Our friendly postie has been doing stout service in wet conditions once again. Yesterday he turned up with an excellent parcel of S-Range Minifigs Spaniards very kindly sent to me by Matt - all the way from New Zealand (no wonder Jamie looks tired). I knew these were coming, but was delighted to see their condition, and they are painted, and there are enough of the fabled SN1s figures here to produce an 1812 Spanish light infantry battalion with very little work. There are also some 1809-period grenadiers who may well be the start of the first battalion of Granaderos Provinciales, if I can raise some matching friends for them. Thanks again, Matt!
I've been doing well on the donations front of late - I also was recently sent a very nice stash of unpainted SN1s chaps by my mysterious painting friend, Goya, so the 1812 Spaniards are kept bubbling along. I have only very rarely met a free parcel of soldiers which I didn't like.
Jamie also brought me a slightly off-the-wall addition to my non-collection of buses. This is a Commer (Rootes Group, Chrysler...) minibus in the colours of Crosville - the destination is Ynys Station, which was on a now-defunct railway line running south from Menai, in North Wales, through Caernarfon to Afon Wen. The bus companies used to run minibuses like this in country areas which were too sparsely populated for a full coach service; the minibuses also took a role in handling post and parcels. I must say the model (by Oxford Diecast) looks absolutely tiny, but it is 1/76 - the normal HO model railway scale - the same scale as the double deckers I have already in the non-collection, so I guess minibuses must have been a lot smaller than buses. That's probably where they got the name from. [Duh.]
The number plate ending in a B dates this vehicle from around 1964 - any North Welsh readers remember these little chaps? The railway closed in 1964 (thank you, once again, Dr Beeching!), and Crosville provided a bus service to replace it, so the full-size original of this van must have been provided new for the start of that service. I imagine these little buses would operate as feeders for the main bus service - so this would be a local shuttle running passengers into Ynys to connect with the (bigger) Caernarfon/Menai run. Note that the vehicle has a raised roof to allow passengers to stand up. The sheep would not be allowed on the seats, I guess.
|Original rail route-map of Menai to Afon Wen service|