Sunday, September 13, 2009
The Cawood, Wistow & Selby Light Railway
This Sunday's model isn't missing in the conventional sense, I know exactly where it is. In fact it would be fairer to say it's simply resting.
The station you see is Wistow, and formed part of my Father and I's first exhibition layout - The Cawood, Wistow & Selby Light Railway. Inspiration came from an Oakwood Press book found in a York second hand book shop. We liked the look of the buildings, of which there were 2mm:1ft plans, and the area. At the time it also seemed similar to a fiends models of the East Suffolk Light Railway which were very popular on the circuit.
As it was our first model we did a whole load of things we wouldn't do now:
The baseboard is chipboard braced with 2X1 wood. Heavy.
Originally the scenery made extensive use of cheap flock powder which faded from luminous to beige in the daylight.
The model was too long to set up at home.
Despite being only 12 and later 15 feet long (Cawood station was extended after a while) we had two stations.
I was still learning kit building so the stock had to be largely inappropriate RTR such as a GWR railcar. This didn't bother us much as neither really appreciated the niceties and thought this could be improved.
The layout stood on trestles.
Landscape contours initially didn't exist - the area is very flat. However it was pointed out that even flat areas aren't so when the scenery was re-done, plasterwork sorted out the lumps.
It didn't fit properly in the car, at least with 3 of us in there - at that point I couldn't drive and my Dad never passed his test so Mum had to ferry us around.
On the other hand, it worked.
The points used Peco motors.
All the track was hand built SMP including the single slip on this board.
The board bolted together to form boxes.
We had lights.
Spratt & Winkle couplings were fitted to everything.
There was quite a lot of detail.
All stuff we have repeated ever since.
In fact we were, and still are, quite proud of this model. The buildings were brick-papered cardboard and pretty scale. The station layouts (we had Cawood and Wistow) weren't too far off even if they were compressed - Wistow is over 1/4 mile long in real life. Cawood gave us a particular highlight, at it's first show one a long term friend looked at it and said, "Blimey. Cawood station". It turns out he had lived in Yorkshire years ago and used to drive by the remains every day and recognised it from this - so we much have done something right !
Over the years we made many improvements. The scenery was completely re-worked. That cornfield took 12 hours work with plumber's hemp ! Woodlands Scenics replaced dodgy cheap flock. Details were added. The stock improved a bit. Controls were re-wired at least once. This station was even shown on it's own as a static model at a hobby show held at my school.
As an exhibition model I think it only ever attended 4 shows. After that we built Melbridge Dock having learned many useful lessons. As for our first effort, well Wistow & a single Scenic board are in the shed. Cawood station survives in a box. Many of the details were rescued and appear on subsequent models so the spirit lives on. In fact the buildings were done again in 3mm scale to appear on Flockburgh. Who knows, perhaps we might be tempted to have another go at this prototype some day.