building the Glenthorne Harbour

conceptual drawing of the harbour

Glenthorne is not one of those cutesy harbours like Clovelli but a hard working coal port, bringing in South Wales coal for the area. It is dirty, covered with coal dust and not a listed building in sight! Some commercial fishing operates from here and at times, general cargo is offloaded. The part of the port depicted is the coal handling facility. It is a reminder of the other side of the 1930s. If you were a Bertie Wooster, you would be holed up at the Glenthorne Hotel having driven down from London in your Lagonda. Life was not at all as pleasant for those working at the port.

The Glenthorne Harbour Authority also operates its own collier, the Glenthorne Rose. Its name belies its 1896 origin and the fact that it is now nothing but a rustbucket! It plies from Newport, South Wales to Glenthorne and back and probably, by now, knows the way on its own!

Construction of the baseboard began in earnest in early July 2008. Rather foolishly, we really pushed the boat out to get it finished for EXPONG 2008. In the end, the show was one of two which we wished we had never bothered with.

The temporary end loop was dismantled and the plywood base was adapted to fit inside of the new baseboard. The track base of the harbour branch was fitted to continue with the 1:40 grade as far as the exit through the tunnel cliff portal which brings the track down to the level of the harbour.

The cross members under the port itself were then fitted. This is when I had a bit of trouble with uphill water! The sea level was 1/2" higher than the East Lyn River on the next board. It all had to come apart again and the baseboard sea level re-cut.

 the completed baseboard being prepared for painting

 the hidden loops under the cliff

The first thing to build was the cliff. Being concerned with weight, we used blue foam, normally used for building composite aircraft. Having stuck the lumps in place with a hot glue gun, the shape was obtained using an electric drill with a 3/8" bit. It is about the messiest job I know and it is not a good thing to do on a windy day! For days we found blue foam granules, in the toilet, sofa, corn flakes and cat!

the cliff ready for coating

The cliff was coated in Polyfilla, carved and detailed and the harbour walls completed. The uprights showing in the photo below will support the backdrop.

The outer sea wall is largely complete and railing are being fitted.  - click on image to enlarge

 the coal wharf walls finished with a rather uncomfortable reminder of the 'Black Shirts' of that era. The lines under water will represent keel scrapes once the water has been built up. At this point, only one coat of 'water' has been added.
- click on image to enlarge

The track was then laid and wired up and finally set in plaster to simulate tram track.

The bollards and coal piles are in and the first coat of 'water'. The finish round the coal hopefully represent coal dust which has been brushed. - click on image to enlarge

click on image to enlarge

The buildings were constructed from plaster castings from Townscene, detailed and fitted into place. Following full detailing, the collier was built and fitted.