Whilst my own layout-building ambitions have been constrained until very recently by lack of domestic real estate, I have been lucky enough to have been associated with some fine layouts built by, or with, friends, a few of which are illustrated here.
Ken Gibbon’s Lapford Road was his second bite at a representation of Lapford on the Exeter – Barnstaple line. Here a class 46 has arrived to lift the fertiliser vans from the siding that formerly served a creamery. In reality the user had been Ambrosia; Ken’s poster commemorates the former employer of one R Perrin Esq, ‘Sunshine Desserts’!
A smart white DMU (class 116 power cars with 117 trailer) arrives from Barnstaple:
Lapford Road 2 is now in semi-retirement; its final appearance (probably…) having been at Thirsk in 2013 .
The diminutive Port Pennan is also currently active on the circuit, particularly at smaller local shows to which it’s ideally suited. Built as a whimsical experiment in utilising heavy gauge cardboard boxes as baseboards, its achievability inspires many a viewer:
The line represents a supposed Highland Railway outpost deep in GN of S territory and despite its small size, caters for several distinct and railwaylike train operations. Here the obligatory class 26 (a much improved Lima model) arrives with the distillery shunt:
Port Pennan was featured in the Railway Modeller for June 2010; all photos above being by courtesy of Steve Flint and Peco Publications.
Culreoch became something of a cause celebre due to its rapid build featuring in a thread on RMweb during the latter part of 2006 and early 2007. Again based on one of Ken’s long standing concepts, the layout became associated with the onetime 1059 Group, an eventually transient entity which initially came together to complete the layout to a high standard of detail for its debut appearance at ModelRail Scotland in February 2007. The following shots are all from that first appearance, and the first one up is by kind permission of Tony Wright and ‘British Railway Modelling’. It shows a class 46 heading west for Stranraer with a Speedlink working from Tyne Yard:
Next, an overview of the layout with a Kingmoor-bound goods in the loop. Stand 8 next door can be seen to be home to another afficionado of Scottish railways!
The pic below became known as the ‘fisherman’s shot’, the real Loch Skerrow facility having been one frequented by anglers. I actually took this as an experiment whilst operating during that first show, but tidied up a bit it was considered good enough to feature in a ModelRail photo feature:
‘Cully’ as she came to be affectionately known (by those of us who appreciated her finer points – ‘Midsomer Murders’ viewers may perceive another TV connection…) was featured in British Railway Modelling for November 2007 and in Hornby Magazine a year later.
Whilst the layout was undoubtedly an excellent example of what can be achieved in a short time by a small, focussed group working to their individual strengths, sadly it soon became evident that those same dynamics would be something that would never allow it to naturally develop and flourish in line with Ken’s original concept. Thus after just five shows, the layout was subsequently moved on.
The new owner Jamie Wood is a dyed-in-the-wool G&SW fan, and the layout literally couldn’t have found a better home; he posts periodic updates of progress on his own WordPress blog (link in sidebar on earlier pages), and the images below are by courtesy of Jamie himself.
A 1960s Port Road wouldn’t be complete without a ‘Clan’, as the Kingmoor contingent worked the route regularly:
And this is the ‘Irish Mails’, 1964:
And a light ‘Black Five’ on the up line awaiting passage of a rare diesel-hauled passenger working: