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Ever since completing my GWR branch terminus layout (Cheslyn) it has languished under dust sheets in the loft. My trouble is that I'm a bit of serial layout builder and get quickly bored once a project has been finished. Space is also at a premium and Cheslyn was taking it up so I therefore approached the Lartigue Museum in Listowel, Co Kerry and asked if they'd like to have it for display. They were delighted and mounted the layout on the wall in the old engine shed shortly after it was delivered to site. In addition to the layout I've also donated some stock.




Cheslyn sits atop a scratchbuilt model of the Lartigue - this was made by a retired driver many years ago and it's a fantastic model that can be pushed along the small section of track made for it.


I was delighted to have been made a lifetime member as a reward and can go visit for free whenever the fancy takes me. I live about 35 miles away (which is only a minor distance here in Ireland) and intend to visit often.


Take a look at their website for some original photographs of the Listowel to Ballybunion railway in its heyday. This unique elevated steam train system ran for 36 years from 1888 to 1924 and the descendants of the British drivers sent over to operate the train still live in Listowel to this day. It seems to be an overlooked chapter in the history of steam traction and any enthusiast going on holiday to this part of the world ought to put it on the 'to visit' list.


The lastest boon for the museum was to find an old Pathe newsreel from the early twenties - it's the only known film to ever have been taken of the Lartigue system. The short film also provides a fascinating glimpse of life in Ireland at that time.








There were two driver/stokers on the footplate to balance out this weird contraption - the above is the modern diesel version that pulls a couple of carriages down a short length of restored track.


Whilst on a visit about a month ago I met Graham Morfoot of http://www.grahamsrailways.com/ We had a great chat about our love for the hobby - it's a small world sometimes!

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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Mike, great to see a post from you.


What a good-looking display they've made of Cheslyn - and true to your style too, ie boxed and with excellent lighting! It really shows the benefits of a black frame, something I've always wanted to add to my layouts but haven't got around to yet.


The Lartigue museum is hereby on my Irish list (although a bit off the potential route, lived in Galway and Wexford as a boy, would like to go back one day).

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Cheers Mikkel,


nice to see you posting again too.


That's interesting about you living in Galway and Wexford - what part of Galway?  My mother's folks were from Glenamaddy - beautiful part of the world.  You must come back and visit one day.



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  • RMweb Gold

Hi Mike, we lived in Furbo in the late 1970s, not that far from Galway itself.  Stunningly beautiful setting now that I look at the old pictures, but at the time my mind was more on surviving in the local school :-)  I don't recall if we went to Glenamaddy, must ask my mother who remembers those years very vividly.

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Hi Mikkel,


Know what you mean about surviving school!!   I was brought up in Birmingham during the 60's/70's - tough time.  Been here in Ireland for ten years now and love it - the pace of life is so much more relaxed with no traffic jams!  


I remember visiting Ireland during the 70's - it has changed so much since then - the small mindedness has long gone.   I don't think I could have convinced my wife (who is English) to come and live here had the culture not changed.  The people here are not over politically correct as yet but, I find, that is a bit of a breath of fresh air.  You are more judged on merit and with a bit of common sense rather than on what you say.   


Gosh, it's a small world sometimes - had no idea of your Irish connection especially given that you are so into the GWR.



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