when fishes flew and forests walked
This website is dedicated to
the late P.D.Hancock who inspired us all
My father spent huge sums of
money on vast model railways that I was not allowed to touch and it was only
after being introduced to narrow gauge railways that I began to develop an
interest. As a small boy, the diminutive trains of the Talyllyn were
something that appealed.
My first attempt at
modelling such things used match boxes and needless to say were a tad less
than satisfactory. When the sleeping Festiniog Railway was finally awakened,
a small range of bits and kits were produced by Gem and these were avidly
bought at their Harbour Station shop. The wagons and four wheel coaches were
as heavy as a depleted uranium shell but it was a start. Finally, by the
late 1950s, I was making models by soldering flattened tins and I began to
learn how to make things properly.
Lone star brought out 000
working trains in the late 50s and finally it began to be possible to get
things to work.
I have built a number of 009
railways in a number of different countries but then took a long break until
retiring from piloting aircraft. It was then that County Gate was born.
After some consideration
I decided to model a freelance section of the L & B
as this offers a greater degree of creative opportunity. There was a
scheme to extend the line onwards to Minehead. Indeed, the route was
actually surveyed. I built the intermediate station of County Gate
on this projected extension, where the
branch from the harbour meets the main line. The fictitious history of the
railway is partially true. There really was a Glenthorne Estate near
County Gate built by Halliday and coal was actually offloaded onto a beach from ships
close by. I apologise for any offence the distorted
history may give; it is unintended.
I would like to thank:
Malcolm Alberry for the design of the Loconet installation and automation
CML Electronics Limited
Hereford Model Shop
Peco and its offshoots for so many excellent products
and the Desperados, the team
who selflessly give their time to help run CG and Cliffhanger at exhibitions.
P.D.Hancock for his inspirational articles on his Craig
and Mertonford Railway back in the 1950s. We later learned that the C&M did
not run as well as it might!
P D Hancock's 'Alastair' based on a Lynton and
Barnstaple Manning Wardle. It is a bit oversize in order to accommodate the motors
available at that time.
J Ahern (Madder Valley
Railway) who wrote the series of books on how to model railways properly when
3 rail Hornby Dublo and Lionel was more the norm.
Madder Valley Railway (Now at Pendon Museum)
Jack Nelson who taught us about
Part of a Jack Nelson diorama at
Betws-y-Coed Railway Museum
photo by Chris Brooker
and finally, Doris and Iliffe Stokes who were the very
first, in my opinion, to make model railways 'atmospheric'.
The County Gate model railway is represented on
Friday, June, 7th 1935.
June 7th 1935 edition of
The League of Nations passed a resolution
expressing strong disapproval of Germany's aggressive behaviour. In
particular, the League objected to Germany's growing armed forces. Military
expansion under the Nazi regime, including the introduction of conscription,
was in direct violation of the 1919 Versailles Treaty.
94% of agricultural land in the Soviet
Union has been collectivized while famine is killing millions.
The Soviet Union declares that the fascist
states of Germany and Japan are the enemies.
USA. Alcoholics Anonymous founded