Tuesday, June 08, 2021

The Melbridge Dock display case

 Last week, Woz commented: "You mentioned "it looks terrific in the display case" do you have an overall picture of the display case showing the goodies inside ?"

Here's a view of the business end from the layout's last appearance at a show - Doncaster in 2016. 

The display case came about early in the models' life for a couple of reasons. 

First: People kept looking over the top of the fiddle yard to see what else was in there. I'd already built more locos than we needed and visitors wanted to see what else there was. With only one loco in use on the layout at any one time, you could wait a long while to see a selection. 

Second: The layout is 9ft long, and 3ft of that is fiddleyard. Basically, a third of the frontage was "wasted" as far as the public was concerned. 

Adding the display case solved two problems. People could see those locos not in use, and it added more display. Better still, the fiddleyard was clearer, leaving more space for tea and cake. 

The downside was that the layout no longer fitted in a Mk1 Ford Fiesta and we had to hire a small van instead, pushing the expenses up. On the plus side, moving from a 957cc engine to something over 1 litre, made driving more pleasant. 

We pretty quickly settled down to a way of working that saw the really good running locos (02, 07, Y7) on regular shunting duties and everything else in the box. This suited the visitors as the workaday models aren't that exciting so the box had weird stuff in it. 

Looking at the view above, I think we have the Crane tank, LMS Dock tank, Class 01 diesel, 03 diesel (which always works the very first train of the day), Class 17, Garratt, Not sure, Scratchbuilt Z5, Y8 and Fowler Petrol loco. 

Contents varied a bit. Now I wouldn't be so worried about the Clayton, but in those pre-Heljan RTR model days, it used to cause a stir. 

We'd happily do requests for specific locos if someone wanted to see then operating. Even the Clayton would make appearances to haul out the odd train. 

Having the models to hand meant we could swap things around a bit too. I like to rotate the reliable models so they all get a bit of wear over a weekend. And of course, if anything breaks, then a replacement is readily to hand. 

Mind you, by the time that photo was taken, I had too many locos for the display case..


Paul B. said...

I seem to remember a Nonneminstre loco making an appearance - either the Hibberd or the Coles crane?

Phil Parker said...

The Hibberd that was on here a few weeks ago.