Jump to content

Please use M,M&M only for topics that do not fit within other forum areas. All topics posted here await admin team approval to ensure they don't belong elsewhere.

New Haven Neil

Older Inspirational Layouts

Recommended Posts

 
On 02/09/2019 at 23:27, RJS1977 said:

 

Quainton Road to Grandborough really existed of course (part of the Metropolitan Railway to Verney Junction - and mentioned in the Bond film 'Skyfall'!).

 

I remember when I worked in our mapping department some years ago looking at a map of that area and being puzzled for some time as to why I couldn't see a disused trackbed from Grandborough to Buckingham and Leighton Buzzard....

Yes you're quite right and I'd not compared Peter Denny's fictional map with the real one closely enough. 

 

I did always think that the fourteen or fifteen mile Leighton Buzzzard (Linslade) branch from Grandborough Road was improbably long but that apart he'd obviously thought through his imaginary history in some detail. Though Granborough Road Station was so named from 1920 until it closed, it was still Grandborough in 1907 when he set his layout (and as a relatively important junction probably wouldn't have had its name changed in any case ). Grandborough Road  (along with Winslow Road and  Quainton Road) may have been a bit of a give away that a certain company based in Paddington had originally worked the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway line before the Met took it over in 1891.

 

The changes that Peter Denny made to Buckinghamshire's railway map were trifling though compared with moving the county town from Aylesbury to Buckingham - or rather keeping it there - and making Buckingham a Cathedral City to justify the size that his Buckingham GC terminus eventually grew to be. There actually is a Bishop of Buckingham but he is a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Oxford and in 1907 would not have been an area bishop so I wonder if Denny's imagination extended to a separate diocese with its Bishop's seat in Buckingham Cathedral. 

 

What I liked about Denny's approach was that, though he clearly did his research well,  he didn't let it get in the way of modelling but got stuck in and did the research as he went. The Mk 2 Buckingham terminus was actually based on Ashburton (with a few changes) and grew from that and he claimed that he only modelled the GCR because the Model Railway Club was full of knowledgable GWR enthusiasts, he liked its livery and its signal posts weren't latticed which made them easier to model. 

Edited by Pacific231G

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 02/09/2019 at 23:42, Nearholmer said:

Every time I go cycling over that way, which is often, I find it really hard to get out of my head the idea that I'm about to cross a bridge on the Stony Stratford Branch, or the line to Linslade, or see an embankment that once took GCR trains to Buckingham. And, why Granborough Junction left so little trace, I cannot fathom.

 

Five common carrier narrow gauge railways in England?

 

Southwold; Ravenglass & Eskdale; Ashover; Leek & Manifold; Lynton & Barnstaple; Sand Hutton.

 

Makes six.

 

If we add tramways, we get the W&SSST, and Alford & Sutton, both of which carried goods, although they probably didn't have common carrier obligations, and probably some bits of Black Country tramways. The Rye & Camber looked a bit like one, but definitely wasn't.

 

Which is being very picky, and isn't intended to detract from a point well made.

 

PS: There's going to be a debate about Sand Hutton, isn't there? I've come over all doubtful about it now.

Though it had a Light Railway order I think the Sand Hutton was still essentially a private estate railway and, though it did carry passengers, these were estate workers and visitors.   I don't know if the brickworks at Claxton were part of the estate or not but in any case I don't think the Sand Hutton would have had any public or common carrier obligations.

 

There were also a number of industrial railways that carried passengers privately, usually workers. Indeed, with 50-60 miles of 18inch gauge track the Royal Arsenal Railway in Woolwhich was the most extensive narrow gauge railway on the island of Great Britain. However, I suspect that in terms of route mileage, the longest NG railway apart from the Welsh Highland was the 25 mile long Lochaber Railway near Fort William which was also purely industrial.  

  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Yes you're quite right and I'd not compared Peter Denny's fictional map with the real one closely enough. 

 

I did always think that the fourteen or fifteen mile Leighton Buzzzard (Linslade) branch from Grandborough Road was improbably long but that apart he'd obviously thought through his imaginary history in some detail. Though Granborough Road Station was so named from 1920 until it closed, it was still Grandborough in 1907 when he set his layout (and as a relatively important junction probably wouldn't have had its name changed in any case ). Grandborough Road  (along with Winslow Road and  Quainton Road) may have been a bit of a give away that a certain company based in Paddington had originally worked the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway line before the Met took it over in 1891.

 

The changes that Peter Denny made to Buckinghamshire's railway map were trifling though compared with moving the county town from Aylesbury to Buckingham - or rather keeping it there - and making Buckingham a Cathedral City to justify the size that his Buckingham GC terminus eventually grew to be. There actually is a Bishop of Buckingham but he is a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Oxford and in 1907 would not have been an area bishop so I wonder if Denny's imagination extended to a separate diocese with its Bishop's seat in Buckingham Cathedral. 

 

What I liked about Denny's approach was that, though he clearly did his research well,  he didn't let it get in the way of modelling but got stuck in and did the research as he went. The Mk 2 Buckingham terminus was actually based on Ashburton (with a few changes) and grew from that and he claimed that he only modelled the GCR because the Model Railway Club was full of knowledgable GWR enthusiasts, he liked its livery and its signal posts weren't latticed which made them easier to model. 

Of course, as Buckingham developed the fictional geography also changed.

 

Edit: see this post for a summary.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/144178-recreating-the-berrow-branch/&do=findComment&comment=3543716

Edited by St Enodoc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised that nobody has yet mentioned Dennis Allenden's Ste Colline-des-Champs in this particular thread. For those who are unaware of this wonderful piece of model making there's a short feature at the Forums LR PRESSE site here. Though the individual items are exquisite (the photos here don't do them full justice) it was the prose and the idiosyncratic layout design which first captivated me.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Neil said:

I'm surprised that nobody has yet mentioned Dennis Allenden's Ste Colline-des-Champs in this particular thread. For those who are unaware of this wonderful piece of model making there's a short feature at the Forums LR PRESSE site here. Though the individual items are exquisite (the photos here don't do them full justice) it was the prose and the idiosyncratic layout design which first captivated me.

That blog also mentions the late Richard Chown's Courcelle Part, which was inspired by Dennis Allenden's work:

 

https://www.gauge0guild.com/Gazette/Article15_7.htm

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/09/2019 at 23:19, Pacific231G said:

Fascinating film so thanks for posting it.

I'm not sure what you mean by "a proper railway" but In the UK and Ireland all railways that "officially" carried passengers had to be "proper" railways in that they had to satisfy BofT requirements. Light railways- which came quite late to Britain- were relieved of some requirements but not that many and the main advantage of Light Railway Orders was that each railway didn't require its own act of parliament.  The level of relief from safety regulations was in the hands of the Railway Inspectorate and varied quite a lot but I think included things lile using "economical" facing point locks where a single levet unlocked, switched and locked a set of points; not having distant signals where speeds were low and so on.

 

I believe the GWR used economical facing point locks in some places so not just light railways.

 

Don

  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/09/2019 at 02:07, St Enodoc said:

Of course, as Buckingham developed the fictional geography also changed.

 

Edit: see this post for a summary.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/144178-recreating-the-berrow-branch/&do=findComment&comment=3543716

 

Indeed. It was I who wrote that post but it was good to remind myself what I'd gleaned from Peter Denny's writing back in May  :rolleyes:  You're quite right though and Denny wasn't the only modeller to build imaginary cathedrals. The late Andy Hart turned the small market town of Chateau-du-Loir (pop. 6400 in 2016)  into the cathedral city of Achaux and changed the local railway geography to provide his well known French main line terminus layout with a rational "legend". Unlike the "Cathedral" in Buckingham, that in Achaux did appear on the painted backscene and was based on Chartres.  I don't though think either of them actually went any further into the ecclesiastical implications of their rewriting. They weren't trying to compete with Anthony Trollope! 

22 hours ago, Donw said:

 

I believe the GWR used economical facing point locks in some places so not just light railways.

 

Don

At some point the BofT must have accepted them more generally but I can't believe there was a large enough market on light railways alone to make them worth developing. Were they also supplied to overseas customers before the BofT accepted them?  Is there some difficulty about operating them from a distant box, given the extra motions required, that makes it better to use a separate locking lever?

On 05/09/2019 at 10:48, Neil said:

I'm surprised that nobody has yet mentioned Dennis Allenden's Ste Colline-des-Champs in this particular thread. For those who are unaware of this wonderful piece of model making there's a short feature at the Forums LR PRESSE site here. Though the individual items are exquisite (the photos here don't do them full justice) it was the prose and the idiosyncratic layout design which first captivated me.

Though I never have and probably never will model in O gauge I've also long found Dennis Allenden very inspiring. The exchange on LR Presse got one thing very wrong though. Although Allenden had lived in America (in the suburbs of Washington D.C.) for about eleven years at the time of his very untimely death at the age of 52 in February 1977, he was actually British and came from Yorkshire. I think he was part of the 1960s "brain drain" of scientists and engineer and may have been in the nuclear industry.

He built Sainte Colline-des-Champs in his Maryland home and it was an interesting layout;

 

(Scans of the entire article from the July 73 RM including a track plan is on page two of the Loco-Revue Forum's thread) 

http://forum.e-train.fr/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=38523&start=15

 

It was set in a real corner of France between Chateaurenault and the Loire at Amboise but with a few changes of topography and more major changes of settlement and railways.  Essentialy it was an MPD with a street scene (complete with metre gauge steam tramway) behind it and a couple of side scenes. Trains could be run into or through the scene on four different tracks with two pairs of staging tracks.  It was a layout for showing off locos and rolling stock rather than for operation but it occurs to me that in H0 it would fit on a five foor by three foot board with a couple of fiddle yard extensions - just saying!  

 

I think it was Allenden's writing just as much as his excellent modelling that appealed to me  "In Michelin 64, a land of light wine and silver streams where the complaining willows lean low. there runs in this year of 1909 a little train intensely local, highly vernacular" (I think Michelin 64 is my own favourite part of France)

 

My only beef with Dennis Allenden, and it certainly wasn't his fault, is that in the March 1959 Model Railway News, he wrote a detailed article, with plans, about his model of the charming metre gauge station of Le Mortier-Gumond. This was on the last surviving line of the Tramways de la Correze that, until it finally closed in 1960, was the last steam tramway in public service in France.  Allenden himself, who clearly visited it, assumed that it was pretty typical as did generations of British modellers and I've seen several of them on layouts.  Unfortunately, though Le Mortier-Gumond, was to the same standard design as all the TC's station buildings * (it came in four sizes) that design was completely unique. I've never found any other French station remotely like it. A model of It can only be a Correze Tramway station and there are far more generic station designs that would be typical for any number of local railways in France.  

 

*a surprisingly high number of them, including Le Mortier-Gumond itself, still exist and at least half a dozen have been lovingly restored. I think the Corréziens really miss their tramway.

 

 

Edited by Pacific231G
typography
  • Like 4
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

 

Indeed. It was I who wrote that post

Of course you did David! My apologies for not noticing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

 

Indeed. It was I who wrote that post but it was good to remind myself what I'd gleaned from Peter Denny's writing back in May  https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_rolleyes.gif  You're quite right though and Denny wasn't the only modeller to build imaginary cathedrals. The late Andy Hart turned the small market town of Chateau-du-Loir (pop. 6400 in 2016)  into the cathedral city of Achaux and changed the local railway geography to provide his well known French main line terminus layout with a rational "legend". Unlike the "Cathedral" in Buckingham, that in Achaux did appear on the painted backscene and was based on Chartres.  I don't though think either of them actually went any further into the ecclesiastical implications of their rewriting. They weren't trying to compete with Anthony Trollope! 

At some point the BofT must have accepted them more generally but I can't believe there was a large enough market on light railways alone to make them worth developing. Were they also supplied to overseas customers before the BofT accepted them?  Is there some difficulty about operating them from a distant box given the extra motions required?

Though I never have and probably never will model in O gauge I also find Dennis Allenden very inspiring

 

Buckingham Cathedral did appear on the backscene but it was quite small and subtle and easily missed.

 

DSCN2182.JPG.5000c4020453aa87e8f510bf5be31719.JPG

 

It was a cut out photo of a real Cathedral but I can't remember which one. Very likely Truro, where the layout was based at the time.

 

 

  • Like 6
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

 

 

At some point the BofT must have accepted [economic FPLs] more generally but I can't believe there was a large enough market on light railways alone to make them worth developing. Were they also supplied to overseas customers before the BofT accepted them?  Is there some difficulty about operating them from a distant box, given the extra motions required, that makes it better to use a separate locking lever?

 

The Midland used economical FPLs in large numbers, but then they had their own signal works so they may have been manufactured in-house. As you say, they must have been a heavier pull as part of the lever throw is lost to unlocking and relocking

Edited by Titanius Anglesmith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

Of course you did David! My apologies for not noticing.

No apology necessary. Your link to my post saved me having to find it again.

10 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

Buckingham Cathedral did appear on the backscene but it was quite small and subtle and easily missed.

It was a cut out photo of a real Cathedral but I can't remember which one. Very likely Truro, where the layout was based at the time.

 

I agree with JohnR. It definitely looks like Truro and why wouldn't it be? Peter Denny's parish was in the Truro diocese and I believe that's where he retired to and didn't he have a (part time?) job in the diocese after retiring from Newlyn . I can't find that photo in any of the published articles I have and it is different from his usual style of backscence painting so wonder if it appeared quite late. In the first iteration of the full size Buckingham terminus the cathedral grounds, in the form of a wall with trees behind it,  were immediately behind the cattle docks and I think there was  a hint of cathedral on the backscene but much closer to the station. The street at the back of the Buckingham seems to have grown and replaced the grounds.

Something else I'd not realised, because it wasn't in the "final" version of the imaginary rail map in Buckingham Great Central, was that he completed the planned line to Oxford from  Quainton Road. There's some vagueness about this though as in "Buckingham in Operation" Model Railways Oct. 1980 he mentons semi-fast trains from Buckingham to Oxford and the local map looks like this with Grandborough Road the junction for Oxford with the line crossing the GC just north of Quanton Road then working down and joining the GWR's Princes Risborough-Thame-Oxford line somewhere east of Wheatley (around where Oxford Services on the M40 are now?) 1505283942_BuckinghamGClegends001.jpg.6478b4f33dbd9bcbb49878ffd88d5311.jpg

But by 1991 in his article in Modeller's Back Track it's changed again and now seems to follow the planned route of the Oxford and Aylesbury Railway via Brill (where there would have needed to be a fairly expensive tunnel) but a reasonably easy route from there to its planned Oxford terminus behind no. 12 High Street, St Clement's, just east of Magdalen Bridge. This still offers a through route from Buckingham to Oxford but a junction with the GC main line at Quainton Road seems to make more sense in terms of possible connections.

871804935_BuckinghamGClegends002.jpg.623d78d879cd213edff52515ccb97c41.jpg

I always rather liked the proposed line from Quainton Road to Oxford (with no need for Buckingham to become a city) and not only because it would have given Oxford an interesting third,possibly electric, station. If the LPTB, having taken over the Met  in 1933 had run through to Oxford as it did briefly to Brill, one has the intriguing possibility of both Oxford and Oxford Circus appearing on Harry Beck's map as at one time did Aylesbury. The Brill line only lasted for two years before the LPTB closed it so I don't think it ever got  onto the UndergrounD map. 

 

 

Edited by Pacific231G
  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That view will not have appeared in any published articles as I took the photo just for this thread! The vast majority of the back scene was hand painted but there are one or two places where photos were cut out and stuck on and that is one of them. I had to be a bit careful with the camera angle as there is a bit of painted scenery just beneath the Cathedral that doesn't really blend in very well and makes the building look as if it is high up on a hill some distance away, with much greenery between the town and the structure, which is a bit unlikely.

 

That area of scenery was altered quite late on, when some much older terraced houses appeared and an area of trees was removed. The removal of the trees uncovered a less well done section of painted back scene.

 

The scene behind the station and indeed the geography and history of the fictional railways of the area was a very fluid and variable affair.  If Peter could think of a change to the history that would create an interesting train working, then the history books were very easily changed!

 

The more I look at photos of the layout and then look at it as it is now, the more I see very subtle and some not so subtle changes.

Edited by t-b-g
  • Like 3
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

 

Indeed. It was I who wrote that post but it was good to remind myself what I'd gleaned from Peter Denny's writing back in May  https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_rolleyes.gif  You're quite right though and Denny wasn't the only modeller to build imaginary cathedrals. The late Andy Hart turned the small market town of Chateau-du-Loir (pop. 6400 in 2016)  into the cathedral city of Achaux and changed the local railway geography to provide his well known French main line terminus layout with a rational "legend". Unlike the "Cathedral" in Buckingham, that in Achaux did appear on the painted backscene and was based on Chartres.  I don't though think either of them actually went any further into the ecclesiastical implications of their rewriting. They weren't trying to compete with Anthony Trollope! 

 

 

Havil Junction (and the layout that predated it) both included a Cathedral, kit-bashed from about eight Triang church kits! (Though of course, all of Havil was completely fictional, unlike the two examples above which involved adding fictional cathedrals to real-life towns).

 

And of course, any layout (including my father's!) which uses the Peco 'City Centre' backscene, also has a cathedral!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

That view will not have appeared in any published articles as I took the photo just for this thread! The vast majority of the back scene was hand painted but there are one or two places where photos were cut out and stuck on and that is one of them. I had to be a bit careful with the camera angle as there is a bit of painted scenery just beneath the Cathedral that doesn't really blend in very well and makes the building look as if it is high up on a hill some distance away, with much greenery between the town and the structure, which is a bit unlikely.

 

That area of scenery was altered quite late on, when some much older terraced houses appeared and an area of trees was removed. The removal of the trees uncovered a less well done section of painted back scene.

 

The scene behind the station and indeed the geography and history of the fictional railways of the area was a very fluid and variable affair.  If Peter could think of a change to the history that would create an interesting train working, then the history books were very easily changed!

 

The more I look at photos of the layout and then look at it as it is now, the more I see very subtle and some not so subtle changes.

Thanks for this Tony. Do you think he used cut out photos in his later years because painting detailed scenery became a bit more of a challenge or to experiment with a different technique? The latest published colour pictures I have are in his article in the Dec 1991-Jan 1992  Modellers' Back Track and I can't see anything except painted backscene in his usual style in that.

It's obviously a lot easier and more sensible to adjust an imaginary history than to change a model to fit it. Rule one applies to imaginary histories even more than to the layouts they support.

 

To take RJS' point; Achaux wasn't a real place. Although it was in the same general location as Chateau du Loir it had nothing else in common with it and occupied both banks of the River Loir (not the Loire) and was entirely imaginary. Its name was Andy Hart's pun on the French  pronuncuation of H0 similar to Hornby Acho and that came before he gave it a geographical location.

 

Buckingham is a real place and Denny came up with credible reasons  why it might have remained the county town of Bucks. I agree though that giving it a cathedral was more of a stretch but the church near the terminus is a model of Buckingham's actual parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul.

 

To thicken the plot Andy Hart also invented a whole Département (county more or less) for Achaux to be the Prefecture of. The catch with doing that is that French Départements are numbered alphabetically and they use their number a lot, for everything from vehicle number plates to the name of model railway clubs. If you add a new one you'd have to change every number that comes after and everyone knows that Paris (originally Département of the Seine) is 75.

 

Edited by Pacific231G
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, RJS1977 said:

 

Havil Junction (and the layout that predated it) both included a Cathedral, kit-bashed from about eight Triang church kits! (Though of course, all of Havil was completely fictional, unlike the two examples above which involved adding fictional cathedrals to real-life towns).

 

And of course, any layout (including my father's!) which uses the Peco 'City Centre' backscene, also has a cathedral!

Havil Junction! Now that was a layout worth watching...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

Havil Junction! Now that was a layout worth watching...

 

The only problem is, further recollection makes me think it wasn't Havil Junction that had the cathedral, but Worthington East (also in RM about the same time)!

  • Friendly/supportive 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While on the subject of cathedrals, a nostalgic excursion. Does anyone else remember an article in RM (early '60's?) re a cathedral made from cigar-box wood, called Minford or something similar? Vaguely recalled as a decent piece of modelling I think, but especially as an engagingly-written article.

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, johnarcher said:

While on the subject of cathedrals, a nostalgic excursion. Does anyone else remember an article in RM (early '60's?) re a cathedral made from cigar-box wood, called Minford or something similar? Vaguely recalled as a decent piece of modelling I think, but especially as an engagingly-written article.

Mincaster, May 1963. An abbey rather than a cathedral but close enough. Written by Ronald Mitchell, who also wrote in similar style about his Liverpool & Manchester layout in the December 1963 issue.

  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a similar note, does anybody remember a layout in RM that had bottle kilns made from turned wood with every brick (made from punched card chad) applied individually? Tedious but looked very effective!

 

Cheers
David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DavidB-AU said:

On a similar note, does anybody remember a layout in RM that had bottle kilns made from turned wood with every brick (made from punched card chad) applied individually? Tedious but looked very effective!

 

Cheers
David

Might it have been Alan Downes' Pipers Mead? Alan certainly did an article on a bottle kiln and ISTR it appeared on his own layout.

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While Alan Downes may have done that, I think David may be refering to another layout. I remember reading that too, It was of interest to me as I was living in Broseley at the time and there was a bottle kiln just up the road.

 

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not just older, but from the USA and probably not really a layout, the 'Sierra Pintada RR'  was one of those 'how we built it' staff projects that used to feature in Model Railroader in the 1960s. This one was featured in the 1966 volume  (Dec 1965 - June 1966) and was an HO switchback mining layout supposedly set in Arizona (not in Argentina as you might think !) with echoes of the Colorado Midland. It was pretty much as you would expect, Atlas set track, elaborate L-girder construction, the then new 'hardshell' and 'zip texture' scenics, wooden buildings and trestles, etc  and it still  looks impressive over 50 years later

Edited by CKPR
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.