It was great to meet up with so many of our followers at Whitehaven today, the weather was quite fickle, it started nice but got cold and windy and spots of rain. A variety of buses were scattered around the dock area and there were several working some excursion trips to Workington or on town tours. A few normal service buses and a couple of sparkling Albion lorries and a little bit of Cleator Moor brass band makes up the coverage for this event. Tomorrow I'm at Llandudno and Tuesday off to Romania.
Hello everyone, I hope you managed to get my daily posts directly on to Facebook. I got home at about 2,30am this morning but was fully awake by 8am and straight into the to do list. Tomorrow we shall be at Whitehaven and Sunday at Llandudno, skipping Truckfest as I really have no time to spare on Monday with the next trip to Romania starting Tuesday. I'm also racing against the clock to conclude the editing / scanning for Railscene production and OTA. We have domest matters to attend to as well, just helped to washing out, lovely blue sky, quite mild but certainly isn't like Cyprus. The trip was very good in parts but I really must pay more attention to the local bank holidays. Anyway I'll be getting the DVDs editing, still downloading at the moment, Mandy has gone to pick up our monthly prescriptions at the health centre. To kick off I'll just plough through some shots unedited and in the order taken.
The four reels of cine from OTA taken by Harry Luff arrived this morning, they had to wait until I'd finished battling with BA over my flight to Cyprus tomorrow. They are sending out automated messages with commands to fill in forms and attachments which are no longer required and there is no way of loading them, then even reminders and emails to say I haven't filled them in right, even after talking ( took 30 mins to contact) I still got another reminder. BA don't give a damn about people, they are however inspiration for a small business that such an entity can offer such low levels of service that ours meagre efforts like perfection. Anyway all that is left to do once car is parked is get through the security and a bag drop.
Then the next surprise well almost a bombshell, my carefully timed visit would have been clear of Easter and public holidays by a week but as they are Orthodox church it happens a week later. So Monday in Cyprus next week is Easter Monday, no matter I'm going to do my Famagusta visit Monday, then potato trucks Tuesday, Limmasol docks Wednesday and whatever I fancy Thursday up to teatime and my evening flight. I've got the hotel access codes and all my equipment and clothes etc are packed ready to go.
I'm just trying to get the first of the German rail films done but they are full of dry joints mid scan so cementing almost in situ, oh the joys of yesteryear technology. Actually with some basic editing they look quite good otherwise they look super jumpy. The new Lincoln film is on the shop and first orders have already come through. So I'd better give you another taste of Cypriot vehicles and I'll try if I can to send through post on Facebook, if not back with everyone on Friday.
First job today was to go back to Ged Coate's yard at Byley and put the finishing touches to all three sentry guards boxes, even Ged's workers thought they looked great complete. Other than selling tickets for the concert I have still to provide the church in Plumley a sound recording of peeling bells to broadcast at their end of the walk from Over Peover, Lower Peover will be well on the way to a full peel at that stage, Plumley has no bells. Just needed to be told what format they required, it was also a nil response over the RNCM singers or musicians, I really need to not volunteer for anything ever again.. ho ..ho. Anyway a shot of one of the three boxes.
I purchased ( well subject to Nat West) my new editing computer today but the Nat West blocked both of our cards, it took ages getting it sorted, I can understand the security in customer protection but normally they ring through a code to input, nothing received, even giving security answers still didn't resolve in the end I had to answer the great questions of our time, how many hairs on my head, yes only God knows that one.
The suitcase is packed for Cyprus, just checking the camera, batteries,tripod,chips etc plus I've got some sweets, that's unusual Dave, well it has to be done. I've tick tacked with Bill at Rail Scene about scanning the three reels for them asap, all seems to be as I suggested, miracles take more notice. I've got all the DVD orders ready to go out Monday, Mandy will hold the fort while I'm away. At Bank Holiday I'm at Whitehaven for Leyland National event Saturday and Llandudno Sunday but not hanging on for Gt Orme run as I fly out Tuesday to Romania.
So what can I say, the new editing computer will be a whole new ball game for PMP and allow me to explore more the AI enhancement and colourization of old films and video. Jumping ahead to Llandudno here are some shots from previous events
Other than traffic hold ups of horrendous proportions the trip to Lincoln turned out to be very pleasant with little wind, warm sun and clear blue sky. The Grand Coffee House at the bus station is still turning out really good cakes, the Bakewell slice was delicious. The buses were interesting mostly for PC deckers, last time I think the services were still restricted. The number in new Stagecoach livery has grown, just the occasional Brylaine coming in though. Anyway I really enjoyed it. When we got home there were the usual panic to address, it would be good if those asking favours allowed a little time but cutting a long story short I'm assisting in resurrecting the Rail Scene series by scanning material for them.
So much to do this evening, I'm putting the finishing touches on the guards sentry boxes at Byley, I'm putting together a demo DVD with samples of recent scans for Peter Waller to run his eye over and some German scenes which I'm not entirely sure of re locations. We did manage a few minutes in the garden, our first sit out but then the phone went, and again etc that ran into dinner. Pub night though so light relief. Mandy will be holding the fort while I'm away, I fly to Cyprus Sunday back end of the week, perhaps I can put notes on Facebook if the new phone links up to whatever it links to. The progress on the new super turbo charged editing computer is still ongoing, looks being between 5 and 6k.
Anyway enough of all that, here are shots this morning at Lincoln.
Not a name associated with cameras today but I guess it was Pye's expertise with communications which made it the kit for Merseybus where the buses could be monitored remotely. In support of the NWVRT I was approached by Steve Owen who had managed as a teenager to get himself welcomed as a regular visitor to the Merseybus monitoring operations room at 24 Hatton Gardens in Liverpool, I obtained footage of the monitors in 1987, B&W but fascinating. There were also really good quality images at Pier Head, technique not brilliant but best image quality I've seen for the era all in colour as are the shots of the actual control room. Some memories will flood back on the basis of this DVD which will I hope be sold by the NWVRT at Kirby in support of the sterling work they put in to saving buses from the region and beyond.
I've nearly finished the round of video scanning other than the Bubb family film which will have to wait until my next two overseas trips are complete. Tickled pink that Cyprus no longer requires any forms to be filled in, just have the usual record of jabs., I fly out next Sunday from Terminal 5 at Heathrow.
This morning I went down to Byley Coates warehouse after running around in circles to get some reasonably priced black gloss paint for our three guards boxes. This actually took longer than the painting, last resort ended up at B&Q, tried to support local business but they don't have the stock. GOt an indoor paint but as it will only be out in summer and for a few weeks I think it will look fine certainly as opposed to just an undercoat. On Friday I will apply all the lining out and royal cypher.
Tomorrow we shall film at Lincoln. Next then will be Cyprus then Romania with a busy bank holiday weekend in between with Llandudno, Truckfest , Leyland National event at Whitehaven. Then it will be off to Romania. So that leaves me with Lincoln a taster of earlier visits.
Today has been more than busy, really edging towards just doing too much in a day and worried that I might have set off a hernia on the other side. All a bit worrying. On the positive side the paperwork for Cyprus re Covid has been scrapped as of yesterday which is splendid news, just need to check in on Saturday online and early start Sunday down to Heathrow leaving plenty of leeway for queues at security checks. I set to with the NWVRT DVD using the interesting material from 1987, really the proper DVD rather than the traffic cameras has revealed probably the best quality footage for sharpness and reproduction. Its all together now just waiting for a sound track, either music or dub some of the actual footage scenes onto the others. It will really just be one in support of the NWVRT and not in the PMP range although I will happily supply them and pass the money on to the trust at Kirkby.
I was down at Coates warehouse at Byley with Roger Turner, we had the fun job of transporting then painting the epic guards sentry boxes which really just soaked up the black gloss paint, the white on the inside with emulsion went on like a dream, just a lot of surface to tackle. I've got to go back sometime this week and put a second coat on the front pieces ready when I'm back from Cyprus to apply the decorative stripes and royal cipher. I managed to get paint of my car seat while going for more paint, I did a detour home and used our latest carpet cleaner which did such a good job I had to clean the rest of the seat to match it. Mandy is no almost up to speed with downloading the DVD orders. I'm still scanning cine film. Next main job there will be the remainder of the Bubb family archive which is tricky as it has to be matched up with the original sound recording.
Anyway what can I tempt you with this evening, We've had some Russian, Ukrainian, Cypriot so why not anticipate our July Brazil trip.
This week only, I offer a Bog Off package on our remaining Lucky Dip boxes, by one and I'll send a second box free of charge. When they are gone they are really gone, the first of the old ex display stock has already been sent to the rubbish tip.
Yes I do get to handle some strange beasts in my editing, these scenes have survived due to the luck of a young enthusiast of the era who saw a use as historical records and although much is in B&W it does portray the city like no other shots would have captured it. Not that it makes easy viewing as the remote mechanical camera jolts from object to object but we'll see what we can use of it in support of the NWVRT.
I've finished off my current round of OTA films from the Phil Tatt collection and as well as remote camers in Liverpool I'm also scanning some film from my own collection albeit now housed with the OTA, these films have escaped and were in the safe hands of friend John Bishop, I'll reunite them with the rest of the Terry Barker films in due course. I thought Phil Tatt's scenes of Hamburg in 1957 were very evocative and I've downloaded some other material on Hamburg which I may will knit together.
It's a funny old day Easter Monday , the weather has taken a dive, much colder now, Elton is busy next door getting the last of the guards sentry boxes structurally complete. Roger Turner is coming round with his trailer tomorrow morning and we'll take them to the Byley warehouse where we can paint under cover. I've three days I could film in so watching the weather forecast tonight with interest and see how it pans out, plenty on my to do list.
Seeing as I've been using a lot of German images lets have a look at some of my own humble efforts in that direction!
A bright sunny day but cooler and windy, hopefully I'll be able to finish of editing saving the batch of cine I last scanned although I have already noted that one will need passing through the scanner as it has picked up some fluff, it had been wound on the wrong way and the extending un-reeling exposed to dust risk! I got some gardening done after lunch, church was very well attended, other than wedding and funerals the best congregation since pre pandemic. Our ready Anne retires at the end of April. We has a retired vicar taking the communion service. Despite assurances all was in place I did need to step in as sides-person due to the large numbers. We had a lovely evening yesterday with Phil, Emma and the children and a tour around what must now surely be Cheshire's best appointed new venues for equestrian sports and beyond. We have our lovely neighbours around tonight for dinner. No work on the jubilee tableux guards boxes but hope to have the structure finished tomorrow. I will go down with Roger Turner to the warehouse and we'll start the painting straight away, I've even done a reminder list to make sure we take all we need.
As the war in Ukraine trundles on and Putin seems hell bent on coming up with some sort of triumph come what may I thought it perhaps a balance to look back on happier days in Russia on our visits
PMP Sponsors the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust at Kirkby.