From when my Parents gave me my first train set for a Christmas present as a child, I have had an interest in model railways. I originally started in "OO" gauge, but have also built in "N" and "O" gauge. The last layout I built was my exhibition layout "Holmehurst" which was in "O" gauge, and I exhibited it around the country. Photos of it can be seen by following this link.

I inherited some "OO9" rolling stock from my late father, including a loco I built from a white metal kit for him, and ever since living on our working narrowboat Hadar I have been thinking about building a "OO9" layout.

For those who do not know, "OO9" is "OO" scale, which is 4mm to 1ft, but the track and rolling stock are narrow gauge, equivalent to 2ft gauge in real life. Modelling-wise this means that I can used standard "OO" scale buildings, people, scenery etc. of which there is a far greater range of ready built items and kits to choose from, but it has the advantage that the reduced size of the track and rolling stock means that curves can be tighter than for standard gauge, without losing a realistic look within a restricted layout size.

I had thought about building a layout in our garden alongside our mooring at the Saltisford Canal Centre, but after much thought decided that this would not be practical. However I built a small layout (now dismantled) which sat on the shelf above the display cabinet, in our saloon, which houses my "O" gauge rolling stock. Having finished it, my wife Jo suggested that when we stop selling coal I could build a layout in the hold. As we stopped selling coal at the end of 2016, I am now building the layout. This will be an ongoing record of the building of this layout.

Please feel free to leave comments, I am always interested in suggestions or questions.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Canal Bits

Another combined eBay purchase arrived this morning. A canal bridge and a narrowboat.


The Hornby canal bridge is a good base to start from. The towpath will need some work on it.


The ends would normally have a pair of ramps to complete, but I will build my own to complete it.


The Hornby narrowboat is not the most accurate. The extended cabin forward of the engine room doors is representative of the FMC (Fellows Morton & Clayton Ltd.) steamers which were built between 1894 and 1911. Yet the bow is very much like an Admiral class built for British Waterways very much later between 1959-60. It will need a lot of work on it once I decide what to do with it.


The narrowboat entering the bridge hole. For those who do not canal terminology boatmen always spoke about a bridge hole, not the bridge, as it was the hole underneath that they were interested in, and not the bridge itself, the term is still very much still used today. The term hole was used extensively on narrowboats, the engine hole referred to the engine room, and the boatman’s hole referred to the boatman’s cabin at the rear of the boat.


The newly acquired narrowboat alongside the model of my narrowboat Hadar that my wife and I live on, and in whose hold Hadarford will be built.


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