Of Thumpers and Fleet Foxes

Kernow Models is working with Dapol to release a series of limited edition models of the Hampshire DEMU or Class 205 or 2H depending on your point of view. Liveries and prices are now available, as is pre-ordering for a spring 2010 delivery. Here’s the details:

Picture K2001 Dapol Class 205 2-H Unit 205 025 Network SouthEast
Picture K2002 Dapol Class 205 2-H Unit 205 012 Connex
Picture K2003 Dapol Class 205 2-H Unit 1108 BR Green
Picture K2004 Dapol Class 205 2-H Unit 1121 BR Green
Picture K2005 Dapol Class 205 2-H Unit 1120 BR Blue
Picture K2006 Dapol Class 205 2-H Unit 1119 BR Green

Be quick, like any eagerly anticipated limited edition, they won’t last! For more details and prices, visit http://www.kernowmodelrailcentre.com.

One of the proposed models, 205025 was a regular on the Uckfield-Oxted shuttles, often sharing the duty with 205012. I found that pair on the line many times and have been fortunate enough to get a few pictures of them both. Here’s a handful of winter shots of 205025 taken at Oxted on a chilly 30th January 2004 – four years’ ago! I have many more – I shall dig them out when I get the chance.

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Fleet Foxes:
Discovery of 2009, musically speaking, is Fleet Foxes, an Alternative Rock genre band which has made a big impression on both Sarah and myself. Not since I was introduced to Porcupine Tree by a guy I respect very much for his DCC knowledge and taste in music have I found an album which deserves continual playing on the studio Hi-Fi. Fleet Foxes is a very haunting sound at times, with superb vocals and and depth to the music, many layers of intricate sound created on some interesting instruments as well as the usual guitar.

These guys can play their instruments, which is more than can be said for many today. Fleet Foxes uses small slices of silence as well as sound for a dramatic effect. The band clearly understands the importance of giving the music time to breath between vocals. Sometimes I wish some made-up,  pop stars and z-list celebrity types that win X-Factor (the producers of the kind of rubbish rammed down our throats by popular radio stations) would use silence – permanently.

So, Fleet Foxes’ album ‘Fleet Foxes’ and its EP, ‘Sun Giant’, rule the Hi-Fi at the moment.

But guess our surprise when Sarah and I looked the band up to see when its next album will become available. Fleet Foxes is from Seattle. One of my most favourite cities.  Sarah and I go there whenever we can afford it and use it as a launching off point for places like Sandpoint, Missoula, Yakima and Spokane when we are on our photting field trips. There’s a great model shop on Elliot Ave – the Seattle Train Centre, close to the railroad with easy access for safe photography. Pike Place Market is the place to go for local produce, sea food and breakfast. Top Pot Coffee for great coffee and fabulous donuts (what else –  Seattle is famous for its coffee houses) and of course, the Space Needle. Add the ‘Ducks’ to that list – a fun way to play tourist and the famous monorail. Sarah is into glass – there’s so much amazing glass-making in Seattle and down the coast to Tacoma… I could go on. We dug the pictures out once again: here’s more from our combined photo archives…

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Seattle skyline from the Space Needle.

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Another attraction – the Monorail.

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The Monorail is one way of seeing the city – albeit pretty quickly.

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Another way is to ride the ‘Ducks’, a seriously lacking in seriousness way to seeing Seattle. It’s fun, frantic and not to be missed. Ride the Ducks on your first day in Seattle – it will set you up for the rest of the visit! This picture is head first into Lake Union, a splosh which is part of the tour.  In a Duck (DUKW)http://www.ridetheducksofseattle.com

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During our 2007 visit, these guys could be found everywhere around the city, dressed up in many different ways.  The event is called ‘Pigs on Parade’ and was held in 2007. Of course, there is a bronze pig at the main entrance of Pike Place Market called Rachel. Put some money in her – she’s a piggy bank for raising funds to support and restore the market. This particular little piggy is ‘Pigasso’.

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‘Sounder’ trains at Seattle King Street station – an easy and accessible rail fan location. No one bothered me for the few hours I spent taking pictures. In fact everyone was very friendly. Note how clean they are…

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The Empire Builder, or rather, half of it departing Seattle for Chicago in late afternoon. The other half starts at Portland and they join in Spokane.

Just looking through the pictures makes me want to return and soon, despite the low Pound against the Dollar. Thank you, Fleet Foxes,  for reminding us both of this great city.

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