Whitall – N

Gauge: Finescale N – 2mm
Scale: 1:160
Track: 9 mm
Period: Late pre war period (1939)
Type: Fiddle yard to terminus
Viewing Dimensions: 17′ 3″ x 2′ 6″
Working area: 20′ x 6′
Exhibition Ready: No
Completed by: 2025

  • Whitall is a rural town set in the Marches country bordering England and Wales
  • Operational features will include passenger trains arrival and departure also loco servicing with a working turntable plus shunting in the goods area.
  • Automatic coupling/uncoupling
  • Operating semaphore signals
  • Town scene and fine scale buildings

The scene:

It is late August and Prime Minister Nevil Chamberlin has been secretly advised that the Nazis are poised to invade Poland. The onlooker will hopefully view our portrayal of rural Britain in those final nervous days of “Peace In Our Time” and might see certain indications of what will become  wartime necessities during the ensuing months. To make our scene as realistic as possible the signage, streets, road vehicles will all fit into the late thirties period. Horses were still a prime source of moving materials and goods, so we will not overlook that fact. One of the factories seen is now requesitioned to producing military (aircraft) parts – a common sight even during the pre-war era. The government had started these initiatives from 1937 onwards. Near to Whitall is an RAF base which is an OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) RAF Whitall St Bozier and evidence of same will be seen as a road transportation movement of materials progresses from the base. The wartime blackout regulations are of course known, but still not fully implemented. Also in such a rural area as Whitall no street markings (or their subsequent removals!), materials such as public air raid shelters etc are yet to be seen. Sandbags and perhaps even an Anderson Shelter are under our consideration but nothing more than that. Remember, this aint London!

Nearby, the Town Square is still recognised as a market place and perhaps we will show evidence of it being market day. These traditions carried on for quite some time during the war until rationing really started to bite. If however we are not satisfied with this presentation then we’ll make it an Early Closing Day. Nationwide that would be a normal activity on Wednesday or Thursday afternoons  – as far as we are concerned it will depend on the quality of 2mm figures and animals that we have available to populate the scene.

Whitall Blog Posts


    Apart from a lapse in membership during 1989 to 1991 I have been involved with building and exhibiting model railways since the day I joined the GMRC.(1974)

    Initially I modelled in 00 scale like most people do, although it was noticeable that the newer format of N gauge was gaining in popularity with some top quality exhibits being viewed around the country in the seventies. Later in the same decade the club took the plunge and an N gauge layout was proposed. In the traditional roundy roundy style of rear fiddle yard fronted with a typical through station and small goods yard “Fir Coombe” was launched. John Boxall and Kit Spackman played a key role in its development and presentations with many innovations never seen on a model railway at that time. It scored a huge hit nationwide and attended over 40 exhibitions. It would have been even more had it not been for all of our business careers that rendered our spare time as almost non existent. Whatever little spare time I had (mainly holidays) was spent at Elmscroft actually ALONE building Fir Coombe. Health and safety were ignored and/or forgotten in those days. The layout would have taken at least another two years to finish had we observed these legal requirements.(!)

    It should also be noted that the club asked Kit and I about the possibility of building another form of N gauge layout to be seen at a GMRC exhibition. This might seem a simple request, but we were approached by the committee in the summertime of 1984 – with a deadline of  getting it done within a few weeks for the September show that year!!!! We did achieve this and the layout featured American railroad operations – and was known as SMALLTOWN. It went on to win several awards around the country. Bearing in mind our business lives took up most of our time this feat seems hard to believe today, but we did it.

    Privately at home in Gloucester where I used to live (Denmark Road), I contented myself (with the assistance of many club members) in building a 00 gauge layout for my father who’d recently retired…to give him something to occupy his time. By the time the basic project was more or less completed I’d moved away from Gloucester to Bishops Cleeve (1989).

    When dad passed away in the mid nineties, the layout was willed to me but I had no room at my own home to keep it, so I offered it to the GMRC in 1996. The layout was called WINDRUSH and as is commonly said…the rest is history – probably being the most successful award winning layout exhibited by the club over a ten or more year period.

    Prior to this event I think it was during the turn of the decade towards1990 that one of our senior club members (Nigel Hawkins)had acquired a set of base boards that had been partly completed by an architectural modeller who’d attempted to make a 2mm (N) model of Kingham Junction. The buildings on the layout were as good as anything I’d ever seen in this small scale although the track work was perhaps not the original builders forte. Nigel did his best to improve this, but it was too much for one person to do. Kingham, if modelled properly to its full size even in 2mm scale is a vast complex of two joining branch lines to the main lines, plus a flyover main line that required a substantial bridge to be built. After storing it for a long time Nigel had turned his attention to EM scale and in order to make room, “Kingham” was to be sold or disposed of. I decided that it might be a good idea to rescue it and turn it into a club layout. Windrush was up and running so I had capacity to take on another project. I negotiated a price with Nigel and privately bought Kingham from him.

    I approached the club committee and it was agreed that we should see what could be done to make it operational. John Boxall, Tom Couling, Dave Spashett and the late Richard Wilding started planning how to get the full achievement of the track work laid and developed. Kit was not able to join us in those days as most of his time was devoted to his demanding business activities.

    Sadly Richard was tragically killed in 2000 and losing him from the team was a massive blow from which none of us really recovered from. We more or less lost heart in the project and it inevitably became moribund due to the vast amount of work that would be needed to complete it, requiring FOUR fiddle yards 20 ft in length and at least 12ft in width, requiring somewhere in the region of twenty or more new live frog points with enough flexible track to replace the existing track that was resting on life expired crumbling Peco underlay. As the project was funded by me, I had by this time purchased much of the new track and points but it was going to be a mammoth job to make the whole plan viable. By this time it was mainly John and I working on a seemingly doomed project which led us to consider making something more manageable that would suit the clubroom as it existed in Y2K. As a result, a new track plan was drawn up and Whitall was born.

    The New Layout – 2003

    John Boxall and I attended some exhibitions during the early years of the century – not just to look at layout plans etc., but every aspect of design especially from a logistic point of view. Having seen and experienced the difficulties with Kingham we wanted to build something that would be big enough to give a real slice of railway but manageable enough to make it easy to transport from club to venue. Needless to say in those days we were quite keen to provide a club exhibition candidate. Moreover one advantage that I had at that time was managing and exhibiting Windrush which allowed me to become good friends with several other model railway club personnel up and down the country. Often times we’d be asked “Love your layout – if you have anything else  of the same quality just let us know and you’ll be invited” You cannot get a better form of inspiration than that.

    We looked at many plans but eventually settled on Minehead GWR as a base for development. The idea was to use that plan but simplify it for our own use. Knowing one person within the GMRC who’s been a co-exhibitor of Windrush, I spoke to Tom Couling whose railway knowledge and practicalities of operating model trains is immense. I showed him the basic plan and after some careful study Tom suggested one or two sensible alterations that would provide the type of track design making the new layout not just interesting to operate but “real world”.

    The next task was to see if we could make the new plan fit into the same 20ft x 12ft footprint of the Kingham boards that we still had in the club room. It was quite possible to reduce the width by about 2/3rds but the actual length would still be about the same. It should be remembered that at this time other club layouts housed at Elmscroft included the 0 gauge, 00 gauge Windrush, and a big 00 gauge roundy roundy “Underwood Junction”. A plan to replace Windrush (Chelt South & Leckhampton) was also under development. Kingham was positioned at the top end of the clubroom and having that space available and allocated to us, we made the plans. The big 00 gauge layout of the day was losing momentum and occupied a huge amount of space that in many ways became unjustifiable. It was sacrificed to allow other more suitable projects to develop (a “starter 00 gauge” plan being one of them). By this time the Phoenix MRC was closing and some of their members joined our club, bringing a large- ish scale narrow gauge project that had been started but never completed at their Quedgely facility. (Subsequently scrapped)  That was how we appeared in the early noughties.

    John and I had seen several layouts that impressed us not just for their visible appearance but for the board assembly, erection, and dismantling methods employed. We agreed with the committee that a three board structure including a fiddle yard would be our aim to incorporate the track plan etc.

    John whose talents are not just solely electrical but also he’s a very capable carpenter agreed to make these boards at his home and when ready we could move them over to Elmscroft and dispose of the Kingham boards. Before doing this “switch” we did our very best to remove the superb buildings from Kingham with a view to using them on the new layout. At this point, we didn’t call the layout Whitall – but neither did we call it Minehead.  Using the Gloucestershire vernacular we referred to it as “Yourne Head” (Ha)! Sadly the buildings on Kingham were never designed to be lifted and as a consequence, many were badly damaged beyond repair when we tried to excavate them…or so I thought.

    It was not too long before John and I brought the new boards over. They had permanently attached legs that were stable enough to provide a good base for track laying but capable of being collapsed easily for quick transportation. It should be noted that all of the buildwork at this time was by private venture and not with club money. The old Kingham boards were disposed of via a model railway trader who was a part time member of the GMRC and had a warehouse-cum-shop in Yate. Lord knows whatever he did with it or indeed where he is now.

    At this point I should like to mention that one of our club members who has contributed to the construction of many model buildings is Colin Tanner. Colin lives in Scotland and we only get to see him at AGM’s! Whilst he is primarily a 4mm scale modeller he kindly offered to assist in making up several model kits- some Metcalfe and some Bilteezee card kits. I will come on to that later on, but I have to say that Colin’s workmanship and skills have helped us enormously.

    As we looked at the type of operation we wanted to show to the public it seemed likely that cab control would give us the best flexibility. John started to make up a lab sketch of a wiring diagram for our needs and in parallel we started to draw up the track plan to suit.  The lab sketch eventually turned in to a full blown wiring diagram and for many months the only sight I had of John was his feet underneath the baseboards as he began the wiring installation! Cab control is a great system and was necessary for our needs but it is complicated to put together. I have the utmost respect fot the suberb effort that he made in achieving this. Another advantage of the way that John has designed the electrics will allow just one operator to man the main controls and if so encouraged to do so, set things up at the fiddle yard end. This means that minimally you could comfortably operate trains with just two people or one – at a push. Why so few? The answer is costs. Many transit type vans have the capacity to seat three people which will minimise travel expenses etc. This may not seem an important matter until you provide a quotation to an exhibition manager. Three people can work Whitall.

    Before you wire anything, you need baseboards and track laid down. So far, my input centred around track laying based around the Minehead notion. We wanted goods sidings, a single passenger platform with a bay plus a facility for turning locos and servicing them. Another requirement was to be able to use automatic coupling and uncoupling of trains. Not many N gauge layouts offer this, as mainly people that have N exhibition layouts tend to avoid that complication by just having trains going round and round on  continuous loops…. exactly opposite to the ideas that we had.

    It took a long time to get where we had the track and wiring in place because there were only the two of us in those days working on the project at Elmscroft, so the development was at glacier pace. Moreover my business career was still an important factor in those days and coupled with family illnesses my limited modelling time was divided between exhibiting Windrush as well as trying to keep the N gauge project going.

    By the late noughties we had managed to develop the track and after wiring it up, John and I set about testing it all. It worked.  I should also point out that Whitall is analogue controlled. Many of our locos could not be converted to DCC. Moreover, none of us are convinced that DCC would be appropriate for our needs.

    There were one or two areas of concern, insofar that the baseboard legs and lower structure was proving to be a little flimsy. The two end boards contained all of the supporting legs  but the centre board was merely a braced “bridge” attached to the two outer boards.To reinforce the layout it depended upon a front series of deep set plywood panels to bolster the structural integrity. Also this idea was designed to do away with layout curtains as the plywood would replace this. Unfortunately it compromised access as you could not get to sort out any potential problems except by getting in the way of the operators at the rearward faces of the layout. Also in the beginning we designed the base boards in such a way that they would fit neatly together in a male/female “union” when being transported, hence the angled shape of the two outer baseboards. Whilst this seemed a good idea at the time, the overall weight of each board has increased with the additions of track, wiring, point motors, scenics, buildings etc so we really needed to address that logistical problem by creating a more suitable method of stability and transportation. The plywood panelling was given up and leg strengthening helped. Eventually it was decided that a much stronger and rigid fiddle yard structure would become the prime storage for the other two boards. It was thus eventually re-designed by John Freer and Giles Walburn by means of two storage shelves each one capable of housing the other two boards in a type of table structure.

    In hindsight we now realise that whilst this redesigned structure is immensely strong, the overall weight of moving the whole shebang would be questionable – a point that I will refer to later on.

    By the year 2009 I had retired (John had also retired a couple of years earlier) and I was now able to devote more time to modelling. Now I must mention Kit’s return to the hobby. We used to joke about the fact that the only times we’d been able to meet in those interim years would’ve been in either departure or arrivals at Heathrow! However we did meet up at the 2009 Bristol Exhibition and I was able to give him a full rundown of our new N gauge layout. It didn’t take much persuasion to get him to rejoin us! It also rekindled the thought of re-comissioning Smalltown which had been stored away for a long period of time at his home in Lydney. Having Kit back in the hobby and with the added bonus of recruiting Paul Wikinson and more recently the return of Nigel Hawkins the project seemed secure and capable of proper development. It’s a pity that Colin didn’t live closer to us all, but nevertheless his input has been priceless. He’s posted several pieces of excellent model building work to me and I cannot thank him enough.

    One of the great benefits that we share is good friendship, and a superb working relationship. Yes, I am the project leader but everybody gets a democratic say. No decision is taken until we are all happy with it. When Paul joined us he was somewhat apprehensive knowing that he did not have the same modelling experience that we others shared. He has now made a large contribution to the layout and along with John has produced some fine modelling – buildings scenics and structural foundation work.

    Prior to their huge contributions I wanted to see the layout develop not just as a railway with scenic intrusions but to produce a vista whereby the railway appeared as an intrusion into the landscape. Windrush was a prime example of that image. The very end of the layout was where the track ended, making little room to convince the onlooker that there was a world beyond the track. The station and goods yard was right against the edge of the final board. It didn’t look right and after consulting with the other boys it was generally thought that we’d benefit from a small extension enabling us to create a slice of real world – justifying the whole view. Although it makes sense to plan everything well in advance, the picture that I was forming about the layout, its era, its location, its “history” i.e. when where how etc was largely based on what I had NOT seen at exhibitions. In such a small scale, electrical contact can be a problem and one can understand why so many model layouts favour more modern forms of traction because diesel and electric models have more pickup capabilities. Also not many exhibits seem to feature the pre war period of the 20th century. Old buildings can easily fit into a more modern day world of course, but I felt it would be an interesting plan to base our layout on the late thirties. The building extension board would be the prime example of an old market town scenario and I set about drawing up a few sketches to show the boys what I had in mind. Happily everyone bought into the scheme which left us wondering what to call the layout. The name Whitall was John’s idea. As he and I were the two prime developers of the layout from day one – John took the first part of my surname and linked it to the last part of his own – Whitall was its name. All we now needed was an extension board to build our town scene.

    I approached John and Giles to construct a small sized baseboard to act as a scenic extension wherein we could have a series of buildings to compliment the railway as a town scene. Having that agreed, we turned our attention to some of the building structures that would be needed. Most N gauge layouts favour kit built structures and one of the manufacturers of same is Metcalfe Models. They make cardboard kits that are reasonably easy to assemble, but as their kits can be seen on many layouts we didn’t really want to employ too many of them even though Colin Tanner had made up several already. One of the sad things about Metcalfe kits is that in N gauge some of their models seem to be overscale. Moreover as some of the better looking Bilteezee card models were exact in 2mm dead scale, the differences were too noticeable to work alongside each other.

    I mentioned this to Colin and he agreed that some of the Metcalfe models were indeed too big to work into our scene. With his permission I set about altering them to adjust certain obvious errors such as windows, doors, brickwork, chimneys etc all of which stood out far too prominently. It was a shame because Colin’s building skills made them look too good and that proved to be their downfall. Some however were okay and met our required standards without need of alterations. The real triumph are the Bilteezee models. They are not seen so regularly on layouts and the range is impressive. They are not the easiest things to make up but when you see them as a finished model you will recognise that they suit our plans beautifully. John has aso made a big contribution to the architectural work and his preference has seen us make use of  the internet by using computerised downloads (Scalescenes products). They take a lot of time to build and in places their building instructions are debateable but the end products are very rewarding. Paul’s railway walling has originated from the same source and he’s made a good job of that too.

    Whilst Whitall was slowly gathering momentum, we also had an idea that would perhaps allow one or two of the team to extend their art and craft skills. Kit’s layout Smalltown was stored at his home in Lydney and the local DFRS model railway club had asked if it would be possible to exhibit Smalltown. Similarly, our own exhibition team saw this as a perfect requirement for displaying at Eastcombe.I spent some time with Kit, looking at this but we both concluded that to make it operational for the first time in almost 3 decades it would need a fair bit of alteration and refurbishment.

    As this layout was originally intended and partly built for a GMRC exhibitions way back 30 or more years ago I suggested to the committee that we N gauge people temporarily diverted away from Whitall and concentrated on Smalltown to make it viable again. To do this, the practicalities required us to transport parts of Smalltown to Elmscroft to undertake the refurbishment plans. As exhibitions at Eastcombe and Lydney were the target, it was agreed that we could turn our attention to this task. It allowed Paul and John to gain useful experience in working on scenics whilst Kit concentrated on the operational side of things. I was happy to help in all of these areas. The end product looked so convincing and we were so proud of the whole thing. Some of the boards were stored at my home and some went back to Lydney but it only became a complete layout again when taken to Eastcombe.

    We exhibited it at Eastcombe but sadly some electrical gremlins interfered with its operation. Eventually Giles and John allowed us to use a portion of their “Elite” base board production facility at Lydney to re-assemble and cure the Smalltown electricals.It worked fine at their factory but sadly did not function at the Lydney show. Today it remains in store but Kit believes he has sorted out the mysterious electrical problems.

    Anyway….back to Whitall:

    On the newly created extension board many of the Bilteezee models were constructed by Colin. Having been used to scratchbuilding I set about making up a series of low relief buidings to sit alongside some of the low relief Bilteezees and re-scaled Metcalfe examples that will form the back of the scenic view. You will see a long butressed wall that acts as a barrier between the railway and the low relief buildings. I think we have accomplished some very fine model buildings – many of which are now scratchbuilt. We still have quite a number of town scene buildings to make but slowly we can see the full scene being achieved. This will include some semi detached houses, alms houses and a station masters house.

    I ought to mention here that the factory buildings seen towards the front of the layout at the tunnel/fiddle yard end are Metcalfe, made by Giles Walburn and did not require any alterations scale wise. They really do look the part as I’m sure all will agree.

    One of the most difficult things I had to do was to refurbish many of the Kingham railway buildings that were damaged when being lifted from that layout. Trying to figure out how someone had made the originals and then having to “skin graft” new replacement bits where damage had occurred to match the original was much harder than scratchbuilding. Thankfully it has worked and the end results are quite pleasing. Some of these examples are more like replacements than repaired jobs so I feel quite comfortable in referring to them as being “Whitallised” by me.

    The track plan will eventually see the introduction of fully working semaphore signals. Single arm variants have already been made from brass kits and one bracket signal has been partially built (another three will be required) plus non working ground signals made for us by Tom Couling.

    Another feature under development is point rodding. This is probably the most fiddly of jobs – akin to trying to thread wet spaghetti up a cats bum but it will be represented.

    As we portray a goods platform with all of the usual facilities it means shunting will be one of the features and that means the ability to couple and uncouple automatically. We did some tests several years ago to see what system would be best implemented. The two prime choices being the 2mm version of “Sprat & Winkle” – I had used  the 4mm type on our Windrush layout – and another more popular type favoured in 2mm known as DG auto couplings. That latter system appeared to be used by 2mm and 2fs modellers but no-one seemed to favour the 2mm “S&W” version and I couldn’t understand why. It should be pointed out that neither system is ready made – they are assembled from brass and certain forms of metal wiring requiring soldering skills to make them operational. Moreover model rolling stock and locos have to be “carved” about for installing them. It is understandable why most N gaugers  steer well clear of these devices because it sadly makes people fight shy of using them – but these devices are really the only method of making hands free realistic shunting manoeuvres. Add to this, we want to use steam locos that did not have the diesel electric ability to keep good contact with the track which is a pre-requisite when shunting. However the period chosen did not allow for such forms of traction so we have to make sure that we choose the best steam model locos for electrical contact purposes and smooth “creep” operation capabilities. To do all this we needed a small test track to be made.

    John undertook this task making a little test track for performance analysis. This had a servo operated semaphore signal, a single point that had a self latching standard point motor employed and an electro magnet installed to act as the uncoupling device.It would allow us to find the best combination of loco performances at slow shunting speeds and how they performed over the uncoupling magnet. Two interesting observations from the testing led us into a false sense of security over the two different types of couplings. Firstly, the “S&W” types worked reasonably well although getting the wagons successfully coupled/uncoupled required a degree of shimmying back and forth over the magnet. (This required close and clear observations which started us thinking as whether we had eyesight capable of being able to see things from the back of the layout.)  We also made a couple of the DG types. They seemed to work no better than the S&W’s and moreover they were very challenging to make. Despite the foregoing oscillation problems needed to get wagons parted we decided to opt for the S&W.

    Another problem that we encountered involved the semaphore signal servo operation. When moving a loco on our test track, the semaphore started to frantically “wave” up and down as the loco moved. The controller for the servo seemed to dislike the Gaugemaster loco controller! I spoke to John Freer about it. JF told me he’d seen similar occurrances whereby the radio frequency of the servo controllers made by a certain manufacturer had created this mayhem. He told me their name and to my horror we had indeed purchased these products. John recommended another type of servo control that would prove to be more reliable and as a result we now have sets of servo controllers that will work properly.

    The coupling choice situation seemed to have resolved itself and as a consequence we started to test the whole shebang on the layout itself. The results were disappointing. Firstly, with the back scene boards in place, trying to see the spot where the electro magnets were located was hard enough, even when placing “markers” for the train operator to tell where the units were positioned – the success rate was less than satisfactory. On closer examination the S&W auto coupling droppers were too far apart on each wagon to operate over the small area where the electro mag was placed  reducing their effectiveness and manifested the need to oscillate back and forth to make them work. I was told about this problem by Phil Bird who had seen the same thing happening in the 4mm finescale coupling version of the S&W types. The original 4mm version did not have that difficulty but using the slightly less obtrusive fine scale type caused exactly the same difficulties when using electro mags. This troublesome question is eliminated when using permanent magnets but there are other problems that can lead to involuntary uncoupling when passing over a permanent mag at very slow speeds. Phil had decided to use an alternative coupling solution on the 00 gauge Cheltenham South exhibition layout. He has adopted a system referred to as B&B and they have proved to be very successful. They are very similar to the DG type and can be operated with them being fully interchangeable.

    The B&B autocoupling system was not just for 4mm scale, there was an N gauge version and due to the limitations of our S&W’s  and the difficulties of building DG’s we started to look seriously at these alternatives. Accordingly I obtained a set and I attempted to build them. Oh dear! What a shambles! As there seemed to be no etched fold lines in the fret, bending up rightangles to form the coupling was virtually impossible for me as the gauge of material (brass) was quite substantial and unless you have a good grip in your hands….which I didn’t –  it was a no go. I spoke to Phil and he said “Give ’em to me you whimp”! Shortly thereafter he’s managed to make up a set and passed them over to me. Now, I couldn’t expect Phil to manufacture some fifty or more sets for our needs so once again, I turned my attention back to the DG type that is mainly used in 2mm finescale modelling. They are hard work to build at first, but use a finer thickness of brass with etched foldlines. I went on to make up a half-a-dozen sets…all of different qualities and not two the same!

    I asked Kit and Nigel to use the test track and study the performance of both types (S&W and DG) once again. The results were quite conclusive insofar that the DG’s performed far better than I expected without having to oscillate back and forth to achieve separation.

    Perseverance paid off and I have now made over ninety sets of these little devils although I still don’t like them that much. Manufacturer Dapol has introduced an auto coupling which is based on the American KADEE system. I have seen it in operation and it is not for me at all. So, like it or not DG will be used on the goods locos and many of our wagons. Due to the uncomplicated needs of coupling and uncoupling passenger trains (all you need to do here is just run around a train and then re-couple at the other end) we will retain the S&W’s.

    To effect shunting successfully we will probably need to have a wander lead hand held plug-in controller so that an operator can get a better close up look at the coupling performances from the front of the layout.

    Another planned development of Whitall will be to display exactly what we are attempting to do and to inform the public of the passage of trains. This will be achieved by the introduction of a flat screen TV and will also explain the era, the world events that coincided with the chosen time and hopefully give the public as much information that will allow us to operate without having to stop things and answer too many questions.

    We have set the period at 1939 and have a good range of locos and rolling stock that would have been seen at that time. In consideration of the location of Whitall we favour making use of the BBC imaginary county of Wyvern which borders England and Wales (Marches Country) that allows Whitall to be a station terminus that will see both GW and LMS  services. The railway lines are maintained and operated and served by the Great Western. The LMS has running powers with both passenger and freight operations too. Signalling and station buildings are GW (several recovered from Kingham).

    So that is where we are progressing to at the moment. Our work is about 65% complete so far. The tasks we have to achieve are as follows:

    Point Rodding to be completed
    Signalling to be built and installed
    Back Scene to be painted
    Roadways, placement of vehicles, permanent securing of buildings and operating level crossing to be completed
    Buildings still to be finished
    Lighting proscenium to be made
    Better method of transportation for exhibitions to be undertaken
    Flat Screen displays and programmes to be done

    Whitall would never have been possible without the assistance of many club members. A huge thanks to John Boxall, Kit Spackman, Paul Eward, Colin Tanner, Nigel Hawkins, Tom Couling, John Freer, Giles Walburn, Phil Bird, Dave Spachett and others to whom I extend my grateful thanks. I must also like to dedicate this layout as a fitting memorial to Richard Wilding. Without his enthusiasm and lovely nature I doubt that anything would have materialised. He was a great club man and is sadly missed. This product will see that he’s never forgotten.