Monday, 24 December 2012

A model of The Rocket

One of the nice things about being a writer is that occasionally someone who likes your work will contact you to say so, and often will bring a new perspective or something interesting from their world into yours. Such has been the case with my novel Mr Stephenson's Regret which has prompted  a fair degree of welcome correspondence since its publication, including some fascinating emails from North East railway enthusiast Colin Moran.

Like me, Colin is dismayed that North Tyneside Council have not seen fit to preserve long-time Stephenson residence Dial Cottage in West Moor as a visitor attraction in the way the National Trust have done so well with George Stephenson's birthplace in Wylam, Northumberland. Colin is currently conducting a one-man campaign on the issue, and I support him every step of the way.

What I did not know about Colin until a few days ago is that he also constructs model replicas of some of the locomotives that have been so important in our railway heritage. The other day he sent me pictures of his model of Stephenson's Rocket which I'm so impressed with that I wanted to share them with readers of this blog. Colin has kindly given me permission, and so I reproduce some of the interesting images below. I don't know anything about model railways, so I'll simply copy what Colin had to say about his model:

Thought you may be interested in viewing my " Rocket " which l think is
quite spectacular in detail and finish. Notice the rails are very different
from today. They were called " Fish Belly " because of their curved shape
between the stone supports. The rails were tied together by bars to keep
the gauge. This was before sleepers were conceived shortly after the
Liverpool/ Manchester became operative.
A clever man in Birmingham made the rails in moulded brass section, in
exactly the way the original cast iron rails were cast. I had the plinth
made and put all the the parts including cutting the blocks together. The
loco is a full working steam machine identical to the real thing in every
detail, although never steamed as l said. Its simply too good to soil, and
will remain l think in that condition, even after me some day.

Thanks again, Colin. These look wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. What a shame about Dial Cottage - count me in for the campaign! Lovely models, too, Colin!