Friday, 16 April 2010

Spirit of Welshpool

A few months back I posted some pictures of Mark Holland's under-construction layout inspired by Welshpool. Mark has obviously been busy recently as the townscape had really progressed by the time he set up the layout at Sparsholt last Saturday! His glamorous assistant operator (daughter!) confirmed that he had also been taking over the house somewhat with bits of layout too!

The effort is really paying off though, those familiar with the old pictures of the Welshpool & Llanfair railway threading through the back alleys of the town will recognise features in the model. Mark has done a great job of distilling the scenes into an atmospheric model, compressing and moving landmarks around but it is still recognisable, despite the whole town scene from the end of the station yard to the halt at Seven Stars being about 3 feet long. There is some way to go, the church is yet to come for example, and Mark is adding interior detail to the shops, as well as more people, vehicles and street clutter being required. But the washing on the lines, the railway running over the stream - they are all there! Would you believe the black-and-white cottage started life as an Airfix kit?

I was lucky enough to have a go at operating the layout for a while during the show, with a whole 5 minutes training (!). Actually it was great fun, although I am not a fan of the Bemo couplings, and there was one bit of track between a board joint and a point which was determined to derail any loco in one direction to frustrate me! I'm sure Mark will get that sorted. The sequence is to run in a mixed train, uncouple wagons in the yard, run up to station. Then back up, run-round, and shunt wagons. Reverse new train to station, depart for Seven Stars halt and the fiddle yard. Alternate with a railcar or goods only for interest! Mark is building up a fleet of Welshpool stock, which will really look good on the layout.

I'm sure I'll be able to bring more updates in the future!
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Andy Elms said...

Cheers for the photos. I've been looking out for this layout for a while, and really like what I see.

Iain Robinson said...

This is brilliant, I wish I'd seen it "in the styrene". I know Welshpool very well, past and present, and the scenes photographed so very well here, ring true for me. A superb effort.Proper job.

Chris Ford said...

I note there are no photos of the glamorous assistant.