I managed to get the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club London to Brighton runs film finished, just need to do the cover. I filmed at Stoke, no problems but when I went to edit tonight the mic must not have been plugged in fully , I remember halfway it came off the bracket and the plug was out, it must have been out already. Its a weak point in the system and i hate the Australian RODE mic that I use but the German small mics cost a phenomenal sum and the same problems can still occur. Its a pit that the video screen doesn't show the sound other than in auto modes. Anyway here are photos, weather awful rest of week, only chance to finish is Friday.
I've no idea what the bus frequency position is at Stoke but i will find out tomorrow which at present looks like being the only feasible day for filming. I'm trying to stay local and it can catch the wind but its the best of a bad week with at least two weather warnings for more rain and wind. Its been bitter here again and I've only ventured out to top up the bird feeders, we've got the reed buntings back again which is a welcome spot today. I'm waiting for our bulk supply of sunflower hearts but they are several days overdue, I'll have to fork out at the garden centre if they aren't here midweek, its big garden bird watch this coming weekend, last year we saw nothing it was dark, wet and windy.
I've got back to the film scanning, I've filed those which I'd already done which means getting them on to the editing software time line and giving a rudimentary tidy up, giving them a descriptive title and downloading ready to file, which I suppose is up-filing, all ups and downs but isn't that life. I got an email from a close friend that another of our bus brethren has passed on then I got a call out of the blue tonight from another chap we've known for many years who has had a couple of narrow escapes with strokes ( at the wheel) and has made it through all the Covid mullarky.
I've started editing a film on the annual HCVC rallies, the London Brighton run, the earliest I have are mid sixties but of course everything else on the road with the oldies now looks as if it would have been great to preserve. Anyway we say onward and upwards, like the old contemptibles as the Germans called our first world war army we keep going whatever is thrown at us. In anticipation of the trip out tomorrow shots from Staffordshire in past years from the PMP archive and a couple more of the layout which is now safely behind its perspex which actually needs a polish. Dinner won't be long, I wonder if I'll get a slice of Christmas cake as well.
The layout has moved on a lot since I took these photos this morning, the smaller details and finishing touches help bring it to life. After finishing for tea I decided I needed to have a big clean up and have a few days away from it. Only one bit of civil engineering then its mostly down to the tiny scale population.
Now the room isn't too dusty I can resume my scanning of the cine film and get those already done filed and listed then perhaps look at my next archive effort, which could be the London to Brighton runs I've promised. Anyway I'm now finished for the day, a light scattering of orders to get ready before Monday, still looking at Stoke if outlook remains light cloud. It has been chilly but really wet, yet again but no ice. I edited the Preston film, I'll do the cover first job tomorrow and get it on the shop.
It was freezing fog and black ice on the pavements but better than full sunshine as the mist gathered again in Preston. Although some routes are on a reduced frequency there was still plenty of activity and a second look at the Stagecoach interurban livery which I'd only seen down in Devon up to today. I had a nightmare paying for parking, a recently refurbished car park above the restored bus station but no tap payment, I haven't had any coinage for ages and trying to make it work by phone required listing the van reg DS61PMP, said it three times kept going to VF61PMP. Crazy system, I'd even looked for the news agents, found it after 5 minutes, rows of mesh fencing throughout the ground floor, hidden in separate cages toilets, shop and car park stairs, exits but no entrance, what a load of cobblers, get rid of it strip it back to the way it was completed, spend money on updating ancient ticket machines.
The old forecourt area now paved was a skating rink ditto the pavements so used the grass raised beds by the road, got security on to me as technically that two foot is on the bus station as was, he did accept that being on the pavement was impossible due to ice, perhaps time better spent clearing the forecourt. Excitement by town hall, police vans giving chase and got their man but blocked bus stops, all makes life interesting. The magic electric socks did a super job, I will order the gloves this weekend. I'll edit Preston tomorrow and clips to go on Youtube and hope to get it listed on the PMP shop.
As you can see I've been busy with the diorama, I think structurally it will be complete tomorrow and just lots of detailing to follow so I'll have a tidy up before I do any more.
I forgot to mention the PMP Film Archive were on telly this week, BBC2 Inside the factory with a few brief clips of the old milk floats, they were at Wythall filming the week before the running day in October, the only bus event I attended in 2020. I'm getting lots of invites to book for later this year but I can't see any events before spring at the very earliest perhaps May. I don't think the lock down will be over much before then. We went shopping as it was coming up very quiet on Mandy's supermarket news told us and was correct, a very sparsely populated car park. Tomorrow I hope to be filming in Preston. The only bus reduction I've read about is in Harrogate reducing frequencies according to Coach & Bus Weekly. I also need to get the scanned cine film files downloaded filed and on to the archive database. I have in mind getting the next saga of London bus entities done soon. I am also playing with the idea of Bury for a Bus Spot Ultra.
Anyway lacking any other inspiration for the moment and having had a trauma with one of the largest perspex sheet crashing across towards the new cabinets and cracking I am sort of relieved that the old toothpaste trick still works but i bet it shows in day light, fingers crossed and thankful it didn't damage anything else. While I was in there getting post vans etc out I also got the police and fire vehicles ready for their place in the layout. A sort of last minute hunch that is wasn't all just so has seen my scrap the old Police station and converted the Nat West to police instead, it did come with that option so only a matter of sticking names on the model. I am keeping most things low key with names as I want to use it as a setting which may well change over time and if it isn't too 'branded' I can use modellers licence to do the rest, all these types of things are a compromise of course. Photos coming soon I promise. Meanwhile lets stick with Preston, then its pub night at No17 so 8pm the pumps will be heaving, well I'll get a pack of beers from under the stairs, its mostly Jennings now nowt wrong with that. Oh did I forget about Wrexham, most bus services cancelled as Covid has torn through Arriva.
A bit of a catch up day with four DVDs edited through to burning master disc and creating covers. This just leaves more to put on as digital downloads. You will always see new releases first on the PMP shop, I only upload to Amazon and EBay when I'm feeling suitably fortified thats a couple of pints at least before doing battle with them.
I've done more work on the third section of the 'older' bus diorama and it always takes so much longer than you would think. I've another catch up day tomorrow then hopefully out filming on Friday. It has poured with rain solidly but is a little less cold now, just damp. The health centre sent Mandy's prescription with a volunteer again, that's after trying to put them right last month, it isn't much of a help if they deliver Mandy's and not mine, Mandy had to go there anyway and attempted to get it sorted. I think the rain may well have washed the PMP van after getting a bit sloshed up on the Penrith run, the danger round here is with the farmers trundling high speed manure and muck spreading, keeps the seagulls happy though.
The weather outlook was spot on for today, I headed up to Penrith to arrive about 9.30 although it was a few minutes after and I had to make a quick comfort stop or it would be crossed legs all the time. The ground was covered in frost, it was about minus two to start, there was a herd of highland cattle in a field nearby.
The electric socks did their bit but I should have leaved turning on until I was ready for filming, after my first couple of hours came the terrible sensation of icy toes, it shows what a splendid job the socks do and I might start looking for the gloves to match, ok only joking its Mandy that does matching!
I was lucky really, the sun was over the fire station and across the road, gradually it became suitable for still shots as well as video. I got some good shots and was heading back down the M6 to Cheshire by late lunch time. The next film day will hopefully be Friday although I've already looked at possible destinations, the considerations safety, weather and location. A nice shot of a Foden but it needs tweaking to reduce the white out of sunshine on white trailer.
The diorama is well under way on the third section it will probably warrant a few photos soon as I get the back of the scene completed, messy job weathering the buildings!
A lot going on at present, I was up sharp this morning and headed down for the second time in a month to Cannock. I'd already covered the last days of Arriva on the majority of Cannock based routes now I have film of the first working week day of D&G Chaserider. There were plenty of yellow jackets to make sure that all went smoothly. The drivers seemed happy to be leaving Arriva and joining D&G. IT was a slow start but persistence paid and there were some really quality moments when they had buses with several liveries all together. The light was rather difficulty for still photography even with a very high ASA/ISO rating. I got a few shots together which you will see below. More importantly I got a good hour of the action in the bus station, a couple of other people appeared with cameras briefly. The driver shuttle was a Centrebus trainer, Centrebus own D&G, actually they have quite a spread now.
I've finished editing the Bus Spot Ultra Accrington at last, it has been a bit of a marathon but it came together in the end. I was puzzled that over a few years I seemed to stop coverage then remembered the bad bits that I'd put to the back of my mind. A few hairy encounters over the years but great footage of the post deregulation era and hopefully I'll get the cover done tomorrow and get it loaded on the PMP shop.
I've also started on the remainder of the diorama layout, this is the right hand section and I'm getting the back ground buildings weathered and have completed a bit of instant scratch building for an edifice to fill a void in a cluster of buildings which we partially cover the back scene. I quite like having bits people have to look around or over to get the full effect. I'll post photos on progress when it is a bit further developed, I'll have to share some of the transport over the rest of the scene as it looks a bit too highly trafficked!
Here are some shots from this morning, the first weekday of D&G Chaserider Cannock.
I have now started to collate the material for Bus Spot Ultra Accrington which I'll start compiling tomorrow. St Oswalds has ceased having services for a while, Mandy and myself were the only ones to go for staying open. I think for a lot of folk its their only chance to speak to people outside of shopping trips and many shield from that with volunteers getting their groceries.
I've finished construction a couple more small card kits and now I need to get the layout of the third side of the 1950'70 layout finished and populated. I did a bit of work on family trees and some domestic diy with fixing blinds in downstairs loo etc. I'll probably have more to report romorrow although cleaning vehicles is on the list plus mowing the front lawn!
The latest heritage DVD has taken a little longer to make than envisaged as I had to recopy some of the cine film which developed a shudder on the bottom edge. Such things are sent to try us. Anyway it is done now the master disc is burning and I'll have the cover done tomorrow. I'll keep this brief as it is getting late and we are going to catch up on some TV we missed. The news on the Corona front looks pretty grim but I am picking film spots carefully with regard to avoiding interaction with anyone while I'm there.
Tomorrow I'll edit the Blackburn and Clitheroe film meanwhile here are a few shots from Blackburn yesterday. We did have a fairly hefty pile of DVD orders that went off today but just a few received so far this evening but it does have a habit of piling up so we will keep on top just in case. Monday looks like a truck film day if it does what the forecast says.
The electrical heated socks were wonderful on their first try at Blackburn, standing on ice and snow at the perimeter of the bus station my feet never got cold and I had just ordinary shoes on so it looks as if it was a good buy. I'm thinking of getting the gloves next. Of interest with the big bird count coming up, today we had a pheasant by the greenhouse in our garden, first time we have seen one that close to the house, ready for the pot next time?
Our Pheasant visitor today!
PMP Sponsors of bus rallies for 25 years.