Exciting News!

You might remember me briefly mentioning in passing that part of the genesis behind the establishment of my lovely new girl-cave was because Hub would be building a model railway in our former office.  You can read about the start of this journey here.

Anyway, I am delighted to announce that the main substance of today’s post has been written by none other than Hub himself:

"Bagshot Terrace receives a delivery"
“Bagshot Terrace receives a delivery”

Hello. Hub here. Lizzie has very kindly allowed me to do a guest post.

I have learned through what is a blissfully happy marriage to heed the danger of the Lizzie question. Any sentence that begins “Do you think you might…?” or “Might you like to…?” is fashioned to snare the unwary. It may have been couched in the interrogative, but woe betide the simpleton that replies, “well I have thank you very much but I don’t think I will”. Such a response is met with beatific smile and the kind of silence that makes a man realise he has done something very wrong.

Thus is was, as I was happily minding my own business planning my new model railway, that I heard the dread words “Might you like to do a guest post on my blog about your railway?”. I promised to think about it – always my first ploy which at least buys me time. I even agreed to think about it again when next challenged, which both Lizzie and I know is a desperate act that simply puts off the inevitable.

So here I am. My reticence is not just that I very much doubt that, unless you happen to be mad keen on model railways, this will be of interest to you. It is also that I am immensely in awe of my wife’s blogs and her writing style. I do not want some casual surfer of the blogosphere to chance upon these ramblings and think it is her work. However, I have had the Lizzie question posed to me, and as I value my sanity it must be answered in the affirmative.

I have over the last six months been designing a model railway layout. I am going to build it in N gauge which is scale of 1:148. This is quite small and my thumbs are large. However, the work I have been doing building the various buildings for the layout is training these fingers of mine to a nimbleness they have not known since my youth. The length of design time has been partly enforced because the baseboards on which the layout will sit is being custom built. The builders have a very healthy order book and I hope I am soon to reach the top of it

You will have seen how we created space for Lizzie in what I understand is now christened the Buttery. Between us we have an uncanny knack of being able to make space when we really put our mind to it. It was Lizzie who said to me, when I told her that I had always wanted to build a model railway, that we simply had to make it happen. In a few short minutes we had planned the move of furniture around the flat and cleared most of the floor space in what had been our office to create the Man Cave. Below are a couple of photographs that show a full size print of the layout as it is to be.

You see before you the town of Elvenhome. It sits by the coast somewhere in England. In time it is some point between the nationalisation of railways in the UK (1948) and a point just before Bill Haley caused the clock to rock. The main station, Weathertop, is visited by trains from most of the major cities north of a line drawn between London and Bristol. There is also a small branch line that wends its way around the town, passing the dockside before branching off the main line slowly to climb to reach the village of High Elven (with a halt at Sharkey’s End) that sits above the town (where the church is in the picture).

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It is clear that building the layout and undertaking the modelling work is going to require me to become a structural engineer, an electrician, architect, builder and to acquire many more skills. It is going to be very good fun. I will enjoy actually playing trains of course, but the thing that excites me the most is creating Elvenhome which I can see ever more clearly as each bit of it is created.

Here’s the rub though. I have learned so much already by following a number of other railway modellers on YouTube. I have heard at least twice the question “Don’t you think you would like to do a video blog of you building it?” I have promised to think about it three times now, which is chancing my arm. What to do, what to do…?

35 thoughts on “Exciting News!

  1. Well done, Steve. Very interesting guest blog. Pleased to see the progress you’ve made on your model railway. Your handmade models are looking superb and I love the opening picture. You’d never think it was such a tiny scale. A video blog of you progress does sound like a great idea…. x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That looks great, I love the buildings. We had a railway set in our attic for the boys, it was huge. At the moment it is all taken apart in tea chests, in the attic. We had 00 gauge. I used to make the buildings and put the trees in , put the little people in, we had sheep and cows and a lovely station. The designing is the most fun. We had all our own engines and enjoyed playing. I need to see if I can find some pictures we took then. Enjoy building it and every step of the way! Do let us know how you get on and show more pictures please!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ute, thanks for your comments. I am enjoying the design, and bringing Elvenhome to life. If Liz allows I may guest blog again with an update.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hub!! You MUST create a video blog. We are sitting in Starbucks reading this blog aloud. You have an amazing sense of humour that engages the reader. Your explanation of how Elevenhome will unfold allows us to peek into the creative energies that go into building a railway. So please please please give Liz’s idea serious consideration. Have a great day!! Always a joy to stop by…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have forwarded this to Mike so that he can reply :)) Brilliant post Steve! We were impressed enough when you were just describing the plans last year! And I love the names 😉 Is there a Lake Brandywine just over the hill? Or a Prancing Poodle Pub?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant! I didn’t have a name for the river that flows into the harbour. The Brandywine it is. I have the Pub to build which will be at one end of Bagshot Terrace. Not sure on its name yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Steve. Do! The video blog that is. Maybe it’ll be guested on Liz’s Leaping Tracks! (Sorry Liz) Great to see the progress from PC screen last Autumn to coloured card semi-permanent way. Peter Jackson would be proud of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t you start! My Liz has a very satisfied air about her with all this support for the idea of a video blog. I really will have to think about it now! 😝

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect Scotsman will feature. Part of the positioning of the town north of London is that I can have all my favourite type of engine run on the layout from the various pre war private rail companies. As for the video blog, thank you from my get out clause. I will need to see how it is done properly by seeing Lizzie’s video blog before I start my own 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  6. This has been fascinating reading! Not just the birth of a wonderful model railway but also a ‘how-to’ guide in strong-arm tactics and husband bullying! 😀 I have been taking notes. My husband considered building a miniature railway round our garden but I’m afraid I wasn’t too keen when he first suggested it and he decided not to do it. Was I being a bit mean? Should I encourage him to start building? I do like the Lord of the Rings names especially as I have been re-watching the films recently and considering a re-read of the books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Without doubt you should encourage him to build his railway! If you are taking notes from Lizzie and husband management, the key is timing. You need to allow just the right length of time to make the poor unfortunate man realise he has given the wrong answer and there is no way out. Lizzie is very good at it is indeed. As for Lord of the Rings I have lost count of the times I have read it. Any chance to lose oneself in Tolkein’s prose and verse should not be missed!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Sounds like an interesting endeavour, very creative, it’s going to look really good when completed, I’d go for a YouTube video but being a man and showing solidarity, I vote with whatever gives you a peaceful life.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for the solidarity but we both know the quietest life is through compliance. One of Lizzie’s favourite tv programme is Star Trek Voyager. I have a sneaking suspicion she secretly idolises the Borg 7 of 11 whose two stock phrases are “You will comply” and ” Resistance is futile”. Provided I bear those two things in mind life is just dandy

    Liked by 1 person

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