Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer, Agricola fanboy and jealous admirer of Carl Chudyk. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk

Archive for Trains

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das Fett kauen

Anthony Boydell
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Me and one of my favourite ever Germans, Mr Ulrich Blennemann, chew the fat:


(Uli is very quiet - uncharacteristically - in this one)

Here's fun: how many times do I side-eye my live 'room next door' stream from Dominic Cummings?

I do miss my European friends so very much.
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Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:30 am
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The Exciting of Trains

Anthony Boydell
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These old infomercials are great, aren’t they?


(Thanks to Phryne for pointing this out)
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Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:40 am
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Happy Tramilies

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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This bijou gem from the 1970s just oozes with the brown/orange/yellow/lime green palette of that curious decade:

From gallery of tonyboydell


The thirty-six cards occupy the top third of the box, with the rest of the depth closed-off by a rigid insert.

From gallery of tonyboydell

The clothes!


From gallery of tonyboydell

So. Much. Yellow.


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Bunking up.


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The sense of emptiness; of desolation.


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Every day was a Summer's day.


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That's all she wrote.


The 1970s, in the UK, halo-ed in the afterglow of the late 1960s - like the whole decade had eaten Ready Brek - struggling to find its own identity amid a growing, grinding, societal gloom; the desperation swept away by the Silver Jubilee, punk/new wave and the rampant greed/speed of the 1980s. I kinda miss it.
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Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:57 am
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They were not railway children to begin with.

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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When you're young, you're impressionable; the clean slate is there to be writ upon. As a wee nipper, I recall a great deal of time spent outside: in the Malpas house (in which I was born), it was to the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, to the top of the hill upon which the housing estate was built, cycling the lanes and hunting for grass snakes in the bare ruins of an old garage plot - paddling pool parties; picking melted tar from the road and long weekends with my Italian Grandparents' at their Risca café.

Of equal prominence in the mists of memory is Television: now spurned, vilified even, as a corrupter of youth and nurturer of lazy thought and ill physical health, in the 1970s it was as much a part of essential family life as a well-equipped kitchen, a decent garden and a car. We learned a great deal from the television through the programmes for Schools, syndicated Sesame Street and the Open University*; everyone laughed at the same sitcoms, cried at the same serialized dramas and cheered for the Saturday football results with the ticker tape 'final scores' and the Pools forecasts. There was barely enough content to waste one's time with and, so, our recollections are almost uniformly fond.

Occasionally, there would be a film to grace a Sunday afternoon or a Bank Holiday; until the mid 1970s, I was far too small to go to the movies and - besides - it would be a long period between the cinematic release and the terrestrial TV premiere. We made do with Ealing comedies and Carry Ons, black-and-white war stories and historical epics; occasionally, something newer would be scheduled and one had to make extra special time for it.

Two films, in particular, remain key milestones in my personal history; two films that defined a sentimental aspect to my personality that has persisted through teenage rebellion, work, marriage and parenthood:

The Railway Children (1970); and,
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

In the latter, there is that wonderful moment Charlie finds the coin in the drain - a moment to make your heart skip with joy - and in the latter? Well, there's that moment.

I picked up a very early edition (1906) of the original book recently and it's in spectacular condition:

From gallery of tonyboydell


Though I know the story inside-and-out, it has been an utter pleasure reading it again; the simple process of turning stiff, yellowed pages and the smell of aged ink and paper. The sequence of the eponymous children's charming, jeopardy-free adventures rolls gently along to its wholly-satisfying denouement: loving, kind, innocent, funny and optimistic.

From gallery of tonyboydell


The film, of course, has gathered its own reputation by both faithfully retelling these vignettes and, also, bringing Nesbit's subtly-implied coming-of-age for the eldest child, Roberta, to the fore: The Railway Children is a journey from childhood to adulthood as much as is it a journey through tunnel and along track.

From gallery of tonyboydell


Most enduring, though, is the final scene: before parenthood it made me misty-eyed with contentment but, after, the 90 filmic minutes / the 184 musty, rough pages of bright sunshine, scrapes and derring-do (topped with the best reunion in literature) reduces me to a blubbering, snot-nosed, howling-but-happy wreck.

*much mocked for the flared-trouser and flyaway Einstein hair-do of the earnest Physics and Mathematics Professors
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Sat May 23, 2020 12:00 pm
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Love Of A Branch Line

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Iron Almanac continues at a slightly less-frenetic pace but with a well-maintained momentum:

From gallery of tonyboydell


Matt sent me a list of railway line tweaks and ideas for new train effects (you may recall that each 'Line' is b/w a 'Train' and, normally, a card will remain in one state or the other for the entire game...'normally').

From gallery of tonyboydell


He also pointed out (above) an e-zine (for a paltry, SSG-expensed £4) that described a number of the UK's more unusual railway experiments: lincolnshire potato lines? clifton rocks? underground castle tracks? steam elephants and steam camels?!

Most of these provided the inspiration to build the total number of line/train cards up to a splendid, variable, seventy two (!):

From gallery of tonyboydell

I like trains.


As a bit of (extra) fun, I also mixed in a handful of fictional British railways - some familiar, some not - including one themed around a favourite whimsical novel by John Hadfield:

From gallery of tonyboydell

A beautifully-jacketed 1959 1st Edition


Toot! Tooooooot!
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Thu May 21, 2020 6:15 am
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AMA!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:01 am
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Lok Again

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Back in 2013, when I was picking up the original art for Ivor the Engine from Mr Peter Firmin's actual house, he showed me some of the licensed goodies in his archive. One thing that stood out was a copy of Die kleine Lok Ivor - a German roll-and-move edition from Noris Spiele.

Aside: It gets a brief picture in my original blog post of that day: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/25292/canterbury-tale

Five years of keeping an internet eye-out finally came up with the goods...and what minty-condition, perfectly-formed goods they are:

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


For the price of a new copy of Pandemic, this simple but utterly-charming treasure has been well worth the wait. Now, I just need to get the rulebook translated.
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Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:50 am
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Cuttin' & Stickin'

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Christmas is coming and Alex - long-time gaming pal (though only occasionally bumped-in-to nowadays) - sent me a little something to occupy the long evenings now that Strictly Come Dancing is finished and there's nothing of particular interest on the Telly:

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


Cigar box?! I remember getting socks, boxes of crisps and other practical items from Santa but never tobacco products! Tchoh! It was a different world back in the day, wasn't it? My own earliest memories are of the early 1970s - around '73/'74 - of canals and rope-swings and go-karts, of school choirs and a best mate who drew brilliant Frankenstein/Wolf-man cartoon strips then his family emigrated to Canada and we never saw him again...'Gary Webb' was his name (Malpas Church Junior was the school): I feel an Internets search coming on.

Anyway, Alex has set me a task and I must accept.

colonist (time passes) colonist

Here's the first of them after assembly:
From gallery of tonyboydell

A bit rough around the edges but stunningly life-like, isn't it?!
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Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:15 am
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Ben-evolent

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Thu Dec 5, 2019 9:00 am
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gå under jorden

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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More of my cheap and esoteric local purchases; this time it doesn't get any more 'on-point' while simultaneously 'off-piste' than:

From gallery of tonyboydell


Technical specs, load distribution diagrams, panoramic photos, surveyor longitudinal cross-sections, power distribution and soil type analysis:

From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


From gallery of tonyboydell


I'm not sure it would do me a great deal of good to read all of the words BUT the pictures, sketches and plans are absolutely fascinating!
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Mon Nov 4, 2019 6:15 am
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