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 have now built the layout. This is now a full record of the building of this layout and any new additions along the way.

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

Sunday 29 December 2019

Westland Sea King Helicopter Part 6

Helicopter interior fixed to starboard hull.

Extra trainee crew member added.


Westland Sea King Helicopter Part 5

Crew painting finished and fixed in place.
Pilot and co-pilot.

Radio/radar operator.

Winchman and trainee.


Saturday 28 December 2019

Westland Sea King Helicopter Part 4

This morning the crew for the Westland Sea King helicopter arrived in the post, since then I have been painting them.


Tuesday 24 December 2019

Westland Sea King Helicopter Part 3

Some further slow progress with the helicopter today, detail added to the base.

Wheels and inside of floats painted and fixed to both sides.

Winch painted and attached to side.


Monday 23 December 2019

Westland Sea King Helicopter Part 2

Not much done on the helicopter today, small fiddly painting takes its time, especially the stretcher.


Holiday Roadworks

Holiday roadworks. 😞

But at least someone is getting fibre broadband for Christmas😊


Sunday 22 December 2019

Westland Sea King Helicopter

My Christmas project, building a Westland Sea King Helicopter. 

Interior detail, including extra detail I downloaded, printed out and glued in place, 
such as the safety harnesses on some of the seats, those that will be seen, each one individually cut out and glued in place.

Radio/radar room.


The seats with added safety harnesses.


Log Pile Part 5

Completed log pile.


Saturday 21 December 2019

Log Pile Part 4

Jo took some photos of me adding more logs to the cottage log pile.

Another row added this afternoon, getting there.


Log Pile Part 3

Another row of logs added this morning.


Friday 20 December 2019

Log Pile Part 2

A few more logs added this afternoon.


Log Pile Part 1

This log pile is going to take a long time, 1st row of logs glued in place.
I need to wait for this row to set before attaching the next row.


Thursday 19 December 2019

Log Pile

This cottage has a built-in log store alongside it.

So this afternoon I have been cutting twigs to create a log pile for the cottage.


Wednesday 18 December 2019

Platform Machines

Over the past couple of days I have been painting this ticket machine, vending machine, and 2 pairs of weighing scales.

I have fitted them to the station.


Tuesday 17 December 2019


I have spent the past couple of weeks building a Spitfire.


Ground Signals

Over the weekend I made 2 ground signals from a kit, and painted them.
Monday I fixed 1 to the layout, it is on the canal wharf siding.

Today, Tuesday I fixed the 2nd in place on the engine shed siding.


Sunday 15 December 2019


The family dogs enjoying Hadarford Lodge's garden.

Throwing stick for Fido.


Farm Visitors

The farriers are busy shoeing horses.

The vet has arrived for the poorly calf the farm hand is carrying.

The farmer has been out shooting with his mates.


Saturday 14 December 2019

Washing Day and Cats

Mrs Beeton and Miss Beeton hanging out the washing. 

3 more cats around the layout.

Playing with butterflies no doubt.

This one was having such a peaceful nap!