The new Magicbus livery for Stagecoach
The new Shearings company livery, saw several yesterday
I now seem to have a lot of things on the go at the same time. There re four lorry DVDs to edit from yesterday plus I visited Manchester today, a memorable trip, blue sky instead of light cloud, BBC and Accu wrong but I used my favourite spots to get good coverage, lots of buses in new Stagecoach livery and few sticky label Go Ahead plus there were lots of Diamond 70 reg's about.
Tomorrow I'm visiting Peter Waller in Shrewsbury to drop off and pick up OTA film for scanny. I'm looking at photo opportunities on Thursday.
Perhaps the North of England will declare UDI and then remain in the EU, nice thought anyway. Well I went filming at Lymm Poplar services today and got enough film for 4 DVDs, I'm working my way through downloading the memory cards that takes some time. Then hopefully editing will be fairly straight forward. I seem to have so many jobs on the go The slide show for tonight will bring you shots I took earlier today at Lymm. Projects on the drawing board are Bus Spot Ultra Barnsley, Down Your Way Lancashire and yet another in the London bus entity series and may be I get the history of post deregulation bus groups started. Thats in addition to anything else I come up with and I did promised to digitise my 1990 Bulgaria film.
The time certainly rockets by when you have a big project on the go, I am still mak8ing steady progress with the diorama with the 4th block of shops underway in a semi circle which will enclose a wall which sticks out, it is the original garage front wall for the door, the garage was then built forwards and the office at the back now of course we have the display room and editing suite which occupies the former garage. At least it is visible progress and I have yet more detailing kits on order to try and bring it to life. I read an interesting article on trying to recreate the past, whole degree courses are available on this subject. I suppose the bottom line is you cannot do it but you can draw a picture in material, acting or whatever or just make a picture as many have done exemplified by Rothbury cards ( they supply the PMP Christmas cards) who have a whole catalogue of nostalgia on parade.
I got all the many DVDs not on our Amazon shop updated although my usual please, please, please use the PMP shop as Amazon take a huge chunk of our takings which would otherwise be spent on extending and taking care of our archive of 4000 plus hours of material. The PMP shop is usually much more up to the minute, perhaps the digital downloads always a bit behind as they take about 20 times as long to upload may be more. Anyway to try and leave me time for studying further the weather outlook and possible film trip tomorrow I leave you with our latest releases from the South East and Midlands.
Work is progressing on the first of the dioramas in the new display cases, I've now constructed two card kits although a little faster I think I need to change blades in the knife , a sharp edge seems vital to progress with accuracy. MY oo gauage television aerials turned out to be modern image but a german company does make our old BBC and ITV ones. On one of the modeller forums years and page after page has been dedicated to the aerials we had in early days, I don't think I'll be panicking over which way they are directed.
I do though remember that BBC and ITV aerials were completely different and were pointed at differing directions as each broadcaster had its own transmitter. Anyway I digress and that's where time vanishes, my little models consume an awful lot of spare moments but it is starting to take shape. My 9 concrete bus shelter laser cut kits arrived today. I was washing the drive and cars and the postman handed me our delivery but i immediately dropped them as I was wringing wet, now the post was soaked, thankfully all well packaged so no losses. I also got a bundle of other goodies for the layout from scale 'litter' to cobblestones, office clocks and for the more modern construction a horad of for sale signs for boarded up little shops.
I've had yet more requests to meet some of our younger viewers out on a shoot, perhaps we can get a reality TV show with the youngsters copying more catch phrases, we shall see what we see with the thumbs up seems to be favourite. I must say though that this months viewing figures and Youtube have plummeted so please everyone get clicking on the adverts when you visit and hit a few different clips that helps my ego! With all these distractions the time spent mowing and strimming has been exceeded by daydreaming. I is rather pleasant though to be putting my plan together or the new office, so far everything has progressed as I wished. Well we have watched the photos from Leamington so tonight I turn to Straford upon Haven, a rather dismal place without visitors and the rough sleepers, druggies and alcoholics seem to be spreading out in the disused shop doorways. Leamington certainly held the prime place out of the two but I suppose if Johnsons finish then Stratford won't have much appeal for filming.
Today we went to film in Leamington Spa and then on to Stratford upon Avon. The weather for once was as per outlook and just right for filming with light cloud albeit a bit on the chilly side. The big news is the 'temporary' bus terminus Leamington, it seems like so many other places that where the council has tried and failed to get areas pedestrianised they are now using powers under the pandemic legislation to do what the want by decree rather than any normal process. They were installing permanent bus stops with shelters in the road. As if to make it seem that the whole stopping up of the road is slightly underhand the no entry other than buses sign is situated about 4 metres from the road and nothing like the standard size, cars were up and down and staggered to find that they weren't meant to use the road anymore. I sense a cash cow in fines for driving through the 'new' bus station. Anyway everyone was very friendly and charming really, the crews were top class so a big well done to Stagecoach and National Express. Johnson don't even use this new bus stop and thus fail to get the intended passengers, one of our fans I got chatting to had suffered this mishap already that morning.
Next we went on to Stratford upon Avon, another overdose of plastic barriers, the two towns were at the loony end of the market, what happens to all the plastic later and with the arcade road one of the widest in Britain how did it give a social distancing danger, we got our councils to back track and our Knutsford roads are tiny and pavements designed to take just a single person. The child labour, well a neighbour had a leaking roof at the weekend and got a phone number out of the local rag for roofers. Enthusiastic they are indeed and industrious its just that there is zero safety and children helping, no scaffold, no ppe and I mean none, operating cutting wheels without anything other than tee shirt, trainers and jeans. No scaffold, no harnesses nowt! Anyway pictures from leamington to kick off the evening.
We managed to get the DVD orders away before we went to Holmes Chapel surgery, our first venture indoors since lock down as they just passed prescriptions out but now the new pharmacy is finished and has more room although social distancing doesn't help. The door to the surgery had a typical plague look, plastered with loads of notices, no wonder people are constantly confused. Since the very start of this infection there have been no end of conflicting messages and confusion. We are still in the middle band so its down the pub tonight as usual.
We then went to Handforth Dean for M&S shopping and called at the butchers in Knutsford and had eventually got to fill our cars up which wasn't easy as the direct route to Northwich was grid locked, we just turned around and went a few miles extra on another road. Then when I got home I got stuck into a second trial of the card building models. My speed and proficiency has come a long way, I think a practice one to go at the back and then the finished product at the front is the way forward, glad it gets easier with practice, it will be fine until I slice a finger off, the whole things would never had passed health and safety when I had a day job!
I've printed off a full set of the download road surfaces set, I think it will look just the thing when installed plus the paving surface which looks very realistic and better than the draughtsman drawn versions. So my buildings will just have internal strengthening and no base until installed on the diorama. I'm running out of shop fronts but have other kits I can clone something from. When I get to the 'modern' shops I can have them all for sale or let, I've even got some tiny little for sale signs coming. I never got the covers done for the DVDs I edited yesterday but if we get to leamington and Stratford upon Avon tomorrow I'll get tham all done on Saturday. I wanted to get Lancashire done before it becomes a full plague site, guess its just so sunny in Lancashire that I'll try again next week. Meantime some Lancashire bus memories. I hope also to do lorry film next week.
Clonter Opera which we support has managed to land one of the lottery £100k grants which should bide them over for a while. Next week I visit Peter Waller of OTA to collect film and return others. I also want to see my pal Jon in Sussex before Christmas and get some more of his collection scanned to digital. It's all go isn't it?
Not only are the latest DVDs ready I've put the trailer clips on our Youtube channel. We are still hoping to be out and about with the camera this Friday, destinations weather dependent as usual. We had a bit of a lay in and then got the DVD orders cleared and popped into Knutsford, Mandy noted that 80% of the temporary disabled parking was occupied by non disabled drivers, this is about normal, only two cars with a blue badge , one parked o the lines beyond as disabled full. This is about par for Knutsford. Anyway I carried on with my editing and got both Luton and Milton Keynes finished, covers I'll get ready tomorrow.
I then got stuck into the card modeled buildings for the first diorama in the new display cabinet. I managed to get it finished and the back scene rolls have arrived, nice quality photos on a 10 ft long set of two washable non tear prints with sticky back although I might skip that aspect as it would be a nightmare if I ever have to change things. I'll get some of the downloads printed and mounted with detail for the roads and pavements rather than use those with the models. I've a lot of super detailing packs on the way, I always get carried away, I also need street lamps and trees. I was quite pleased with the set of shops I constructed, I haven't made anything for quite a few years now, at least 20, my eyesight at close quarters isn't that brilliant.
We have a couple of appointments at the doctors tomorrow for blood tests and blood pressure reviews, I bet at the rate Corona is spreading it will be hell trying to get appointments again just like the lock down, of course we now come in the High risk category but at least we get our Thursday pint at The Crown. The new office chair arrived, we were going to get one from John Lewes but they were out of stock of nearly everything, it is hell getting any goods at the moment so we went to Amazon, it arrived, package torn, broken bits falling out, smashed leg component. Really there wasn't any packaging just a broken box containing a broken chair parts. Then trying to get the heavy box to the car I fell and hurt my shoulders. Then the clown at Johnsons cleaners drop off said it was too heavy and large for them but they would take it just this once - thanks for nothing eh. Still no refund on the broken cine film scanner which went back to China, Paypal are really giving me the runaround on it - they are now a right shower and I think would fail to get 'bank' status in the UK, their Trust Pilot scrapes in at one star but then they don't have minus marks.
Slide show this evening from my visit to Milton Keynes yesterday.
Up at 4.15 am and straight down to High Wycombe but when I got there instead of the promised cloud on two different weather forecasts it was a clear blue sky and shadows everywhere. Gave up but still had to pay to exit car park, then back on the M25-M1 up to Luton. Very quiet but I managed to get the film of the buses and all very friendly, light cloud just right for autumn film work. Then back on the motorway and up through the road works to Milton Keynes, a bit more sun but manageable and eventually got away around 2.30 and then back up home arrived about 5.45. Missed online meeting for RNCM, sent apologies though. A bigger pile of DVD orders tonight, I'll get them done and away first thing tomorrow. I'll get the latest film downloaded and edit DVDs and then get back to the diorama in the new display cabinets, still on my first row of shops, anyway it is the first bash at modelling for many years. The horde I found in the loft is now in the display cabinet stashed on top shelf. A job for a rainy day getting them out of the boxes, unscrewed is the hardest part. Photos from Luton this morning.
The Volterol gel has made a great improvement to my right knee, standing up to a day of punishing filming and still doesn't hurt.
An early start tomorrow morning, it looks as if I can tick a couple of South east locations off my to do list if the weather keeps dry until mid afternoon although we all know how often the forecast gets it wrong. I also finally managed to made a start on some of the car kits for the diorama in the new display case. I'm just waiting for the back scene to arrive and then I can plan out the placement and road sizes etc. Its been a long time since I've done any sort of model making, the eyesight is now the greatest challenge. I soon found out the at Stanley knife is far better than craft knives for hacking through car although it does give the building great stability.
So its subject to weather changes, traffic etc etc but I hope to be covering High Wycombe and Kingston upon Thames tomorrow. Not that many DVD orders and I've got them ready for Mandy to pack, she has decided that its too long a day in cold weather hanging about in the car. I'll be heading down the M40 which drops me off nicely and with luck I'll be getting a good catch up on an area I haven't visited for a while. Lets see if I have any shots from my last visit for tonight's slide show. I went to Du8nham, Massey brewery today and got a case of their beer, like everyone they were waiting for the latest news, we are now regraded up to high stage alert along with Manchester but really nothing changes that much, I had a call from the chap who is going to do our fascia on the house front, its now gone back to December but he does have the material now but has been track and traced for someone who tested positive who worked for him recently so is stuck at home for two weeks.
I knew I had one large box full of brand new boxed models, actually there were four such boxes and although I went through many more boxes by the time I'd got these down, dust wiped off, me wiped off, overalls in washer, vacuumed upstairs put away cloths etc I think it would be fair to say I'd had enough. I found some juicy old East Kent photos to pad out the sales boxes a few from other Kent and Sussex operators but no larges hordes but plenty of old negatives albeit many damaged or at least spotted with dust from the roofing contractor a few years back. I think I was getting the models from Graham at Halifax although there are an awful lot of Australian and Hong Kong models perhaps a trip to down under with stop off at Hong Kong on return.
They must have been when the cupboards were overflowing and never unpacked. There were various items of family interest, Mandy old certificates from school, my Royal Observer Corps cert for Red Spitfire badge top proficiency. Mandy old postcards from school friends, some of my notes and jotting books from my hippy era. A lot of the large models Alan Fenton up at Haslingden used to make to 1/43 ish, they are Eastbourne Corp and Southdown in white primer, I super detailed the ones I finished, I think I'll sell there others on to someone with time and ability to make the most of them, there is even a PLSC Lion for golden oldie lovers which would have looked fine alongside the TD1 that I did finish in war time livery.
I found some of my old coin collection and notes which can go in my museum shelf which is the bottom shelf of the new display. There were the remnants of my old Southdown disposal sale purchases of posters.
I took a quick series of shots which will perhaps cause consternation as I'd forgotten I had them! I also did a bit of practice work on the card models for the dioramas, I think ideas are coming together, when there is something to show and give you shots of them at present it is a white blank canvas of a long wide shelf. Getting days allocated this week depends of course on the weather and I'm looking at a wide area but Thursday is out as we are having blood test and flu jabs. I'll be like a dart board by the end of play, or fainted!
PMP Sponsors of bus rallies for 25 years.