Taking Stock or What am I doing!

I think it is time to re-assess my modelling. I am nearly 70 years old and still making layouts at quite a rate.  I realise this can not go on for ever, but even now I have just built three more baseboards for projects I have ‘in mind’. Added to this I have two unfinished layouts and five that are currently ‘on the circuit’,  and it doesn’t stop there, I am still involved with three other layouts that have moved on to other homes.  That makes a total of thirteen layouts, built or building over the last three years.

I have to admit that Exhibiting is becoming more difficult due to lifting etc. and if it was not for some excellent support from my wife, son, Graham and Shaun, I would have given up some years ago. Having said that, making layouts is a compulsion that does not go away, perhaps obsession is a better word but whatever,  planning and making continues.

The following layouts are 95% complete, is a layout ever finished? and are all viewable on this site.

Sefton Yard           – O Gauge Shunting Yard —– 1955 – 1970 in various eras

Low Street             -OO Sleeper Depot ——firmly fixed 1955-60

Merlins Lane         – O Gauge DCC Sound Fuelling Point —–1964 -68

Morlock Heath       – O Gauge Engineers Yard — various eras 1970 to 1995

4000yds – Area5      -SM32  WW1 ——– 1916-18

The following are layouts made by myself, but now owned by others

Norton Wood           – OO 3rd Rail Station

Norfolk Coke and Tar  – O Small Steam Shed (originally Industrial)

Ashwell Moor           – O Gauge Fuelling Point (DC)

This brings us to the current batch of baseboards and the two unfinished layouts. All un-named at present.

O Gauge Loco Depot (transition) – Complete up to Electrics – about 50% Complete. I would like to run my Industrials as an alternative.

O Gauge Station Layout (transition+) – Complete up to Electrics – about 50% Complete. 1955 to 1970 various eras and areas.

OO Gauge Modern Station – Baseboard only —- 1985 onwards in various eras and areas

OO Gauge Steam Shed  – Baseboard only —— 1955-62  various Regions.

OO – Layout based on a Diesel Fuelling Point or American HO Shunting layout – decision still to be made.

Well that’s about it – I must be mad!

I will post all progress on this site as things proceed.


Graham’s Test Track

When I finished my test track Graham expressed an interest in having one himself. Due to being very busy at present I offered to do the basics for him.

This Test Plank differs from mine in having O, OO and N Gauge tracks, it has also been left to Graham to choose whether he uses DCC or DC control on the space provided.

The O and OO  tracks have magnets and templates for fitting and testing ‘Spratt and Winkle’ couplings to stock. All tracks can be fitted with clip on rolling roads as required.













SM 32 – WW1 Layout Busy Weekend

Since Graham’s visit on Friday, I have worked about 15 hours on the layout. In the order I did the jobs:-

1/ Added the joiners/alignment dowels between the two boards

2/ Glued and aligned the three tracks over the two boards

3/ Added the back scene boards on the rear and sides of the two boards

Sadly I was one track panel short, but on the photo’s I have placed grey blocks so that you can see the final lengths of the sidings. I also glued one buffer stop to the nearest track. Two more buffers and one track section to order. I have also ordered five tubs of ‘Army Dirt and Small Stones’, this will be used for ballasting, this is a war-gaming product, but looks ideal for the layout.

While I was track laying I checked the total track length, I calculated we can get about fifteen bogie wagons comfortably on the layout, this doubles if four-wheel wagons are used. In practice it will be a mixture of the two types.

The entry to the fiddle yard sector plates back-board is still to be planned, it could end up being a small bridge, an overhead pipeline or even a large brick wall.








The final three photo’s are for Graham in Australia who wanted a close up of the parts of the sector plate.






SM 32 WW1 Layout – track plan

Graham came to see me Friday to discuss the track plan, clearances and general scenic thoughts. He also brought along his newly purchased ‘Tin Turtle’, although only partly built is gave us thoughts on the general requirements to run such a loco. Graham also brought the finished WD Bogie wagon, mainly to test clearances, but also to work out how many wagons are needed to populate the layout.

Below are a few photo’s taken during our deliberations.IMG_5797 IMG_5792






The Figures are Bachmann – We are using WDLR Album by Roy C. Link as our ‘Bible’ on the subject we are hoping to model – seen in the background of a couple of photo’s.

Over the weekend I hope to lay all the track and add the back scene. Sadly I think I will be one track length short! We also went for our pointless option so I have a Peco SM 32 ‘Y’ point spare – I will put it on my ‘for sale’ option on this website

Sector Plate fiddle yard – cheap option

On Saturday Graham and myself visited the Narrow Gauge Exhibition at Bressingham Gardens. Although I do not do Narrow Gauge as such, with our SM32 WW1 Project about to start, we decided to see what was available. Well, most of the layouts were 009 and 0 16.5, there was even a 009 WW1 Layout and very good it was.

There were a few traders present and amongst them was ‘Norfolk Heath Works’ with the owner Stuart Hughes. Graham knew Stuart as he was next to Morlock Heath at the recent Great Eastern Models Scenic Open Day. Both Graham and Shaun did purchase some of the Narrow Gauge 15″ x 11″ Module Boards. Stuart sells these Modules at just £15 each for both Sector Plate and Normal Boards.

While I have no intention of going 009, I was rather taken by the Sector Plate Module, I duly purchased two. I thought these could be adapted for use in OO and even O Gauge.

I already had two 4′ X 15″ Laser Cut Base Boards by another supplier. These were already made up so I made the ‘Norfolk Heath’ Sector modules and modified then to my needs. Below are photo’s of the modifications carried out and the joining of a 4′ x 15″ to the 15″ x 11″ Sector Module.

The cost of making the now 15″/11″ x  66″ was about £55 each, including cork.










I made two different size extensions to the original self-contained Sector Plate. The Norfolk Heath module is in 4mm MDF while the main board is Ply Wood. I would have preffered the Norfolk Heath Module to have been in Ply Wood, but that said it is very strong. I bolted and used PVA to join the Boards together.




Shaun launches his new Website/Blog

My friend Shaun Harvey launched his new Website yesterday at the Bawdeswell Exhibition. Please take a few minutes and take a look – it details Shaun’s move from N Gauge to O Gauge and his new project, Princes Street Yard, this is a Parcels Depot with a Coal Depot based in about 1968 – 73



Kelvin B