Past Layouts

I have created this page as a easy guide to posts of my past layouts which have since been sold on or scrapped. Click the link to follow through to the full article and photos.

My Layouts

Parkside East Parkside was my first ‘proper’ layout. It took me quite a while to make and it was always very much trial and error. I had been detailing and repainting diesel locomotives for some time, but it was not until we moved to a slightly larger home that work was started on the baseboards
Dunston GreenDunston Green was my first ever Exhibition Layout, it was made for my sons to play with. When built I had no intention of Exhibiting this or any other layout. I was a visitor only at all the local exhibitions. Around this time I met Keith Wright and his brother Paul at a local Model Shop. Keith saw the layout and an invitation to the Stowmarket Exhibition followed. The Exhibition came and I received  four more invites – it all started from there.
MelfordMelford was my first Exhibition Modern Image layout and I have fond memories of making it and displaying it. After exhibiting this layout for over five years, it was eventually sold.
Autumn LaneAfter breaking Parkside East and selling Broadgate another depot layout was needed for the Exhibition circuit. The answer was to be Autumn Lane and this time there was some extra requirements,  I would theme the season and there would be provision for Electric Locomotives and overhead wires, I also managed a small station halt.
BroadgateBroadgate was the brainchild of my son John. After Dunston Green had been sold, without the stock, we had the need for a layout to run the stock. I don’t think we really  wanted to Exhibit it, it was just to play trains at home. After all, it was quite small and a  bit limited. In those days the micro layouts were few and far between, however we soon got invitations, mainly as a space filler, sometimes we took it to exhibitions as well as another layout, just for that reason.  Broadgate had a long run on the circuit and after 6 years we decided to sell it.
KenninghallKenninghall was my first attempt at modelling in O Gauge. I had purchased a J69 and J50 cheaply as they both needed some TLC. this was followed by a O3 and a O5 diesel shunter  kits. All  four being ‘East Anglian’ transition period, a suitable layout was designed. Being my first O gauge layout all aspects can be described as basic.
MiddlewoodMiddlewood was a bit of experiment. A friend at the time suggested an advanced electrical fiddle yard. after much work, it did work, but was very marginal at Exhibitions. It was withdrawn from the Exhibition circuit after only two years and sold.
Ayling IslandAyling Island was one of my ‘now for something completely different’. I wanted to try out 3mm sprat and winkle couplings on a 4mm layout , I wanted a run round so the loco needed to have the hook at one end and the loop at the other. I tried to work out how I could do this with a diesel loco or shunter,  After a few trials and many errors, I decided that a small steam locomotive would possibly do better.
Coopers FieldAfter pushing for a N gauge layout for over two years,  I eventually gave in to my son John and planning commenced. Now I have to say that this gauge was always my least favourite, but for sake of family harmony away we went. At this time John was at university and had the inevitable day off per week, we used this time to have a look around East Anglia by train, we usually ended up at Ely! Just north of Ely station there is a bi-directional section leading to the North Junction, this was going to be the basis of the model.
Hobbs LaneAfter Kenninghall was broken up, I decided that a small O gauge layout to put on the Exhibition circuit would be nice. After a few ideas ‘bit the dust’, the preference for a small engine shed emerged. I had all the stock from Kenninghall so this was to be a relatively cheap layout.
Lowe StreetLowe St is a OO gauge layout based on Lowestoft Sleeper Works in 1958-60. Like most layouts you need some inspiration and the Model Rail sentinel pushed me into a small layout that I could use this locomotive on. Living in East Anglia and being of an age to remember the Lowestoft Sleeper Works, I decided that was the thing to do.
Sefton YardI had several small BR locomotives in O gauge purchased over several years. I also had quite a lot of wagons left over from a previous layout. This layout, Kenninghall was exhibited for several years until it was written off due to water damage. I also had several buildings and bits and bobs that could be re-used. I really enjoyed shunting on Kenninghall  but became frustrated with three link couplings, the new layout, Sefton Yard would be the ‘test bed’ for hands free auto-coupling.
Alex BridgeAlex Bridge was made as a tribute to a very good friend that I met during my train spotting trips to Ely in Cambridgeshire. Although his name was Alex, he was known by everyone as ‘Mick the Builder’. Like most of us that gathered at Ely, Mick was retired and was interested not just in GB railways, but also German and Dutch railways. One day I had that horrible phone call from another friend, Mick had passed away after a major heart attack. It was planned that I would build Mick a layout based on his native North East and an Engine Shed was his choice. After his death I vowed that I would make the layout he always wanted as a tribute to him and to the great time we all had at Ely.
Norfolk Coke & Tar Co.This is another layout inspired by a manufacturer making a loco that really looked good. This was of course Ixion and the loco was the Hudswell Clarke. I purchased one and was completely delighted, another followed quickly. These were followed by several other industrial locomotives until I had seven loco’s of different parentage. I came up with the idea of a small industrial engine shed and a wagon repair siding. I really wanted to develop a layout that showed just how dirty and rundown such a facility could be.
Norton WoodThis is one of my newer layouts. Over the last few years I had purchased several third rail units, mainly in Network South East livery. It was always my intention to make a third rail layout, but I was in no rush. During the winter of 2015/6 I was at a loose end due to repeated bad weather, so an old retrieved (used before)  baseboard was found from the depths of my shed. A plan was drawn up and track laying commenced.
Merlin’s LaneMerlin’s Lane is my first layout with O Gauge DCC Sound, although original thoughts were DCC only, I decided to go this way as I thought other gauges  diesel sounds  were not as I wanted. I thought the Heljan prepared sound box on their diesel locomotives was the way to go. 
Marsh LaneAfter selling most of my OO layouts I realised that there was nothing to run my detailed Lima loco’s on. I was very prolific with my Lima detailing during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Even after selling a lot of loco’s, I still had many left. These varied from BR Blue up until the early 2000’s privatisation. The decision was maid to make a small Depot layout, one that was not visually pointing towards any time period, region or location, non-descript may be a better way of putting it!
Morlocks HeathThe latest creation out of the workshop – Morlocks Heath, is an O gauge engineers yard based in the late 1980’s. This layout again has been inspired by an imminent  O gauge release by Dapol. The 08 was announced several years ago and I ordered one straight away. Sadly the delivery has gone back and back, lets just hope the latest predictions of July 2016 come true.

Layouts I Have Built For Others

Strachan Strachan was my first commission when I started my new business in 2000. I had known Les Williams for about three years at the time and we came to a deal that would see Strachan born. It was to be based in Scotland around the mid 1970’s. Les would give me a list of requirement and we set about getting all the parts we needed. Whilst Les was a good chap to work for, he knew what he wanted and we tried to fit everything in.
Kirkbridge Kirkbridge was a commission for Les Williams. Having already made a terminus station for Les, he decided that a depot lane would be the next project. After several meetings a final plan was produced and the results are below.
Silver HillI made Silver Hill for Jerry Prentice, who at the time was a professional modeller working for Braintree Models. Jerry already had a layout plan and it was just fitting everything in that he wanted. I believe I did this and it was certainly well received.
Kesteven JunctionI was given this commission by a local model shop, the baseboards were already made and installed. Mike Allen, who was the person that wanted the layout already had scale drawings available for the proposed layout. Mike had decided that he wanted to go DCC, and this was entrusted to another person. My part was track laying and all the scenic work, although I reluctantly had to help with some basic wiring.
BensenBensen is a HO gauge American layout based in 1995-97. It was originally built as a commission for Ian Delgado. It is based on the edge of a desert and is in Arizona. As well a general freight yard there is also a cement factory, this receives coal and gypsum and despatches cement. Most locomotives are BNSF, but some pre merger branding is still evident. A small locomotive fuelling and exam point is provided.