If so could you upload them.

If the lockdown rules allow it next Monday I will be in the place and I'll get a few pics - but I think I posted them somewhere here before?

If you mean among senior's pics, no. He saw it operate but didn't have his camera! Pity - because the service he saw was one of the two little railbuses, and I have never seen a picture of one of those actually in use.

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