|MEET THE MELLOR BROTHERS|
|Gloucestershire Transport History is proud to present to you an ever expanding record of the work of David and Paul Mellor: for me the finest exponents of model truck and bus creation and display in Gloucestershire. It has been my privilege to know them for some years now and to set the scene, here is an account by Paul Mellor:|
THE STORY OF
THE RIVER VIEW TRANSPORT CAFE
|Among the star exhibits on the River View Transport Cafe diorama - as exhibited in April 2006 - was a flatbed in the red livery of Febrys of Chipping Sodbury. A part of greater Gloucestershire until 1973, Chipping Sodbury is better known nowadays as the birthplace of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The Mellor wizardry rolls on.... Click on the picture for more about the next Mellor Brothers display at St Margaret's Hall|
|As boys David and I were both very interested in all forms of
transport and collected the usual Dinky and Matchbox models. As I approached my
late teens I became more interested in model buses, collecting and making
various ones from white metal kits such as Ambrico and Westward, and it was then
that I became a member of the Model Bus Federation.|
In 1969 I learned that one of the bus kit producers was also making white metal kits of various lorries and this is when everything began. My first model trucks were Westward Atkinson Borderer units, and one was built as an exact replica of a George Read, Longhope, tractor unit complete with scratchbuilt sleeper cab conversion and trailer carrying a scrap car load as was correct at the time. The other Westward kit of an Atkinson Borderer was built as standard in Nuttall Transport colours, and both can be seen sometimes at the River View Transport Cafe.
It was then that I decided to create models of trucks used by Gloucestershire operators, and now I not only make kits but also convert die cast models using replacement resin cabs and parts with brass and plastic card used to make fittings. Bodies and trailers are also scratchbuilt.
Over time, David has also become very interested in helping to make the various loads seen on the trailers and a joint decision resulted in the diorama of the River View Transport Cafe being constructed to exhibit vehicles from the late 1970s.
A great deal of these models are produced purely from a photograph and textbooks, manufacturers brochures and actual measuring of the real thing. We are always looking for photographs and information on past Gloucestershire hauliers vehicles in our campaign to recreate history.
|Two views of Paul Mellor's first model truck - a
Westward kit of an Atkinson Borderer in the markings of George Read of Longhope.
The tractor unit is complete with scratchbuilt sleeper cab conversion, and
trailer carrying a scrap car load as was correct at the time.
|Indeed, if anyone has any photographs, plans, memories or other
information about commercial road vehicles based in Gloucestershire from 1950
onwards that they would like to share with the Mellor Brothers please email me and I will pass
the data on. Information is also sought on the Windrush Transport Cafe, formerly
on the A40 between Gloucester and Oxford.|
Looking at the array of constant 1/76 scale scratch built articulated semi-trailers and bodies for rigid chassis - including box vans and tipper designs - on show either at the River View Transport Cafe or lined up on shelves ( as seen next to Brocklecote Bus Station below ) what really separates Paul and David from other road vehicle modellers in my mind however is their blend of historical research and steady hands. They use no decals!
As such their collection now includes many of the "one off" designs operated by Moreton C. Cullimore as well as their more familiar ERFs and Fodens. Similarly, their Mercedes artic with a large traction engine on its low loading trailer had twin flashing lights – rather than just beacons – to warn other road users. Two more items worthy of special mention at the moment are the Commer/ Scammell based furniture van operating as new for Staites Furniture and Removals in the 1950s and an up-to-date Scania "T" Topline in the livery of Maquires of Cheltenham. This huge bonneted tractor unit even had custom lining and flags on its Brunswick green and white metalwork.
Like an Aston Martin or a fine malt whisky, no Mellor vehicle is ever rushed. And the true connoisseur is happy to delight in whatever vehicle - new or old - is on display: either representing Paul's membership of the Model Bus Federation or David's affiliation with the National Association of Road Transport Modellers.
THE STORY OF
BROCKLECOTE BUS STATION
|Brocklecote may be a fictional bus station but like the name ( a mixture of Gloucester suburbs Brockworth and Hucclecote ) the backdrop of Cooper's Hill with the World famous Cheese Rolling slope strikes a chord with many Gloucestershire exhibition visitors.|
|Just as trucks naturally gather at transport cafes, so Paul and
David's Brocklecote Bus Station diorama can be used to great effect to display
their range of public service vehicles. And just like the exquisitely lettered
trucks and buses themselves, the fictional Brocklecote has an unexpected level
Purportedly built in the 1960s to serve a new town development, Brocklecote is also the hub of frequent services to Abbotswood, Abbeydale and Abbeymead areas. Sited on part of the old Gloster Aircraft Company factory in the shadow of Coopers Hill, its facilities are due for a makeover – not least because a new link to the M5 and the arrival of more industrial units nearby has made a separate long distance coach terminal a possibility.
Also next door are the offices and works of the North Western Road Car Co. (Glos) Ltd : the fictional City bus operator which has fought off takeover bids from many larger firms and, since 1960, continues to paint its buses red with an ivory trim and its coaches ivory with a red trim. This is a variation on the real-life North Western Road Car Co, founded in Cheshire in 1958.
|Rear and internal views of Glevum 2000 showing Paul Mellor's attention to detail|
|As well as modern low-floor, low-emission buses at the various stands ready to take passengers all over Gloucestershire, Brocklecote also hosts executive coaches from time to time. One notable example is "Glevum 2000", a vehicle with three axles to take not only the weight of its own equipment and that of passengers but of duty free alcohol purchased on "booze runs" to France! After much conversion from a standard die-cast model, "Glevum 2000" boasts an interior complete with tables, lounge areas and microwave oven equipped galleys! Also in the luxury coach market is the North Western's own Glevum Centurion. Seen below, this features a Plaxton Paramount 4000 body on a Leyland Royal Tiger chassis.|
|More generally, the bus models displayed at Brocklecote began life as white metal or brass kits which were either epoxy glued or soldered together - although some of the earlier examples were original Dinky Toys: heavily reconstructed but only about one third of the cost to buy|
|These passengers have a choice of the fictional North Western 549 service Leyland Olympian double decker or two other single deckers.|
|Standing out from the crowd at Brocklecote at the Cheltenham GWR Modeller's Group Exhibition in April 2008 was this white liveried Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 demonstrator on a Scania powered Trident chassis. After evaluation The North Western Road Car Co. (Glos) Ltd has decided to order a large sub-fleet of this low-emission type for delivery in August 2008. Picture by Andy Peckham.|
|By the time of the Cheltenham GWR Modeller's Group Exhibition in October 2008 seven Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 double deckers were in North Western Road Car Co. (Glos) Ltd markings, including VX58 DYB seen above loading passengers at Brocklecote for the 250 service to Lower Tuffley.|
|Already in service - and at speed with the return leg of a 222 Upton St Leonards circular service via the infamous Lobleys Drive bridge and Cooper's Edge - is VM 57 DZU, one of four Scania engined Alexander Dennis Dart Enviro Midi 200 PSVs in the North Western Road Car Co. (Glos) Ltd fleet. They make far more environmental sense than putting everyone on quad bikes!|
|Similarly materialising on the Brocklecote scene near the blue police box is this Ford Transit in the new livery of Gloucestershire College. Picture by Andy Peckham|
|Passing Brocklecote is this Volvo FM tipper truck in the markings of Barnwood based Keyway plant hire. The tipping body is scratchbuilt and the cab on the eight wheeled plastic chassis was converted from a Lledo Volvo FH cut down by 1mm with parts adhered by Araldite. This particular vehicle was the first of its type operated by Keyway.|
|Six months later the same vehicle is in need of a good clean as it avoids a pothole puddle at Brocklecote. Founded in 1963, Barnwood based construction firm Keyway is now owned by Eamonn McGurk who also owns Gloucester City Football Club.|
|Proving that Gloucester is still the Crossroads of England in 2008 - A40 roadworks and Severn Bridges notwithstanding - the roads around Brocklecote have been graced by the Volvo FH16 6x2 tractor and curtainsided refrigerated trailer of Mansel Davies & Son Ltd from Llanfymach, Pembrokeshire. This splendid model comes from the 4mm scale Corgi Roadscene die cast range rather than the Mellor's own workshop, although yet to make an appearance are any Southdown PSVs.|
|Looking ahead to 2010's Golden Jubilee
celebrations at the April Cheltenham GWR Modeller's Exhibition, the North
Western fleet was recently augmented by the Optare Solo seen
above at Brocklecote bound for Gloucester's Southgate Street while a
very modern Gloucestershire Double Decker is being converted from an
east London bus with a central entrance for disabled passengers.
Based on Creative Master's newest release (UK 9017) of one of a
batch of Polish built Scania Omni City double deckers, the central
door aperture is being filled with white metal profiled panelling. Once
in service with the North Western Road Car (Glos) Company, the
wheelchair facility will be just opposite the foot of the stairs, as is
the practice on current Stagecoach double deckers.
|Also on show at Brocklecote was the Optare Verso made from the PSG resin kit, this particular "tadpole"- registered as VO 10 AAA and forming the 200 service to Witcombe - having an MAN prime mover while the Solo was powered by Mercedes.|
MELLORS ON THE ROAD
|Paul and David will be appearing live with their models at the following events in 2012|
|Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 May||Steam Rally||Castle Coombe|
|Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 June||Classic and Vintage Commercial Show||Gaydon|
& Sunday 1 July
|Truckfest South West||Shepton Mallet|
|Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July||Welland Steam Rally||Worcestershire|
|Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 August||Steam Extravaganza||South Cerney|
& Sunday 29 October
|Cheltenham GWR Modeller's Group Show in aid of CLIC Sargeant||Cheltenham|