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Author Topic: Shadowlands and Tellynott  (Read 1830 times)

mark dalrymple

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Shadowlands and Tellynott
« on: July 04, 2019, 05:24:25 PM »
Shadowlands and Tellynott

"From the sea for as far inland as the eye can reach, nothing is to be seen but the summits of these rocky mountains which seem to lay so near to one another as to not admit any valleys between them."  Captain James Cook describing Fiordland on his voyage of discovery in 1770.

Jacksons Bay was as far south as one could go along the West Coast of New Zealand before these sheer fjords made the terrain impassible.  It was beautifully located, with the steep slopes of bush clad mountains falling to the coast and enclosed by the southern heads and northern bluffs falling right to the Tasman Sea.  The brave men who attempted to make a life in these stunning but harsh lands were known as 'the far downers'.

As the gold rush of the 1860's gained momentum, the potential of Jacksons Bay as a future hub of the West coast grew.  It was seen as the only real port on the west coast of the South Island and the nearest to Australia, as well as being close to Haast Pass, the lowest pass across the Southern Alps.  The site was surveyed in 1874 and a report sent to the minister of immigration singing its praises, but also stressing that the wise choice of settlers and the construction of a jetty running into deep water were paramount to the settlements success.

Photo 1 - map showing the surveyed plan of Jacksons Bay (Arawata).  A note was added to the map stating that roads may have to be altered slightly to accommodate changes in grade! https://polishhistorynewzealand.org/jacksons-bay/   

More soon, cheers, Mark.

mark dalrymple

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2019, 06:06:13 PM »
Investigations were undertaken into the surrounding area to ascertain the bounties available.  From the sea blue cod, kingfish, tuna and crayfish were all found in abundance while the local rivers and streams produced beautiful trout and salmon along with a plentiful supply of whitebait.  the native timber supply was diverse with matai, rimu, totora and kaihikatea all growing in the general area of Jacksons Bay.  In the headlands to the south limestone was discovered while coal deposits were found between Smoothwater Bay and Homing Cove.  South of Arawata clay of extremely high quality and suitable for brick-making was discovered and, with the abundant rainfall and rich loamy clay soil, there was potential for farming.

The government of the day circulated pamphlets describing a land of milk and honey, of chocolate brown soil and beaches littered with gold nuggets.  Free passage was offered to any man who dared to be rich and land was offered at very reasonable rates.  In 1875 the first settlers began to arrive, and the number quickly grew to 600 including 46 children.  The beautiful picture painted by the government was in stark contrast to reality and the first settlers to Jacksons Bay found "a swamp infested with sandflies and mosquitoes, lashed by biblical rains and bordered by a sea of uncommon severity".

Despite the caution of the Superintendent of Westland and the Chief Surveyor, many of the settlers sent to Jacksons Bay had no experience in agriculture or fishing but were instead men unable to find work elsewhere.  A timber mill was built under the assurance that a deep-water jetty would be built, but while the jetty was partially constructed, the pin was pulled and it was never completed.  In fact, a jetty at Jacksons Bay was not built until the late 1930's.  Through governmental neglect the settlement was destined for failure from its very beginnings and by 1927 only nine families and four single men remained in the area - the hardest of the hard - who toiled the land in harsh conditions until slowly, over the years, it relented.

Shadowlands and Tellynott is my story of what might have happened if the jetty at Jacksons Bay had been built when originally intended.  Taking the surveyors plan as a rough guide, over the next 50 years a haphazard town was constructed clinging to the side of the steep hills surrounding the bay.  A rail line was put in to tap into the local resources and bring their spoils to the wharf.  Industries sprung up to process the raw materials when possible.  The gold, of course, did not last, but while it did the town saw vast wealth and boomed.  When it was gone there were enough natural resources in the area to keep things ticking over.  By 1932, when our scene is set, Tellynott is in the midst of a deep depression.

More soon, cheers, Mark.
 

PaulS

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2019, 07:18:27 PM »
Simply wonderful back story Mark....   And so looking forward to following along as you bring life to your version of the Shadowlands and Tellynott...


--Paul
Modeling the Atlantic & White Mtn Railway

S&S RR

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 10:05:45 PM »
Mark


Fantastic start.  I can't wait to see where you go with this.
John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

cuse

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2019, 06:41:13 AM »
I like a good theme. Nice work.


John

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2019, 07:10:21 AM »
This will be fun to follow along.  Thanks for sharing!   :)
Bob Butts
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mark dalrymple

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2019, 01:39:47 AM »
Hi guys.

Thanks for the comments Paul, John, John and Bob - very much appreciated.

I've been meaning to start a fresh layout thread here for ages - I even thought I had!  I hope to get things going in a bit of a sensible order before I start uploading photos of the various projects ongoing at the moment.

Reading up about the history of Jacksons Bay has been very interesting.  There were some fantastic historical accounts...

...women carrying 25kg (55 pound) bags of flour 10 miles through the bush from the closest store in order to be able to make bread, a visiting dentist removing 96 teeth in a single day, a musterer taking a bottle of whisky and a knife into the bush to remove his own tooth, appendectomies taking place on kitchen tables

...any women who had a barrel to catch rain water from the roof was said by her neighbours to be living in luxury!

It sure makes you think we've got it easy!

Anyway - hoping to get a bit more on the progress of S&T (Shadowlands and Tellynott) uploaded over the weekend.

More soon, cheers, Mark.

ACL1504

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2019, 05:18:41 AM »
Mark,

This has really been fun to follow. I'm still reading the Polish History part and looking forward to your future updates.

Tom ;D
If you hate plan A, you are certainly not going to like plan B!

Tom Langford
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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2019, 09:13:11 AM »
What a grand story and concept Mark.....I'll be looking in on this on.  :)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

mark dalrymple

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2019, 04:23:14 PM »
Thanks very much Tom and Greg!

Tom - I put the link in mainly to reverence where the map came from - but if you are finding the history enjoyable...I have pasted my favourite link below.

https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/spring-in-haast/

The information on the Jacksons Bay history is told by an account of fourth generation 'Far Downer' Neroli Nolan and starts part way down the page with the words 'I wake up' in bold.  It is a colourful account filled with great stories and cold hard truth.  Enjoy!

More - hopefully later today, cheers, Mark.

mark dalrymple

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2019, 10:54:59 PM »
Hi guys.

Well I best begin with the site of the home of Shadowlands and Tellynott. 

In August 2017 we moved to a rural address.  11 acres all up - about five in garden, four in paddocks and 2 in driveway and shelter belts.  We have big plans to develop the garden slowly over the next 2 - 3 decades.  The property came with a large barn - in pretty good nick and of pretty high quality for a barn - but which had been let go to the birds - literally!  I worked around the barn over a period of a few months, wearing all the safety gear, permanently blocking up all the bird entry points and evicting my feathered friends as I went.  The fact that I took a few months to do it seemed to help a lot, as most of the birds saw the end was near and relocated themselves.  I spent many hours scrubbing down the droppings with hot water and disinfectant from all the studs and trusses, and clearing out all the old nests.  I had to be very vigilant over this time, closing doors the instant I was through, or the birds would make a quick attempt to regain ground.  Once cleaned and debirded, I started work on converting the two center bays into the future home of the S&T.

Pictured below are:

Photo 1 - The barn from the front
Photo 2 - a close up of the area to eventually be railway real estate
Photo 3 - the back of the barn
Photo 4 - a close up of the railway real estate.
Photo 5 - the plan of the two center rooms.

The interior door was moved closer to the wall and a beam installed at the opposite end to allow flow between the two rooms.  The area under this beam has been temporarily framed and insulated while I concentrate on Tellynott.  This will all become clearer as I work through the layouts development.

More soon, Cheers, Mark.


mark dalrymple

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2019, 02:24:04 AM »
Hi guys.

Fitting the existing partially completed layout into the new space and the new design has been a ongoing task.  I'm still a long way from finished - but the basic concept of Shadowlands is pretty firm and Tellynott is mostly set in concrete.

I wanted several things in a layout.  Firstly I wanted only one scene to be viewed at a time.  This meant that although the barn has 3.4 meter (11'4") ceilings, that a double decker layout was not an option.  I considered a mushroom style, but soon discovered that this didn't really gain any extra space but did create a whole heap of work.  Paired with this was the fact that we have now experienced two major earthquakes in Canterbury and I wanted my entire layout to be both sectional and on wheels so that if we do get another event the whole thing can be transported without too much fuss.  I also discovered that things on wheels and not attached to walls cope far better and obtain far less damage than those without these virtues.  They seem to move with the shaking.  Further, I wanted each section to be completely self contained, with its own attached backdrop and ceiling.  This set up a few challenges which I had to address moving forwards. 

With this one scene at a time idea in mind, I also wanted to split Tellynott and Shadowlands visually - both to keep the contrasting urban and mountain scenes separate and to help with the illusion of vast distance.  I did my usual trick of cutting out a paper plan of my existing L-shaped layout and moving it around a plan of the model room(s).  Again - this developed over time - but the purchase of a fantastic book of pencil sketches of Wellington city scenes - 'the Compleat cityscapes by David McGill and Grant Tilly' swayed my decision to add a peninsula filled with residential housing to Tellynott - the suburb of Inglletown (anagram of Wellington - Oh - Tellynott takes a lot of inspiration from the suburb of Lyttelton - of which Tellynott is an anagram).  Having backdrops and ceilings on all the layout sections meant that I could use the layout backs as a room division wall without adding a wall, and this is what I chose to do.

With the layout room I started by gutting the interior of shelving, built in workbench, makeshift lining etc.  I then cleaned and washed everything down.  I put plywood on the division truss between the model rooms and the implement shed.  I installed ceiling battens.  I insulated all the walls (including the division wall - being aware that this was a long term project and it might be some time before I start work on Shadowlnds) and the ceiling.  I lined all the walls and the ceiling with plaster board or structural plywood sheeting.  I stopped the plasterboard, put strips of pine up the plywood seams, skirted and painted. PHEEW!

Photo 1 - shows the original L-shaped layout
Photo 2 - shows the expanded Tellynott layout.  There were some slight changes to the shape as I moved forwards.
Photo 3 - shows Shadowlands and Tellynott.  You can see how removing a section of the division wall will let me display the whole area of Shadowlands behind the back wall of Tellynott as one large vista.
Photo 4 - shows work on the room - here I am installing insulation.
Photo 5 - show the room nearing completion and the large removed section of division wall.  Ceilings are lined.
Photo 6 - nearly done!

More soon, cheers, Mark.
 

Janbouli

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2019, 05:05:58 AM »
Very nice  train room, if I weren't as far as I am with my layout I would probably break it down and start all over with the room.
I love photo's, don't we all.

DennisBourey

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2019, 06:49:26 AM »
Mark, I love the track plan, Very busy...Dennis

madharry

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Re: Shadowlands and Tellynott
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2019, 07:29:47 AM »
Good luck with the layout Mark. You have really been busy with the clear up. I've explored that coastline a couple of times and it is pretty awesome.

Mike