Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Another Outing for our Thornycroft Sidings Layout

The Basingstoke Festival of Transport
War Memorial Park,
Crossborough Hill,
RG21 4AG

Sunday 12th May 2019: 11 am - 4 pm

Posted by David.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Will Hay Day 5 - The Return to Buggleskelly

Back in July 2018 we were invited to show our Cliddesden model railway at an event staged by 'The Will Hay Appreciation Society' in Clidddesden village on October 14th 2018. The connection of course is Will Hays film 'Oh Mr. Porter' that in 1937 used Cliddesden Station for its fictitious location Buggleskelly.

Cliddesden Village Hall Decorated For The Event
Since building our model of Cliddesden Station in 2011 we had a hunch that one day we would be showing the model at some event in Cliddesden itself but did not think it would be such a specialised event as this. Open to members and public by advanced ticket purchase the event was fully subscribed. About 180 people attended. Notable attendees were members of the film stars families and special guest Peter Waterman (well known personality, avid Will Hay fan and railway modeler) who kindly agreed to a photo with our model.

Pete Waterman & David Smith Next To Our N Gauge Cliddesden Model Railway 
On arrival we were surprised to see another model of Cliddesden Station already set up. Was this a competition? Apparently, this 00 gauge model set in the 1930s, was an unexpected late addition to the programme brought in by a local resident.
OO Gauge Cliddesden Layout From Local Resident

The Basingstoke Silver Band gave a performance and two Will Hay feature films were shown together with documentaries about the Film Stars. A memorial bench funded from donations was unveiled at the village hall. Further funds are being raised to restore Will Hays grave memorials.

Will Hay Memorial Bench
To some people our model provided context to the filming location of Oh Mr Porter. Several people commented on knowing about our model. Tom Marshall, founder of the Society was one. He is also a follower of our Blog and was inspired to make his own model of Cliddesden Station but as the film set Buggleskelly.

David & Ed


Will Hay Appreciation Society

Pete Waterman's Leamington Spa

Tom Mashall's Model Dioramas

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Wheat Field Conundrum Solved

One thing that puzzled me about wheat field harvesting with horse and reaper in the early 1900s was how the sides of the field were worked? Was a strip left unplanted or did the horses just walk through the wheat? With no answer to hand I simply planted the wheat to the fence line. No one who has read this blog or seen the layout at exhibition queried it.

Unexpectedly and recently, the answer came to me from reading Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. In support of the story line Hardy described in great detail the landscape and working practice.

Whilst being a work of fiction I believe what he described in this respect is true. He described a wheat field that had been 'opened', meaning the wheat at the fence line was hand-cut a few feet wide for the horses to walk unhindered by the wheat (at the time the wheat variety would have been between 3 and 5 feet high).

Armed with a pair of sharp scissors, I cut the lanes and coloured the cleared ground appropriately with acrylic paints.

Conundrum solved!


Monday, 16 July 2018

Not your usual model railway show...

On the 30th June we were invited by the Brookvale Community Association, to attend their Thornycroft day. A small event remembering and highlighting the importance the Thornycroft Motor Works was in the history of Basingstoke. Brookvale was the area where most of the factory workers lived, and the factory once stood. The association was also raising money to build and place a replica clock on the village hall, that once stood on top of the Thornycroft factory, something they have been trying to do for a few years.

The event had many interesting Thornycroft memorabilia on display including; unseen photos, work magazines, and registers. Also 3 vintage Thornycroft vehicles were on display parked out the front for all to see. There were also some hands on "engineering"tasks using Meccano and clock-work train emphasizing the ethos of the factory, and an interactive show put on in the afternoon by the Thornycroft Girls.

Thornycroft Vehicles
 We were there with our model railway, which accurately represents 1/3rd of the Thornycroft factory, to give visitors an idea of what the factory would have been like in the 1930's, which once stood on the now supermarket site. Obviously this was not your normal model railway show, but an opportunity to learn more about the company and factory and bring a bit of history to life!
Thornycroft Sidings N gauge model railway  
It was a beautiful sunny day, and with a few other events on around the town as part of the Basingstoke Summer Festival, the attendance here was lower than we were hoping. However it did give the opportunity to reminisce with some of the ex-workers, who brought the model to life by telling us some stories about the factory, such as a fire that broke out onsite. Apprentice's sun-bathing on the roof of the factory and taking vehicles on test drives.

The local newspaper sent along a photographer to the event, and the following week there we were in the local press...
Article in the "Basingstoke Gazette" about the event
Thanks to the Brookvale Community Association and all those that attended, with many visitors providing nice comments about our layout.



Saturday, 19 May 2018

The Basingstoke Festival of Transport 2018 Show - Thanks

Thanks again to the Thornycroft Society for putting on a great transport festival again and inviting us along on the 13th May 2018. The weather managed to hold out, to make it an enjoyable busy day.

We had many passing visitors. The young were interested in directing us to put on different trains, and captivated by watching the trains go around with different loads, and the young at heart were reminiscing about days gone by, with some providing stories about sun bathing on top of the buildings, and playing down the disused railway line (in later years).

As we were running the model railway from a 9v PP9 battery this meant our G6 train struggled to pull anything up and down the gradients, and for some reason there was a complete loss of power in the train yard itself. This we thought was down to low battery power, but after finding the only stall in the field that sold new PP9 batteries and plugging it in we were still struggling power wise. This meant we were pretty much unable to show trains loading and unloading from the factory sidings, and we were using the M7 most of the time. - But i'm sure nobody really noticed that!

We may need to think about creating a barrier as many people both young and old were putting their hands on the front edge of the layout, there was many a stern look and short cry of "Please Do Not Touch!" from us.

Basingstoke Transport Festival May 2018

Monday, 9 April 2018

The Basingstoke Festival of Transport 2018 Show

As guests of The Thornycroft Society our Thornycroft Sidings N gauge model railway, is once again scheduled to appear at:

The Basingstoke Festival of Transport 

War Memorial Park,
Crossborough Hill,
RG21 4AG

Sunday 13th May 2018 11a.m - 4 p.m.

It will probably be the only model railway on show amongst lots of vintage vehicles. Please come by and say "hi", we will be in the Thornycroft Society main marquee.

2016 Basingstoke Festival of Transport


Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Astolat Model Railway Circle Exhibition 21/01/2018 - Thank you

On the 21st of January we showed Cliddesden at the Astolat Model Railway Circle Exhibition, a small one day well run show, held at the Surrey Sports Park.

We would like to say thanks to the club and the exhibition organisers for inviting us back again, this time with Cliddesden. The weather was very soggy which made unloading and loading the cars a little bit of a challenge, and due to the conditions it was reported that visitor numbers were a little lower than last year.

Thanks to the visitors who managed to make it, and were completely captivated by this layout. One lady who must of stayed on our stand for over 20 minutes, and read the power point presentation at least 4 times, while admiring the cameo scenes and model workmanship. Also to a gentleman who mentioned we inspired him to get back into n gauge model railway building, that he went and retrieved his old childhood track from his parents place, after reading our article in the March 2016 Railway Modeller magazine, and spending two or three visits admiring Cliddesden. Also to a little boy, who again had read our article in the magazine, and was really excited to see the layout.

There were many, many comments through out the day, with these being some of the ones I can remember:
  • "Cliddesden is my best in show"
  • "Absolutely fascinating"
  • "Great landscaping"
  • "Completely different to other layouts on show"
  • "You must have great patience"
  • "If I end up making a layout half as good as yours I would be proud"
  • "How did you make the wheat field?"
  • "I love the way the back-scene mergers with the model"
  • "Very nice"
Thanks again,

Ed & David

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