Boot, the end of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and Morecombe Bay Shrimp

As you can see from the map the seven mile trip ends at the village of Boot. Well, not quite – the end of the line is at Dalegarth. The totality of Dalegarth seems to be the station there. The village of boot though can be see from the station.

Map of Route

Map of Route

It was a beautiful day when we arrived so we strolled to Boot to see what ancient treasures it held.

The main attraction was the Mill which, by English standards was quite recent:

The Mill Race

The Mill Race

The Mill

The Mill

The age of the Mill

The age of the Mill

The item in the cluttered “museum” that was attached to the mill was “The Mangle”. When I was about eight I was conscripted by my grandmother every Monday (except when it was raining) to man “The Mangle”. I hated my job as a latter day Roman slave. And for those of you who have never seen  “The Mangle” check out the pic below:

The dreaded Mangle

The dreaded Mangle

The explanation of what the mangle was used fo

The explanation of what the mangle was used for

The village of Boot didn’t offer too much in the way of epicurean delights so we decided to go back to the station and see if the station caff could offer us a tea and sticky. When we got to the cafe (note the upgrade in term here) we found it offered a limited, but superb menu. And, much to my immense delight, they had Morecombe Bay shrimps as the special of the day.

Morecombe Bay potted shrimps

Morecombe Bay potted shrimps

Morecombe Bay potted shrimps are a traditional Lancashire (a county in north-east England)  dish made with tiny brown shrimp flavoured with nutmeg. The dish consists of the brown shrimp in nutmeg-flavoured butter, which has set in a small pot. We ate ours with baked that morning granary bread.

Potted shrimp was a favourite dish of Ian Fleming who passed on his predilection for the delicacy to his famous fictional creation, James Bond. Fleming reputedly used to eat the dish at Scotts Restaurant on Mount Street in London where it is still served to this day.

How good was ours? I pigged out and had a second pot!

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Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

Question 1 – where is Ravenglass?

Location of Ravenglass

Location of Ravenglass

Question 2 – Where is the Lake District?

Ravenglass - not far from Scotland and Hadrian's Wall

Ravenglass – not far from Scotland and Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall was a defensive fortification against the Scots in Roman Britain begun in AD 122 during the rule of emperor Hadrian.  In addition to its military role, gates through the wall served as customs posts.

So now you know where I went on my vacation. My first two visits to the Lake District were 45 odd years ago in winter. The rain clouds were inches off the ground, the wind howled and the rain lashed down. I never told wife Sarah this ‘cos I thought she would refuse to go. Anyway, we went and it was a glorious English spring day and for the first time I saw the Fells – the name given to the hills/mountains of the area.

Rhododendrons as far as the eye can see

Rhododendrons as far as the eye can see

To my stepmother, who was evacuated from the Manchester area during WWII to the Lake District the railroad on which we were to ride was not the Ravenglass and Eskdale but La’al Ratty.

La'al Ratty

La’al Ratty

The original Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway was a 3 ft (914 mm) line opened on 24 May 1875 to transport hematite iron ore from mines around Boot to the Furness Railway standard gauge line at Ravenglass. Passengers were permitted from 1876 and were carried until November 1908. It was the first public narrow-gauge railway in England. The line was declared bankrupt in 1897 although it operated for many years afterwards. It was forced to close in April 1913, due to decline in demand for iron ore and small volumes of passengers in summer. In 1915 Bassett-Lowke and Proctor-Mitchell, two model makers, converted the line to the 15 in gauge that it is today.

La’al Ratty was number 3 on my Bucket list and my first glimpse of our loco was enough to tell me that I had not erred.

River Mite on the turntable

River Mite on the turntable

Inside the cab

Inside the cab

Running around the passenger cars

Running around the passenger cars

The ride is seven miles long.

Seven miles of heaven

Seven miles of heaven

A great ride on a great day.

 

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Electrification of Second Main Line of the Mendocino Coast Railroad and Navigation Co. G Sclae Layout

Our layout is a mite more complicated than the normal G scale layout boasting two main lines, ability to run eight consists contemporaneously and has five levels. The schematic below gives an insight to its complexity:

Schematic opf the layout

Schematic of the layout

The design envisaged that only one of the two main line tracks would be powered through the rails and that the other would be used by battery powered trains and at a future date battery powered trains with radio control. Like all good plans this one came to an abrupt halt when faced with reality -our learning curve on what it takes to keep battery powered trains in operation seven days a week – we are open to the public seven days a week – has proved a steep one.

So, with reluctance on the part of some club members the decision was taken to change the second line to powered through the rails in such a way that if wanted to reverse that decision it could be made with relative ease. To make the change to RTR (Running Through the Rails) required a GREAT deal of tedious, methodical work. Fortunately we have the right man for the job – club member Joe Green. Below you can see that Joe did everything right and we can now have a powered through the rails consist running on each of the main line tracks.

Joe watching the results of his work - two trains passing each other on the main line tracks

Joe watching the results of his work – two trains passing each other on the main line tracks

Thanks Joe for a great job.

 

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Old Logging Trucks

Club member Mike Aplet sent me this photo of a logging truck operating on a pole road:

Mack truck on a pole road

Mack truck on a pole road

Now, I have to tell you that I would never in a month of sundays climbed into the cab of that truck. That aside, I thought I would have a peek to see if we had any other pics of trucks being used on pole roads in our website. Much to my surprise we had none and even more surprising had no photos of early logging trucks.

So I started trolling the ‘net and came up with these:

Early Mack Truck with axle

Early Mack Truck with axle

I reckon the driver of the truck below is insane:

Early logging truck crossing trestle

Early logging truck crossing trestle

Old logging truck

Old logging truck

Imagine how this trestle shook when this truck and its load crossed

Imagine how this trestle shook when this truck and its load crossed

No way jose with me driving

No way jose with me driving

Boy, am I ever glad I live now and not then.

 

Posted in Mendocino Coast, CA , Local History | 2 Comments

Visitors Video of our layout, The Mendocino Railroad & Navigation Co.

Our website guru Roger Thornburn unearthed this one. By the tone of the ladies voice she really enjoyed our layout.

Thank you Tarraw Sun

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Pile Drivers, Real and Models

After I posted a blog about pile drivers a few days ago club member Mike Aplet sent me a cracking photo of a pile driver working on a four level trestle – check it out below:

Pile Driver working on a four level trestle

Pile Driver working on a four level trestle

I started looking around for more pics and found just one more:

Willamette Slough

Willamette Slough

Then I got to thinking if there were any models of pile drivers – this was after I searched in vain for any G-scale pile drivers. I came up with a few:

Fine Scale Miniatures HO Kit

Fine Scale Miniatures HO Kit

Pile driver mounted on a freight car

Pile driver mounted on a freight car

Willamette Pile Driver Model

Willamette Pile Driver Model

Pile driver model

Pile driver model

Now we just need to build one …..

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Rockfall diorama on the Mendocino Coast Railroad and Navigation Co.

Club member Frank Smith lives way down south and only comes to town once in a while. Whilst here he is a great help. A short while back he e-mailed me: “Do you know whether there is a picture of the outside, southeast corner showing the tunnel cave in? That’s where I worked a bit last time I was there installing the underlying structure for the hillside. Just curious about how it turned out.”

So, me and my kodak brownie took a few snaps. As you can the diorama turned out pretty well. An orchard is in the course of construction for the east side corner and the track has now been electrified. Progress, progress, progress.

Rockfall diorama - view 1

Rockfall diorama – view 1

Rockfall diorama - view 2

Rockfall diorama – view 2

Rockfall diorama - view 3

Rockfall diorama – view 3

Freight cars taking away rubble and bringing in supplies

Freight cars taking away rubble and bringing in supplies

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Two new Videos of the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad and Navigation Co. by Micheal Haven Osier-Mixon

Although Haven is one of our youngest members – he’s still in high school – he is one of our most creative. Below are two videos that he shot recently of our layout which are simply first class. If all goes well he is going to assist in shooting two more in the not too distant future.

Thanks Haven.

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