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Edwardian daydreams

Posted by Mikkel , in Gallery, The Bay 24 March 2013 · 2,456 views

Edwardian daydreams Nörreport station, Copenhagen.

Every day after work, I wait here for my local train home. Today it’s late, rush hour is over. Everyone is tired, noone is talking, noone is present. We’re not really here, we’re already somewhere else.

While I wait, commuter trains roll into the platforms and leave again. Many are nearly empty, having already dropped off most passengers at Copenhagen Central. They will terminate soon, at the next station.

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Then an ICE train pulls into the platform, all the way from Berlin. At the sight of it, something stirs inside the weary commuter: A slightly unusual train, an arrival from far away. Is there anything like it? And thoughts begin to wander...

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Imagine a fine summer’s day in 1906. Imagine the bay platform of a junction station. A 517 class arrives with an autotrailer. Bit of a cliché, I grant you, a bit twee. But as a tired commuter, I’ll go with twee any time!

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And the autotrailer, which one is that? Ah, it’s the unusual A12 from the Plymouth area.

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Oh and look, here’s another train. River Class No. 69 “Avon”. Odd that, I thought I’d sold it some time ago? And what’s a fast engine like that doing in a bay platform? Never mind, it’s my daydream so I can do what I want!

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Argh, what’s all this disturbance now? Oh, it’s the Nivaa train. Well that’s no use for me. And quit staring at me people, I’m not really here, can’t you see that?

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Ah that’s better. Now this is what I call passengers! Stylish, sophisticated and not a care in the world. No ashen-faced commuters here!

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A-ha, here's the River again. And the infamous fireman known as "Mad Charlie", in conversation with Station Master A. Woodcourt. I wonder what they’re talking about? How she’s running today, maybe. Or the qualities of different kinds of coal. Or the Bambatha Rebellion. Certainly not tax forms or car repairs or any of the other trivial matters of today's world.

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Speaking of the Bambatha Rebellion (yeah well, look it up), here’s some real buffalo power! And it’s propelling an interesting 6-wheel U28 clerestory.

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And here’s a Buffalo with a tender! Well sort of: The Armstrong Goods were pretty closely related to the Buffalo tanks, if I’m not mistaken. And in my daydreams I’m never mistaken!

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Now what? Oh, it’s the train I’m in. So it arrived? I got on board? Never even noticed! We commuters are like robots sometimes. But look, it’s been snowing again. Looks nice with the lights, eh? And these are decent DMUs: comfortable, sleek, effective. Come to think of it, reality isn’t that bad after all. I wonder what’s for dinner?

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  • Like x 49

Fantastic blog as always Mikkel!

Lovelly models Mikkel and interesting the comparisons with today. Somehow though I suspect the commuters of Edwardian days had their own concerns and worries. I suspect it is part of human nature, worriers worry. It has changed within my lifetime when I was a boy it was bycycles, buses and trains very few had cars much the same as Edwardian days.


Great read Mikkell-very thoughtful.


Some interesting contempary photos shot nicely in grainy B&W adds to the text. The comparison made with your Edwardian world in colour looks almost ethereal with your beautiful modelling of the period.


Then again the modern world isn't all that bad as you say and I'm sure as Don said there were lifes worries in Edwardian times too.





Hi Mikkel,

Brilliant - I love the narrative qualities you weave into a post! Really took us on a journey there didn't you (pun sort of intended!)?

What is the source and materials used in the Auto trailer please?

Thanks and all the best,

Job's Modelling
Mar 24 2013 10:01

Nice contradiction between the snapshot present and the impressionist Edwardian pictures.

Micro layouts are also very useful to capture a small scene and to show your models on photographic pictures. 

Keep daydreaming! 




Mar 24 2013 10:23

I always read your blog entries with great pleasure but I don't think I've commented before. An absolute delight.



Mar 24 2013 11:29

Now that's Art!


You've done it again, Mikkel.  Great little story comparing past with present.  I wonder though, if in 100 years time, some unborn modeler will be looking back at us and declaring that we too lived in a Golden Age?


BTW, I love your auto trailer, beautiful model - I'm presuming that it's been scratch built?


Also looked up the Bambatha Rebellion and was shocked to learn about Ghandi's attitude toward his fellow suppressed!!  Another reason why I enjoy your blogs - I'm always learning something new.


Wouldn't mind seeing those modern pics in colour either - it's a rather nice looking station.

Hi All,

Another thing is that the picture are the right way round - the modern world in grainy black and white, the Edwardian era full of life, colour and variety.

Even saying that, those are some rather nice shots of the modern station. Very well observed and captured. Art on RMWEB - whatever next?!

All the best,

Iain C Robinson
Mar 24 2013 13:49

Super blog post Mikkel. I love the quality of the modern photographs which are fascinating and stand as they are. But juxtaposing them with your wonderful Edwardian daydream is magical. Love your writing, as always.




Sylvian Tennant
Mar 24 2013 14:00

That is beautiful Mikkel :)

Perhaps a little too sophisticated for the likes of me, Mikkel.


I simply enjoy gazing upon the delights of Farthing; a pastime of which I shall never tire.



Hi everyone, thanks for all your comments - it's nice to share these everyday thoughts with other modellers :-)


The modern day photos are just snaps with the mobile, there's nothing like a bad mobile camera to capture the everyday! The Farthing photos are a bit of a mix from the past year or so that haven't been posted before. Some of them show stock that I don't actually own anymore. I've recently been selling off various locos and coaches to help ease the deficit in the bank account, so before I put stock up for sale I usually take a few "last shots" to remember them by.


The autotrailer is one example of this. I picked it up on ebay several years ago. It's quite special, with real glass windows and brass sides. I enjoyed owning it, but it has had it's time on Farthing and in the future I want to focus more on building my own stock.  So it's now winging its way to someone else who will hopefully enjoy it as much as I did. Who knows, maybe when we're all gone it will still be around :-)


I totally agree that the Edwardians will have had their share of concerns - not least those who were less fortunate than the First class travellers seen above! Maybe the sum of human worries is more or less constant.  But still, there are days when a little daydream does a lot of good :-)

Also looked up the Bambatha Rebellion and was shocked to learn about Ghandi's attitude toward his fellow suppressed!!  Another reason why I enjoy your blogs - I'm always learning something new.


I had never heard of it either. I was looking for an event that took place in 1906 somewhere far away, and came across this one. The hidden irony is that the cause of the uprising was... taxes.  


You are right that it sounds like a different Ghandi from the one we normally hear about! 

Outstanding blog Mikkel but who's the lady passenger in the pink dress ? I'm sure I know her....

Hehe, that's Mrs Longbottom, whose body is an unholy mix of Monty's and Langley's figures, with some DAS thrown in.


Not a Dickensian name as far as I remember, although with all the glues I've been inhaling this evening I'm not entirely sure.



With a name like that I bet she always asks 'Does my bum look big in this ?' LOL.

Wonderful stuff Mikkel...thanks again to bring a smile :)

A smile is exactly what it's about Pete, not to be taken too seriously  :)


Rob, you could ask Mr Longbottom if he's ever heard that question - but knowing him I think he'd be smart enough not to have any opinion at all !



Welcome to Farthing!

Attached Image: farthing2.jpg


This blog chronicles the building of "The Farthing layouts", a series of small OO layouts that portray different sections of a GWR junction station in Edwardian days.


Intro and concept
How to eat an elephant
Design principles
State of play


Gallery (1900-1904)
Four o'clock blues, ca. 1902
What really happened in the Cuban...
The honourable slipper boy (Part 1)
The honourable slipper boy (Part 2)
The honourable slipper boy (Part 3)


Gallery (1904-08)
The trials of Mr Bull
A most implausible arrival
A parcel for Mr Ahern
Blue skies and horse traffic
The Remains of the Day
Motley crew

Edwardian daydreams


Gallery (1914)
All in a day's work, Part 1
All in a day's work, Part 2
All in a day's work, Part 3
All in a day's work, Part 4


Out of period
Undecided sky (1867)
The sleeping giant (1887)
Bunker first (1927)
Fitted fish and piles (1947)


Once Upon a Time in the West
Summer silliness
The unbearable lightness...
Across the years
The Sidelight Job
Painting coach panels

Traverser testing


Low-tech pre-grouping stock

Short trains for short layouts
Short trains with a twist
Hand-me-down coaches
Low-tech coach restoration (1)
Low-tech coach restoration (2)
Low-tech coach restoration (3)
Low-tech coach restoration (4)
Low-tech coach restoration (5)


Sprat & Winkle couplings
3 plank Open in GWR red
Outside Framed 8 Ton Van

In the red: GWR 1900s wagon liveries
In loving memory...
Scratchbuilt GWR one-plank wagon (1)
Scratchbuilt GWR one-plank wagon (2)
MSWJR 3-plank dropside
LSWR 10 ton sliding door van
SDJR Road Van
LSWR stone wagon
Fake news and wagon sheets
Same but different: 1900s wagons


GWR 1854 Saddle Tank (1)
GWR 1854 Saddle Tank (2)
Shiny domes and safety valve covers
Backdating the Oxford Dean Goods (1)


GWR large flat dray
Ratkin & Son horse-drawn wagon
Kit-bashed GWR light dray
GWR horse-drawn trolley
GWR 5-ton horse-drawn wagon
Parcels van and coal trolley


Fun with crates
Barrels, baskets, bales
Small crates and tea chests


Porters and Barrows
Andrew Stadden 4mm figures
Backdated Monty's figures
Footplate crew
HO figures for an OO layout
Lesser known whitemetal figures


C+L underlay and Carr's ballast
Experiments with C+L track
Comparing track
Messing about with track panels
Laying track on "The depot"


Constructing the Branch Bay
First bite: "The bay"
Simple structures for "The bay"
Platform trolleys and barrows
Signs, posters and adverts
Six lessons learnt


Constructing the Goods Depot
Second bite: "The depot"
Shunting Puzzle
Sketches of The depot
Soft body, hard shell
Kit-bashed roof structure
Dry Run
Dusting off the cobwebs
Playing with mirrors
Mezzanine floor
Progress on "The depot"
4mm slate roofing
The treachery of images

A roof for "The depot"

A tall bird from Paddington
Cranes for the depot
Shoulders of giants
Flight of the bumblebee


Constructing the Old Yard
Third bite: "The sidings"
Wagon propulsion
Progress on "The sidings"
Rising from slumber
The Biscuit Shed
A shed and a lock-up
Agricultural merchant's warehouse
Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall
Stops, levers, plates, gauge, wall
Lamps and Lamplighters


Constructing the Stables
GWR Park Royal stable block
GWR stables - an overview


Railway modelling and Art
Moving Pictures
Season's greetings


Layout ideas
A flexible layout
Kicking back in Gloucester


Pre-grouping livery clippings
Journey to Didcot
Detail hunting at Didcot
Here's looking at you
The mists of time (and all that)
My friend the operating chair
Ready-to-plonk freight
GWR Modelling website


RMweb Workbench
Flickr photostream

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