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Bluebell matters

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    That is what I meant, need to lay off the gin! Thanks I've now corrected it
     
  2. David R

    David R Active Member

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    Yes they are - safely stored in A Road

    David R
     
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  3. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    Personally I don't believe anyone is in this business (hobby) entirely for reasons of historical accuracy/reenactment, I expect we are all doing it mainly for fun. As such, I think painting a BR standard in a nice colour would be fun and no one would be harmed. I don't expect any punters would be deceived - how many think what they are seeing is "authentic" anyway? They're probably just visiting for fun, too.
    If railways are trying for "authenticity" there are essential two choices: everything from one era and location, or everything true to itself, but the whole is a mixture. I.e. have only stock which would have run on your line, and all in the livery/conditions of one era (authentic to the available stock, buildings, etc., which probably means 1960s). Presumably you then have to run a two-coach train and only allow twenty people on board or it becomes inauthentic. And no car parks. And horrible coffee....
    I jest, but few lines seem to go down this route.
    Otherwise you have various locos, carriages, stations, etc., all of which are pretty authentic in themselves, but may well not be as a whole (Southern locos in the NYM, pre-grouping liveried locos on post-grouping rakes, mainline locos on branchlines, goods locos on passengers, etc.).
    This also allows more of the (150 year) story of steam to be told.
     
  4. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    What you are talking about is converting heritage railways into rail based theme parks, not what the pioneers gave their money and time for all those years ago. There is an educational aspect to this similar to any other heritage projects, I don't think you will see the Imperial War Museum saying wouldn't it be fun to paint out military vehicles in red white and blue. When I was at the Bluebell recently representing the Bahamas Loco Society I can assure you that a lot of the non enthusiast public were very interested in the history of the Coal Tank and one of the frequent questions was what period does it represent in its current guise and was it always black. I don't think they would be very impressed if I had to say no it was never blue we just painted it like that for a bit of a lark
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
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  5. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    What andrewshimmin actually said is that "you have various locos, carriages, stations, etc., all of which are pretty authentic in themselves, but may well not be as a whole (Southern locos in the NYM, pre-grouping liveried locos on post-grouping rakes, mainline locos on branchlines, goods locos on passengers, etc.)." That is a statement of fact. It does not imply "converting heritage railways into rail based theme parks" but simply recognises that these railways inevitably fall somewhere on a spectrum between the extremes of perfect authenticity (however that might be defined) and pure theme park with no pretence at any authenticity whatsoever.
     
  6. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    He did suggest painting BR standards among other things in pre-grouping liveries.
     
  7. marshall5

    marshall5 Active Member

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    Have we forgotten a certain Ivatt 2-6-0 in pseudo LMS "fairground" livery? Or 'Green 5's' or Caley & LNWR Fairburns? Even, God forbid, the '5' in its short- lived Furness red livery. Hopefully those days are gone - lets keep it that way - Please!
    Ray.
     
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  8. 21B

    21B Active Member

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    Why? Take 92212. 5 years in service for BR. Approaching 20years in service on the MHR. Why shouldnt we (in agreement with the owner who hires it to us) paint it yellow if we wanted? It is an abstract point perhaps, but why do we object to our standard gauge lines acquiring a visible expression of their unique identity through their locomotive and carriage liveries? Why is it that there is not room for this alongside the very proper desire also to see historically accurate liveries as well? Finally, I find it much less acceptable to see psuedo historical liveries (and the Bluebell is by no means the only offender) than I would seeing a red tank engine with KWVR on the side, or a black S15 with Mid-Hants Railway in white Gill Sans lettering on the tender or an A1X painted Maroon with Bluebell Railway crest on the tank side.
     
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  9. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    As long as you stop calling it a heritage railway and are happy to lose a lot of your membership and good will nothing at all. Remember though when something happens it is the enthusiast fraternity who put their hands in their pocket, I'm thinking of the SVR floods.
     
  10. 73082

    73082 New Member

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    For anyone interested, my delayed video of the Model Railway Weekend is here:

     
  11. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    Except of course that is quite patently not true, because what did the pioneers do, at the Bluebell, KWVR, Ffestiniog, Carnforth, Tyseley, Talyllyn, etc., etc.? Well:
    Plus 7029 in GWR livery, Corris locos in TR livery, FfR locos in made up liveries and not terribly sensitive rebuilds....
    Because the pioneers were just trying to save some steam so it wasn't completely elliminated. And they were trying to tell the story of steam back to pre-grouping - because having experienced the end of steam they did not want to recall that! So they did what they could with what they had, and took some short cuts, and made some dubious decisions... But God Bless Them, I say, becase they saved some steam, and got us all starting in this glorious and wonderful lark (which it is) which is also a fantastic opportunity to educate and inform.
    In fact the "heritage" and "authentic" angles on preservation are relatively new (1990s onwards) - an indulgence we could start to entertain because we had made it up the first hard climb, and steam wasn't going to vanish completely.
    Anyway, I think this has all got out of hand and very tangential because:
    I didn't, in fact (although I wasn't very clear) - I just suggested BR standards should be counted in the statistics for locos in BR livery versus pre-BR livery. But I was being mischevious.
    I do think painting the odd loco in an inauthentic livery is no problem - especially if there are lots of others of the class in an authentic livery to do the educational part. So I would rather object to the Coal Tank going purple - it's the only one and there are so few LNWR types anyway - whereas I rather liked the Ivatt 2-6-0 in red, I rather like Galatea in red (would prefer proper LMS red, but I don't mind it for a bit), I prefered Royal Scot in red (Scots Guardsman can do the authentic bit, and Scot was in LMS red far longer than anything else, and it would tell part of the story of preservation), I liked rebuilt Bulleids in blue and in red... So long as most locos are authentic, I think it's fine, personally.
    I think SECR livery is so beautiful that anything else on those locos is a great waste - but if people would like to see one occasionally in BR livery, I don't mind - so long as we get some other locos back in pre-grouping or grouping liveries to enjoy instead.
    For me heritage isn't just locos in BR livery on maroon Mk1s, it's also Terriers in Brighton Umber (even if they're actually A1X) on the Mets or Gordon Highlander on two Caley carriages, or the replica Taliesin (which is a 1.1:1 scale model) on the FfR Victorian train.
     
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  12. marshall5

    marshall5 Active Member

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    IIRC there were several reasons for the non-authentic loco liveries in the sixties. Firstly B.R. (pre-end of steam) didn't want privately owned locos getting confused with their own so the B.R. crests and numbers were painted out when sold and quickly repainted soon after. Secondly many of the purchasers looked fondly on the Big4 and less so on B.R so even B.R. built locos like Clun Castle had pre-nationalisation lettering applied. Thirdly the nascent preserved railways of the 60's wanted to establish their own identities in the eyes of the public and to distance themselves from the 'big railway' as many of the potential passengers didn't necessarily feel well disposed to B.R. at the time. At least that's how I remember it.
    Ray.
     
  13. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    It's how I remember it too. Steam at the end of the BR period was in a deplorable state and the railways seemed to Ben in terminal decline. It was a chance to recreate the golden age. In addition to that enthusiasts were not as well educated back then. I probably didn't know then that the full 'Great (crest) Western on the tender was the pre 1928 livery let alone know that Clun Castle was built in BR days.
     
  14. 21B

    21B Active Member

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    My personal experience is not fully in alignment with your view of where the majority of the money required to keep a railway going is coming from. But I think you misunderstood the two points I was making:

    1. We apply a different set of expectations to standard gauge railways versus narrow gauge, where tolerance of painting the loco and stock whatever colour the company likes is normal, except when a specific historical point is being made.
    2. That liveries that look historic, but which are in fact not so, are misleading to a do us no favours if we seek to be more than a theme park.

    I will add a third. Just because the enthusiast would like to see everything in BR livery (especially black), is not in fact a good reason for painting it that colour.
     
  15. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    Please read my post again. I was talking about where the money and hard work came from to get railway preservation off the ground, normal running and maintenance is, hopefully, covered by revenue. I don't agree about narrow gauge railways, the Ffestiniog keeps its historic locos and stock in the correct liveries and so does the Tallylyn.
    I never said everything should be in BR livery, sticking to the Bluebell as an example they are one of the few railways that can field a whole train, including the loco, in a convincing pre war style. Some other railways have a uniform period style, the KWVR for example have all of their stations restored in the BR 1950s style. We are in 2017 and it can't be 100% realistic but that's not a reason to say let's not bother and present everything in pretty colours and to hell with history
     
  16. 21B

    21B Active Member

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    You should read my post too. I didnt suggest that we should ignore history. And you made my point exactly about the narrow gauge. Their historic stuff is in the correct livery, often more meticulously so than you would typically find on the standard gauge, but the rest of the stock is accepted in the colours that the company decides to paint them in. And with respect you were not talking about where the money came from to start preservation your example was the SVR floods, which led me to suppose you were talking about the present day. If I implied that I though you were advocating BR livery to the exclusion of all else that was an error. I meant the comment more generally about the fact that a lot of noise is made in enthusiast circles about wanting to see this loco or that loco in BR livery (normally black), and it gets a bit monotonous.
     
  17. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    Of the 5 Talyllyn locos currently operational, only two (1 and 2) are in a livery they may have worn pre-preservation, and even that is slightly enlightened guesswork, I believe.
    The FfR's locos are also mostly either post-preservation builds, not in historic livery and much adapted (Linda and Blanche, Mountaineer), or in something which may not may not be historic livery, we don't have enough records to be sure (Prince, Palmerston, ME).
    They are both wonderful railways, and no criticism is intended in the above, I have no problem with any of it.
     
  18. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

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    I don't think anyone proposed that, did they? Merely that painting *the occasional* loco in a non-historic loco wouldn't be a problem for me.
    Anyway, I suspect my personal opinions on tangential matters have long since ceased to be of general interest, let's get back to the Bluebell...
     
  19. Kingscross

    Kingscross New Member

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    If I may wade into the authenticity debate, can I suggest that almost as important a consideration as what the paying punter may think is what the view of the volunteer is? Many volunteers are there because they enjoy the authenticity of the atmosphere, whether it's because they remember the scene as a child or because they have a good knowledge of railway history. If that experience for the volunteer is marred, they will be less inclined to offer their services - or (at the risk of being morbid) remember the railway in their will.

    To prosper, a railway needs as many volunteers as it can get its hands on. I can think of several "lower league" lines of the industrial-saddletank-and mark-1 genre where the paying punters continue to visit but the lines concerned are unlikely to flourish further due to the scarcity of volunteers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  20. DisusedBranch

    DisusedBranch Active Member

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    I never fail to be utterly nonplussed by so much fuss being made by some enthusiasts over a substance whose prime purpose is to delay the oxidisation of metal for as long as possible.

    Frankly if you own it, you maintain it and you pay for it, it is entirely your prerogative to use whatever type and hue of anti-oxidising liquid pigment you like. I very much doubt that a few hardcore livery obsessives grumbling online or 'boycotting' any 'non-authentic' livery on a particular vehicle will make any difference whatsoever to the income of a major railway. And I'm certain that the vast majority of those who contribute to a railway's income - i.e. families/normals - don't care. As long as it's a 'steam train' and looks, sounds and smells suitably olde worlde.

    Where is the sense of perspective? Just be thankful that someone has taken the time and massive amount of trouble to ensure that said vehicle still exists at all!

    From an aesthetic perspective I think the blue interpretation of SE&CR livery on 323 looks very smart, especially when it can be seen as a counterpoint to the green version of said livery. Indeed, with my railway modeller hat on, if any of the RTR manufacturers decided to do a P class, I'd be banging on the door of the Bluebell to do a limited edition twin set of 27 or 178 in SECR green and 323 in Bluebell blue, so I could gaze at them both whenever I liked :)
     

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