Made the annual pilgrimage to the Aylesbury Show last weekend. It never fails to offer top-class layouts and this year was no exception. I particularly wanted to see Faringdon by Stephen Williams, a fantastic layout full of well-observed detail and perfectly portraying the terminus as well as a wonderful scenic section on the way to the fiddle yard. It is everything a good layout should be...but then again I'm biased being a Great Western branch line devotee! The layout was operating in BR (WR) guise (on the Sunday at least) and ran beautifully. Rather than post the thirty-odd pictures I took of it on here treat yourself to Model Railway Journal 77 or part 3 of Stephen's series of books on GWR branch line modelling from Wild Swan Publications. This little cameo on the platform is very pleasing, portraying a slower pace of life in a world now vanished. Not one passenger with a mobile phone, no graffiti and not a hi-vis jacket in site!
Here we see a typical WR branch line scene with a 57xx pannier and B-set just arrived at Faringdon with a van in tow. The prototype for the distinctive station building still survives today, in use a a nursery.
One of the best 3mm layouts around is West Harptree by Mike Corp. It portrays a fictional GWR branch in North Somerset with a connection to the Somerset & Dorset, hence the appearance of this LMS 3F 0-6-0. This layout is always a delight to watch, particular attention is paid to reliable running and it shows.
3 days ago