Friday 15 May 2009


Back in the introduction I said that model railways has been a life long interest, which though true does gloss over those few years in my late teens and very early twenties when no active model making took place as most of my free time was spent either in the pub or the great outdoors, climbing and walking in the hills. Fortunately for my liver the urge to go out to the pub every night waned once I settled down and started paying a mortgage. Having disposed of most of my earlier models, I started afresh in 00 and having the twin ills of financial responsibilities and small wage, economy was the watchword, hence my layout of the time, Trawden, was built on the cheap.

Both the locos featured here are the result of extreme economy; junk second hand models, stripped for their working under-gubbins and topped off with scratchbuilt plasticard bodies. The one in the photo above represents a battery electric loco and uses an old Triang motor bogie, that to the left a Sentinel shunter utilising a Lima chassis. Like my childhood creations photos rather than plans formed the guidance for construction, and the models could be better described as characterful rather than accurate.

Looking beyond the trains, the scenery and structures were again built by hand. The cotton mill that spanned the line beyond the level crossing was a mongel cross of imagination and memories of the Worth valley. The platform shelter has some Lancashire and Yorkshire features in a much shortened form so that it didn't dominate the platform and unbalance the layout. At the left of the view, the terrace house this side of the crossing was a pretty accurate scribed card model of my house at the time, though I edited away the ugly kitchen and bathroom extension that it had been blessed with sometime in the seventies. All in all I was rather pleased with Trawden in its early format as a 4'x1' micro layout, it appeared at a few exhibitions and made it into the pages of the Railway Modeller. I have to confess that I tried to extend it and it wasn't a success, the carefully planned visual balance was spoiled and operation became less railway like. The extension lasted for one show and was scrapped, thankfully no photos were taken.

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