I had my first model railway at about the age of five when, like so many other boys in the 1950s, I received a Hornby Dublo 3-rail train set. Throughout my childhood and teens I maintained an interest. Then I left home to find work, got married and had children. Plans were still made but little was achieved.
Early retirement at the age of 52, albeit with some continuing freelance income, allowed me to start construction in earnest. First came a large OO GWR based layout with a double track loop, large junction station and a secondary main line. Just as I was getting on top of that, and having spent a small fortune, I decided to change to O-gauge. For some reason I thought it would be less fiddly – but not so. Because I had no room for a circle if I modelled standard gauge (I’ve never been into narrow gauge railways) then it had to be an end-to-end layout. From that decision came Wychminster, a line to a fictional town in Worcestershire originally supposed to have been built by the Midland & South Western Junction Railway and now, around 1930, part of the Great Western. To add more interest, there is also a branch to the GWR at Evesham although this is only intimated by the train services and not physically part of the layout.
No progress was made for about 5 or 6 years (except that I kept splashing out on brass locos from Tower Brass). However since July 2011, much progress has been made (and much more cash spent). Now scenery exists and I spend time on scenic additions rather than looking out for yet more stock to buy. Obviously it will never be finished, particularly as I’m now hankering to build something in the garden so that I can go back to my first love, watching trains go buy, preferably while sipping a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio.
That would be grand.