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LBSC Ayesha

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RevStew22/11/2018 20:09:08
87 forum posts

Having read many ME magazines and the book on LBSC (his life and locomotives) I still feel unsure as to how 'Ayesha' came to be. Was it (she?) an existing design that he modified, as I understand he purchased the castings, or was it his own design?

Neil Wyatt22/11/2018 20:36:52
17718 forum posts
697 photos
77 articles

Indeed Ayesha is a she - named after the titular character in the H. Rider Haggard novel 'She' and portrayed by Ursula Andress in the movie. Those of a certain age may remember Lift of with Ayesha as well.

My understanding, and I may be wrong, is that he used stock castings, what was different was his coal fired fire-tube boiler design in contrast with the spirit fired water tube boilers of the day. Google 'the battle of the boilers'.

No doubt his convincing demonstration that small coal-fired boilers were not just practical, but superior established his reputation. What cemented it was his ability to write prose that convinced so many people that they too could build and run a working miniature (not model!) loco.

Ironically, like another great innovator in steam (e.g. Watt) he started off as a radical and challenged the status quo but at the end was convinced by his own dogma and averse to the innovations of others. But we must always recognise the outstanding contribution he made to the hobby.


Neil Wyatt22/11/2018 20:52:38
17718 forum posts
697 photos
77 articles

You may also find this interesting, it was originally published in EiM, Model Engineer having declined to publish it.

There is still a lot more about LBSC that remains obscure!


RevStew22/11/2018 21:49:29
87 forum posts

Hi, yes, I've read all that, the 'Battle of the boilers' and interesting it is too. I just thought, before I knew more, that the Ayesha castings were to his design, like the later and indeed current castings are. But now I realise he came up with a design for his loco, and used proprietary castings from what were then current, and available designs.

Lovely to read of the little loco being considered old in the 1930's, I wonder what those guys would have thought if they knew it was still running in 2018?

I wonder what a modern day Curly would be doing? Would sort of modeling would he be championing? He would no doubt be much more comfortable in today's world with his favoured mode of dressing, and his other eccentricities may well now have been considered to have been on the autistic spectrum. Personally I find his slightly cryptic form of writing very pleasing, and it spans the generations very well for anyone moderately well read. When reading his contributions it's like they were written yesterday, and it comes as a repeated shock to realise the guy was already old in 1950. How long since his birth? 140 years now?

Many contributors of the time come across like the Harry Enfield 'Mr Cholmondley-Warner and Grayson' characters, and LBSC is the polar opposite of that.

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