The Old Sage, Chris Leigh, offers some more modelling miscellany.
Just recently, I seem to have used ‘Backscene’ to give a little insight into my non-railway-related interests. First it was ships - this time it’s buses. Our occasional contributor, Jason Shron of Rapido Trains, has bought himself a bus, had it restored and passed his bus driving test. I did much the same, back in the 1970s, when I bought a share in a former Thames Valley Bristol single-decker, known simply by its fleet number as ‘616’. It was a misguided attempt to buy something in which to transport layouts and their operators to exhibitions as it proved impossible to get our layouts through the door, so it simply became a preservation project. Like Jason’s bus, it began with restoration to an authentic livery. We bought it from a Scout group and had to ‘bump start’ it across a car park in Hazlemere, near High Wycombe, because the battery was flat. It still carried the black and white colours of its previous owner, the Coalporters Amateur Rowing Club. They had drilled holes in the roof for boat racks and painted it in what appeared to be either undercoat or emulsion paint. We restored it to sparkling British Electric Traction( BET) red and cream, and I got the job of sign-writing the advertisement for Anstie’s tobacco that accurately reflected the vehicle’s 1950s condition. From us, it passed through the Oxford Bus Museum at Handborough station, and I believe it’s now in Devon, still carrying ‘my’ advertisement. When I recently acquired a Corgi Original Omnibus Bristol L, I couldn’t resist giving it a quick repaint. I already have one in Thames Valley livery, so the new model has been given a slightly ‘tweaked’ version of the black and white in which I first saw ‘616’.
A quick repaint and some home-made decals transformed my Original Omnibus model, which will stand in the yard at ‘Polwyddelan’. Left: “616 against a backdrop of GWR signals and, just visible to the rear, a ‘Hall’ 4-6-0 at Reading General when in...