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Author Topic: Little Trains in Wales  (Read 3191 times)
Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2015, 07:06:39 pm »

The main difficultly I find myself with would be in blocking the bathroom window so as to use it as a darkroom. But even if I did develop the film (I have a book on photography which details the basic method), I'd still need an enlarger and the right paper to make prints. All of which (not to mention the cost of the chemicals themselves) is rather a large outlay


To develop film, you don't need a darkroom, just a tank & changing bag - The negatives can then be scanned, manipulated, and then printed (either inkjet or lightjet). As for chemicals, they need not be expensive (D76, £1.79. 250ml fixer, £3.96). This is assuming you are using B&W film of course.

If you're stuck for processing options, try: http://www.ag-photolab.co.uk/
and for B&W film, I'd suggest: https://www.ilfordlab.com/ (ag can also do B&W).


Oh, I'm not stuck for options, and my 35mm films are all colour rather than B&W. The main difficulty I'm having with getting the 120 films developed is finding somewhere that'll do it a price I'm prepared to pay.
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« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2015, 11:26:01 pm »

The main difficulty I'm having with getting the 120 films developed is finding somewhere that'll do it a price I'm prepared to pay.

I gave up on finding somewhere to develop my B&W films a long time ago. The reasons were many - Poor quality, too expensive, too slow, unable to handle the sizes I use... Now I do all my own, the cost per film is quite low, and if there is a mistake, I know exactly who to blame.

Are you shooting B&W or colour in the Brownie ?
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2015, 09:27:55 am »

The main difficulty I'm having with getting the 120 films developed is finding somewhere that'll do it a price I'm prepared to pay.

I gave up on finding somewhere to develop my B&W films a long time ago. The reasons were many - Poor quality, too expensive, too slow, unable to handle the sizes I use... Now I do all my own, the cost per film is quite low, and if there is a mistake, I know exactly who to blame.

Are you shooting B&W or colour in the Brownie ?

B&W. And I'll be posting them later today, although I do think if I were to begin shooting with it regularly I'd probably look into developing my own films.
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Serrac
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« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2015, 12:35:06 pm »

I do think if I were to begin shooting with it regularly I'd probably look into developing my own films.

If you need advice or assistance in tracking down equipment & chemicals, feel free to contact me.
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2015, 01:03:40 pm »

I do think if I were to begin shooting with it regularly I'd probably look into developing my own films.

If you need advice or assistance in tracking down equipment & chemicals, feel free to contact me.

Thank you, I will. And feel free to join us next year (if we do it again).
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2015, 07:10:51 pm »

Got my films back from the chemists (still waiting on my brownie pics, although they were posted earlier today). Although it will probably be tomorrow before I get round to scanning the negatives and uploading them. So watch this space  Grin
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James Harrison
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« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2015, 08:09:22 pm »

Got my films back from the chemists (still waiting on my brownie pics, although they were posted earlier today). Although it will probably be tomorrow before I get round to scanning the negatives and uploading them. So watch this space  Grin

Excellent!  (I am considering a return trip next year and thinking that maybe a trip to Portmeirion could be included as it is practically walking distance from Porthmadog). 
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2015, 10:26:54 pm »

Got my films back from the chemists (still waiting on my brownie pics, although they were posted earlier today). Although it will probably be tomorrow before I get round to scanning the negatives and uploading them. So watch this space  Grin

Excellent!  (I am considering a return trip next year and thinking that maybe a trip to Portmeirion could be included as it is practically walking distance from Porthmadog). 

Capital idea. That gives us an excuse to make it a three day expedition, which would give us a bit more freedom as to timetables.
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2015, 07:08:30 pm »

Here we go, after about 45 mins work I've managed to scan my negatives in and have uploaded them to (in my best BBC speak) my 'account with a well known photograph sharing website'. Link to the album below (I won't bother posting 50 odd pictures of trains and Welsh scenery here, nice though they are);

http://s1165.photobucket.com/user/09Madasafish/library/Wales%202015?sort=3&page=1

Also, I arrived home from work today to find my Brownie pictures waiting for me, and I am quite pleased with the resulting images (given the age of the camera and my inexperience in using it). Not sure if I'll set about uploading those, but I am definitely going to use it more in future).
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James Harrison
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« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2015, 08:26:24 pm »

Some really nice photos there. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2015, 04:24:40 pm »

The last evening in Porthmadog in July, myself and MASAF were discussing maybe making the weekend break an annual event.

Well it has been a few months and I've had a chance to think over a few things and consider what would be done differently next time, what went well, what could maybe be tweaked and improved, etc. 

So I think for a first repeat we could certainly do worse than going to Porthmadog again.  Provisionally (because it is the best part of a year away and things could well change in the meantime) it would take place on the second weekend in July, as it was this year, as the weather was pretty good and it was early enough in the holiday season for the crowds not to be too massive. 

For next time I am thinking that possibly rather than doing the whole length of the Welsh Highland Railway we instead take it only half way; drop off the train at the foot of Mount Snowdon and take one of the mountain paths for a hike and a picnic before returning (I say this as the full journey to Caernarfon and back is about 6 and a half hours, about five of those being on a train and it begins to pall after a while). 

The Ffestiniog line is quite a pleasant journey and I would propose we go from Porthmadog to Bleneau Ffestiniog, breaking the journey back at either Ddault or Tan-y-Bwlch (actually the latter would be my choice as there are a few walks starting from the station). 

It is also less than two miles from Porthmadog to Portmeirion, and you can get there either by walking along the Cob or by taking either the Ffestiniog or the mainline railway to Minfford.  We didn't get the chance to go there this year (becuase I didn't realise it was so close until the weekend we were there), so I think a visit is definitely in order. 

As to the practicalities; I was able to get to Porthmadog and back on the train; it took a good four and a half hours or so from Birmingham New Street but it is do-able (I would recommend perhaps limiting luggage to one suitcase or one large hold-all bag, as that particular train seems to be popular with holiday makers and there isn't much room for bags).  There is a cheap but reasonable travel lodge just outside the town where we stayed this year, it's about a 20 minute to half hour walk from the town's railway station, largely on the level.  There are a couple of hotels in the town itself as well but I am not too sure at the moment how much they cost.   

As to the cost of the weekend itself; this year it was around £200 for the hotel for three nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), £40 for the Welsh Highland Railway and £20 for the Ffestiniog, then obviously throw in a bit of spending money and I found all up it was about £325 - £350 for the whole trip.  You can save money though in that when you buy a ticket for one of the trains you get given a little key fob/ token- type thing that then gets you a 10% discount everytime you visit both railways in the future.

So, anybody interested? 

     
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2015, 05:40:31 pm »

Oh definitely. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and taking in portmerion and using the walks as an alternative to completing the journey to caernarfon would almost certainly help attract/maintain the interest of anyone who isn't particularly interested in trains and potentially may help attract some of the local steampunks.

The loose confirmation of dates early on as well may also help promoting the trip easier as well.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2015, 05:51:13 pm »

I'm rather wishing I had bought the guide to the Ffestiniog line; it would have had the various walks from the railway in it. 

*Somewhere* in a bookcase in my bedroom is a small guide book to hiking Snowdonia; there is a route up Snowdon which goes past Snowdon Ranger station on the WHR, I'm quite sure of it.  Not that we have to go up Snowdon of course!  The tarn that the train loops around looks quite a splendid spot for a walk too. 

Oh yes; one I thing I forgot to mention earlier- catching the train from Birmingham is quite a bit cheaper than the cost of a tank of petrol.  I paid £19 each way (that was prebooking through the Trainline- other booking services/ websites are available), which contrasts favourably with the £50 it would have cost to fill my car up (assuming one fill-up would have been enough to get from Birmingham to Porthmadog).   
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James Harrison
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« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2015, 11:57:51 am »

It's a cold grey morning in November and thoughts begin to gravitate toward the warm sunny days of Summer (well, in Britain one can dream). 

So;

The 2016 Grand Summer Expedition is now officially 'in planning'. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/707852436018241/

For those who don't use facebook or for whichever reason can't see the above:

"As we had such fun over the weekend in July 2015, I've decided that it deserves a repeat!

From a base for the weekend in Porthmadog we can travel on the Welsh Highland Railway either to Caernarfon, or into the Snowdonia National Park for a hike and a picnic, and on the Ffestiniog Railway either to Blaenau Ffestiniog, or to roughly the half-way point and again stop for a walk and a picnic.

Portmeirion is not too far away either and I'm hoping we can work a visit there into the itinery too.

Getting there:

There is a 2-hour service to Porthmadog from Birmingham New Street (which takes about four and a half hours). Pre-booking tickets last year I had a bargain- being able to get there and back for less than it would have cost to drive there one way.

Where to stay:

There is a Travelodge just outside of Porthmadog, about 20 minutes' level walk from the railway station. Alternatively there are a few hotels and bed and breakfasts in the town.

Anticipated cost:

In 2015 accomodation for the weekend, return train tickets to Porthmadog and travel on both the Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog railways cost around £250."
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Serrac
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« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2015, 12:06:00 pm »

For those who don't use facebook or for whichever reason can't see the above:

"As we had such fun over the weekend in July 2015, I've decided that it deserves a repeat!

Was there a specific weekend in mind for this ?

My annual leave has already been allocated for next year, and I have just one week in July available.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2015, 12:50:22 pm »

It's the second weekend of July- Friday 8th July 2016 to Monday 11 July. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2016, 01:02:55 pm »

At the moment (Jan 1st 2016), the summer timetables haven't yet been published. 

My provisional itinery (and it is 'provisional', until the timetables are published) would be to take the Welsh Highland on the Saturday, probably only as far as Snowdon Ranger (approximately the half way point of the line) and then have a picnic/ ramble/ mountain hike, dependant upon what the general concensus of the party is. 

We'd then take the Ffestiniog on the Sunday morning; my preference would be to go as far as Ddault on the first train (purely on the basis of being able then to track the old railway line which is now flooded out), come back on either the first or second train to Porthmadog, get off at Minffordd and that would give us most of the afternoon to visit Portmeirion. 

 
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2016, 02:00:10 pm »

No objections from me.

The hotel's booked, my vocal chords are warming up nicely (although learning Land of my Fathers in Welsh is proving a bit difficult) so roll on Summer  Smiley
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James Harrison
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« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2016, 02:22:23 pm »

No objections from me.

The hotel's booked, my vocal chords are warming up nicely (although learning Land of my Fathers in Welsh is proving a bit difficult) so roll on Summer  Smiley

That's one, two, no, three steps further on than me!  (Not booked the holiday from Mammon, not booked the hotel, not started practicing Land of my Fathers).  I'll have to start on all that, next week. 
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2016, 03:01:53 pm »

No objections from me.

The hotel's booked, my vocal chords are warming up nicely (although learning Land of my Fathers in Welsh is proving a bit difficult) so roll on Summer  Smiley

That's one, two, no, three steps further on than me!  (Not booked the holiday from Mammon, not booked the hotel, not started practicing Land of my Fathers).  I'll have to start on all that, next week. 

Well I'll be booking time off work closer to the time (when I actually know if/where I'm working at the time), and don't worry about practicing Land of my Fathers, you can join in the chorus when I move on to Guide Me Thou O Great Redeemer.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2016, 05:54:13 pm »

Now definitely booked in for the second weekend in July (July9 & 10)- I've had my holiday request approved at work.

The railway timetables are now available online. 

Welsh Highland Railway (Porthmadog- Caernarfon).  Departure Porthmadog 10.45AM, arrival Snowdon Ranger 12.05PM.  Alternatively stay on the train and arrive Caernarfon 1.05PM.  Departure Caernarfon 2.15PM, or Snowdon Ranger 3PM, and arrive back in Porthmadog 4.30PM.  (you can see why I propose going only halfway; a total of 5 hours on a train is pushing even my enthusiasm). 

Ffestiniog Railway (Portmadog- Blaenau Ffestiniog).  Departure Porthmadog 10.10AM, arrival Tan-Y-Bwlch 10.50AM, arrival Ddault 11.00AM, arrival Blaenau Ffestiniog 11.25AM.  Departure Bleanau Ffestiniog 11.45AM, Ddault 12.00PM, Tan-Y-Bwlch 12.15PM.  Arrive Minfford 12.40PM (visit Portmeirion)and then there is a train back to Porthmadog at 3.55PM or 6.10PM.  Or we could walk back from Minfford or even catch the mainline railway back to Porthmadog (I don't know what the frequency of service is on this though). 

This would give us either an hour and half in Tan-Y-Bwlch, or an hour at Ddault, and still leave the afternoon completely free to go to Portmeirion.     

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James Harrison
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« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2016, 10:38:59 am »

Right, hotel booked.  (Travelodge again- I looked at a couple of hotels on the main street and they wantd £100+ more...)
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2016, 04:41:57 pm »

Right, hotel booked.  (Travelodge again- I looked at a couple of hotels on the main street and they wantd £100+ more...)

Oh, I managed to get in a guest house closer to the main street at £100 less than what the Travelodge were proposing to charge (then again, that may be down to having booked so far in advance).
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James Harrison
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« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2016, 06:21:54 pm »

Truth be told I would have been happy to spend that little bit more; however Sunday morning was spent not only booking a hotel in Porthmadog but also a hotel for a friend's wedding in early June; quite an expensive Sunday morning all told! 

Still, five months now for my wallet to recover  Wink (it won't know what has hit it come July...)
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James Harrison
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« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2016, 11:07:14 am »

Two months to go; my word that's crept up...

I'm rather looking forward to it!
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