Friday, 12 January 2018

Excitement At Kembleford? (1)

Kemble is Near Cirencester ...
It had a station ...
... whence branches used to run to Cirencester where a remnant of the stations stands proud ...
... and to Tetbury where the station ha been demolished. On the positive side, however, the former Goods Shed ...
... is now an Arts Centre.
Kemble Station is, as readers might expect, a pale shadow of its former self from a rail services point of view, but the attractive station buildings remain. As does just a teeny weeny bit of the branch to Cirencester.
To the left of the buffer stops is a large car park and there is more parking on the "down" side.
The station has developed into a busy railhead for the surrounding communities. There is an hourly daytime service seven days a week ...
... with through trains from and to London every two hours Mondays to Saturdays; an excellent service and, these days, well used.

The Tetbury branch is marked only by the expected line of undergrowth.
Both branches closed in 1964 but in their latter years acquired some fame (notoriety?) for enthusiasts as being the haunt of BR's ultimately unsuccessful railbuses. Here at Cirencester ...
... and ditto Tetbury
But, search the maps ever so diligently and you will search in vain for Kembleford.

We need to go to this man ...
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton; who is possibly best known for his Father Brown stories.
Father Brown is a fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective who is featured in 53 short stories published between 1910 and 1936. Father Brown solves mysteries and crimes using his intuition and keen understanding of human nature. Chesterton loosely based him on the Rt Rev. John Monsignor O'Connor (1870 to 1952), a parish priest in Bradford, who was involved in Chesterton's conversion to Catholicism in 1922.

From the great G K we then move to BBC1 at 1415 on weekdays ...
... where we may find Kembleford.

We will explore further tomorrow.

But, Talking Of Railbuses ...
Heljan A/S is a Danish model railway company based in Søndersø. Originally specialising in decorations and accessories for model railways, it has now also developed a substantial range of rolling stock. It has diversified into modelling the British scene, and since 2002 have released several OO gauge diesel locomotives, and several O gauge models. British Outline now forms the biggest part of the Heljan business and UK operations are run from Denmark through an agent. In line with other model train companies and to keep costs to a minimum models are manufactured in China.

The company has produced two OO railbuses retailing at £99. One is the W&M (Waggon und Maschinenbau) version ...
... and the other, the better known Park Royal design.
Also still available (but only just) is Heljan's O gauge AC Cars railbus.
But the daddy of them all is the former Airfix Kit, introduced in 1961 (?) a the price of 3/- (15p).
It is now produced by Dapol and will cost you around £7.
Of course the kit has no motor, so you will want to buy or make a chassis ...
... and add a full interior kit.
Because the Dapol model is relatively cheap it is easy to adapt to make some free-lance vehicles. Here is a shortie version fitted to a Tomy "toy" chassis.
If you fancy a Heljan ready-to-run jobbie, don't hang about. These models usually have a "short run" of production and, as they say, "when they're gone, they're gone". The last stocks of the O gauge model have been bought by a canny retailer.

 Next Kembleford blog : Saturday 13th January 


  1. Kemble has recently benefitted from an enlarged car park and new entrance off the main road, the buildings are well preserved and maintained and will see IETs on the London services later this year. Not what I would describe as "a shadow of its former self" even though it is now sans branch lines.

    Heljan also produced the AC Cars version in OO, including examples with Kemble destinations.

  2. And it's going to 1 IET per hour (though 5 car sets off peak) from December