Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday Film Club: Birmingham New Street



This week we see a legendary layout that I read about many times, but never saw for real. 

Don Jones model of Birmingham New Street station. 

At the time, this vast project was utterly audacious. Massive and complicated, with full-size city buildings and very close to full-size cooling towers. OK, it was crude in places, but then the time to do this in finescale with the entire cityscape would (is in one case) vast. 

The film is particularly interesting in that it shows a pre-rebuild Birmingham. We see the old Bullring shopping centre for example. 

Sadly, I understand the model is no more. Presumably, it was scrapped on Don's demise. I wonder if any of it survives? The Rotunda would look great on one of my layouts...

5 comments:

Duncan Young said...

Having Just watched Michael Portillo visiting a Pendonesque version of the Southern Pacific through the Rockies, this is cruder but eminently warmer- one man (with some support), some vision, and ingenuity. It used to feature on model railway documentaries in the 80s' and 90s'. I wonder if the schoolboys helping run it are still modelling?

bartholomew sorrentino said...

For a minute or two I thought part of the railroad was outside or in a solarium. Small scale railroading, as opposed to super sized LGB, is possible outside.

Kelly Harding said...

Interesting find phil. Never heard of this before seeing this. Certainly impressive, a shame it got broken up on his passing.

housewiththebluedoor said...

We have featured Sutton Coldfield Railway Society in this month's Railway Magazine Guide to Modelling where several people talked about this model and one member worked on it with Don. I understand that after Don's death it was all sold off, no-one at the Society seemed to know of its whereabouts. I'm hoping something might come to light after we've featured it!

Phil Parker said...

Excellent. I haven't picked up my copy yet, but will grab it ASAP. Tracking down old layouts is a challenge. Having recently tried to do this for Dave Rowe's masterpieces, the trail often goes cold and you get the sinking feeling that another model is in a skip. Having said that, these are big things to store and look after - we can't preserve everything.